A simple solution is for a business owner to make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) appointing someone to look after their financial affairs and act on their behalf. Shareholders, partners and sole traders can all benefit from appointing an attorney in this way.

An LPA allows a business owner to leave instructions with an attorney to manage certain aspects of the day-to-day running of their business affairs. Say, if the owner goes on holiday or is otherwise incapacitated. LPAs can also safeguard against a more serious situation, where someone loses mental capacity and is unable to make decisions for themselves, at which point the attorney can stand in.

Where no one is authorised to run the business and its finances, day-to-day operations may cease, and the business could be crippled.

In the worst-case scenario, where the owner lacks mental capacity and there is no LPA in place, affairs will have to be managed by a deputy appointed by the Court of Protection. This can be slow and expensive. The court can take up to nine months to appoint a deputy. Let alone the time it takes to grant permission for business transactions.

The company’s bank could freeze its accounts if a signatory lacks mental capacity. Similarly, some contracts may become unenforceable if the person who entered into them now lacks mental capacity. An owner’s family can also be heavily impacted upon if they are reliant on an income from the business. Even in a temporary situation, simply paying creditors or wages can become difficult, and contracts may be lost if no one has the authority to negotiate or sign them.

Private client solicitor, Lalita Kauldhar, said:

“When people think of an LPA, they often think of them as for older people who want to have someone in place to manage their personal affairs or to make health decisions if dementia sets in. However, LPAs have a place in both people’s business and personal life, at every age. Accidents or illness can affect the young or middle-aged just as they can affect the elderly. By appointing a business attorney under an LPA, and registering it with the Office of the Public Guardian, business owners take a simple step with far-reaching benefits for safeguarding the future of their enterprise.

To avoid disruption, making a business LPA should be part of any business owner’s continuity plan and crisis management strategy. While it’s a simple process, it is crucial to consider carefully who you are appointing as your attorneys, whether you wish to place any restrictions on what they can agree on your behalf and whether they can use the business LPA while you still retain mental capacity. As Business LPAs can also impact on aspects such as the articles of association in a limited company or partnership agreements, it’s also important to get professional advice to avoid contradiction and disputes within the business.”

Once an LPA has been made, it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before attorneys can act, with a fee of £82 per LPA. It can then be submitted to any institution (such as a bank), enabling the institution to deal directly with the appointed attorneys.

The attorneys will have the power to enter into any transaction that is within the scope of the LPA unless you have specifically forbidden it. If you are mentally capable, the attorney should only do what you authorise them to do, but if you become mentally incapable and are no longer able to authorise or consent to the attorney’s decisions or actions, the attorney will be able to make decisions and take action on your behalf, such as making business decisions and authorising payments or writing cheques. However, there is no cut-off point at which you are presumed to be incapable; capacity is decided on a decision-by-decision basis and the attorney must do everything practicable to help you arrive at your own decision on every occasion.

There are two kinds of Lasting Power of Attorney – one covering financial and property affairs which can be used for both business and personal affairs, and another covering personal health and welfare.

Where a business owner decides to do an LPA for financial and property affairs, it is worth considering having two separate LPAs for business and personal finance, as the decision on who is a suitable attorney may be quite different.

Attorney checklist

  1. Choose your attorney carefully

    An attorney has far-reaching powers and problems are likely to arise if they do not appreciate the role they are undertaking, or if there are insufficient checks and balances in the process. Before appointing an attorney, think about their business experience, how well they look after their own finances, how well you know them and how sure you are that they will make the right decisions for you.

  2. Make attorneys accountable

    You can appoint more than one attorney and require that they are involved in each decision, although that can make transactions more complicated. Alongside, a professional attorney can be appointed whose job is to oversee how matters are being handled. Alternatively, you can include a requirement within the LPA for the attorney to consult with a third party if a decision exceeds a given threshold or for specific assets. For example, this would allow you to restrict the sale of property or investments without the input of a professional.

  3. Give good guidance

    Attorneys should understand their fiduciary and statutory responsibilities, and how to satisfy them, from the outset. They should appreciate their role with reference to the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice, particularly when consulting with the donor of the LPA and help the donor to make their own decisions. Recognising that they may need to get expert advice, whether legal, financial or otherwise, is also important if they are to act within the reasonable standards of care and skill required by an LPA.

If you would like to secure your business’ future, contact Lalita Kauldhar today.

CLICK HERE TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT
A simple business tip - prepare for the unexpected Click to Tweet
Note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.


Contacts

Lalita Kauldhar

Lalita Kauldhar

Stay in touch

Subscribe to our newsletter

Stay in touch
Sending

News/Insight

  • Reform set to cut complexity of inheritance tax
    Proposed changes could have far-reaching implications for future estate tax planning

    Read more
  • Fines fly following airline cyber breach
    The news that British Airways is facing a fine of £184m after personal data of some 500,000 customers was harvested by cybercriminals shows the tough stance of the UK’s data regulator following the introduction of new EU data protection laws last

    Read more
  • Proposed changes to the leasehold reform system
    Here, we look at the committee’s findings, examine what the government’s response is likely to be, and discuss the reaction of the housing sector so far.

