By Matthew Thompson
IT is no surprise that Northamptonshire continues to be at the heart of the logistics industry in the UK. Professional logistic analytics calculate that Northampton is one of the most efficient places for a logistics base for UK wide distribution and we can see why. Not only is Northamptonshire at epicentre of the country's major road networks, but with Daventry's International Rail Freight Terminal within the county, and air freight within touching distance, the logistics industry is a vital part of this county's prosperity.
At Howes Percival we continue to act for many clients who are headquartered in this logistics hub. Over the last two years, we have also been actively involved in the government's East-West Corridor initiative alongside SEMLEP and other local businesses, supporting logistics, transport and infrastructure in the Oxford, Milton Keynes, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire Arc. This new initiative will only seek to help attract more and more big named logistics firms to our region, as its connectivity gets better and better.
At Howes Percival, we work hard to understand the key drivers for success and what issues will be impacting our logistics clients in the future. In particular, and over the next 12 months, we expect to see more and more issues with the 'self-employed' status for contractors in the gig economy, and challenge from HMRC as they crack down on those providing services through personal service companies - something we know from experience impacts particularly drivers in logistics businesses.
In addition, we act for established logistics businesses that obtain planning for and lease buildings for logistics or that have regulatory issues surrounding operational matters such as 'O' licences, hours of operation and tachometer problems. We act for clients engaging with a logistics partner, or waiting to outsource their logistics requirements. We act for banks who are lending to customers in the logistics industry. We advise on terms for contract hire, leasing and hire purchase of tractors and trailers. We advise on employment contracts and GDPR issues, and we are also equipped to help guide logistics businesses through the potential impacts of a hard Brexit.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the Brexit debate over the next couple of months, Northamptonshire is primed to be ready to support this thriving industry as we enter a post-EU era, whatever that entails. As a leading corporate law firm in Northamptonshire, we have to be able to advise the logistics sector in its broadest sense: from developers of logistics buildings, to logistics companies to businesses that need a logistics partner. Whilst rightly, the county celebrates its heritage in high performance engineering, Howes Percival are also pleased to be involved in the success of businesses who seek to locate themselves in this hub of development.
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