Birketts’ Employee Incentives team recruits to meet increasing demand for employee-led business models

Birketts has announced the appointment of Xiaolei Liu as a Solicitor in its highly regarded Employee Incentives team.

With a wide-ranging array of experience across legal and non-legal environments, Xiaolei is well versed in providing strategic solutions for businesses seeking to minimise risk. She has a wealth of specialist knowledge as well as strong commercial awareness and speaks native Mandarin.

Before qualifying in 2018, Xiaolei spent seven years working for global joint venture food companies in China. During this time, Xiaolei honed her understanding of the impact of commercial, operational and legal pressures on an organisation and had the opportunity to work with a broad number of clients and senior management teams.

Xiaolei then went on to join the tax team in an international law firm where she advised on a wide range of tax matters including employee incentive schemes.

Xiaolei joins the team at a very exciting time. Under the guidance of Lisa Hayward, over the past 12 months Birketts has assisted more businesses than ever to become employee-owned. Birketts’ range of experience and depth of resource, has helped the firm to become the leading Employee Incentive Team in the region. By drawing on experience from colleagues across our specialist Corporate, Tax and Trusts teams, Birketts has helped many big name clients in their EO journey.

In the last year alone, Birketts has advised Seetec Business and Technology Centre Limited, in relation to the sale by Peter Cooper (founder and 80 per cent shareholder) of 51 per cent of the company into an employee ownership trust (EOT) for the sole benefit of the company’s 2,500 employees. As a result Seetec becomes the 9th largest employee-owned company in the UK by number of employees and the largest to provide public services.

Birketts also advised the trustees of family owned business and construction market titan McGee Trustee Limited in respect of the sale of 100 per cent of the McGee Group into an EOT for the sole benefit of approximately 375 McGee Group employees.

Commenting on her appointment, Xiaolei said: “Birketts is recognised as one of the leading authorities when it comes to the arrangement and implementation of employee incentive schemes and I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with such an innovative team. I look forward to joining the firm and working alongside the specialists to face fresh challenges.”

Lisa Hayward, Legal Director and Head of Employee Incentives added: “Xiaolei’s experience makes her an excellent fit for our team and I am confident she will be an asset to our growing Employee Incentives practice. We continue to support businesses to identify tax advantageous structural options to incentivise employees, offer alternatives to salary and assist with succession planning. Xiaolei will offer an invaluable tax perspective within our increasing team.”

Although she will be based in the Cambridge office Xiaolei will support colleagues across all offices: ChelmsfordIpswichLondon and Norwich

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