    Read more
  • Copyright in a digital age
    Though the concept of intellectual property has been around since the early 18th century, current copyright laws are struggling to catch up with digital. So, with the EU rolling out legislation that could affect how we use everything from memes to em

    Read more
  • Lex Mundi Global Anti-Corruption Compliance Guide
    RIAA Barker Gillette contributes to the Lex Mundi Global Anti-Corruption Compliance Guide summarizing regulatory regimes in 80 jurisdictions

    Read more

What they say...

Click here for full Facebook Review

Corporate & Commercial: Veronica is very diligent and met the tight deadlines that were set for her to complete the liquidation which I realise were made harder by our late responses to her questions!

Deborah:
January 2019

Corporate & Commercial: Veronica has our complete trust. I can’t recommend Veronica more highly, she is a pleasure to work with.

Deborah:
January 2019

”Excellent firm. Brilliant people. Barker Gillette made me feel extremely well looked after and confident that I had the A team of legal representation looking out for my interests.”

Alexa:
October 2018

Debt Recovery: "...Daniel was very good at keeping expectations realistic, I always felt we had a good chance and thanks to Daniel we did the best we could, with a bad situation."
Guy -
September 2018

Commercial: "I would 100% recommend this firm for its quality, approachability, delivery of commitments and undoubted competency."

George -
August 2018

Probate: All personnel I dealt with were completely knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with.

Engel:
August 2018

Employment Law: Customer Service and communication was brilliant there is nothing negative to say about the service.

Francios:
August 2018

Criminal Defence: “I can’t thank [Steven Barker] enough for his support and advice.”

Marc:
July 2018

Criminal Defence: “I had had no cause for a criminal solicitor ever before therefore was more than a little worried. With Steven’s help and guidance through the process I came out unscathed at the other end.”

Marc:
July 2018

Criminal Defence: “I would recommend Steven Barker to anyone caught up in criminal legal matters.”

Marc:
July 2018

Criminal Defence: “[Steven Barker was] Courteous and professional from start to finish.”

Marc:
July 2018

Employment: Karen Cole Just what you need: Overall, kind, courteous, understanding and efficient with excellent advise.

William:
April 2017

William

Wills, trust and probate - James McMullan "Efficient, approachable, understanding and affordable."

Ann
: March 2018

undefined
undefined

Lease extensions: We have been very happy and satisfied with the level of service received and have not had any cause for concern or complaint in any of the dealings with Mr Jacobs or other members of the team.

Ash
: February 2018

Cyber Essentials Certification

Employment: Karen Cole dealt with my case, she made the legal jargon very easy to understand, was patient, understanding but to the point.

Sheila: January 2018

Wills, tax and trusts: I became involved in an extremely contentious and complex legal issue concerning the trust fund of a minor, and the unwillingness of the trustees to disclose relevant information. The case was trying and laborious, but James and Alex were ...

Dispute Resolution: Daniel Downes’ ability to read the request, take a commercial view and give options is why I will continue to use. Saves hours of debate. He is a pleasure to instruct.

Jane Darkin:
December 2017

RIAA BG have been an outstanding support to our organisation for ten years since our inception. Not only in setting up processes and contractual documentation but steering us through trickier, unfamiliar legislative waters from time to time.

December 2017

Private Client: Pleased to say that I am completely satisfied with the service James McMullan provided. Thank you so much.

Muriel Goldstein:
October 2017

Professional Negligence: Qaiser Khanzada and Steven Barker went out on a limb for me 30+ years ago and I'll never forget that.

Zak Jaggard:
September 2017

Professional Negligence: Qaiser and Steve’s dedication and professionalism guided me safely through a legal minefield, and went well beyond a solicitor's remit. They care - and to this day I think of them as family.

Zak Jaggard:
September 2017

Employment: I found Karen Cole to not only be engaging but extremely helpful, knowledgeable and professional, I would use her again should the need arise.

August 2017

Employment: I spoke with Karen Cole regarding an issue I had with a client and payments. Karen came up with a solution very quickly and a resolution was concluded within 14 days.

Andy: August 2017

Family: As a novice in legal matters, Mr McMullan and his staff were always ready to help me in a complex case.

June 2017

Commercial: Ben Brownscombe provided me with excellent advice. He was easy to communicate with, he was able to explain the implication of each clause and very reliable.

May 2017

Employment Law : "Karen provided invaluable guidance and support throughout the process and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her services in this field."

May 2017

Private Client: I am very satisfied with [RBG's] services as I was in London for a very short visit but managed to arrange an appointment to see one of your partners who was able to help explain and complete the matter in question.

