Boeing to open new manufacturing factory in Sheffield

Boeing to open new manufacturing factory in Sheffield

Boeing planning new manufacturing factory in Sheffield

It was recently announced that Boeing are to open a new factory, and the first in Europe, in Sheffield, and will be built alongside the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

Boeing are to work with AMRC to develop manufacturing techniques that can be used at the new factory, while also initiating a major research and development programme.

The idea behind bringing Boeing to Sheffield is to reduce costs and enhance production efficiency, and will enable Boeing to manufacture key high-tech actuation components and systems used in Boeing’s Next-Generation 737, 737 MAX and 777 aircraft.

The AMRC has grown over the past 16 years to include over 90 partners, ranging from aerospace, medical, automotive and construction, and has become world renowned for its ability to develop new manufacturing techniques and technologies.

As well as utilising the AMRC’s existing capabilities, Boeing are expected to start the recruitment process in 2018 and will capitalise on Sheffield’s skilled workforce.

The announcement from Boeing mirrors that of the recently announced new partnership between the AMRC and McLaren Automotive.

McLaren are working with the AMRC in order to help develop the advanced manufacturing processes that will help McLaren speed up the production of its chassis for the future cars at its new site, the Composites Technology Centre, which is also going to be built in Sheffield.

In the UK, Boeing currently employs around 2,300 staff, working in both civil and military fields. They also recently won two contracts for the British Military, where they will supply the P-8 Poseidon spy plane for the RAF, as well as upgrading the army’s fleet of Apache helicopters. While very little work will actually be carried out in the UK, the deals were reportedly worth around £5bn.

Chris Hill, manufacturing Partner at Hawsons, commented: “This is a major coup, not only for the University of Sheffield, but also for Sheffield as a city. Boeing will bring its world-renowned name to Sheffield and also provide the Sheffield people with jobs – further showing the skills we have here in the city. Economically, it will do the region a world of good, benefiting from the production of Boeing’s technology and McLaren’s cars. It shows once more that Sheffield is a hub for manufacturing and hopefully the city can attract more reputable companies to the city in the future.”

Chris Hill Senior Partner

Chris Hill acts as commercial partner for both corporate and non-corporate clients and has worked for Hawsons throughout his career. For more information or advice on anything covered in this article, please contact Chris on [email protected] or 0114 266 7141.

Car production falls at fastest rate for two and a half years

Car production falls at fastest rate for two and a half years

Car production falls at fastest rate in UK for more than two and a half years 

UK car manufacturing seems to have gone backwards in April. as the production rate fell at the fastest level for more than two and a half years Experts said that this echoed a 20% drop in new car sales, but the overall outlook is positive.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SSMT), 122,116 cars rolled off the production line in April, making it 18% fewer than in April the previous year.

The later than usual timing of Easter is what is being held responsible for the cause of the sharpest fall in production rates for two and a half years.

As well as car production being down, it mirrors that of new car sales. New car sales fell 20% in April compared to the same month last year, as cuts by the Government to subsidies for green cars and a rise in prices has hit demand.

Last June, the UK car industry voted to remain within the EU, with worries that once Britain leaves, tariffs could be imposed for those importing parts from the EU.

In the event of a “hard Brexit” that Theresa May has stated she prefers, the total cost of manufacturing and assembling a car here in the UK could increase by as much as £2,370. As a result of this possible outcome, some manufacturers have looked to moving production out of the country, according to a survey.

On average, a car built within the UK has roughly 6,000 different parts, with the majority being imported from within the EU, while passing in and out of the country several times during that process.

Within the first four months of 2017 almost 600,000 cars were built in the UK, which is up 1% on the previous year. Six months into the year, that number is bound to have increased significantly. This demand is being driven by foreign markets, and demand has increased here by 3.5%. The number for cars built for the home market fell by 7%.

In 2016 alone, roughly 1.7m cars were produced in Britain and by 2020, the SMMT believes this number could even surpass the 2m mark. This would break the previous record set at 1.92m in 1972.

