Down arrows


With extensive experience, expertise and a genuine interest all things retail, we appreciate the issues you face.  We believe in taking the time to understand your requirements and drivers for your business and tailor our services accordingly.

From conception and design, to storage, supply and distribution, and through to sale and beyond, we have experienced lawyers who can assist with each element along the way. Whether you’re just starting out, consolidating a business or opening your 200th store, we take time to understand your specific operational needs and the passion which drives your business.

Drawing on expertise and experience from across the firm and tailoring it to your needs, our agile and responsive team will work with you to achieve the pragmatic solutions required for you to be successful in a dynamic and changing environment and provide the advice you need to respond rapidly to the challenges and opportunities it brings.


Whether you’re a company acquiring a competitor or part of a management team buy-out, we’ve got the experience to negotiate a successful outcome for you.

Our comprehensive due diligence leaves no stone unturned and our decisions are based on what you need, not what we think you need. You can rest assured that, even though the process might seem confusing to you, we’ve been there before; warranties, indemnities and tax covenants are our bread and butter.

We have a wealth of experience acting for investors on the one hand, and for management teams who are looking to raise money for their business, on the other. The two approaches are very different, looking at the same issues from both sides, but rest assured we do both equally well.

From the early days, our corporate team built a great reputation for advising management teams on some significant transactions, even though we were a relatively small business, and that reputation continues to grow.

So, whether we’re looking at leaver provisions, drag rights, restrictive covenants or management controls, or you’re taking in seed or growth capital, we can safely advise, guide and assist you through the investment process.

Sometimes an organisation needs to undertake a group restructure. Your business may have been built up by acquisition, with parts of your business in different companies, or perhaps you’ve acquired assets, like a freehold property, in a subsidiary that you want to extract from the group. We work with a wide range of clients making changes to the way their businesses are structured, with our aim of always ‘adding value’ for them along the way.

The process can be challenging and time consuming, however our experience and extended team ensure it is actioned effectively and efficiently. We are approachable, and will work closely with your accountants and tax advisers to deliver the end result you’re looking for.

We advise on:

  • Asset transfers and hive-ups
  • Share capital reductions and reorganisations
  • Demergers and transferring assets out of a group

We understand that your people are pretty key. Whether they work in a warehouse or on the shop floor, a motivated workforce is an essential part of your business. We’ll keep you up to date on changes in case law and legislation that may affect you in this ever changing sector, with seminars on subjects of your choice, in-house training, newsletters and “stop press” updates.

Our dedicated team, working as an outsourced HR department or as your specialist legal support, help you ensure that all the appropriate contracts and procedures are in place and everyone is fully trained to deal with the challenges and issues you will inevitably face.

Our proactive and pragmatic approach allows you to just get on with your day to day business with support from us when needed. If things go awry, our team are highly experienced in dealing with Employment Tribunal claims.

Your intellectual property is a key asset to your business. Ultimately all retailers are dependent on their ‘brand’, and intellectual property law is a key tool to protecting that.

We have vast experience in providing up-to-date and accessible advice on how best to acquire, protect and enforce intellectual property rights in order to safeguard various aspects of your business.

We are experienced in advising retail businesses of all shapes and sizes on their commercial law challenges and issues. Whether you need advice about contracts that will help to cement key supplier relationships, assistance in drafting clearer terms and conditions or guidance on best practice business policies and managing contractual issue challenges every retail business faces, our dedicated team are on hand.

Our expert lawyers can help you negotiate business critical agreements in a way which is commercially focussed and driven by the desire to help strike ‘balance’, whilst all the while looking out for your business and its needs.

You might be a group of companies disposing of a subsidiary or a family or group of individuals selling your private company or family business. Our expertise covers selling to both UK and overseas buyers, and ensures we deliver your your sale proceeds as speedily as possible, with the least risk, whilst trying to avoid those nasty escrow accounts.

