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How does Share Vesting work?


If you’re here, you’re likely wondering how share vesting works. In a nutshell, share vesting is the process by which a company gives its equity to its employees or consultants as a means to keep them with the company for a period of time and incentivize them to reach certain established performance goals.

Share vesting is often used when a senior employee or an important advisor or consultant comes on board.

What exactly does share vesting mean?

Share vesting means the company gives its shares to an individual upfront and the shares are subject to the company’s right to buy them back. These shares are known as “unvested shares”. The buyback right extinguishes over time (or upon fulfillment of certain conditions).

The shares that are released from the buyback right are known as “vested shares”. This mechanism is sometimes known as “reverse vesting”, as opposed to the grant of a share option which is “forward vesting” (check out how a Share Option Plan works by clicking here).

Share vesting enables a senior employee or an important advisor to have equity immediately upon coming on board, but the company still retains control over those shares by way of a right to buy back and, in this way, the company keeps the employee or advisor on board until the end of the vesting period. This is how share vesting works.

share vesting

How Share Vesting works

Step 1: Check your company’s Articles of Association/Constitution

Check if the constitutional document of the company restricts the buyback of its own shares. If it does, you may build in some appropriate mechanisms in your Share Vesting Agreement, or you may consider another form of rewarding your team (for example a Share Option Plan).

Step 2: Create a Share Vesting Agreement

Create and sign the Share Vesting Agreement. After signing, the following will take place:

  1. The employee/consultant pays for the shares on the “Purchase Date” that you set in the agreement;

  2. On the Purchase Date, the company secretary issues share certificates in the name of the employee/consultant and he then becomes a shareholder of the company. The numbers of the share certificates and the number of shares covered by each certificate should match the vesting schedule;

  3. The employee/consultant signs a document known as a “Share Power” and delivers this document to the company secretary;

  4. The company secretary keeps the share certificates in the name of the employee/consultant and the Share Power in escrow; and

  5. When shares are vested (i.e. released from the company’s right to buy back) according to the terms of the Share Vesting Agreement, the share certificate in respect of that part of the shares will be delivered by the company secretary to the employee/consultant.

What is a Share Power?

A Share Power is a document in which the employee/consultant gives his authorization to transfer his shares to the company. It is only used if and when the company exercises the buyback right (which may or may not happen). Some information in the Share Power has to be left blank and can only be filled in by the company when it exercises the buyback right.

share vesting

Step 3: The share recipient pays for the shares and signs the Share Power Agreement

The employee/consultant pays for the shares on the “Purchase Date” that you set in the agreement.

In addition, the employee/consultant signs a document known as a “Share Power” and delivers this document to the company secretary.

Step 4: The company secretary issues and holds on to the share certificates

Also on the Purchase Date, the company secretary issues share certificates in the name of the employee/consultant who then becomes a shareholder of the company. The number of share certificates and the number of shares covered by each certificate should match the vesting schedule.

The company secretary keeps the share certificates in the name of the employee/consultant and the Share Power in escrow.

This is how share vesting works. However, there are a few more options available.

Optional: Exercise of the buyback right

If the employee/consultant leaves the company, any unvested shares will be subject to the company’s right to buyback. (Note that the vested shares are not subject to buyback but may be subject to the call option. See Step 4 below.)

The company may exercise its buyback right for three months from the date the employee/consultant leaves the company. The buyback right is deemed to be automatically exercised by the company upon the expiry of the three-month period. This is unless the company notifies the employee/consultant that it does not intend to exercise the buyback right.

If and when the company exercises the buyback right, the company needs to pay the buyback price for the shares (which is the same price that the employee/consultant paid for the shares in the first place) to the employee/consultant. Following this, the company secretary takes the necessary steps to make the transfer effective.

After the buyback, under Hong Kong and Singapore law, those shares will be regarded as canceled. Make sure the company secretary makes the necessary filing with the Companies Registry/ACRA within the applicable statutory timeframe after the share buyback.

Optional: Exercise of the call option

When creating the Share Vesting Agreement, you may opt for a “call option” to be put in place. This call option enables the company to do one of two things:

  1. Buyback all vested shares at fair value; or

  2. Convert all vested shares to non-voting shares (i.e. the employee/consultant, being the holder of the vested shares, can still receive dividends from the company but has no say in the decision-making of the company).

The company may exercise the call option for six months from the date when the employee/consultant leaves the company.

The fair value of the shares is determined by the auditors of the company or an independent firm of accountants.

Conclusion

Now you know how share vesting works. All you need to do is get yourself a share vesting agreement, some solid employees to vest shares to, and you’re good to go.

This article does not constitute legal advice.

The opinions expressed in the column above represent the author’s own.

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ABOUT ZEGAL

Zegal is the end-to-end platform for the legal smaller companies need.

Our story

Zegal was founded in 2014 by lawyer friends Daniel Walker and Jake Fisch. Having been a part of the system that preserves quality legal advice only for those that can afford it, the two were determined to build a model that delivers the ‘corporate law firm’ experience to small businesses.

Today Zegal is the world’s only end-to-end platform for smaller companies to create, negotiate, and sign both the simple, and complex contracts they need to run their business, with expert legal advice, 100% online every step of the way. Since our launch, we have helped more than 20,000 companies close commercial contracts, run leaner HR teams, and enter new markets. You can use Zegal for your company in the UK, Australia, and across Asia. Make your legals simple.

READ MORE: UK Startups: Essential Legal Documents

FURTHER READING: Vest Shares to an Employee or Consultant

DOCUMENT: Share Power

Lawyers: Solicitor vs Barrister


At some point you will likely need to refer to a lawyer – it’s rarely a question of if and usually a question of when. But how do you find one, and what kind of lawyer do you need? This is what we’ll be exploring in this series about lawyers.

Today’s topic is about the differences between solicitors and barristers.

solicitor vs barrister

2 Types of Lawyers

What Is a Barrister?

Let’s get the easy one out of the way – a Barrister is a qualified legal professional who specializes in a particular area of law and offers specialist advice. He represents clients, advocates and defends them in court or at a tribunal.

Some barristers have a more generalized practice that covers many areas of law while many barristers have specialization in one particular area of law.

What Is a Solicitor?

A solicitor is a qualified legal practitioner who prepares legal documents for their clients during a court case. He specializes in some areas of law and provides specialist legal advice to its clients on those areas of law.

Solicitor is the first contact for people when they want to see a lawyer regarding their legal issues. Most solicitors work for large organizations including commercial or non-commercial law firms, the government, private businesses, banks, and corporations. As mentioned, they have special knowledge in various areas of law such as property, crime, wills & probates, family, finance, and employment.

Solicitors provide legal advice to clients, undertake negotiations and draft legal documents. Although this is an office-based job, it does require travel to meet clients and to represent them in court.

In the earlier times, the advocacy work of solicitors was limited to magistrates courts where not so serious cases were dealt with and also to county courts for minor cases but nowadays, they work in the highest courts also. 

What does a solicitor do?

As mentioned above, a solicitor is the first point of contact for the clients who want to take legal advice regarding any of their issues. After discussing the issue with their clients and taking instructions from them, they advise clients on necessary legal action required to be taken as per their area of expertise and specialization. Primarily, the solicitors in the UK are litigators while others have their specialized practice areas and some of them do their own advocacy cases.

Solicitors mainly work directly with clients which include their suitability to provide legal advice and their services, noting down their instructions and then rendering them advice on law and related legal matters in that particular case.

All the paperwork and correspondence with their clients such as drafting documents, letters, tailoring contracts as per the client’s requirements, adequate legal advice, and the procedure and preparation of court documents are dealt with by the solicitors.

To attain a particular objective, they also negotiate with clients and opposing parties. They gather evidence, supervise the implementation of agreements, calculate claims for damages, compensation, loss of earnings, maintenance, etc., and coordinate the work of all parties involved in the case. They handle legal work from high-value commercial cases to personal injury cases, family law issues such as divorce, criminal law, wills & probate, finance, and the general administration of estates.

Solicitors can also obtain ‘rights of audience’ which enables them to represent clients in court. It means that many of the functions performed by the barrister can also be performed by the solicitors. However, the barristers work at higher levels of the courts as compared to the solicitors. Generally, most of the solicitors have rights of audience, they usually do ‘behind the scenes’ type-work such as:
Giving advice to clients on their legal issues
Negotiations and discussions between parties to reach a settlement to resolve the legal issue.
Drafting of various legal documents and pleadings.

Where necessary in disputes, they may also represent clients in court. Where the matter is complex, in such cases, they usually engage barristers or specialist advocates for their expert advice or instruct them to appear in court to represent their client.

What does a barrister do?

