What we do: Non tax-advantaged share plan legal advice
Non HMRC tax advantaged share options provide an effective way for employers to encourage and reward loyal and hardworking employees by offering equity in their company. Under this arrangement, employees have the option to purchase shares in the future at a price defined by the company.
These types of share option arrangements can be offered to members of staff who are not eligible for tax-advantaged (approved) options plans; including overseas staff, or consultants.
We can work alongside you to determine if a non-HMRC tax advantaged arrangement is right for you and help with structuring, set up and ongoing administration, helping to ensure you attract the most effective tax benefits.
- Ordinary and preferred shares via sale or gift
We can re-structure your company so you can make awards of ordinary or preferred shares to employees and advise on dilution, share classes and special rights for shareholders such as voting and dividend rights
- Growth share and hurdle share arrangements
These arrangements work well for early-stage and growing businesses, but the conditions that apply and issues relating to company valuation need to be carefully managed. We can review your company’s suitability for a growth/hurdle share arrangement, draft the growth/hurdle share subscription agreements, assist with company valuation and make the required amendments to your company’s constitution
- Share options and restricted stock units
These arrangements don’t require HMRC clearance or company valuation, and the paperwork can be more straightforward. Our expert team can advise whether a non-tax advantaged share option or RSU arrangement is right for you and support you through the implementation process.
Employment law, directors remuneration and impact on investors
Where your company is intending to offer employees options or shares in the company, our multi-disciplinary team can advise on the tax, employment law, company law, prospectus laws, financial services laws and data protection aspects of such arrangements, and draft all the necessary documents. We also have considerable expertise advising executives on directors’ remuneration and other corporate governance issues, critical considerations when implementing an employee incentive arrangement.
Our expert lawyers can provide advice on the potential impact on founders and investors.
Who we help: Employers at all levels, from start-ups and scale-ups to large corporates
Listed companies and large private companies normally have employee incentive arrangements for staff. Similar, but appropriately designed alternative arrangements are also commonly used in smaller companies, including seed and early-stage companies. High-growth companies tell us that finding and retaining top talent when a business is scaling is one of the key risk areas, and balancing the needs of founders, investors and employees while managing cashflow and protecting working capital is crucial, particularly when considering an employee incentive arrangement.
Why choose Harper James? Our solicitors’ experience
We’re a modern law firm with a difference. Our innovative 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 solicitors have all been recruited from top 100 UK law firms or large international businesses. Find out more about our corporate lawyers here:
Employee Incentives Solicitor
Ian has over 25 years’ experience advising on employee incentive arrangements (including EMI, CSOP, SIP and SAYE plans and growth/hurdle share and phantom equity arrangements).View profile
Abby Watson is a corporate solicitor, specialising in private equity investments, mergers & acquisitions, EMI share schemes, corporate finance and governance and more.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.
What our clients say
We pride ourselves on delivering an excellent service for clients, but don’t just take our word for it.
Harper James swiftly solves problems with a minimum of fuss. I strongly recommend them and they are a pleasure to work with.
Harper James provide a cost effective, responsive and versatile service and provide us with access to legal teams that are experienced, commercially focused and well-resourced. Most importantly they are extremely familiar with the SME market and know the venture capital sector well.