Eman Kassem:
April 2017

The advice and service that was given to us was invaluable to our business and [we] would use and recommend Karen Cole for her professional, clear and prompt service.

Sally Lusher, GO-Coach Hire Ltd:
January 2017

Lawnet ISO 9001 Quality Standard Logo
Quality Conveyancing Scheme Logo
Lawnet Logo
Eurojuis International Logo

Corporate: Extremely knowledgeable and able to convey this knowledge clearly and concisely. Would definitely recommend.

Stephan Buxton:
February 2017

Corporate: Excellent experience of working with Veronica and the team. Always friendly and approachable.

Stephan Buxton:
February 2017

Corporate: RIAA Barker Gillette made the company both investable to Business Angels and overall commercially viable.

Niall Haughian, CFA: Chief Operating Officer:
February 2017

Corporate: RIAA Barker Gillette has taken my start-up company that lacked structure and provided us with sound legal and business advice.

Niall Haughian, CFA: Chief Operating Officer:
February 2017

Corporate: Solaris Photonics is truly grateful for the tremendous professional effort undertaken by the RIAA Barker Gillette team.

Niall Haughian, CFA: Chief Operating Officer:
February 2017

Company Commercial: [Veronica] used her expertise to suggest crucial additions that gave additional benefits to my business interests, that I had not even considered.

S. Arnold:
February 2017

Company Commercial: Excellent service and I wouldn't hesitate to use Veronica again and recommend her.

S. Arnold:
February 2017

Company Commercial: The contracts my business required were complex. Veronica was efficient, friendly and took the time to ensure everything we needed was covered.

S. Arnold:
February 2017

Residential Property: Simon Levi is always helpful, clear and meticulous. I always feel that he has our best interests at heart.

M. Orteu:
January 2017

Dispute Resolution: Alex “really protects his clients to the best of his ability. I would not hesitate to recommend him. Excellent manner with clients and highly gifted.”

Morris Nourani, Hastings International:
December 2016

Dispute Resolution: Alex Deal is a “very bright, hardworking individual inside and outside working hours.”

Morris Nourani, Hastings International:
December 2016

Dispute Resolution: Alex Deal “attains a very sharp grasp of extremely complicated issues including cross border commercial matters.”

Morris Nourani, Hastings International:
December 2016

Dispute Resolution: Alex Deal “is, simply, in a class of his own. Focused, dedicated and genuinely caring about his clients, he excels in getting into every tiny detail quickly.”

Morris Nourani, Hastings International:
December 2016

Wills, tax and trusts: “We were always happy with the service from James McMullan.”

Josephine Sullivan:
December 2016

Steven Barker gave us his personal attention no matter how small the detail.

Mr J Patel:
December 2016

We are very thankful to Steven Barker for helping us out on our difficult times, and being there for us whenever he was required.

Mr J Patel:
December 2016

Laura St-Gallay, Dispute Resolution: “Fees have in all cases been very reasonable and I have very much appreciated the responsiveness of the team when I have needed advice at short notice.”

Peter Scholes:
October 2016

Laura St-Gallay, Dispute Resolution “The advice I received was helpful and timely, and a satisfactory settlement was reached quickly in large part due to the high quality of the advice given.”

Peter Scholes:
October 2016

Alex Deal, Dispute Resolution “I would not hesitate to recommend the Firm for any matters relating to litigation/dispute resolution or employee/partnership law matters (where Alex has previous provided valuable advice).”

Peter Scholes:
October 2016

Dispute Resolution: Alex Deal and Laura St-Gallay responded immediately to my request for assistance even though the amounts at stake were relatively small.

Peter Scholes:
October 2016

Stuart Jacobs, Property Litigation: “It was very important for us to feel confident and be cost efficient with our legal case.”

Loretta Martinelli:
October 2016

Laura St-Gallay, Property Litigation “The numerous changes were well understood and have been taken on board each time we changed our mind on our strategy.”

Loretta Martinelli:
October 2016

Laura St-Gallay, Property Litigation “The matter was dealt with in a very kind and calm manner while keeping us informed of the cost implications throughout.”

Loretta Martinelli:
October 2016

Stuart Jacobs, Property Litigation “The firm was very understanding and patient with our request and regular requirements for explanations and changes.”

Loretta Martinelli:
October 2016

Wills, trusts and tax: James went above and beyond in looking after the entire process.

Ian Cuthbertson:
July 2016

Criminal Defence: Carly Aitchison “I would not hesitate to recommend [RIAA Barker Gillette], I do not think I could have done any better, they have my eternal thanks and gratitude.”

Rob Meekcoms:
June 2016

Criminal Defence: “Steve and his team were absolutely brilliant, they supported me through the toughest times I have ever been through.”