The UK boasts some of the biggest brands in the car industry, with the likes of the Nissan, Jaguar Land Rover and the Mini, all manufactured (or at least in part) in different regions across the UK.

Chris Hill, Manufacturing Partner here at Hawsons, said: “A hard Brexit is recognised amongst many UK manufacturers as having a detrimental effect upon manufacturing processes, i.e. importing parts from within the EU. It is hoped that Theresa May will cut a deal with the EU in order to avoid paying excessive amounts for imports. Only time will tell, but it will be interesting to see what happens in the next two years regarding Brexit. We will certainly keep you updated.”

Chris Hill Senior Partner

Chris Hill acts as commercial partner for both corporate and non-corporate clients and has worked for Hawsons throughout his career. For more information or advice on anything covered in this article, please contact Chris on [email protected] or 0114 266 7141.

Hauled before the Commissioner

Hauled before the Commissioner

Hauled before the Commissioner

A recent news release from the Office of the Traffic Commissioner (OTC) has highlighted the need for haulage firms to ensure they have the right working relationship with their drivers.

A haulier based in Southampton was given an ultimatum by the OTC to demonstrate that using self-employed drivers was legal for the activities that they undertook.

The distinction between self-employed and employed drivers has been an area of debate for a long time, but in 2016 HMRC made it clear to the Road Haulage Association that they consider it rare in road haulage for to be self-employed, unless they are an owner driver.

In this case, the haulier had provided details to the OTC indicating that the drivers were not employed directly by them but through the drivers own companies and had invoiced the haulier for the work undertaken.

The OTC asked for an explanation of how the haulier met the requirements of HMRC’s IR35 legislation. In the absence of a satisfactory response, and following a public inquiry, the OTC issued the ultimatum to the haulier. The OTC warned the haulier that failure to provide the required evidence would result in the haulier’s operating license being curtailed from three vehicles to one.

The case emphasises the line being taken by both HMRC and the OTC that self-employment in the haulage sector needs to be genuine. Haulage firms should regularly review the working arrangements they have with their drivers to minimise the risk of HMRC investigation and/or OTC intervention.

The time and cost of making good underpaid income tax and national insurance, and the curtailing of operating licenses are both best avoided in this competitive sector. If you are concerned about your haulage firm’s arrangements with its drivers please call us for a review of your situation.

Paul Wormald is a partner at Hawsons, working in the Doncaster office. He worked previously with two national firms of Chartered Accountants prior to joining Hawsons in 2001. For more information or advice on anything covered in this article, please contact Paul on [email protected] or 01302 367 262.[/author_info]

SRA Accounts Rules – Changes on the Horizon

SRA Accounts Rules – Changes on the Horizon

SRA Accounts Rules – Changes on the Horizon

The SRA recently announced their response to the Accounts Rules review and consultation. In this article, we will be looking at what these changes are and what they potentially mean for you and your legal practice.

Client money

Originally, the very definition of client money itself was set to change. However, following the review and consultation, it appears as though the SRA have changed their mind. Instead of changing the entire definition, the revised rule states that client money is strictly that which is paid in advance for fees and disbursements prior to a bill being raised.

For firms where client monies are held for advance fees or disbursements, an exemption is available. Those monies can now be held outside client account, meaning a client account is no longer needed.

Firms operating under the exemption (above) would not require an Accountant’s Report, and this has caused some concern, especially regarding client care and protection. But it remains to be seen how the change in the definition of client money will impact a firm’s behaviour going forward.

COFA responsibilities

The Compliance Officer for Finance and Administration (COFA), along with the firm’s managers, were originally set to be jointly and severally liable for compliance with the rules. However, after the consultation, the SRA decided to remove the COFA from the revised rules so that whilst their role still exists and their responsibilities remain unchanged, they will not be liable in the same manner as the managers.

Legal Aid Agency

A new rule has been introduced exempting payments from the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) from being held in client account. However, this “new” rule mimics the current reality of working with the LAA. In other words, not much has changed, the only thing that is different is that should delays regarding disbursements occur, there is no set time frame for disbursements to be transferred into client account.