In England & Wales, barristers are engaged by solicitors to represent the case of their clients in court. They only get involved when the case reaches the court and it requires advocacy before a court. They basically represent clients in court by preparing legal arguments. They translate and structure the client’s view of events into legal arguments to attain the best result for their clients.

Barristers usually specialize in particular areas of law such as criminal law, equity, and trusts, commercial law, family law, divorce, personal injury law. Their work varies depending upon their area of specialization, their level of experience, etc. They render advice to their clients on the law, the strength of their case and also provide them his opinion in writing. They advocate the matter in court on behalf of their clients and the client’s solicitor by presenting their case, presenting evidence, examining and cross-examining the witnesses, and also giving reasons to support their case. They will try to settle with the other side by negotiating the terms.

Most of the barristers practicing in England & Wales are self-employed. Other barristers are employed in law firms of solicitors directly advising clients or in agencies such as the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), or in specialist legal departments in industry, commerce, charities, or central or local government, advising only the organizations they work for.

Basically, barristers who are self-employed work in offices known as Chambers which may be shared with other barristers. Once they complete their training, they may secure permanent positions called tenancy in a ‘set’ of Chambers.

The barristers within one chamber work independently from each other and even they appear on opposite sides to each other in the same legal matter whereas, the solicitors employed in the same law firm avoid doing this keeping in mind the best interests of their client and to avoid conflict of interest.

Barristers are not allowed to pick and choose the cases they wish to work on and they are kept, independent. This is known as the Cab Rank Rule. This rule prevents a barrister from denying a case even if they find the case objectionable or if they think that the conduct of the client is unacceptable, any other opinion or reason with respect to the source of the funding.

The self-employed barristers are generally briefed and instructed by the solicitor, they can’t be instructed by the clients directly. However, where a barrister is a part of the Public Access Scheme which allows a barrister to be contacted directly by the member of the public to obtain legal advice or representation.

 

Solicitor vs Barrister Work Patterns

As discussed, most solicitors are employed by a big organization which includes commercial or non-commercial law firms. Such solicitors are known as ‘in-house’ solicitors. Being an employee, they will receive a regular salary, holiday pay, sick pay, and other benefits attached with the employment. Employment comes with a sense of job security. 

On the other hand, barristers are self-employed and associated with chambers shared by them with other self-employed barristers. There is great uncertainty that comes with self-employment with respect to income, holidays, sick leave as a barrister will not be paid.

With a number of experience, they become senior and can charge more fees, and within time this issue doesn’t remain, however, for barristers at their initial stage of career, it can be very challenging. Not all barristers are self-employed, some of them are ‘in-house’ as they are employed by law firms or other big commercial organizations with which this uncertainty like self-employed doesn’t remain. Such employment brings regular income and other associated benefits.

Solicitor vs Barrister Access to the Public

Solicitors are contacted and instructed by the clients directly, whereas, the same is not the case with barristers. Where the cases are not so complex and are straightforward, the members of the public can instruct a barrister where the barrister is a member of the Public Access Scheme. Public access is available in all types of work that barristers can do, except for work funded out of legal aid. It is also unlikely to be appropriate in cases involving children.
Workwear Differences
Earlier in times, a barrister was expected to wear a long black robe and wig as a traditional court attire. Many barristers are still expected to wear this attire and dress up in the same way as earlier, however, this is no longer necessary with an increasing number of barristers including some civil practitioners.

On the other hand, there is no dress code for solicitors. They just have to dress up smartly.

Work Experience Opportunities

Anyone willing to pursue a career as a barrister, the work experience you are going to undertake will be different from the work experience in pursuing a career as a solicitor. Law students or budding solicitors would likely consider gaining work experience in the form of a vacation scheme in the law firms or other organizations, whereas, budding barristers would take work experience in the form of a mini-pupillage.

 

Contract Redlining: What, why, when, how?


contract redlining

When parties negotiate a complex contract, it usually includes multiple exchanges of contracts between parties before they are finalized. This process of exchanges or back-and-forth and the document changes they inccur is called contract redlining which is important for finalizing agreements.

This article discusses the contract redlining, the process of doing it and how to manage the process.

 

What is redlining a contract?

Where two or more parties are negotiating or working together, the process of editing a contract is called Redlining. The main purpose of redlining a contract is to finalize and produce a single document which fulfills the requirements of all the parties involved. The 

 

How do I redline a contract?

The process of redlining is not just editing, it is a process where every party collaborates and works together to finalise a single version of the document which fulfills the requirements of all the parties involved. This term originated from the traditional physical method of editing contracts consisting of printing papers and red pens.

The party willing to make changes or edit the document will cross the words or edit them in the red ink. The document will be passed to the other party who will edit the document and do the required changes with the red ink. Using red ink makes it easy for the parties to locate the changes made. Finally, all the parties will agree on a single version of the contract and it will be produced to become the final agreement.

One party A will present a contract to the other party B who will make changes. Then, this new version of the edited document will be passed to Party A, who will make their own changes. It will also consider the changes made by Party B and it may approve or reject the changes before returning the file. This process keeps on going until all parties are satisfied with the contract. 

Nowadays, the process of redlining is much simpler as compared to the traditional process of using red ink. With the help of a cloud-based contract management system, the parties are able to redline a document in real time and they don’t have to think and worry about exchanging physical copies to track the changes.

This not only makes the process much simpler but also makes it faster as the complex negotiation process will be done in a few days or weeks by avoiding the long meetings to discuss the changes.

 

When should you redline a contract?

The requirement to redline a contract arises when more than one party needs to be satisfied with the final version of the contract. This is used oftenly in case of complex negotiations where multiple parties are involved.

However, there are other instances as well which require redlining a contract where the parties are revising the old agreements or drawing up a new contract. 

The process of redlining is done during the initial stages of the contract management lifecycle as the negotiations between the parties will require redlining as each party thoroughly scrutinizes all the terms of the contract before they reach a final agreement.

 

The challenges of contract redlining:

Redlining a contract is useful, however, it has its own challenges. A few issues that can arise during the redlining include the following:

Untracked changes

Where changes are made to any part of the contract, such changes must be tracked within the document itself. Where the party forgets to enable the feature to track changes prior to revising the contract, it can break the comparison process of redlining documents which ultimately results in losing those changes and is difficult for the parties to track.

Reading difficulties

When the number of changes increase, it will become hard to read the documents with those changes. In such cases, spelling errors and other formatting issues will not be easy to be tracked.

Broken formatting

When one party has made changes to the document, accepting those changes may strip the intended formatting from some parts of your document. When anything like this happens, the document is required to be reformatted.

Additionally, where documents are shared for redlining between different software solutions, it can result in lost or broken formatting, as the options to format in one software will differ from the other software.

Residual metadata

Where the parties are tracking the changes in the document using a redlining tool, it can frequently result in the creation of undesired metadata, which may contain sensitive or personal information. Therefore, it is important and necessary to check and remove all metadata before sending the document to another party.

File type incompatibility

Not all software functions across different platforms make sharing of documents for redlining between different devices an easy task because they might run into incompatible file types. This can not only break the formatting of the contract but also corrupt the document entirely.

These issues are challenging, however, they can be resolved using right redlining tools.

 

How to effectively manage contract redlining?

The contract redlining can involve multiple revisions depending upon the nature of the business. It is for the legal team to check and track such changes and work with the clients to reach a satisfying agreement. The right tools can help them streamline the contract workflow and significantly reduce the time spent on redlining. 

Both parties redlining a document is the easiest way to work on it together. However, this is not possible for parties to always be present in person, however, this can be easily achieved through digital contracting. Everyone involved can see the contract, make changes, approve or decline changes at any time by using a cloud-based redlining editor. The central location is used to store the document which will prevent the issues such as incompatible file formats and platforms. 

To ensure that the parties are effectively and efficiently redlining a contract, the following steps has to be considered for how best to modify your document:

Get all the parties on the same page

Both the parties who have to make a contribution in redlining the document, you have to make sure that they are on the same page and they have the same vision and perspective. To achieve better results, it is important to understand what you are going to redline and with which parties you have shared the document for redlining. 

Don’t rush the process

Before the signing process begins, all the details are required to be in order and unimpeachable. Where word processing software like MS Word is used, ensure that you have checked the review tab one last time and before moving forward, accept all the changes.

Where a change is required to be made halfway through the signing process, then the parties have to restart the process. Where an overlooked error such as human error or miscommunication is discovered after the document is signed, then also the signed document will be legally binding.

Stay compliant

It should be your first priority to comply with legal and functional standards when creating a legally binding document. You have to be assured that the language used is  legally compliant. Where contract clauses and documents are set up with standardized or boilerplate language, it makes it simple to track any deviation from the norm.