Rob Meekcoms:
June 2016

Commercial Property - Simon Levi: "Very satisfied and happy with the results and professional communication of Mr Levi during the legal process. I will definitely use RBG again in the near future and will highly recommend Mr Levi to all my friends and relatives." 

 Eran Ezra, September 2016

“Vinay Verma demonstrated exceptional professionalism and sensitivity from start to finish.”

Mr I C and Ms N K

“I was extremely satisfied with all aspects of the service. Veronica was extremely personable and she made me feel very comfortable when dealing with an unfamiliar situation.”

Vanessa Lorenz

“Both Alex and Veronica have been extremely professional and easy to work with.They know how to listen to your needs and are helpful in giving advice.”

Susan Keese, Director

“Alex and Veronica talk things through with you (not at you like many solicitors!) in a language you can understand and ensure that your needs are fulfilled.”

Susan Keese, Director

“Veronica Hartley is a very capable solicitor who acted for me on an important and complex case which ultimately had a satisfactory conclusion.”

Stephen Deverell, Chairman

“Veronica Hartley was extremely friendly and informative. Complex legal terms were explained in an easy to understand manner.”

Peter Low

“I was left feeling comfortable that Veronica had my best interests at heart and a lot of stress and worry was taken away as soon as we began speaking to her.”

Peter Low

“I found Veronica to be professional, conscientious and able to maintain a healthy balance between following our commercial instructions with that of focused legal advisor.”

Gary Watts

“Not only is Veronica excellent at her job she is also very genuine and a pleasure to deal with.”

Deborah Haw, Director

“After several bad experiences with other solicitors it was such a pleasure to have Veronica look after our interests in the UK.”

Deborah Haw, Director

“Whatever questions and problems we put in front of Veronica she seems to resolve with ease. I cannot recommend her more highly.”

Deborah Haw, Director

“Relaxed and personable working.”

Damian Griffiths

“James was throughout very kind, calm and polite which makes him in my view the perfect divorce lawyer.”

Mrs A K

“James dealt with all my emails and phone calls extremely efficiently.”

Mrs A K

“James McMullan is a very professional lawyer and I always felt that he advised me very well and importantly very realistically. ”

Mrs A K

“James assisted me with my difficult divorce this year. He was professional and supportive at all times. I could not recommend him highly enough.”

Madeline Fleming

“Friendly and professional.”

Jonathan Pullum

“My solicitor is excellent. I have not really dealt with anyone else but calls to the office are fine.”

Jerry Morgan

“Patience, understanding, concern, compassion, expediency”

Jeffrey Lambert

Carly Aitchison Kept me informed all the time.

Ritagate Ltd

“We have the highest regard for the expertise and client commitment they demonstrate. They are responsive, conscientious and always go the ‘extra mile’.”

Stuart Leaman

“Alex's mind is skilled, brilliant and tactical in all of his dealings, especially if so required in court, his solution is pragmatic and commercial.”

Tony Muskat at AS MUSKAT

“As a client, I have always felt in safe hands and it has always been my pleasure to work with Alex.”

Tony Muskat at AS MUSKAT

“Alex provides sound, considered advice and has the ability to analyse and appraise the merits of any case, with the best interests of his client always in mind.”

Tony Muskat at AS MUSKAT

“I first used Alex's legal expertise in 1999 and was immediately impressed by his ability and have continued to rely on him for all my legal matters in the UK ever since.”

Tirapongse Pangsrivongse

“I have total confidence in the other members of the firm that Alex has introduced me to such as Veronica. I cannot recommend Alex more highly and have trust in all his advice.”

Tirapongse Pangrivongse, Chairman

“Alex Deal and his team have provided us with incisive and timely advice over a number of years. His help in employment matters has minimised our exposure.”

Robert Macdonald, Chairman

“Alex always bears commerciality in the forefront of his mind when giving direct and concise advice. We have been happy to recommend him widely.”

Robert Macdonald, Chairman

“For over 15 years, Alex is the first person I turn to with a legal problem.He is responsive, sharp and most importantly invariably right - about the sharpest legal mind.”

Kam Takhar

“Alex's rigorous legal advice has often helped our company avoid protracted legal disputes. Alex offers tremendous external support to our in-house legal and HR teams.”

Jose Miguel Echenagusia,
Vice President Legal Services

“Alex stands out for his sound business judgment, profound knowledge of the law and pragmatic approach to the resolution of disputes.”

Jose Miguel Echenagusia,
Vice President Legal Services

“Our company has used Barker Gillette for many years. Alex and his team have always acted in our best interests offering a prompt, effective and responsive service.”

Jose Miguel Echenagusia,
Vice President Legal Services

I have been a client of the firm for many years and have found them extremely supportive and kind in very difficult circumstances.

Vinayak,Chairman

“Looking at the best needs for the client and tailoring advice to that.”

About us