Business news in brief

Book debut for UK Finance chief
Chairman of UK Finance Robert Wigley is releasing his debut book Born Digital   on March 11.  It addresses the social and economic consequences of the dominance of Big Tech in our daily lives, and the ‘distraction crisis’ among Generation Z.
Former EMEA Chairman of Merrill Lynch and a Court Member of the Bank of England during the 2008 financial crisis, His whole working life has revolved around the pluses and minuses of tech. In his current role, he is working with the Home Secretary and Chancellor as part of the UK’s Economic Crime Strategic Board to better harness tech.
He has helped to develop world leading public-private partnerships, engaging AI to combat fraud and other economic crimes, and improve counter-terrorism. He also works with leading banks and new fintech businesses as they transform the banking industry to a digital one.
Law firm offers success fee deal on disputes
Morton Fraser, one of Scotland’s largest independent law firms, has launched a new payment model for commercial litigation to help businesses to pursue disputes without significant financial risk.
Total annual losses to small businesses from legal problems are estimated at £40bn, with over one million individuals in small businesses suffering ill health as a result * . .
Under a “Success Fee Arrangement” businesses will be able to pursue claims without incurring ongoing legal costs, only paying a pre-agreed sum if they win. The company hopes the arrangement will make two of the country’s most experienced commercial litigators – Nicola Ross and Richard McMeeken – affordable for businesses of all sizes.
It introduced the service following a change in Scottish legislation which allows this new type of fee agreement. CEO Chris Harte said:   “This helps level the playing field. We see it as the future of commercial litigation. Many small businesses don’t necessarily see lawyers as being a cost-effective solution to resolve legal issues and we hope to change that perception.”
More on Morton Fraser here
Strategic hires for Glasgow firm
Barry Stewart and George Lafferty have joined as directors of Leonard Curtis Business Solutions in Glasgow. They bring with them a combined 55 years’ experience. In their new roles, they’re tasked with driving the expansion across Scotland.
A Chartered Accountant, Stewart has expertise in all aspects of personal and corporate recovery and Lafferty is a specialist in corporate and personal insolvency, as well as Debt Arrangement Scheme management.
They’re also experienced in steering business growth – having previously set up and run an insolvency firm for eight years and expanded it into what was at the time, the largest personal insolvency practice in Scotland, with over 60 staff.  In addition, they set up and ran their own boutique insolvency firms, 180 Advisory Solutions in Glasgow and Insolvency Help Ltd in Dublin.
Barry said: “We’re advising SMEs that find themselves in every conceivable quandary, and it’s this variety of appointments that George and I both find very appealing.”
More on Leonard Curtis here
Meet the Money Turtle
WeOwn, a startup which provides technology for financial services, has launched  Money Turtle, a mobile-first platform for companies looking to raise capital. The app modernises the funding process, removing the awkwardness of borrowing from friends and family when obtaining funds for their business or project.
It includes a programmable smart contract and a physical contract to be generated and linked between the fundraiser and their backers.
Fundraisers can create milestones within the app, allowing real engagement with their investors. They can engage by highlighting progress milestones, sharing news, successes and updates on what is happening to the capital.
CEO Sascha Ragtschaa said: “The climate is tough, but there are some brilliant businesses and projects happening, so at no time more-so than now has it been as imperative to kickstart businesses and projects, boosting livelihoods as they go.”

Quartix expands field sales team to support larger fleets

Quartix, a supplier of subscription-based vehicle tracking systems, has appointed Sean Maher as Sales Director and expanded its UK and French sales teams to elevate engagement with the larger business fleet sector.
The New Year also brings Field Sales Managers Ray Barnett and John Lilwall to Quartix. They join Maher, Andy Edwards and Joanne Dann in the Field Sales team, arming the brand with extensive experience in the fleet telematics arena.
“In what was the most challenging year for businesses worldwide, Quartix powered through to achieve remarkable trading results, demonstrating growth and resilience. We begin this year in a great position and I’m eager to see the difference our new team members can make in 2021,” he said.
The business has set higher targets for 2021, particularly with larger business fleets, and intends to keep the momentum gained over the past couple of years.
More on Quartix here
Leaflet app helps Milkman on his rounds 
Audience targeting and leaflet services specialist Whistl Doordrop Media has secured a significant contract from Modern Milkman following the success of a trial door-drop media campaign late last year.
The trial, which consisted of a leaflet delivered to a targeted catchment area, was created on Whistl’s online self-service leaflet advertising tool, Leafletdrop. The campaign secured 900 new customers for the new company which is inspired by David Attenborough’s Blue Planet plastic waste initiative.
Modern Milkman started as a group of friends running their own local milk round, before expanding to a network of milkmen and women, connecting regional dairies and their communities.
All the milk and juice is delivered in reusable glass bottles, which are collected and returned to the local dairies. They also deliver a range of fresh groceries in plastic free packaging, making sustainability convenient and achievable for everyone on their rounds.   The mailer introduced the service to the householder with a discount code to be used when registering for the service online.
Whistl Doordrop Media MD Mark Davies, said: “Over the past year we have seen a re-evaluation of how we live driven by more time spent in the home. The success of the trial shows the effectiveness of traditional print advertising leaflets being read in the home driving sales to an online sales platform.”
More on Whistl here
Risk experts make their mark on domestic violence
Risk management company, SmartWater Group is working with police forces to fight domestic abuse – prevalent in Lockdown – by using a forensic marking liquid, traditionally employed in the fight against theft and burglary.
South Yorkshire Police say they are seeing a 69 per cent cut in reported incidents and a 94 per cent reduction in harm from those incidents reported.
Officers are remaining tight-lipped on the deployment methods used at the time of an incident but perpetrators marked with SmartWater are forensically linked to the crime scene.
Lee Berry, Detective Chief Inspector for South Yorkshire Police, said: “We’ve seen significant reductions in relation to repeat offences, but significantly what we’re really pleased about is, that those people we are protecting feel more safe and they’ve got more confidence in the Police as well.”
More on Smartwater here
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