Client Stories: How we have provided legal solutions to our SME clients.
Nobody says it better than our own clients. Here are some of the stories of business we have been proud to support at NaviStar Legal.
 
If you would be interested in discussing how NaviStar Legal could support your business, contact us today.
Purchasing, Mergers and Acquisitions Support
The Company
“As this was my first solo purchase, I was understandably nervous as I’d had no previous experience. I really needed a team on my side who could explain the fine print and guide me through step by step - and in layman’s terms!

I’ve found previously that some law firms can be inflexible and work to their terms; they don’t appear to put your needs first.

So I thought to find the right team would be a challenge. ''

The Challenge
''Once I’d decided to make the purchase, I knew I needed to find a specialist; one who was approachable and flexible; and able to work to my tight deadlines.

Jo was recommended to me by an accountant. And I could see immediately that her way of working was different from anything I had experienced or expected.

Navistar was able to provide all the necessary legal advice and documentation that ensured the sale went through to completion with minimum hassle. And they were always flexible and reactive to my needs, We had some tight deadlines, and they always worked with me to achieve those and made sure I was kept informed throughout. '

The team at Navistar are very easy to reach and communicate with; which is essential as situations can change day by day, hour by hour. For example, partway through, our accountant dropped out, which left us in a position we weren’t anticipating. But Jo and the team were a constant support.   
Another huge benefit I found was you have access to team mobile numbers straight away, so communicating through calls or messages is easy, and you can be updated immediately. In my experience, a lot of companies have a lengthy process of emails and leaving messages on landlines even before you speak to somebody that might be able to help you!

The Future
''I’m already planning to buy another company; so Jo and the team will be working with me on this too. I fully intend to continue using their expertise as and when I need it.

The Navistar team are flexible, efficient, adaptable, great at communicating and very quick.
And, I want to say too that although the company I bought was fully operational and we had the time we needed to complete the purchase; I’m confident if I were to buy an insolvent company where everything has to be completed in a short time, they would be able to take this in their stride.

I highly recommend Navistar as a great team to have on your side!”
Litigation Support
The Company
Opara Consulting specialises in project management and property investment , and owner/MD CJ Opara is also a landlord, managing several properties: (a sister company now manages the property side of the business).

Like many new business owners, CJ worked full time for another company while setting up his business. He was an investment banker for a well-known high street bank and his days were long (often up to 14 hours) and extremely busy.

He told us: "My company, Opara Consulting, specialises in property investment, so I need to be thorough and ensure all 't's are crossed and 'I's dotted. There is no room for error, even when extremely tired!".

The Challenge
To help manage his time more efficiently, especially in those early 'set up' days as the business grew, CJ hired specialists to work on his behalf. However, he explained how this raised additional challenges as some of those specialists were not delivering what was expected of them; which had led to impending legal action.

It became clear that detailed contracts would need to be drawn up in future. However, ensuring the right agreements are in place for specific situations and working relationships, although crucial – is not always straightforward. CJ explained:

"If you don't have the time and expertise to ensure the correct information and regulations are included, problems can escalate unnecessarily". He continued: "Regardless of an individual or organisation's reputation, it is important to check the small print of any agreements and clarify ambiguous phrasing. So, even when you feel you can trust those around you; as a safety net, contracts are essential for protecting your investments and your reputation; and could negate the need for costly lawsuits!"

However, not many business owners have the time and the expertise necessary; so CJ looked externally for the expert assistance he needed. He was also preparing for a litigation court case and needed professional expert guidance.

The Solution
A friend recommended he should contact the team at Navistar Legal for advice and support with the court case. And he remembers:

"I could tell during that first call that our companies shared the same values. It gave me a very favourable impression of how Jo works". He also explained it was equally important to him to find a company with whom he could build a long-term relationship.

CJ knew he didn't only want a lawyer to help him 'win cases'. He wanted to work with an ethical lawyer that understood small businesses and how they operate. It was essential also that he knew what the company stood for and that their values aligned with his.

He continued: "I didn't want to work with a faceless organisation. And I immediately felt what Navistar offered was personalised service. Jo was approachable, understanding and empathetic. And my first impressions proved to be the case. You never know how people will develop further down the line - but Jo and her team have been consistent in their approach since that first call".

CJ recalls that through previous, sometimes 'not so pleasant' experiences with lawyers he was expecting a degree of ruthlessness and that was putting him off making contact initially. But he said:

" I never got anything close to that negative experience with Jo and the team!"

The Result
With the help of the Navistar team, Opara Consulting recently won the litigation case at County Court. CJ said at first he had tried to manage the situation alone by going through the complaints procedure of the company in question but was given the complete 'run around'. He explained that "Jo then stepped in. She followed up and gave me advice throughout".