Regulated Services

This term replaces the current ‘legal services’ in order to make sure that it captures all legal and professional services that are regulated by the SRA.

The Accountants’ Report

Not a great deal to report other than the requirement of when to obtain a report becoming far more prescriptive. Furthermore, the SRA has removed the requirement for a ‘cease to hold’ report in circumstances such as incorporation or a change in partners where the firm has not ceased to hold client money. This is a welcome proposal as this is currently a burdensome requirement where a firm has simply changed its structure.

Simon Bladen, Partner at Hawsons, had this to say: “I think overall this is a positive step in the right direction and is certainly an improvement over the original proposals. I’m pleased to see the SRA listening to, and responding to the feedback from the consultation. At the end of the day, those firms with a good internal culture and attitude toward client money should continue to perform well and the relaxing of the rules should help them streamline their operation.”

Simon Bladen Partner

Simon Bladen is the partner responsible for looking after the firm’s legal clients and has worked at Hawsons throughout his career. For more information or advice on anything covered in this article, please contact Simon on [email protected] or 0114 226 7141.[/author_info]

Free initial meeting

Solicitor Newsletter Sign-Up

Rules on where solicitors can practice relaxed by SRA

Rules on where solicitors can practice relaxed by SRA

Rules on where solicitors can practice relaxed by SRA

In a major shake-up of regulation announced by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), solicitors will now be permitted to practice from unauthorised businesses.

According to research by the Legal Services Board, the unauthorised market represents 5.5% of cases in which consumers paid for representation or advice, whereas in family law, unauthorised providers have a market share of 13%. In trusts, wills and probates, the market share is between 7% and 9%.

It is the SRA’s belief that freeing solicitors to sell their services will make the market more competitive and give practitioners a greater choice of employer. This could, in turn, reduce costs and allow those consumers currently priced out of services to be able to afford them.

As well as the new regulation, solicitors will also have a much reduced handbook to contend with. The new handbook will feature an overview of obligations and standards as opposed to the complexity of the existing rules. According to The Law Society, these new proposals could leave clients unprotected should something go wrong.

The new handbook will have one code of conduct for firms and another for solicitors for the first time. The SRA have stated that they believe it will provide clarity to firms regarding the systems and controls that they need in order to provide good legal services to the public.

In order to allow greater use of third parties handling client money, the SRA Accounts Rules are also going to be reformed. This is an area that the SRA have been looking at for a number of months now. Previous proposed amendments to the rules have been met with criticism, citing the potential increase in risk to client money as a result of a relaxing of the rules.

Following a consultation earlier this year, the SRA admitted that they had a mixed response to allowing solicitors the freedom to choose where they wish to work. However, the Chief Executive, Paul Philip, stated his belief that the move will be beneficial to the profession, the public and will also open up career opportunities.

The current handbook (the one that is potentially being replaced) currently has 400 pages of rules and a 30-page code of conduct, whereas the draft code of conduct spans just 6 pages. The handbook is “long, complex, onerous and costly to apply”, according to the SRA.

The revised rules and principles are still subject to consideration, and there will be a consultation coming this Autumn. But there is a strong emphasis on a flexible form of regulation and on placing greater trust in solicitors and their professional judgement.

According to the SRA, the detail of how firms should run their accounting systems only creates logistical problems over compliance for some and makes it difficult for most firms to comply.

Therefore, the SRA are planning on going ahead with the proposals to allow solicitors to use third-party managed accounts, with no restrictions on the types of monies firms can hold in them, and, together with the changes noted above this is slated to be implemented from Autumn 2018. To read more about the SRA Accounts Rules, please click here.

Simon Bladen Partner

Simon Bladen is the partner responsible for looking after the firm’s legal clients and has worked at Hawsons throughout his career. For more information or advice on anything covered in this article, please contact Simon on [email protected] or 0114 226 7141.[/author_info]

Free initial meeting

Solicitor Newsletter Sign-Up