Track every change

It is for you to ensure that throughout the whole process, all changes made to the document are tracked and preserved. Where anything can have an affect on the business, don’t leave it to chance while creating documents. You need to be absolutely certain that all the changes are recorded and any deviations from the standard form contracts are agreed by both parties.

 

Provide different versions of your document

Provide the other party with the tools to effectively redline a document by giving them  three versions of your document which includes the following:

  • A redlined version (to track your changes)
  • An unmarked version (for ease of reading)
  • A clean version ready for redline markups and feedback

When providing these documents, you have to make sure that you tell them clearly on the use case for each document to avoid confusion.

Know your software and its limitations

It is not necessary that all the contract redlining softwares are equally created and where the software is not supported by the cloud has its own challenges. For example, Microsoft word processing software can redline and track changes, however, where changes to the documents are made by multiple parties, it does not automatically track those changes. You will be required to email files back and forth between the parties and make sure that the all tracked changes are contained into a single document and also any residual metadata is stripped out before the document is sent to another party for edits.

 

Why Is contract redlining software beneficial?

As mentioned above, the contract redlining software is a modern solution for traditional contract redlining challenges (as discussed earlier) and issues associated with them.

Using contract redlining software or tools, such issues get automatically resolved with a redlining function. Basically, these softwares are developed or designed to provide help to legal teams and law firms. It makes it easier for them to effectively negotiate or edit their important legal documents.

 

Who helps redline contracts? 

The Contract Drafter

The redline contracts are used by the persons who actually drafts a contract such as lawyers, a contract manager, business owner, project manager, or the person responsible for landing the deal. This person has to assure that terms are agreed to and correct and should be responsible for editing grammar as well.

Legal

Legal has a responsibility to review to ensure whether a contract is enforceable and  also revise any terms of the contract which he finds are not legally viable. They are important to the contract redline process.

Decision Makers

You have to first determine who has the final decision making power. The executive team, business owners, department leads all can be decision makers in the process. This important step makes the negotiation process simpler.

Stakeholders

Stakeholders include team experts, such as procurement analysts, financial analysts, or researchers. It is important to consider the process of managing the workflow between these parties and it should be clear and allow the parties to provide feedback.

 

Looking for a redlining solution? Zegal’s document drafting and management platform includes redlining as part of its version control system. Let the software handle it for you to avoid most of the difficulties mentioned in this article.

How to Manage Your Company’s Costs in the Remote Workplace? Click to Learn more.

The Best Legal Podcasts (2022)


In recent years, podcasts have become really popular and legal podcasts are used by law students and lawyers to gain information through a platform that is unique and gives a new way to discover and learn about the issues within the legal profession. Such podcasts are also helpful in raising their commercial awareness.

It allows their users to listen to them by utilizing their spare time or less time during their busy schedules or while on a walk, runs, commute, or whenever engaged in the house works. These are great sources to gather information about a subject and listen to those who have experience and knowledge in the field.

So without further ado – here are our favorite legal podcasts in each category.

podcast

More from Law

This podcast was produced by the trainee Solicitor (Harry Clark) at Baker McKenzie. The host focuses and helps in broadening your legal horizon. It embarks on a variety of interviews of partners, trainees, entrepreneurs by providing a deep-dive analysis, discussions focusing on legal developments. It also touches on topics like leadership, well-being, public speaking, requirements of firms from junior lawyers, the life of a trainee, etc.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

UK Law Weekly

This weekly podcast is hosted by Marcus Cleaver, a former university lecturer in law. Firstly, its duration is not too long (up to 10 mins) and it focuses on legal decisions and news. Secondly, it deals with recent cases and reviews from the courts also it is amazing for aspiring lawyers who have completed their studies and are willing to learn more.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

The Intelligence, The Economist

This podcast is very helpful to aspiring lawyers who are searching beyond the news mentioning techniques and strategies to impress firms at interviews.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

Not all Lawyers Have Law Degrees

This is a BBC podcast that highlights the different ways to become a lawyer. It was shortlisted for the UK Diversity Legal Awards D&I Initiative of the Year 2021. The guests Ceri Evans (national program director for apprenticeships at The University of Law), Carley Green (24-year-old criminal barrister), and Isaac Eloi (the national) mention how joining a specialist network helped him to get on a niche role at ICE.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

RightsUp

This is a podcast by the Oxford Human Rights Hub (OxHRH). This presents talks with worldwide academicians, practitioners, and policy-makers “to advance the understanding and protection of human rights and equality.” It delves into subjects like sex education in school, the future of the UK Human Rights Act, and Holding Corporations Accountable for Human Rights. Its very first topic was Revenge Porn and the Law rights is one of the best UK legal podcasts out there.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

The Law Entrepreneur

This podcast was founded by Neil Tyra out of frustration and the time spent on running his own firm. The guests are practicing lawyers and industry specialists who have a lot to offer in terms of advice related to the business side of running a law practice. His perspective is that the law school doesn’t sufficiently prepare lawyers to run a law practice.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify


Law Pod UK

This podcast started somewhere around mid-2017 and it is brought up by the barristers at One Crown Office Row. The host discusses the aspects and developments related to civil and public law. It also highlights developments in medicine law such as ‘A patient’s right to experimental medical treatment. It is very engaging for individuals studying law. In the year 2020, it highlighted the different areas of law (such as rights during quarantine, privacy issues) which got affected by the pandemic.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

Lawyer 2 Lawyer

This podcast is hosted by Massachusetts Bob Ambrogi (attorney) and J. Craig Williams (criminal defense lawyer). Launched in 2005. This is a US-based award-winning legal podcast and is one of the longest-running legal podcasts. The guests are industry professionals who analyze and debate hot topics and recent decisions in the area of law. The detailed analysis of renowned cases like the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial and the ‘Making a Murderer’ trial of Steven Avery, the legalities of Amazon’s Echo, and gender discrimination in the workplace are taken are common subject discussions.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

BBC Radio 4 Best of Today

This podcast helps in developing your commercial awareness by talking about the latest news stories, insights, and analyses. Its previous topic included an easing of covid-19 restrictions in England and an interview with Saskia Jones’ family following her death outside Fishmongers’ Hall in London.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

BBC Law in Action

This podcast is hosted by Joshua Rozenberg QC (ULaw alumnus). This is Radio 4’s long-running legal magazine program and it features reports and discussions on matters relating to law. There are plenty of episodes related to the law which include topics such as e-scooters and the law, climate change and the law, and whether Love Island contestants leave their legal rights at the door of the villa. It is one of the interesting podcasts to listen to whether you want to make a career in law or not.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

The guests of this podcast are specialist lawyers and the recent topic of the talk was to include a look at residential landlords and covid-19, commercial lease break notices and pitfalls for tenants, and divorce law reforms.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

Commercial Awareness with Watson’s Daily business and financial news

This commercial awareness podcast is hosted by former stockbroker Peter Watson. He talks about businesses and financial market news including the future of shopping malls, OnlyFans’ potential IPO, and WeWork prospects.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

The Daily Matters

This podcast talked about different ways to succeed in the current economic climate as lawyers and other legal industry professionals were finding ways to stay grounded during our global pandemic because the legal industry was undergoing a crucial change due to the worldwide crisis. The Clio CEO and Co-founder Jack Newton wanted to support law firms in finding a way by which they can serve their clients during this unprecedented situation. Overall, Daily Matters provides human-centered and forward-looking content to support lawyers to succeed.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

 

Law Next

This is a weekly podcast hosted by Bob Ambrogi, publisher of LawSites and a specialist in legal tech. Each episode has guests including entrepreneurs and innovators who are involved in transforming the legal industry and providing better access to justice. The talks are mainly based upon blockchain technology, the practice of law, legal tech products and services, and the future of law. Anyone who wants to stay updated about legal tech trends and has an interest in legal innovation can listen to this podcast.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

Linkubator (Linklaters)

This innovation podcast is led by students and it is designed to help students who want to understand and gain knowledge on the impact of innovation and emerging technologies on the legal sector. The episodes include talks with experts and legal innovators on a variety of topics, including non-financial misconduct and whistleblowing, e-money communications, and a new duty of care.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

The Digital Edge

This podcast is hosted by Sharon D. Nelson and Jim Calloway, two lawyers who are technology specialists. Technology has not remained an option anymore for lawyers thinking to get at the top of the game. It covers tech-related topics for lawyers and law firms which also includes tech tools, software, the Cloud, etc. Listening to this, the lawyers always get some advice on using technology to help their firms grow.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