He also said what was important to him was following the right procedure and not stooping to the deceptive, sometimes underhand tactics the other side engaged; despite coming close to the desire for vengeance and on several occasions! But Jo kept the case ethical throughout. He said, "We remained transparent and above board at all times".

He believes that "Although I was confident we had a strong case; without the guidance and input from Navistar I would never have won it and received retribution from an unjust situation".
From the start, Jo gave CJ confidence there was a case to answer and that, although it may take some time, they would win if they were prepared. CJ confirmed:

"What Jo also proposed was a cost-effective solution that at the time, was essential for my financial situation. This was, in my experience, rare in business because the solution was cost-effective for me, not for Navistar. There were solutions Jo could have proposed that would have suited them more, but she didn't – she put my needs and situation first".

CJ is adamant in his belief that had he not found the support of Navistar, he would have undoubtedly been the victim of an injustice. Despite the truth being firmly on his side, he doesn't believe he would have won the litigation case without them.

And, for CJ, what was just as important as winning the case is the knowledge that this will deter the perpetrator from doing the same to others and potentially ruining them financially.

The Future
Jo's and her team's experience, their values and their ethics; and the fact they put the immediate needs of Opara Consulting before their own have ensured Navistar Legal have found a long term client in CJ.

And, he says, "My relationship with Navistar will continue. I will use their advice and guidance on regulations and to prepare contracts for my ongoing business transactions and relationships".   
CJ finished by saying:

"When a situation that you thought could never happen does, you often don't know where to turn. It can have a genuine financial and emotional impact on you, as my situation did. You realise then; there's no one else around that can help. And even though you're part of a community of peers, you can feel isolated. The support I got from Jo and the Navistar team before and throughout the court case went beyond my expectations. Even at a particularly low point for me, when I couldn't continue with payments, I was not held to account or made to feel uncomfortable. They understood my situation, giving me additional time and reassurance by setting up flexible payment arrangements when I fell into arrears. This made it much easier for to clear my arrears with them (which I did, of course!) 

 "This level of empathy and support is not what you find everywhere – it's rare. It took so much pressure from me. As I said at the start, they share the same ethics, principles and values as me, which is essential for building a lasting professional relationship.

"The Navistar team are approachable, friendly and empathetic. Plus they're efficient and incredibly knowledgeable. When things are going well, it's easy to sing the praises of those around you. But it's when you're going through challenging times that you realise the level of support you have.
"What I discovered during this particular crisis is that I had a solid legal team around me who were supportive not just in a legal sense but also from an emotional perspective too. This team go above and beyond expectations, and I recommend them without any hesitation whatsoever".
Franchise Set Up Support
The Company
Bambini Lingo is a fast-growing enterprise that helps children learn languages via a mix of online activities and classes, immersing babies and young children in languages through a fun, musical and play-based environment. The success of this idea led to the demand for franchise opportunities throughout Europe. NaviStar Legal were asked to be the business’ legal partner to help them during this process.

The Challenge
Business owner Emma recalls:
“I wanted to grow a franchise business, yet I had no experience and I was coming across legal issues every day. The expenses associated with the hiring of lawyers at the start of the process was nearly driving me out of business before I’d really begun.”

Emma wanted reliable team who could give competent, knowledgeable, jargon-free advice and guidance using a step by step approach. It was also important for Emma that she could continue with the day to day running of her business and not be overwhelmed by the process. She needed a legal team that could progress the project with minimum fuss but maximum results.

The Solution
Emma decided to work with NaviStar Legal because of their track record with small businesses. The NaviStar legal team advised on a range of matters from: trademarking the Bambini Lingo brand in different global territories; drawing up new shareholders agreements for the investors; minimizing the risk of common pitfalls when becoming a business partner; reworking franchise agreements and advice on dealing with problematic franchisees. They also provided recommendations for the right approach for Bambini Lingo’s music deal including checking and advising on record contract and publishing deal.

The Result
Bambini Lingo was in a period of rapid growth and needed to make big decisions and agree contracts quickly. NaviStar Legal helped Bambini Lingo’s business partners prioritise decisions and feel stronger and more protected by providing a necessary level of support and expertise.
Emma said:

“One of the particular successes the Navistar Legal team supported us with was to get our original music approved and bought by Amazon as an Amazon Original. Navistar Legal helped us jump through all the hoops Amazon placed in our way and showed us the most economical way to get our contract approved and signed. We could not have achieved this without them”.

The Future
Thanks to the success of the franchise venture Bambini Lingo is on a path to future international growth.

