The case of General Motors UK Ltd v The Manchester Ship Canal Company Ltd concerned a licence agreement which allowed General Motors to discharge surface water into the canal for a modest annual fee of £50.
Ask the expert: Lee Hibbert, ER Systems Global
ER Systems Global is an established and accredited organisation with a proven track record in Ambulance Service provision, Vocational Education and Training, Organisational, Quality and Resilience Management Solutions.
1. Tell me, in a nutshell, about the key services provided by ER Systems Global.
We have 4 key services:
Resource - we work with our clients to develop their own capability and fill any knowledge gap.
Support - we look to create a long term relationship through our trust and excellence programme.
2. When and how did the business first get off the ground?
ER Systems Global has evolved from a private ambulance provider operating with the public and events. It is made up of 5 companies through a number of acquisitions and start ups to give our clients end to end quality and risk management solutions. We created the ACE model to measure and enhance our clients' resilience. The companies included within ER Systems are:
TTC Ltd are an accredited education and training company
ER Systems Ltd is a CQC accredited private ambulance company
Chloe Care Ltd is a care in the community company
Well Trained Staff (WTS) Ltd is a recruitment company
NORMS is a software platform company
3. What particular parts of the business are undergoing healthy growth at the moment?
Compliance and ISO certification. Since the change in legislation on Directors' legal responsibility and increase in convictions, sentencing and fines on all sizes of business, organisational risk management is now critical, not desirable. Poor strategic risk perception at Directors' level continues to be the challenge, in understanding that prevention is a lot cheaper than a cure. We see this in SME's in every sector at every level, which provides us with many opportunities.
Our job is to change the perception and reduce the impact of any change that could impact on an organisation’s objectives.
4. I have great respect for companies that actively support former armed forces personnel. How is your company involved with that commitment?
All 3 Directors served together in the Armed Forces, myself and John Butterfield actually joined up together on 27th July 1982. All the people in the core team (22) are part of the Armed Forces Family, aged from 16 to 65. Each have their own story and challenges in life. We pride ourselves on giving people a hand up, investing time and our experience to rebuild their confidence and future. Some of these are very touching - loss of child, flash backs of loss of friends, loss of confidence but, with a bit of direction, a bit of TLC and a couple of beers, we create a vision and set some objectives, do some mentoring and gain immense satisfaction watching people grow.
We have created specific business models and training, such as the Military Medics, Combat chefs and Troop 4 teachers where we are the transition of military talent into the commercial arena.
5. Away from the challenges of running the business, what activities or interests help you switch off and unwind?
My daughter is 3 and being a single dad has been a massive learning curve. I have created a work life balance around my time with her which is great. I totally switch off from work when I’m with her and she teaches me new things every day. We have got a VW camper now to go and discover and learn stuff together.
I have just finished a 5 year Masters programme and graduated with an MSc in Organisational Resilience so now it is time to focus on the body, which includes training for the Cheltenham Triathlon in September (along with the team in the office!).
6. Brexit – Disaster? Or great opportunity? Or let’s stop whingeing and get on with it?
The uncertainty of Brexit is just noise. Life goes on and those that anticipate and prepare for change, respond and adapt quickest to the new markets and to customers' needs. The UK needs to wake up to globalisation and accept the only thing that is constant, is change and the UK is currently our core market. We are however, operating in Africa and the West Indies, where there is little or no competition to ensure we have resilience.
7. Finally, I have to ask, if you were to invite three celebrity guests, past or current, fictional or real, to accompany you on an all-night pub lock-in with a free bar, who would you invite?
Oliver Reed - he would be the only one that would last the night and make themes of the free bar and naked wrestling!
WO Steve Collins - who was a celebrity (Forces Rugby legend) in his own right, who we sadly lost to cancer at 44. Only because I think Oliver Reed would need a singing and drinking partner and Stevie is your man! It would also mean that I wouldn’t get dragged into the naked wrestling as Steve would be straight in!
Raquel Welch - she is my mum’s favourite actress, the others would have someone to show off to and I would have somebody to dance with!
This article features in the Hughes Paddison Summer 2017 Property Disputes Update. You can view a summary of the full content of the newsletter and download a copy here.