Use share capital as a tool to grow your business
Our team of corporate solicitors can advise you on:
- Shareholders’ rights and what remedies your shareholders may be entitled to.
- Share transfers and new allocations and ensuring that these are registered properly.
- Documents that regulate your relationships with shareholders such as your Articles of Association and shareholders’ agreements.
- Share capital reduction so you can create distributable reserves or as part of a demerger for example.
- Creating different classes of shares so that you can tailor your shareholdings to suit different types of shareholders and effectively manage the rights and restrictions of different shareholder classes.
- Executing a share buyback process that works for your business, dealing with any pre-emption rights and drafting all necessary documentation.
- How shares can form part of your employee incentive package so that you can attract and retain talent to your business.
- Amending your Articles of Association to enable you to issue different classes of shares with varying rights.
- Reviewing and maintaining statutory registers to ensure your compliance with the Companies Act.
- The importance of ‘anti-dilution’ in protecting your rights as a founder of your business.
- Use of a cap table and helping you to prepare one in advance of a funding round so you’ll know where you stand post-investment.
- Shaping your offering so that you qualify as a target for investors in tax-advantaged schemes such as the Enterprise Investment Schemes, and Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes.
- Floating your company in an IPO if you want to offer shares to the public.
- Ongoing compliance with your obligations to Companies House when managing your share capital and register of shareholders.
What our clients say
We pride ourselves on delivering an excellent service for clients, but don’t just take our word for it.
We use Harper James because they understand the venture capital sector we operate in, know our business inside out and are always on hand to assist us in any way we need.
What attracted me to Harper James was the pricing model they have in place. It means we get access to top legal professionals at prices we can afford. In our most recent funding round, the support we received was vital.
As a University spin-out getting the right team of lawyers to support our emerging business was fundamental and the team are always available to provide us with the invaluable guidance and support we require.
The support, advice and guidance from Harper James was absolutely vital. Shubhu, Callum and the team there were always on hand to deal with any issues that we needed help with as the deal progressed. This is an exciting new stage in the development of the business.
My colleagues and I have found them to be adept at dealing with the variety of challenges facing early stage companies. They are a trusted source for sound, sensible advice and practical deal management.
Our scale of growth would not have happened without the support of Harper James.
Quite frankly I was stunned at the low cost of the service given the value it provided us.
Over the years Harper James have helped us navigate complex legal issues and red tape, providing distilled options and legal consultancy that far exceeds the service levels we’ve previously experienced from more traditional law firms. The team act like our own in-house counsel so, regardless of which lawyer we work with, we feel supported and that they truly have our best interests at heart.
Benefits of support from a specialist share capital lawyer
Use your ownership structure as a key tool to manage your business
Stay ahead of your competition by understanding the ins-and-outs of share capital. Whether it’s declaring dividends, voting on key issues, incentivising staff, or securing a funding deal, we’ll help you use your share capital structure as an essential management tool to facilitate growth.
Avoid basic mistakes when issuing shares to participants in your new venture
Issuing and allocating shares may seem simple yet giving away or selling shares can have a dramatic impact on the ownership structure and valuation of your company. We will explain to you why share ownership and share price is so important to the future of your new venture, and how to avoid losing control of your business. Avoiding mistakes at the beginning can ensure smooth sailing down the line.
Improve your access to capital
Understanding what kind of shares each type of investor prefers is a must. Pick our brains and use us as a sounding board to help you structure your share capital to appeal to the right investors. We can also support you in valuing your company’s shares as part of a funding round.
Optimise the tax position of your company and investors by taking advantage of EIS or SEIS
These schemes are highly beneficial for both entrepreneurs and investors. We can show you how to unlock the benefits of these schemes by leveraging your share capital so that you’ve got more cash available to fund your operations.
Pick the employee share incentive scheme that’s right for you
We can help you distinguish a CSOP (or ESOP) from a SIP from SAYE and unravel the complexities of these plans to help you pick the scheme that’s right for your business and that will best attract, retain and incentivise key talent in your industry.