Herbert Smith Freehills Podcast

This podcast is hosted by lawyers from global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills. They discuss topics like women in tech, the future of work focusing on HR tech, AI and monitoring staff, and a future cities series including a look at post-covid cities, tech in the city, and net-zero cities. It is of interest to those students willing to hear from legal experts about contemporary legal and commercial issues.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

 

Thinking like a lawyer

In this law podcast, the hosts Kathryn Rubino, Joe Patrice, and Elie Mystal share their experiences and a unique approach to engaging in legal discussions. In it they discuss topics happening in the everyday life of people and their approach by a lawyer. This is a great one if you want to know the accuracy of lawyers shown on TV.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

Lawyers gone ethical

This podcast is hosted by Megan Zavieh. The legal industry is greatly influenced by ethics and weekly focuses upon the constantly evolving ethical rules of law. She covers the crucial topics on interpretations and applications of the ethics rules of social media, data security, and legal marketing. She also highlights the tools and resources to become a leader in law.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts 

Talking Law

This podcast is hosted by Sally Penni who is a chair of Women in the Law UK and a multi-award-winning barrister. She, along with other leading professionals in UK law, discusses the ups and downs of their careers, the difficulties, and the challenges faced by them in the legal profession. The guests include Chris Daw QC, Mary Prior QC, and Lady Hale along with other famous legal professionals. This is one of the best one which deeply discusses the realities to be faced by lawyers to attain a top position. She shares her personal experiences as well as the insights of her guests.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

 

New Solo

It is a monthly podcast hosted by Adriana Linares which provides insights, strategies, and tips on shifting from a law firm to a solo practice. Highlighting the issues that lawyers face during the different phases of a solo career, It also conducts interviews with lawyers who have carved their path to building their practice. Each episode talks about a new topic and a guest having experience in the same.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

Lawyerist Podcast

It is a weekly podcast hosted by our very own Laura Briggs and Stephanie Everett. This podcast is mainly about lawyering and law practice. Their talks cover innovative business models, legal technology, marketing, ethics and starting a law firm. It is mainly designed to stress topics to help solo and small firm lawyers by providing the latest information. It is a great example for forward-thinking lawyers always searching for a better way to practice law

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

The Lawsome podcast

It is hosted by legal marketing professionals Jake Sanders and Paul Julius. This podcast gives insights about legal industry advice and access to the best experts for the development of law firms. Every week, the speakers talk about current legal news, running a law firm, and digital marketing.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

Maximum Lawyer

It is hosted by Jim Hacking & Tyson Mutrux (marketing-savvy attorneys). It is a weekly podcast and its talks are based on a variety of topics including marketing, hiring, practice management, lead generation, and other things a lawyer requires to start a law firm. This also touches upon mental health issues and pains attached with solo law firms. It is now a community of global attorneys who share their ideas, resources, and their views about the legal profession journey.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

This podcast is hosted by Heidi Alexander and Jared Correia. It is a monthly podcast highlighting law practice management and the ways to improve it. The guests include top lawyers and professionals to share ideas, discuss services and programs which helped in improving and management of their practices. The episode mentions the latest legal trends, strategies, and tips which help to improve legal practice.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

 

Have we missed your favorite? Get in touch and let us know about it!

Can an employee resign without resignation letter?

How to Dissolve a Trust


English trusts law originally arose out of equity, the means by which a rule-based legal system is able to achieve fairness in individual circumstances. Based on conscience, trust law developed to ensure that the conscience of a person and their actions vested with property on behalf of someone else is regulated.

dissolve a trust

Trust law has developed since then in both common law and statute law, reflecting the commercial appeal of trusts and requirements for certainty that such trusts entail.

In  the following sections, we’ll highlight:

  • The definition of trust
  • Different types of trust
  • The parties involved
  • The reasons to dissolve a trust
  • The ways in which trust may be dissolved.

What is Trust?

A trust separates legal and beneficial ownership in property between one or more trustees (who hold the legal ownership) and beneficiaries (who hold the beneficial ownership). 

If the trust is to be made in a person’s lifetime, to take immediate effect, then it is usually evidenced by a trust deed and often referred to as a settlement. How long a trust will last is entirely at the settlor’s discretion, however, the trust period must be stipulated in the trust document.

It may be just a few years, perhaps during a person’s widowhood, or until a child attains a certain age, or marries. If it is to be created on or shortly after a person’s death, then the trust rules must be set out in his will, known as a Will Trust.

Who are parties in a Trust?

The Settlor

The person who originally owned both the legal and beneficial ownership transfers property (be it shares, land, money or physical property like valuable jewelry) to the trustee to hold on behalf of the beneficiaries, with or without specific instructions on how to keep the property safe or deal with it, and what has to happen before the beneficiaries can have full legal ownership over the property as well.

The Trustee

Trustees, as legal owners of the trust’s property, administer the affairs of the trust in accordance with the trust instrument and law. The trust’s affairs may include investing assets, ensuring trust property is preserved and productive for the beneficiaries, accounting for and reporting to the beneficiaries concerning trust property transactions, taking care of tax requirements for the trust and other duties. Trustees may also have the power to decide when and whether beneficiaries should receive trust assets for their benefit, which assets are concerned and how much they should receive.

Trustees may be natural persons (individuals) or legal entities (such as a company). A person is not just limited to a UK citizen – foreign nationals, relatives or companies (trust corporations) may all be trustees. The minor can’t become a trustee. A trust may have more than one trustee. But a trust will not fail solely for want of a trustee.

Trustees are usually appointed in the trust document, but a court may also appoint, replace, or remove a trustee. The settlor can even appoint himself and his spouse as trustees (if he so wishes) to enable them to remain in control of the assets and decision making. 

The Beneficiaries

The beneficiaries hold the beneficial interest in the trust property. The beneficiaries will receive income from the trust property, or they will receive the property itself, according to the terms of the trust. The settlor has a wide discretion when creating the trust, subject to some limitations imposed by law.

A beneficiary is usually a natural person, but can also be a company or charity. A natural person beneficiary can be a minor, or someone with a mental disability (in fact many trusts are created specifically for persons with those legal disadvantages). Trusts can also be for unborn children, although the trusts must vest within the applicable perpetuity period.

Different types of Trust?

There are four main types of trust: express, resulting, constructive and implied.

Express Trusts

Express trusts are intentionally created by the settlor. This will involve specifically identified property, clearly identified beneficiaries and terms set out by the settlor. Legal title must also be transferred properly to trustees before the trust can be effective – the manner and form of this transfer depends on the type of property in question.

Resulting Trusts

Resulting trusts are implied by the court in circumstances where the settlor has transferred title to a trustee but failed to identify the beneficiaries, in which case the trust fails, and the beneficial interest will be held by the trustee on resulting trust for the settlor who becomes entitled to the trust assets. A resulting trust may also arise where someone contributes to the purchase price of a property, in circumstances which do not suggest gifting, where a resulting trust will be implied in proportion to the size of the contribution.

Constructive Trusts

Constructive trusts arise where a defendant has acted in a way that is unconscionable and has received or kept property as a result, such that, from the time the act is performed and the person is aware that there is a mistake or dishonesty, the defendant is considered to hold the property on trust, which gives rise to an equitable interest in the property for the rightful owner. Constructive trusts can also arise in the context of family homes.

Implied Trusts

Implied trusts are less common these days but arise from inferred intention of a settlor by their conduct, language or relationships that they wished to create a trust, even if they did not explicitly state as much.

Why dissolve a trust?

Usually, trusts must be formally wound up and dissolved upon the vesting date. The trust must be dissolved when it reaches the vesting date. However, there may be other circumstances which require a trust to be dissolved before it reaches its vesting date. A few of reasons are given below:

  • where the trust is no longer needed (for example, where a family trust was set up between husband and wife and later, they got separated.
  • the object and purpose of the trust is achieved (for example, where trust was set up to run a business and later, the business itself was sold)
  • the cost of running and maintaining the trust is too high (for example, where based on your personal circumstances, the financial and tax benefits of using a trust are limited and the cost of running and maintaining the trust is too high)
  • Where the court orders the trust to be dissolved (for example, if it is ruled that the trust is a sham trust).

How do you dissolve a trust?

Where it is found appropriate to dissolve the trust, there are four options by which the trust may be dissolved. These are discussed below:

Distribution of the entire trust property

The easiest way to dissolve a trust is to have a vesting date. A vesting date is a trust’s official end date. Additionally, it states the details of the termination of the deed. This would involve the trustee distributing the assets to the beneficiaries. When this way is adopted to dissolve the trust, the trustee is required to follow certain steps:

  1. Determine how to deal with each asset. For instance, an asset could be transferred to a beneficiary or sold with the profit distributed to the beneficiaries. 
  2. Discharge all the liabilities of the deed.
  3. Prepare trust accounts. Additionally, they must ensure the accounts are independently verified.