“Before NaviStar, I didn’t realise that lawyers could be so cost-effective. Working with them on a retainer enabled me to grow my business, without going out of business because of huge costs. They supported me across the multiple areas of franchising/music licensing/trademarking and shareholders. They gave me access to expert legal advice in all the areas I needed, in the time frame I needed it in. I feel so lucky to have found them when I did.”
Company Aquisition 
The Company
Business Growth Service (BGS) specialise in providing strategic financial, accounting and business growth expertise to SMEs. After successfully purchasing companies on behalf of clients for many years, owner Shaun Walsh partnered with Perry Stewart to set up the IBG Group. Their mission: to buy, build and sell 3-4 companies in the building services market space generating £10m turnover a year for the next five years to create a group of companies that can then be sold to a venture capitalist in the future.

The Challenge
“We required support with the necessary documentation and procedures as we hadn’t worked in this particular arena previously. The purchase was very ‘fast moving’ and we had to be sure all the necessary legal requirements were covered not only quickly, but accurately. We also didn’t necessarily want to pay for things we didn’t need”.

IBG was looking for a firm with the right experience, attitude, and commercial awareness.
“We didn’t want to spend more time on this than we had to. And previous experiences with law firms had made us aware that, often, additional time and therefore expense can be spent on completing red tape that’s not always pertinent to the sale. We needed help to complete due diligence, make sensible decisions and cut through the lengthy and sometimes unnecessary process of crossing the ‘t’s and dotting the ‘i’s!”

The Solution
After considering several firms, BGS chose NaviStar Legal to partner with them through the acquisition process.

“What impressed us with the NSL team was their commercial awareness and ability to communicate. But not only that, what we discovered further into the process was their empathy and people skills. It can be stressful and emotional for both sides during an acquisition and they were able to handle those situations very well”.

The Result
The company was purchased successfully and within the set time frame and budget. Shaun commented:

“I’ve seen deals fall over because people from different sides react adversely to a situation. So you need people on your side who can manage those situations and not respond emotionally themselves. People who can respond appropriately and with the outcome in mind”.

The Future
BGS is planning to continue their working relationship with Navistar Legal. Their strategy to make further company acquisitions will require a law firm that can deliver on exactly what they need.

“Jo and the Navistar team are personable and easy to deal with. They’re experienced and very professional in terms of their quality of documents and output provided. They made the experience of working with the seller’s team smooth and painless which is often critical and we will definitely use them again”.
Anonymous Buisness Aquisition 
The Company
With over 20 years’ experience in their field, the business’ continued success and outstanding reputation were enabling them to expand. When the opportunity to acquire of a company in the same field arose, they were ready to take it. 

The Challenge
The business needed to find a legal partner that could guide them. They needed straightforward legal counsel they could understand and trust. Building a rapport with the company they were acquiring was essential, as was hands-on legal support to navigate the vast amount of legal paperwork and formalities associated with the purchase. They also needed support with the contractual documentation and the negotiations, for the purchase of the company and with the ongoing supply arrangement with the seller. One of the business stakeholders commented:

“I needed legal counsel and support from someone I could trust, who fully understood my objectives and someone I felt could confidently deal with the seller’s sizeable legal team which included lawyers from a renowned international law firm”.

The Solution
The acquiring business chose NaviStar Legal as their legal partner, basing their choice on a trusted relationship and cost-effective legal counsel.

“I had worked with Jo (NaviStar) previously in her capacity of providing legal counsel and support for the company I was employed by at the time. I was always impressed by her grasp of issues, her legal knowledge and straightforward guidance. So I was confident that she would meet all requirements”.

The Result
The company was successfully acquired according to budget and timelines. “…all our objectives were met successfully. Additionally, we were able to set mutually beneficial terms for on an ongoing master services agreement with the seller.”

The Future
By providing an exemplary service and guiding them through the acquisition process, NaviStar Legal has formed a valuable working relationship with the business and its Managing Partner. Since the acquisition, they have continued to provide valuable legal support such as such as general legal counsel, advising on terms of business, contractual support with clients and suppliers, dispute management and industry and regulatory compliance.

“Jo understands the legal needs of smaller businesses, and always provides the appropriate level of guidance to achieve the required objectives. I have full confidence in her knowledge about commercial law and the myriad of current compliance regulations”.
Contact Creation
The Company
NM Consulting is owned and managed by Natasha Mogg-Addis and is London based but operates internationally. This boutique company specialises in transformational coaching, organisational consultancy and personal development for leaders in large corporates and SMEs

The Challenge
Our primary motivation when contacting Navistar was that we were looking to engage with a lawyer who could assist us in preparing a specific business contact that would enable us to move quickly through the legalities to the priority focus, delivering a large year-long coaching program and consultancy with a large cohort of participants.

She explained, “We work with many clients so have to be safe in the knowledge our interests, and that of our clients, are being taken care of. We needed a law firm which had an entrepreneurial spirit so they understood the scope of requirements when working with SMEs; but who, like us, also work with larger corporates, as the two often require different approaches.”

Natasha also said: “What we were also looking for was a firm who understood how we worked and how our clients worked; but was open and honest about their fees from the start.”