Take the stress out of restructuring your share capital
If your business has reached a point where it is appropriate to restructure your share capital, we’ll take care of all the necessary steps, from amending your corporate documents, liaising with employees, to obtaining consents from shareholders.
Experienced advisors to lean on when you launch your IPO
Are you ready to take your business public? Let us be your expert legal advisor partnering with you and your business at every stage of its growth, from seed funding rounds to an IPO, and beyond.
Who we help: Founders, leadership teams, and entrepreneurs
Whatever stage your business has reached, there’s a member of our specialist share capital team who can help. We offer expert advice and hands-on support for start-ups looking to scale their business. In fact, our objective is to provide legal support to start-ups that’s more accessible, affordable, and holistic in approach. We’ll get to know your business goals so that we can apply our legal knowledge and commercial experience to reach the best possible outcome specifically for you. And that’s not just in relation to share capital. With our legal subscription plans you can quickly access legal support, when you need it, across our range of integrated services.
Examples of our work
Helping scale-up Qudini cast its spell on the in-store customer experience
23 July 2020
As the story goes, the retail tech scale-up Qudini was born following an O2-sponsored hackathon in 2012 and it’s reached for the stars ever since. …
Luffy AI completes pre-seed funding to support its transformational research work
15 June 2020
Luffy AI Ltd is currently developing software which they hope will revolutionise the way artificial intelligence is applied to robotics, industrial processes and a range …
Hospify: The healthcare messenger that’s coming of age in the era of COVID-19
30 April 2020
Hospify’s time is now. As one of the outlier companies that’s thriving in the challenging era of COVID-19, the healthtech start-up’s messaging platform is in …
Why choose Harper James Solicitors?
Our team of corporate solicitors has extensive experience of share capital, also specialising in supporting start-ups with funding rounds, accessing and managing venture capital, M&A, and equity incentive schemes. Across our corporate team, we’ve provided legal advice in numerous, high-profile transactions.
Our remote operating model means that you can access expert City-grade legal advice from partner-level solicitors at a fraction of the cost of traditional law firms. Our senior solicitors have all been recruited from top 100 UK law firms or large international businesses. Find out more about the team here:
Abby Watson is a corporate solicitor, specialising in private equity investments, mergers & acquisitions, EMI share schemes, corporate finance and governance and more.View profile
Adam Kudryl is a Partner and Corporate & Commercial Solicitor at Harper James Solicitors, specialising in strategic investments, acquisitions and sales.View profile
Corporate Solicitor & CEO
Toby Harper is the CEO & Founder of Harper James Solicitors, as well as a corporate & commercial solicitor. He specialises in venture capital and the tech sector.View profile
Stephen is an experienced corporate lawyer, with a career including time at DLA Piper and Pinsent Masons. He specialises in mergers and acquisitions and private equity work.View profile
Shubhu specialises in early-stage fund raisings, shareholder arrangements and M&A. Prior to joining Harper James she worked at Mills & Reeve and before that at Addleshaw Goddard and Slaughter and May.View profile
Jas is a corporate solicitor at Harper James Solicitors, advising on corporate governance, mergers & acquisitions, venture capital & investments.View profile
Michelle regularly advises business owners on corporate and commercial legal matters. She was partner in a regional firm and has also spent time in-house at a Higher Education business dealing with its research, innovation and knowledge exchange contracts.View profile
Our three transparent pricing packages are designed to give you the widest possible access to high-quality legal advice, whatever the size and nature of your business:
Straightforward access to senior solicitors at a competitive rate.
An affordable solution for businesses needing one-off legal support. Receive ‘City’ partner-level expertise at a fraction of ‘City’ prices.
Have legal peace of mind for £189 per month with additional support from £99 per hour.
A monthly subscription legal support package specifically designed for start-ups and smaller businesses.
For businesses requiring 60+ hours of support a year, with prices equivalent to £99 per hour.
Fully account managed quarterly subscription service for businesses with more complex legal needs.