On the day, the trustee must formally appoint all of the property to the beneficiaries as per the deed. The trustee should record distributions and the dissolution of the deed.

Revocation by the settlor or trustee

There may be a provision in the trust deed which allows for the trustee or settlor to revoke the deed.  However, the trust deed will be binding if there is no such provision contained in the deed. Also, to revoke the deed, the provisions of the deed should specify the exact steps required for the dissolution as it will require paperwork and the preparation. Additionally, beneficiaries must have access to the formal records.

Under the rule in Saunders v Vautier (1841) EWHC Ch J82, beneficiaries that meet specific criteria may consent to terminating a trust early and receive legal title to the property held thereon.

The courts have taken the approach that the rights of the beneficiaries outweigh the intentions of the settlor.

The criteria are that

  • The beneficiaries are absolutely entitled to the trust property, which means that they have sole rights to the assets. A person who is absolutely entitled to an asset in a trust also has the exclusive right to direct the trustees on how to deal with it. For example, if there are five beneficiaries, all five beneficiaries together would be considered absolutely entitled to the trust property,
  • consent is mutual and unanimous among all beneficiaries, and
  • all beneficiaries are adults over 18 with legal capacity (sui juris), so this cannot include those who are not yet over 18, without legal capacity, or do not exist yet. So, if some of the beneficiaries are below 18 or cannot legally give consent, the rule cannot be applied.

The practical effect of the rule in Saunders v Vautier is that if the above three conditions are met, beneficiaries of a trust may call in the property from the trustees, terminate the trust, and distribute the trust property as they wish, without any petition to the court

Court order

The court also has the power to order the dissolution of the trust.
Such a process involves legal proceedings.

 

And that’s a wrap on our intro on how to dissolve a trust. Questions or comments? We’re all ears.

 

The Why and How of Involving Freelancers in Company Culture


 

Company culture is an important tool in building a successful business environment.

The right culture breeds loyalty from your employees attracts new talent and even helps to boost overall performance.

Unfortunately, as the workplace becomes more diverse, with remote and flexible work emerging as the new normal, many managers are struggling with company culture.

One of the biggest challenges today’s business leaders face is figuring out how to get freelancers, contractors, and outside team members involved in company culture.

Fortunately, we have some tips to help.

Why Do Freelancers Need to Be Involved?

It can take significant time and effort to ensure people feel like they’re a part of a shared company culture. You might wonder why this process is necessary when working with freelancers—particularly if you don’t know how long they’re going to be collaborating with your team.

The reality is that freelancers are becoming a more common and consistent part of the modern workforce. Companies with a need for flexible, scalable talent are relying more heavily on freelancers to fill the gap.

 

If you build a reputation as a company that includes contractors and freelancers in company culture, you’ll be more likely to attract talent when you need it.

Freelancers who feel like they’re a real part of the team are also more likely to contribute better work.  

Developing an inclusive company culture makes all employees feel more engaged and committed to delivering the best performance.

Simple steps like maintaining consistent communication and delivering the right onboarding experience can lead to better results on your projects.

3 Steps for Getting Freelancers Involved in Company Culture

There are many ways for companies to strengthen their connections with freelance and remote employees.

Here are some of the most important things you can do.

Master the Onboarding Process


Whether you’re employing a freelancer for long-term or short-term work, onboarding is essential.

A good onboarding strategy will introduce your external team member to the specific goals of your business, your brand values, and even what kind of metrics you’ll be measuring to determine the success of a project.

Today, much of the onboarding process is likely to happen online. Technology can help you to ensure you create the right initial launching pad for the newcomer.

Make sure your onboarding process includes:

Introductions to essential team members: Introduce your freelancers to the people they’re going to be working closely with, so they can begin to build relationships.

Demos of crucial tools and software: Give everyone access to the tools they’re going to use and offer training on how to leverage them.

A definition of your company culture: Let your new team members know what your company stands for, and what kind of values you have when choosing collaborators.

This will ensure a smooth transition for your freelancers.

Train Managers and Support Constant Communication


Team managers may need additional guidance to keep track of their freelance workers. With a little extra support when you start hiring freelancers, supervisors will be ready to empower all kinds of remote workers.

One of the most important things to train your supervisors and team leaders on is constant communication.

When you’re working with freelancers, it’s easy to forget about keeping them engaged with regular meetings, catch-up sessions, and discussions.

Make sure you have a plan in place for regularly checking in with freelancers through video meetings, phone calls, and other methods.

This regular communication will help your freelancers feel like part of the team while reducing the

 

risk of misunderstandings and mistakes.

It might even help to invite your freelancers into all-hands meetings and full team discussions from time to time so they can offer an outsider’s perspective and build new relationships.

Create a Feedback Loop


Feedback loops are essential in creating and maintaining a good company culture. With feedback from you, your freelancer can learn more about what they need to do to demonstrate the specific values and skills required for your company.

Positive feedback is also an excellent way to keep freelancers engaged and committed to your business. After all, everyone likes being recognized for their work.

As well as regularly offering useful feedback to your freelancers, ensure they have the option to give you feedback too.

Collecting information from your freelancer about what it’s like to work with your brand could give you an insight into how to make this and future relationships better. Ask your freelancer to let you know when they feel like they’re not getting enough support to offer their best work and ask for their suggestions.

An exit interview when you stop working with a specific freelancer can be an excellent way to collect information about what you could do better.

Include Freelancers in Your Company Culture

As freelancers, contractors, and other kinds of employees become more popular in the world of work, companies must ensure they have the right management strategy in place.

Keeping your entire workforce engaged and involved in your company culture is an excellent way to improve your chances of high staff engagement levels and better productivity.

What’s more, knowing how to include everyone in your company culture, including your freelancers, should ensure you have an easier time attracting people who want to work with your business in the future. An inclusive culture really improves your reputation as an employer.

Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor, and a thriving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.

This article does not constitute legal advice.

The opinions expressed in the column above represent the author’s own.

Start managing your legal needs with Zegal today

BECOME A ZEGAL REFERRAL PARTNER

ABOUT ZEGAL

Zegal is the end-to-end platform for the legals smaller companies need. 

Our story

Zegal was founded in 2014 by lawyer friends Daniel Walker and Jake Fisch. Having been a part of the system that preserves quality legal advice only for those that can afford it, the two were determined to build a model that delivers the ‘corporate law firm’ experience to small business.

Today Zegal is the world’s only end-to-end platform for smaller companies to create, negotiate, and sign both the simple, and complex contracts they need to run their business, with expert legal advice, 100% online every step of the way. Since our launch, we have helped more than 20,000 companies close commercial contracts, run leaner HR teams, and enter new markets. You can use Zegal for your company in the UK, Australia and across Asia. Make your legals simple.

READ MORE: Freelance guide to IR35

READ MORE: The Future of Online Meetings: Maintaining staff communications

Our Guide to Supply of Services Contracts


supply of services contract

If you’re reading this, it means you’re taking the first steps towards establishing effective Supply of Services Contracts for your business. These contracts will be an invaluable part of running your company smoothly and you’ll thank yourself for putting in the initial time to put your legals in place. 

Why is a Supply of Services Contract Important?

In a nutshell, they set out the services to be provided so there is no miscommunication about what will be provided, and how. These contracts set out in simple terms the services to be provided, the contract period, the purchase price, the payment terms, and which party will own intellectual property rights in the works created.

They provide an essential reference to discuss and negotiate effective outcomes whenever situations change, in terms of the client’s requirements and the provider’s capability. When things go wrong —let’s face it, there are always going to be hiccups down the road— referring back to the supply of services contract will assign responsibility for the failure. 

Formal signed agreements or contracts are also useful and can be essential, for when service problems or failures occur, or for when the customer’s or client’s requirements change one way or another. A is a short-form contract between a service provider and a customer for the provision of services.

Issues to consider

When planning, negotiating and drafting agreements for the supply of goods or services, counsel must often consider and address a variety of issues, including:
  • How the buyer will pay for the goods or services (for example, by cash, special financing, or a letter of credit).
  • How to define the parties’ business relationship.
  • Corporate social responsibility trends that might affect the supply chain.
  • Apportioning liability and risk.
  • Planning potential dispute settlement arrangements.
  • The buyer’s rights under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) to accept, reject, and revoke its acceptance of a seller’s delivery or tender of goods.
  • How to demand adequate assurances that a contract for the sale of goods will be performed.

What is included in a supply of services contract?

