UK business overlooking Olympic opportunities and risks

Less than half of the large companies outside London are prepared to take advantage of the business opportunities presented by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and are unprepared for the potential risks, according to research by Deloitte.

Thirty-two per cent of the companies surveyed said they have not started planning “because they do not need to”, while the same number said they have not started and “do not intend to”.  Less than a third (28 per cent) said their plans are either on track or are ahead of schedule. Continue reading

Expansion for city centre estate agency

L-R: Marcel Woodhouse,Tia Begum-Bowers, Michael Briggs, Luke Jones and Samantha Shaw.

Birmingham residential sales and letting agency York Laurent has opened a second office in the city centre at The Arcadian Centre, Hurst Street, and appointed four new members of staff to its team.

York Laurent has been established in the Jewellery Quarter since 1998, and is a thriving sales, letting and UK property management business with a growing commercial property consultancy. Continue reading

Small law firms face extinction

Small law firms in the West Midlands are at risk of being driven out of business by crippling insurance premiums.

A survey of its members by Birmingham Law Society reveals that sole practitioners across the West Midlands faced massive professional indemnity insurance (PII) hikes this year. Continue reading

New public square unveiled

Newhall Square development

Developer RO St Bernards (ROSB) has opened a temporary public square at its Newhall Square scheme in Birmingham.

Newhall Square is a mixed-use development compromising offices, a Travelodge, leisure space and a car park, on the site of the former Science Museum.

The site runs along Newhall Street and Charlotte Street, and fronts the canal.

The scheme, once complete, will boast a new public square the size of five tennis courts. Continue reading

400 fight for six training contracts at Mills & Reeve

Trainees

Half a dozen graduates are set to embark on their legal careers with the Birmingham office of law firm Mills & Reeve.

The successful six, Darryn Hale, Miranda Holmes, Ben Howell, Mehdi Seadon, Nicola Seymour and Sarah Wearmouth, were chosen from more than 400 applicants for training contracts with the firm.

Mills & Reeve has also offered full-time solicitor posts to all six of its trainees from 2008, following the completion of their training contracts: Chris Bartley, Fiona Hargreaves, David Hawkins, Nick Hughes, Laura Kealey and James Richards begin working as solicitors from this month. Continue reading

Orbis joins international partnership

Birmingham corporate financiers Orbis Partners has extended its reach into overseas markets by joining Clairfield Partners, the international partnership of mid-market corporate finance boutiques.

Orbis, which is based in Edmund Street, has signed an exclusive agreement with Clairfield to become its sole UK partner. It will join the partnership’s 13 other member firms, which cover Europe, the Americas, Australia and Asia. Continue reading

Deloitte welcomes pension reform plans

Business advisory firm Deloitte has welcomed plans for a more affordable system of tax relief for pension contributions, which were announced by the Government today.

The changes, which will take effect from April 2011, will impact high earners, but not affect the great majority of employees and self-employed.  Everyone will be able to retain a tax-favoured pension, which the Government Actuary estimates could pay a joint-life indexed pension of up to £54,000 a year. Continue reading