David Clarke interviews Turcan Connell Business Law Partner, Mike Kane on the services provided by our Family Business team. Mike specifically discusses the offering of the Business Law team, at Turcan Connell's offices (Princes Exchange, 1 Earl Grey Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9EE).

Mike Kane discusses the services provided by Turcan Connell's Family Business team.

For more information visit our Family Business pages on the website »

 

DAVID CLARKE

Hello and welcome to the Turcan Connell video cast on family businesses. I'm David Clarke and I'm here with Mike Kane who's going to be talking about the services on offer from the team that looks after family businesses here. Mike, can you tell me a bit about the family business team here, what do you do?

MIKE KANE 

Of course, David, So the family business team is a very broad team within Turcan Connell so it's an inter-disciplinary team across TC, so it's a range of corporate and commercial lawyers, tax and succession lawyers, litigation, property, family and employment; so a very broad team that we have within Turcan Connell and we operate across the UK from offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London.

DAVID CLARKE 

And so what do you think makes the team at Turcan Connell different from other family business teams of other companies?

MIKE KANE 

Okay. Well I think the key difference is that TC has always looked after family businesses and those family business owners and entrepreneurs, and being a very large Scottish firm that is a different approach to the other firms in the marketplace who perhaps are looking for large corporate clients. So our approach is to look after the owners of these family businesses, entrepreneurs and the family business itself and very much from a  long-term relationship perspective. So our lawyers have relationships across generations with the business owners, whereas I feel that the larger corporate firms are looking for bigger international, bigger ticket deals.  So our approach is different, we bring a big firm approach but looking after people for the longer term essentially.

DAVID CLARKE

So typically what are family businesses looking for in terms of legal advice?

MIKE KANE 

It can be a very wide range of issues actually and family businesses have their own special dynamic because of the family relationships, which sit behind them, and those can often be very difficult.  So my team of corporate lawyers works very closely with our tax and succession colleagues to help with the governance structures primarily to make sure that we can try as best we can to manage and to eliminate dispute, well perhaps not eliminate disputes but reduce the number and ferocity of the disputes, but nonetheless these still come to the fore and we have a number of teams round the office who are very skilled in helping to reduce the impact of these disputes. And certainly looking at it from the business perspective, what we don't want to do is a big family bust up having a big negative impact on the business itself. So it's a wide range of issues for the family who own the business and the business itself. Our experience with family businesses recently has largely been taking the opportunity to realise value for these businesses, so we've had a very busy year over the last 12 to 15 months in disposing of family businesses I think as a lack of succession planning in these businesses has come to the fore.

DAVID CLARKE 

So of course for a family, you build up a business and then one of the things you want to do is extract value from that business; can you talk me through a bit of the procedure maybe for selling a business for a family?

MIKE KANE

Well that's right David and I think one of the things that marks Turcan Connell out in the marketplace for this is the strength and depth of our tax team cause actually it's a very technical process and there can be a lead in time for arranging your tax affairs ahead of a business sale. So sometimes that can be sort of 12 to 15 months in terms of getting your house in order for the tax aspects, so we work closely with our tax colleagues in that regard. And equally from a seller's point of view, the purchasers often really want to have a good rake around in the cupboards of the business which can be quite daunting as a seller, so I suppose what we do is we, you know, just advise sellers to get their house in order beforehand and make sure everything's in a good orderly state because that will create a good impression and might actually increase the value of the business rather than being caught flatfooted with some difficult issues. So there's a fair degree of presale planning from a tax point of view and an organisational point of view that's required, and the process of selling itself can be very intense. You're trying to run a business at the same time as managing some very difficult legal, new legal concepts I think and instructing solicitors and tax advisors and accountants. So we usually co-ordinate that and try to take as much stress and pressure away from the business owners as possible and help to pace owners through that process which can often be sort of three months as a minimum and maybe as long as 12 months for the process. And five of our larger deals had an aggregate deal value of about £120 Million and while it's sad to see these businesses being sold internationally, it is a credit to their owners that they had built a business that is of interest to international American purchases and it will allow those business owners to retire and go off and do other business ventures.

DAVID CLARKE

Thanks Mike. So for more information on how Turcan Connell can help your family business grow and prosper, go to the website turcanconnell.com or check us out on Twitter and LinkedIn.