We also realise that selling your business could be a once in a lifetime experience so we aim to make the process as painless and stress free as we can with our proactive and pragmatic approach.

We work hard to find the best viable solution and achieve your commercial end goals by the best and safest route.

If you own a business, you’re likely to have fellow shareholders. It’s always a good idea to have a shareholders agreement and provisions in your articles of association that suit your business needs. Not all businesses are the same and the dynamics between shareholder groups are always different. Often the directors are the same people as the shareholders, if you’re an “owner managed” business, then you know what we mean, and because of this, the lines can easily be blurred between when to wear your director hat or that of a shareholder.

We work with an increasing number of owner-managed businesses to resolve ownership issues however from our experience, spending a little bit of time and money planning for situations before they occur is always a good idea and can save huge amounts of time and cost in the long run if things go awry.

Whether you’re taking a lease of your first shop or entering into agreements for the development of a purpose-built warehouse, or anything in between, our real estate lawyers have the experience to deal with it. We recognise that your property needs to work for you and will pick through the title and documentation with a view to removing, or at least minimising, obstacles.

You’ve probably spent a great deal of time carefully selecting a location – perhaps with size, facilities, footfall, target customer or transport links in mind – and we’ll work closely with you to understand how you want to operate from that property, so that we negotiate the appropriate legal terms on your behalf and flag up any issues which may pose a problem.

…and when the property no longer works for you, we can provide advice on its disposal!

Of course, you might be the landlord of a large shopping centre, a small parade or a single unit. We can help you too! We have vast experience in dealing with property management issues such as the grant of leases, licence to assign and consent to alterations. We’ve acquired and disposed of investment portfolios with tenants in situ, working closely with asset management teams and managing agents, and understand the issues to be addressed in each case.

If you’re looking to grow your business or you want to dip your toe into a retail enterprise, you might be tempted to use the franchising route.

From a franchisor’s perspective, you want to ensure your business format is protected and that you have sufficient control over your network; you might have spent years constructing and fine-tuning what you do, so you don’t want someone to benefit from it without the appropriate fees and royalties being paid or in fact ruin it or its reputation.

For franchisees, it can be exciting to be embarking on a new venture, however from our extensive experience it is essential to understand the challenges, consequences and implications of entering into a franchise agreement. To make sure that the franchise you’re being granted accurately reflects your understanding.

Our specialist data protection lawyers are recognised as being amongst the best in this technical area of law. We advise businesses on how to effectively manage subject access requests and data security breaches, we often draft all the policies and procedures that are essential to all well-managed retail business. Our team are able to provide training for staff and managers to make sure the spirit of the law is also implemented.

We frequently advise on direct marketing to consumers and, with one eye on the future, we’re helping businesses to prepare for the key changes in the law that are on the horizon.

The team here at EMW are proud be leaders in this specialist field with our proven, proactive and pragmatic approach.

Key members of the team


I would like to say your pragmatic approach to IT contract negotiations was a breath of fresh air, very well managed and conducted. As I’m sure you are aware these things can take weeks or even months on occasion, your commitment to time frames and diligence are very much appreciated.

Andy Roberts, Group Technology Officer of Consumer Champion Group

There are a lot of moving parts when selling a business. Having a legal team that do what they say they will, when they say they will with professionalism and clarity makes the process significantly easier. I can’t speak highly enough of EMW.

Julian Young, adam HT Ltd

When it comes to the sale of a founder’s business it is important to remember that the founder and the business need separate legal representation. Of course, prior to the deal, the founder will not perceive the importance of this aspect since the business has always been theirs. EMW looked after my personal interests extremely well and scrutinised the contracts with exceptional attention to detail, leading to a more solid and safe agreement for both sides.

Nick Brown, Nikwax

The EMW team provided us with professional and invaluable support and guidance throughout the transaction process and I would like to thank them for their hard work and diligence. We look forward to continuing to work with them as we move to phase two for Invu Plc.

Mark Wells, Invu Plc

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