Government to ban anti-invoice finance clauses from 2016

A ban on anti-invoice finance terms in contracts will come into force early next year.

  • this will help more small firms secure finance against money owed to them in invoices
  • easier access to finance will speed up economic growth and create jobs for people

Businesses will be freed from restrictive clauses in contracts that prevent them from gaining invoice finance when new measures come into force early next year. The move will open up more funding opportunities and specifically benefit small businesses.

Invoice finance allows businesses to apply for finance using invoices for money owed to them as security. This means that, in some instances, they can get money faster than if they waited for their customers to pay them.

More than 44,000 businesses receive over £19 billion of funding this way at any one time, according to the Asset Based Finance Association, which represents the invoice finance industry in the UK.

But the size of the market is limited by clauses designed to prevent a supplier from sub-contracting work.

These clauses have the unintentional consequence of blocking invoice finance arrangements and will be nullified, while retaining a customer’s right to prevent traditional sub-contracting arrangements.

Brendan O'Brien, Managing Director of Breeze & Wyles Solicitors Limited said: "This change will have a dramatic impact on the way the smaller SMEs fund themselves.  the change can only have a positive impact  targeting benefits to the back bone of the UK economy."

He added: " It is possible that the stigma attached to the invoice factoring/discounting market could fall away and the market grow considerably as both the party factoring and the party to whom the invoice is addressed see this as the new normal for SME working capital funding. On the other hand it does not address the payment terms on invoices. Large businesses often use smaller ones as cash flow buffers with payment terms in excess of 90 days. This change will not assist those businesses who contract under these onerous terms. The Government needs to do more to address the payment terms issue to make it more difficult for payment terms to exceed 90 days."


PERRIE & ZAYN- WHO WILL GAIN?

Newspaper reports have confirmed that Zayn Malik and Perrie Edwards have called off their engagement despite the pair purchasing a £3m property together only weeks ago. So, how will the property be split considering the pair are not yet married?

In England and Wales property can be held in two different ways; either as joint tenants or as tenants in common. If property is purchased as joint tenants then the parties own the property jointly and the right of survivorship will apply. This means that should one party die, their share will automatically pass to the surviving party. Any provision contained in either of the parties’ Wills is irrelevant. This is often applicable with married couples and the parties will be seen as owning an equal interest in the property.

However, as Zayn and Perrie are not married and are only cohabiting, they may have purchased the property as tenants in common in the event they didn’t want the other to automatically inherit the entire property when one died. If property is purchased as tenants in common, each party is seen as owning a separate percentage share, i.e. 50:50 or 40:60 etc, which should be expressed and protected by way of a Declaration of Trust. Upon death that share will pass according to the terms of the deceased party’s Will or according to the rules of intestacy if there is no Will. If one party has contributed more than the other when purchasing the property, that amount will only be protected if expressed in a Declaration of Trust. In absence of a Declaration of Trust, the parties will be viewed as each owning an equal share regardless of whether a party contributed a larger sum at the outset.

Cohabiting couples are treated no different to friends purchasing a property (unless there are any children involved) and a Declaration of Trust is advisable to any couple purchasing property who are not married, especially where one party is contributing more to the purchase price that the other. Often this is overlooked or the parties may receive no advice from the solicitors dealing with the conveyancing.

The Family department at Breeze and Wyles Ltd we are able to offer expert advice on Declarations of Trusts when purchasing property as well as providing advice when an unmarried couple’s relationship ends.

Lisa Honey is a trainee solicitor with Breeze and Wyles Ltd and has experience in divorce and finances as well as children matters. Lisa is due to qualify with the firm in October 2015.

 


Conscious uncoupling

Hollywood gossip is awash with the news that after 10 years of marriage Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are separating. In a joint statement they said "After much thought and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to divorce, We go forward with love and friendship for one another and a commitment to co-parenting our children whose privacy we ask to be respected during this difficult time. This will be our only comment on this private, family matter. Thank you for understanding."

This is sad news and there is plenty of gossip and rumour with regards to the reason for the breakdown of the marriage. However, what has caught our attention is the way in which the couple are managing the break-up

This joint statement very much seems to reflect the sentiment and ideology of Conscious Uncoupling, a phrase propelled into the blogosphere by Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin when they released a joint statement describing the breakdown of their matrimonial relationship as Conscious Uncoupling on Gwyneth’s blogsite ‘GOOP’ following the breakdown of their marriage.

However, in addition to this statement which ‘talks the talk’, it would seem that they are also prepared to ‘walk the walk’ and it is reported that the couple are in no rush to divorce, have employed a mediator to help them agree matters between them and are continuing to live together having moved with their children into a property in Atlanta whilst Jennifer is filming her current project and plan to rent another property together when they return to LA whilst their own property is undergoing significant renovations. Those renovations are understood to include building a separate annex to the property which will allow the couple to live together but apart in order to co-parent their children. In the week following the announcement they also went away on a family vacation.

The proponents of conscious uncoupling are saying it is ‘a proven process for lovingly completing a relationship that will leave you feeling whole and healed and at peace... a breakup that is characterized by goodwill, by generosity and by respect...it leaves both parties feeling valued and appreciated for all that is shared...striving to reduce the damage to themselves (and their children, if there are children involved).'

The sceptics among us would be quick to point out that apart from problems with the name (it seems to assume non conforming breakdowns are unconscious!) and Paltrowian flower power aside if someone has behaved unreasonably or committed adultery there will be some of us that simply cannot forgive on principle and naturally adopt a hostile rather than a conciliatory approach in subsequent dealings with the other half - there is a fine line between love and hate!

Continuing to live together is definitely not going to be for everyone and for many is simply not practical. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are fortunate in that they have the ability to alter the family home in such a way to give them a chance of peaceful co-existence.

Even if you are not going to continue to live together, the essence of conscious uncoupling imparts important guiding principles to help a separating couple frame their mindsets for how to deal with everything going forward. You could for example seek to make arrangements for the children which involve you all continuing to spend time together or a financial outcome which allows you both to live within a close vicinity of each other and allows the children to move freely between homes and to see their parents and for your both as parents to take an active role in the children’s upbringing and care.

We consider that one of the most important aspects of a conscious uncoupling is for parties to ‘communicate in a non-confrontational and constructive manner to preserve dignity and encourage agreement’ and in this respect processes for resolving disputes such as negotiation, mediation or the collaborative law process can prove invaluable.

Breeze & Wyles Solicitors Limited are one of the few firms that offer all forms of alternatives to divorce; Mediation, Private Negotiation, Collaborative Law and Family Law Arbitration to enable you to find a “different way to reach an agreement”.