Important things to include in this contract are:

Price Details: a contract can be done for a small or larger-time frame. Supply of services contract done for a longer period of time includes both risk and opportunities for the supplier. There might be chances that the price would go down or up so it is very crucial to decide and fix the price details while drafting a supply of services contract. If the contract is for a long period of time then both parties can agree to adjust the price varies according to the various external factors like inflation, third party cost, etc.

Length of the contract period: Normally the length of the contract period varies according to the nature of services offered. It might be a long-term contract as well as short term.

Service charges and payment terms: service charges can be decided by both parties and can be structured in different ways. It can be either on a fixed price basis, time and material cost basis, or a combination of both. Normally a hybrid plan can be useful for both supplier and business to pay the cost according to the market situation.

Responsibilities of the service provider: It also includes the responsibilities of the service provider for delivering the services. This basically includes a clear and accurate description of the services offered.

Termination: termination arrangement and provision should be clearly discussed while creating a supply of services contract. This will help both parties to terminate the contract legally if they are not satisfied with the service offered. Normally a notice period is decided by both parties before terminating the contract.

Ownership of intellectual property rights in the works created: while drafting a supply of services contract it is very important to consider ownership of intellectual property rights created while delivering the services. The perspective of both parties towards ownership of intellectual property rights helps to settle down the disputes if arise in the future and also safeguards the legal rights of both parties towards the ownership.

Conclusion

Businesses need a supply of services contracts to manage their services with third parties. This will help both parties to know better about the terms and conditions of the services being offered and also provides a measure to settle down disputes if arise in the future. 

Use our quick and easy Zegal Supply of Services Contract.

This article does not constitute legal advice.

The opinions expressed in the column above represent the author’s own.

Start managing your legal needs with Zegal today

BECOME A ZEGAL REFERRAL PARTNER

ABOUT ZEGAL

Zegal is the end-to-end platform for the legals smaller companies need. 

Our story

Zegal was founded in 2014 by lawyer friends Daniel Walker and Jake Fisch. Having been a part of the system that preserves quality legal advice only for those that can afford it, the two were determined to build a model that delivers the ‘corporate law firm’ experience to small business.

Today Zegal is the world’s only end-to-end platform for smaller companies to create, negotiate, and sign both the simple, and complex contracts they need to run their business, with expert legal advice, 100% online every step of the way. Since our launch, we have helped more than 20,000 companies close commercial contracts, run leaner HR teams, and enter new markets. You can use Zegal for your company in the UK, Australia and across Asia. Make your legals simple.

READ MORE: UK Startups: Essential Legal Documents

FURTHER READING: The 8 Best Software Tools for Small Business

Tips for Keeping Track of the Latest Business Trends


business trends

Staying relevant and successful in business calls for having that unquenchable thirst for knowledge and tracking trends. An idea that might have been fresh a decade ago has now been replaced with ten of its more advanced variations, or it alone has evolved beyond recognition. Learning, as it turns out, is one of the most effective ways to improve your business life and grow your professional presence. 

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a business leader with multiple ventures under your belt, or a freelancer, knowledge is, and always will be, power. Even if you wish to become a trendsetter of sorts, a trailblazer, you first need to understand the trends that are currently shaping your market. This kind of open-mindedness will someday help you push past existing market currents and create your own.

To stay in the loop, and preferably ahead of the curve, you can develop a few habits for keeping track of the latest business trends. From your social media feed, all the way to dedicated news apps and digital magazines, there are various effortless ways to stay informed and advance in your industry. Here are a few to keep in mind:

Subscribe to industry journals

No matter which industry you’re working in, there are many location-specific and industry-specific regulations you need to keep in mind. From various forms of legal compliance to learning about different tax incentives in your sphere, industry journals can help you understand exactly what you need to do. The subscription to most of these journals will not cause a major dent in your budget, especially if you sign yourself up and perhaps a handful of your top-level executives, not your entire staff.

The main perk of keeping track of journals is that they are most often the first to publish official research papers, the latest trends even before they have fully formed, as well as expert interviews and insights that you’d never be able to read elsewhere. 

  • Look into niche journals that will cover some of those narrow, specific topics you’re interested in. 
  • Subscribe to a handful of major journals and resources such as The Economist or MarketWatch to stay in the know of the more general, but still vital market trends reshaping your business world.
  • Check out what your competitors are sharing, quoting, or publishing in – their success can become part of your own, if you allow yourself to learn from them, too. 

Social media feeds, groups, and pages

Chances are that you’re already doing your best to put social networks to great use when it comes to collecting data and understanding your audience. At the same time, these same channels can become your lifesavers in terms of learning about your industry. Social media engagement isn’t limited to customer-centric content, on the contrary, you can join a range of professional groups and discussion rooms meant for experts such as yourself.

  • Follow influential and relevant experts in your field of work. Over time, you can become an authority yourself, if you have enough wisdom and industry knowledge to share.
  • Join discussions in comment sections of intriguing posts that indicate a shift in your industry, you’ll find that some professionals will provide insightful answers in the comments.
  • Find informative pages dedicated to your industry and profession. This is where many of your competitors are getting their information, too.
  • Use your browser to set aside trends and topics that seem particularly relevant to you, so that you can research them further at a later date. 
  • Follow your competitors on social media, they are bound to share statistics, insights, and views that can help you progress, too.

Sometimes, your very own social media pages can become sources of information that you’d otherwise miss. For example, the built-in analytics tools will show you what’s trending on social media, while keeping track of certain hashtags lets you know what people care about. 

Remember that your followers’ behaviour patterns also serve as pointers as to what they find relevant and what’s trendy from their perspective, allowing you to adapt your strategy. 

Don’t shy away from kick-starting conversations and discussions yourself, too. Both in private and public groups and from your own profile, you can learn so much by asking important questions. 

Dedicated news apps

Nowadays, we have apps for everything under the sun – we’ve started using them for everything from ordering food and clothes, to keeping up with our meditation practice. The practicality of apps is indisputable, so naturally, you should consider using one or two for keeping track of the latest business trends, too. When you start using a dedicated business news app, you get immediate access to the most vital information reshaping your industry.

You can set up alerts and notifications when something worthy pops up, you can enjoy the seamless experience on your phone that minimizes your browsing time, and you get a user-friendly interface that helps you make sense of specific news categories. 

  • Apps are easy to navigate, but you can also easily share the content you like by connecting directly with your social media account.
  • You have immediate access to content as soon as it’s published, which means you’re at the forefront of the industry, and not the sidelines.
  • Apps often come with live streams, and you can enjoy a variety of content formats to keep track of recent trends, from interviews, podcasts, articles, all the way to statistics-rich infographics and videos. 

Worthy industry magazines

In addition to niche journals and research papers, somewhat lighter magazines are still packed with relevant insights you can use to advance your business. Both the opinion pieces, columns, and lengthy articles can be extremely helpful in grasping the impact certain trends are making in your field.

  • General topics such as sustainability trends can be of relevance to your brand, as you can find new ways to reshape and communicate your values with your target demographic. 
  • News in the stock market might not be of interest to everyone in every single industry, but the latest changes in the world of banking might be. It’s important to know where the world is headed from that economic perspective to know what to do about your own business’s finances.
  • Digital marketing trends remain relevant no matter your niche, so certain publications can help you refine your strategy and boost your brand presence.

In addition to visiting the websites of different magazines, you can also follow them on social media, download their news apps, or set up alerts. Reputable publications like Forbes or Bloomberg Businessweek are staples in the category, but you can expand your search based on your interests. 

Networking events (online and offline)

The pandemic has pushed almost all professionals to change their routines. No more conferences with hundreds of people to mingle with, let alone presentations with impressive keynote speakers you can chat up after the event. Thanks to technology, the internet has become the place where business leaders get together, learn, and advance. As the pandemic slowly dwindles, you can expect in-person get-togethers to start once again.

In both scenarios, networking is one of the most effective ways to stay in the loop and get in touch with leading figures in your industry. Consider attending workshops, following podcasts, online events in any format, and do your best to contribute. The more you participate, the more people will be happy to share their ideas and views. 

  • Social media live streams are often a great source of news and trends discussed among experts. If some offer a live chat feature, you can ask your own questions and share your position in the comments. 
  • Magazines and other news outlets will likely promote upcoming events, so you can sign up and stay on course.
  • Seminars and workshops are a wonderful opportunity to have the latest studies presented to you in a digestible, interactive way. Not to mention that networking helps you make connections and build relationships for the long haul, turning them into valuable knowledge resources for the future. 

Employees can come to your aid

Unless you’re a solopreneur, there’s no reason to fly solo as you expand your knowledge. Working alongside your employees means allowing them to share worthwhile news pieces, articles, and posts with you. Among many ways to elevate employee engagement, inviting them to actively learn about the industry and keep their eyes peeled for relevant trends can be extremely helpful for your collective spirit and growth.

