Wicklow Town & District Chamber, in association with Augustus Cullen Law and PricewaterhouseCoopers presented an evening seminar on 13 May. The evening covered legal and business issues which companies and businesses should be aware of as they protect their business in the current economic climate.
In addition to having an opportunity to receive briefings from specialists who practice in this area, there was an opportunity to question the speakers in a highly interactive environment.
Siona Mooney, Partner in Augustus Cullen Law spoke about the need to address key legal issues in today’s challenging business environment. Specifically, Siona spoke about the Duties of Directors. Siona also mentioned the need to review your Contract conditions particularly as these are the subject of increased scrutiny with more commercial disputes arising in the current climate. She mentioned that there may be scope for your company to create a debenture if shareholders are owed money by their company, and this would mean that the shareholders may no longer be treated as unsecured creditors. Finally, Siona mentioned the importance of having an effective Retention of Title clause in your trading Contracts.
Ian Lavelle, Associate Solicitor in Augustus Cullen Law discussed voluntary and involuntary liquidations and their meaning for your business.
Ian also looked at the practical realities of extracting payment from debtors and discussed options such as contacting the local sheriff or registering a judgment mortgage against any property owned by the debtor. He also identified the benefits of placing a company into a period of court protection or examinerhsip where that company is able to demonstrate a reasonable prospect of survival.
Ronan Furlong, Tax Partner with PwC, identified a number of tax planning opportunities for businesses in the current difficult economic environment. In particular, he mentioned that, with asset prices falling, there may be scope to address succession planning which previously may have proved too expensive from a tax perspective. He also identified a number of ways of improving cash flows for businesses through tax planning, such as switching to a cash based VAT reporting system.
Billy Sweetman partner from PwC stressed the importance for businesses in the current downturn to perform root and branch reviews of all business costs and practices. With many businesses focused purely on growth during the Celtic Tiger years, often inefficient and wasteful practices developed which could be altered with little negative consequences for the underlying business and resulting in significant cost savings. He also urged businesses to take time to reappraise their short to medium term strategies and devise contingency plans. In particular, cash flows need to be carefully monitored and debtors actively pursued.
Wicklow People Coverage
The event was covered by the Wicklow People. A pdf of the article is available for download.
14 May 2009