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Family business initiative progresses

15 March 10

Next stage of the Society's joint initiative with the Scottish Family Business Association

The Society’s joint initiative with the Scottish Family Business Association to look at the distinct legal services required by family-run businesses has progressed to the second stage.

The aims of the project are:

  • to identify the level of awareness among solicitors of the existence of this large business sector and its needs;
  • to increase awareness among solicitors of the specific legal needs of the sector;
  • to provide tailored training to members to enable them to fulfil these needs; and therefore
  • to enable solicitors to take advantage of this new source of business to build up a stable, sustainable customer base to survive the recession, and “recession proof” themselves in the future.

The initial consultation exercise to take the pulse of the profession and the family-run businesses closed at the end of January 2010. For interim results and further details please visit the professional support pages of the Society’s website, at www.lawscot.org.uk/Support/Family_run_business.aspx

The next steps…

Building on the results of that consultation, a number of informal round-table discussions have taken place in Glasgow, Dundee and finally Edinburgh, at which solicitors and representatives of the businesses met to plan the most effective training for solicitors seeking to advise family-run businesses. Despite all the differences in experience, the surveys and discussions so far indicate broad consensus among the family business representatives and solicitors as to what developments (on both sides) would improve and strengthen the business relationships between family-run businesses and their legal advisers.

That training will be provided in the first instance at short breakfast seminars in Edinburgh, Dundee, Glasgow and Aberdeen in May and June 2010. In August and September 2010, four more workshop/networking events will take place across Scotland to encourage greater understanding among solicitors and family business clients. For further details please contact lauramalcolm@lawscot.org.uk .

In parallel to this specialised training for solicitors, the inaugural meeting of the newly formed Forum for Family Business Advisers (FFBA) will take place on 19 April 2010 at the Hunter Centre, Strathclyde University Business School, Glasgow, between 4 and 7pm.

The first meeting will take the form of a “Question time” session with a multi-disciplinary panel of advisers working with family-run businesses. Members of the panel will present case studies and field questions from the floor. The FFBA also intends to follow up these events with certificated training courses to be developed through the Strathclyde University Business School.

  • If you are interested in attending or have any queries, please contact Caroline Laurie at the Hunter Centre on 0141 552 4400.

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