  • Encourage teams to share their opinions and the news they’ve come across in meetings.
  • Set up dedicated groups in your project management and business chat tools for sharing relevant articles and discussing emerging trends.
  • Entice employees to provide suggestions on how these trends can affect your business in particular – active participation is always better than mere news sharing. 

More often than not, your teams will be much more likely to come across an article or research study that you’ve missed since you cannot possibly spend all of your time online, reading. The goal is to divide and conquer and to encourage knowledge exchanges in your organization. 

You’re probably already relying on some of the listed ideas, but the more you mix and match, the easier it will be for you to stay on top of all relevant, latest trends in your field of work. Taking a strategic approach to staying informed will ultimately allow you to position yourself as a relevant authority in your profession, but also elevate your brand’s reputation over time. 

This article does not constitute legal advice.

The opinions expressed in the column above represent the author’s own.

Start managing your legal needs with Zegal today

BECOME A ZEGAL REFERRAL PARTNER

ABOUT ZEGAL

Zegal is the end-to-end platform for the legals smaller companies need.

Our story

Zegal was founded in 2014 by lawyer friends Daniel Walker and Jake Fisch. Having been a part of the system that preserves quality legal advice only for those that can afford it, the two were determined to build a model that delivers the ‘corporate law firm’ experience to small business.

Today Zegal is the world’s only end-to-end platform for smaller companies to create, negotiate, and sign both the simple, and complex contracts they need to run their business, with expert legal advice, 100% online every step of the way. Since our launch, we have helped more than 20,000 companies close commercial contracts, run leaner HR teams, and enter new markets. You can use Zegal for your company in the UK, Australia and across Asia. Make your legals simple.

READ MORE: UK Startups: Essential Legal Documents

FURTHER READING: Angel Investors Vs VCs: Pros and Cons

7 Useful Tips For Assessing and Choosing Freelance Talent


 

 

freelance working

As of now, the increasing popularity of freelance working has seen exponential growth, thanks to the global pandemic that has shut down offices all over the world. As a matter of fact, the very large number of professionals entering the market has been a boon to companies that cannot run their businesses from their offices anymore. They have now started hiring freelancers instead of trying to conduct all business in-house.

However, for any business to prosper it is extremely important to ensure that all of its freelancers meet its exacting standards. Freelancers are not like regular employees who have a very specific social and business contract. In fact, a typical freelancer works primarily on a more or less honour basis. This is why you have to be very careful in vetting any and all potential freelancers, prior to hiring them to do your work. Read this freelance agreement guide for more information. Let us check out a few useful tips for both assessing as well as choosing new freelance talent:

1.Utilize Both your Personal And Professional Networks

Merely picking a freelancer from a hat won’t do you any favours. This is why you should start from your family and work associate network. It would be a good idea to find someone who has already worked with someone you know, beforehand. Their firsthand experience would act as a means of vetting for you. If they recommend them highly enough, you are almost certainly in good hands.

2. Review their Track Record

Many companies eager to increase their manpower tend to skip this step. This is a mistake. You should look at their track record and see how they have performed over the years. You should also ask for references as well. Finally, you should consider getting them to agree to a probation period before you give them more responsibilities.

3. Start Them off With Internal Tasks

If you are really interested in the right person for the right job, you should try and start them off with internal tasks that are easy to accomplish. It would be a good idea to make them do work that has already been done, just to check and see how they perform. Not doing this might mess up your timelines and commitments to your clients.

4. Emotional Intelligence is very Important

Emotional intelligence or EQ is as important as the right mindset and requisite skill set. You will have to give them certain high-pressure but relatively unimportant work to check and see how they perform. This will help you to gauge their EQ level.

5. Recruit People who have the Right Attitude

Attitude and the right approach are near-universal keys. Skills can, after all, be taught online. But the attitude is essential. If a freelancer has a winning attitude, he/she will make sure to transfer that attitude to the rest of your team and you will be able to achieve your organizational goals.

6. Treat them just like your Regular Internal Employees

Don’t make them feel that they are any different from your regular workforce. In fact, this process should start during the interview if possible. They have to be on the same page as the rest of the team. This means adhering to deadlines and keeping timings on par with the rest of the workforce. Always remember, that a good freelancer is a pretty valuable addition to the rest of your team. It is likely that they bring a certain level of expertise to the team that would not be easily replaced. So you have to make them feel that they are not outsiders, but part of the same cohesive unit

7. Hire the Top Professionals with the Help of Professional Websites

You can also try and find a good freelance medical writer website that will help you to generate the kind of response you need. You should consider visiting good websites like Kolabtree that help you seek the right talent. These types of sites can do the hard work of vetting freelancers for you so you can just go right ahead and hire them.

Conclusion

Freelancers are extremely important in today’s pandemic hit economy. You need a person with the right attitude, EQ, and winning nature to get the job done right.

This article does not constitute legal advice.

The opinions expressed in the column above represent the author’s own.

Start managing your legal needs with Zegal today

BECOME A ZEGAL REFERRAL PARTNER

ABOUT ZEGAL

Zegal is the end-to-end platform for the legals smaller companies need. 

Our story

Zegal was founded in 2014 by lawyer friends Daniel Walker and Jake Fisch. Having been a part of the system that preserves quality legal advice only for those that can afford it, the two were determined to build a model that delivers the ‘corporate law firm’ experience to small business.

Today Zegal is the world’s only end-to-end platform for smaller companies to create, negotiate, and sign both the simple, and complex contracts they need to run their business, with expert legal advice, 100% online every step of the way. Since our launch, we have helped more than 20,000 companies close commercial contracts, run leaner HR teams, and enter new markets. You can use Zegal for your company in the UK, Australia and across Asia. Make your legals simple.

READ MORE: Freelance guide to IR35

READ MORE: The Future of Online Meetings: Maintaining staff communications

6 Tips to Improve your Business Life


laptop

No matter if you are a freelancer, full-time employee, or entrepreneur, you have a lot in your business life that could do with streamlining so you’re working efficiently. 

If you do not take care of yourself and manage your time, you may get overwhelmed. 

Poor business life impacts your health and private life, too. Dissatisfaction, stress, and supreme tiredness may result in burnout. 

In this article, we explain how you can add value to your business life.

Learn where You are Wasting your Time

In your business life, time management is a crucial skill. It represents the way we organize our time and distribute it between activities. Good time management reduces your anxiety levels while improving your workplace performance and satisfaction.

For starters, you need to learn how and where you are spending your time. We often overestimate complicated activities and underestimate simple ones. 

If you believe that writing an email takes 5 minutes, why not use a time management app to track your activity? You may find that this simple task takes you 20 minutes.

Complete the Most Complex Tasks First in the Morning

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day,” Mark Twain famously said. 

Your frog is your most time-consuming and mentally demanding task.

For most of us, the first few hours of work are the most productive. The human brain tends to be the sharpest in the morning after a refreshing sleep. Use that time proactively to your advantage. 

Digitize your Business Operations

Manual tasks eat up a lot of your time. Therefore, if you still use Excel spreadsheets and paperwork, it is time to rethink your decisions. 

To meet deadlines faster and improve your overall productivity, you need to choose the right tools for your business

Today, you can digitize almost every aspect of your business life, from your digital security to inventory management.

For starters, invest in a task management tools. With the help of software solutions like Trello or Basecamp, you can easily create projects, assign tasks, and set deadlines. Instead of scrolling down hundreds of emails in your inbox, you can communicate with team members in real-time and track your tasks. 

You can also automate your finances. With accounting tools, you can monitor your cash flow via multiple devices and locations. You can also send digital checks and digitize your invoices to save time and improve customer experiences.

Remove Distractions

What are your distractions? Is it email, social networks, phone calls, or entertainment sites? You can beat them in multiple ways.

For example, have a strict schedule. Try to be in front of your desk at the same time every day. Create a to-do list the night before and put a time constraint on your tasks. 

If you cannot resist checking your phone during work hours, consider setting restrictions. With self-control tools, you can set daily app limits and block certain apps, such as social networks or news sites.

While this approach may seem harsh, it can benefit your business life in multiple ways. By reducing distractions, you will focus better on your tasks and perform them faster and more successfully. Most importantly, you will feel better about yourself and your daily achievements.

Optimize Meetings

Even though they are an essential part of any company, meetings can turn out to be a major time sink. That is why you need to optimize them, making sure they have a clear purpose.

For example, set clear meeting guidelines for your team. They should specify how employees should behave during the meeting.

Have an agenda for each meeting and share it with all participants in advance. That way, everyone will arrive prepared, waste less time, and get back to work faster. 