The Solution
We had started to question the value and expertise we were receiving from other firms and needed to find a solution that balanced all our requirements.

After considering several firms, Navistar Legal was the final choice to assist NM Consulting. Natasha recalls, “NSL was referred to me by no less than three companies, all working in the same field as us; making them an obvious choice”.

After the initial consultation, and listening to what Natasha expected from the law firm she worked with, the NSL team devised a plan that would tick the necessary boxes and lay the foundations for a successful working relationship that delivered results.

The Result
Natasha confirmed that by choosing and engaging the services of Navistar Legal she was able to quickly finalise a particular contract that had been taking too long to complete and felt untrustworthy.

She says: “Jo and her team were able to identify what was necessary quickly, put it right; and by doing so, they saved NM Consulting both time and money!”

The Future
NM Consulting considers Navistar Legal as part of their extended team; and confirmed they were so impressed with the service they received, an ongoing agreement now ensures legal support is available when needed.

Natasha finished by saying: “Jo and her team are a joy to work with and I honestly think our two companies are a perfect fit. Jo in particular was like a breath of fresh air. She was clear on what needed to be done and had the expertise - especially within the industry space we’re in - to do that. I have already referred them to others!''
Company Legal Requirements
The Company
Kamil Perucki is an interim and part-time Head of Finance who provides accounting, banking,
insurance and legal support to his clients through his company Best FD. Those clients are
predominantly SMEs with an annual turnover of between £1 million to £15 million. Kamil’s expertise lies in stepping in to support companies who are experiencing periods of rapid growth or companies who are ‘scaling up’.

This is often a time when businesses can be most vulnerable; therefore, expert knowledge is
essential for their growth. Taking on the role of head of Finance for his clients, he outsources
some of the more specialist areas of need, such as law.

The Challenge
Previously experienced in offering a similar service as part of a larger firm and able to use
the ‘in-house’ resource; Kamil was in the process of setting up independently. He approached
Navistar because he needed to ensure he was adhering to all the necessary legal requirements. He explained:

“I had two challenges. One was to get the legal aspect of my business on track. I needed support with several elements such as client contracts, employee contracts, leasing contracts, ensuring compliance with broader legal environmental issues such as GDPR, and with employee handbooks etc. The second challenge was to find a law firm who could act as an outsourced lawyer to my clients”.

He also needed to know he had ongoing ad hoc support for any future legal issues. So building
a relationship with a firm and knowing they understood his business well enough to be able to
offer quick, commercial solutions was important to him.

The Solution
Jo and the Navistar team were chosen because their experience, their credentials and their understanding of SMEs are unquestionable. Kamil said: ”For those reasons, I knew this team was the perfect fit to support my clients and me”. He continued:

“Their ability to prioritise, their client engagement, their willingness to adapt and deliver to ever-changing deadlines was impressive. I’m fully aware that other law firms don’t give this level of service. So many firms will promise to get back to you tomorrow, next month – whenever you’ve requested the deadline to be – but often they don’t! Navistar always did, and it made for good client relationships.”

He further explained that understanding how smaller SMEs and Sole Traders operate is vital
when delivering the right level of service for them. Usually, larger firms don’t understand the
nuances and intricacies of running an SME, but Navistar does. The agreed plan was to tackle all the required actions to ensure his business was legally compliant by breaking everything down into smaller projects based on priority. This would keep the momentum that’s so necessary for business, but also eliminate ‘overwhelm’.

The Result
Kamil confirms, “My business, and that of my clients, now has a better legal canvas. They’re experiencing fewer concerns from their clients, and they’re challenging contracts less. And, when they’re calmer and can be confident with their contract, it allows us to focus more on strategy and less on fire-fighting issues. For example, previously there had been problems with client ‘poaching’, but our contracts are now watertight making this impossible. It allows us to build long term relationships and give the client a far better service”.

When asked for an example of a specific outcome, Kamil spoke of one of his consulting clients.
He said: “Because the relationship with the law firm (Navistar) was stable; the advice trustworthy, and the support constant; we were able to control the costs involved. And we reduced the number of contract disputes and issues that the client usually experienced by a minimum of 60%. Had we not engaged the services of Navistar I’m sure we would be experiencing a higher level of miscommunication and overgrown expectations of final results across our portfolio. Clients now have a legal platform they can respect. One that doesn’t require my facilitation. Without Navistar, I’m certain there would be more conflicts, disagreements and tension. And, undoubtedly there would be more complications and more disputes over payments which can lead to cash flow issues and a bad atmosphere.”

The Future
Jo and the Navistar team are still very much a part of the future for Best FD because each client is at a different stage of creating their legal environment and some have a long to go before becoming stable businesses. Their clients have very quickly come to respect Navistar, and Jo and her team are now an integral part of the process. These clients can contact Navistar separately, and it helps when tight deadlines need to be met.
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