Month: June 2010

Sample HR Newsletter (June 2010 edition) from Contract Administration Czech Republic


If you have HR matters to look after in the Czech Republic, you probably know how tricky it can be. Here is a sample of Contract Administration Czech Republic’s excellent HR newsletter, which is a very readable and relevant update of the ever-changing world of Czech labour law and payroll tax and insurance issues.

Contract Administration Czech Republic’s June HR Newsletter

This is set fair to become one of the most popular pdf-casts in the Czech business universe. To get a regular copy, contact Contract Administration via their website .

Their highly reputed personnel administration service is available from their offices in Prague, Bratislava, Warsaw and Wroclaw.

Solicitors’ Accounts Rules for UK solicitors overseas


If you are a UK qualified solicitor practising overseas, you probably know that it is an obligation for you under rule 15.27(4) of the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority to have a reporting accountant’s examination on your clients’ monies accounts. This should be done by a qualified auditor who will send back to the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority in the UK an accountant’s report.

If you are not sure whether you are subject to Rule 15, you should seek guidance for your case from the SRA. Their website is http://www.sra.org.uk .

This return needs to be done every year, but the scope is not as onerous as for lawyers who are practising in the UK itself, who are not under Rule 15, and its various easements.  Nevertheless, it can cause you some inconvenience if you’re in such places as Eastern Europe dealing with local auditors who are not au fait with the regulations of the SRA, whose English is not up to dealing with the legal nuances they contain, and who will therefore not be able to do a very economical job for you.

If sorting out this requirement has been a problem for you in the past, then you’ve come to the right place. Please get in contact with me at djames@bakertillypoland.eu in order to sort the problem out for a very reasonable fee.  You won’t be charged for me reading the SRA’s rules – I’ve already read them. I’ve already got my work programme, I already know the report template, I already have the lists of what to ask you for, so not only will it be cheaper, it’ll also be quicker.  So if you want a client monies’ account audit for a UK solicitor in East Europe who needs to file an accountant’s report under the provisions of Rule 15.27(4) of the SRA’s code of conduct, you know where to come.

Tell your learned friends!

Never make non-returnable down payments when buying a business.


I would like to tell you a cautionary tale, in which I may definitely not identify the parties involved and all I will say is it took place some years ago, somewhere in Eastern Europe.

A certain foreign investor, prior to coming to me for advice, had already down-paid a million on non-refundable deposit (so-called “vadium”) to the seller in order to be allowed to proceed with Due Diligence on an SPV containing a building he considered (although I disagreed with that too) to be worth a lot more. Let’s say five million. I’m hiding the actual transaction details in order not to embarass anyone, so five million is in fact correct, but the currency I’m using is fictional.

Well, needless to say, as ever I discovered plenty of question marks in the SPV, in fact SPV was not the correct word for this company at all. “SPV” means “Special Purpose Vehicle” and in real estate that basically means it’s there to own a building so as to allow some flexibility on the way of sale of a building and the choice with depend on the seller and buyer’s tax positions whether the building is sold out of this then empty company as an asset or whether it is sold in it’s corporate coating. There isn’t supposed to be anything else going on in an SPV. Well, there was in this one. Some proper monkey business, as we say in the trade. Although, in fairness, zoological supplies was about the only thing they hadn’t done. Among other things this company was holding shares in other entities which had been written off to a nominal value of one Euro in the balance sheet, but which under local law entailed liability for the owner and therefore had negative worth (of about five million Euro in total therefore nullifying the value of the Entity even if the building had been worth what the seller claimed and the buyer believed) It’s not easy by the way to spot such things using traditional audit methods. There’s a tendency to see no figure in the investments line on the balance sheet and then not even ask the question – but you have to ask it. Continue reading “Never make non-returnable down payments when buying a business.”