Finally, if you notice that your weekly meetups are too long, why not reduce them. For example, you could cut your hour-long meetings down to 30 minutes.

Learn to Balance your Private and Professional Life

To improve your performance and stay satisfied, you need to harmonize your private and professional life.

For starters, abandon the Superman/Superwoman mentality and learn to ask for help. Learn to outsource certain tasks to other team members or outside companies. By freeing yourself up, you can finally focus on the aspects of your job you are passionate about. Above all, you will prevent stress and burnout.

Also, learn to establish clear boundaries on what you will or will not do at work. For example, set aside time at home during which will not respond to work-related emails. 

Most importantly, take care of your health. If you are not in a good physical, mental, and emotional state, your business life will suffer. While at work, take regular breaks, eat healthy meals, and equip yourself with ergonomic furniture. Make sure you exercise at least three times weekly and sleep enough. Do activities that minimize stress and make you feel relaxed.

Over to You

Simplicity, organization, and satisfaction add value to both your private and professional life. Remember that there is no magic button for extending your deadlines or making your meetings disappear. They are an inevitable aspect of your workday. However, with the tips mentioned above, you will manage your time more efficiently and improve the overall quality of your business life.

How do you improve the quality of your business life? Please, share your experiences with us!

Eve Anderson is a marketing specialist turned blogger. Interested in sports and exciting travel destinations. Love to share content that can inform people.

This article does not constitute legal advice.

The opinions expressed in the column above represent the author’s own.

Start managing your legal needs with Zegal today

ABOUT ZEGAL

Zegal is the end-to-end platform for the legals smaller companies need. 

Our story

Zegal was founded in 2014 by lawyer friends Daniel Walker and Jake Fisch. Having been a part of the system that preserves quality legal advice only for those that can afford it, the two were determined to build a model that delivers the ‘corporate law firm’ experience to small business.

Today Zegal is the world’s only end-to-end platform for smaller companies to create, negotiate, and sign both the simple, and complex contracts they need to run their business, with expert legal advice, 100% online every step of the way. Since our launch, we have helped more than 20,000 companies close commercial contracts, run leaner HR teams, and enter new markets. You can use Zegal for your company in the UK, Australia and across Asia. Make your legals simple.

 

Zegal makes Latka 250 Fastest Growing SaaS Company list


 

latka logo

Bestselling author Nathan Latka names Zegal as one of the fastest-growing SaaS companies on his annual global list 

HONG KONG, JUNE 25, 2021 — Each year, Latka Magazine publishes its list of the fastest growing SaaS companies globally. Zegal is delighted to be named on the list as its growth and reach extends to more small companies throughout Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. 

With exciting new features, workflows, and Google and Microsoft integrations, Zegal continues to go from strength to strength building a flexible platform to help smaller companies navigate their legals themselves. 

 

For more information and/or interview requests please contact Alicia Walker at alicia.walker@zegal.com 

Linkedin | Facebook | www.zegal.com 

ABOUT ZEGAL

Zegal is the end-to-end platform for the legals smaller companies need. 

Our story

Zegal was founded in 2014 by lawyer friends Daniel Walker and Jake Fisch. Having been a part of the system that preserves quality legal advice only for those that can afford it, the two were determined to build a model that delivers the ‘corporate law firm’ experience to small business.

Today Zegal is the world’s only end-to-end platform for smaller companies to create, negotiate, and sign both the simple, and complex contracts they need to run their business, with expert legal advice, 100% online every step of the way. Since our launch, we have helped more than 20,000 companies close commercial contracts, run leaner HR teams, and enter new markets. You can use Zegal for your company in the UK, Australia and across Asia. Make your legals simple.

This article does not constitute legal advice.

The opinions expressed in the column above represent the author’s own.

Start managing your legal needs with Zegal today

BECOME A ZEGAL REFERRAL PARTNER

READ MORE: UK Startups: Essential Legal Documents

Share Options vs Share Vesting


Share Options vs Share Vesting

In a nutshell

1st step The board of directors of a company will grant share options to key employees (beneficiaries of an Employee Share Option Plan or ESOP).

2nd step The exercise of those share options is conditional upon the completion of pre-set conditions.

3rd step Share vesting happens upon completion of all pre-set conditions: new shares are allotted or existing shares are transferred to the beneficiaries.

In detail

Share options are meant to create incentives for the key/senior employees or executives (directors) to stay in the company and increase profitability. Employees holding share options will be motivated in increasing the value of their shares and will eventually enable long-term value creation. A share option plan ultimately aligns the interests of the employees with those of the shareholders and the management, creating a shared stake in the company’s results. It represents a significant step forward on a company’s path towards better corporate governance.

The detailed terms of a share option plan cannot be drawn up without a clear understanding of the basic option terms. The summary below will provide some guidance towards the mechanisms of a share option scheme, where options are granted by a private company limited by shares.

Share options

A share option gives an employee the right to access the share capital of the company in the future. When an employee owns a share option, it is crucial to bear in mind that he/she does not own any share in the company yet. The mechanism of a share option is similar to that of a call option as it gives its holder the right to buy shares at a pre-determined price only if certain conditions are met. An option is a right and not an obligation, which means that the employee cannot be forced to purchase the shares. On the other hand, by granting share options to an employee, the company undertakes to issue the said shares upon satisfaction of the pre-determined conditions and exercise of the options by the employee.

What does a company actually grant when granting share options?

  • A share option gives conditional access to one or several share(s) of the company.
  • A share option does not grant the employee with any of the rights attached to shares, which means that the employee is not entitled to participate in the general meetings nor to receive dividends until the shares are effectively allotted.
  • Share options are generally granted for free.
  • Share options can generally not be transferred nor sold to other persons by the grantee.

Share vesting

As a share option plan is generally conditional upon the employee satisfying a number of pre-set conditions or upon the occurrence of pre-set events, the share vesting is the acquisition of the actual right to exercise the options.

How to establish a conditional share option scheme

  • Set a timeline: the share options are exercisable over a vesting period, meaning that a portion of the options can be exercised periodically, for instance at each anniversary of the date of the share option plan (the Vesting Date) and during a pre-determined exercise period. Without a vesting period, the employee may be tempted to exercise all options at once, sell them when most profitable and leave the company. An accelerated vesting can be provided for in case of events such as a change of control or the IPO of the company, which will render the options immediately exercisable. The exercise period is the window during which the grantee can purchase the vested shares from the company.
  • Lay down preconditions: depending on the company’s shareholding structure, the employee may be required to adhere to the existing or to enter into a new shareholders’ agreement or put and call agreement, setting out conditions for the transfer of the shares held by the employee as a result of the exercise of the options.
  • Lay down vesting conditions:
      • set performance conditions: quantifiable key performance indicators (KPIs) such as the company’s EBIT, turnover, sales, new customers, share market value, etc. which can be influenced by the grantee’s actions;
      • set the relevant period for assessment of performance conditions;
      • define whether the grantee shall be an employee or director of the company at each Vesting Date.

The satisfaction of the performance conditions is assessed on or after each Vesting Date by a company body (generally the board of directors). Upon satisfaction of these conditions, the options may be exercisable in whole only, or it may be provided that the employee can exercise the options in part depending on the percentage of conditions effectively achieved.

  • Determine the exercise price: the exercise of the options can be at nil cost or for an exercise price pre-determined at the time of formation of the share option plan. The exercise price is generally based on the market value of the shares at the time of formation of the plan, regardless of the market price of the shares at the exercise date.
  • Set lapse and cancellation conditions: the options usually lapse and terminate in case of termination of employment, death of the employee, insolvency of the company, etc.

If the employee satisfies all conditions set out by the share option plan, the next step is to deliver an application form to the company to request the issue of the vested shares (a template application form can be appended to the share option plan to ease the exercise of the options). A resolution of the directors will then be passed to approve the allotment of the shares.

Once the shares are issued and allocated, the grantee becomes a shareholder of the company. Except otherwise provided for in the share option scheme, the employee acquires the same rights as existing shareholders of the company, i.e. voting rights at general meetings of the company, right to dividends, right to transfer the shares, etc.

Checklist of vesting conditions for an employee

Mathilde Chator is an Associate at SLOTINE, the Hong Kong Solicitor’s firm specialising in cross-border business law. Her main areas of practice are M&A, International Investments, Private Equity and Corporate Governance.

SLOTINE is one of Zegal’s Managed Plan partners and offers tailored solutions combining document drafting access and legal services. Find out more about the SLOTINE Managed Accounts plan here.

This article does not constitute legal advice.

READ MORE: How a Memorandum Of Understanding Can Help Your Business

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