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We regularly write about different legal topics and welcome your comments on our posts. If you would like more information on our services, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Latest Posts

Breast cancer sufferer awarded nearly £50,000 by Employment Tribunal

Nicola Cockerill
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A recent decision by the Central London Employment Tribunal serves as a reminder to employers of the importance of ensuring an employee with a disability is treated in a fair and consistent manner to minimise the risk of a successful claim for disability...

Have you registered a Power of Attorney in the last four years?

Sara-Rose Welch
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If you have registered a Lasting or Enduring Power of Attorney in the last four years you could be entitled to a partial refund of the registration fee. The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has recently released its 2016/17 annual report and announced...

Pension flexibility - the legal implications

Matthew Porter
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Given that more than two years have passed since the introduction of “pension flexibility”, it is worthwhile having a reminder of the potential legal difficulties that may arise from choosing a drawdown scheme instead of an annuity. An annuity...

How to survive a heatwave in the workplace - keep cool and carry on

Alison Banerjee
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A sweltering British summer, whilst a rare and welcome event, can leave employers and employees alike feeling hot under the collar. The BBC reported that a hospital porter, who had rolled his polyester trousers to ¾ length in an effort to cool down...

Queen's Speech Wednesday 21 June 2017

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Wednesday’s Queen Speech was dominated by Brexit with more than one quarter of the 27 bills announced relating to its impact on immigration, business sectors and industries. The Great Repeal Bill, a key component, is central to the UK exiting the EU...

Complex wage regulations give employers sleepless nights

Giles Betts
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National Minimum Wage Regulations continue to cause headaches for employers, with an employment tribunal acknowledging their complexity, saying each case should be considered on its own merits. Recently, unintentional underpayments in staff pay packets have...

Termination of fixed term contract due to pregnancy

Nicola Cockerill
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I was interested to read an Employment Tribunal case recently whereby a woman who had been employed on a 12 month fixed-term contract has successfully pursued a claim for unfair dismissal and sex discrimination. It is reported that the woman had been...

Potential for discrimination associated with political beliefs

Nicola Cockerill
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In light of the recent General Election and Brexit, and given the heated discussions that have erupted within the media and across social media sites, it seems an appropriate time to remind employers of the legal position with regard to discrimination and...

Proposed social care reforms: when is a "clarification" a U-turn?

Stephen Duffy
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"Nothing has changed, nothing has changed!" This was the cry from Teresa May who has clarified her plans for reforms to social care, which were set out in the Conservative Party manifesto last week. Our previous blog post covers the proposed...

Conservative Party Manifesto: a triumph or a tragedy for social care?

Stephen Duffy
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On 18 May 2017, the Conservative Party Manifesto 2017 was launched ahead of the upcoming election. One of the topics covered in the manifesto is the problem of our “ageing society”. The manifesto says: “as our society ages, the costs of...

What happens to a property in France when a couple separate?

Emilie Bensmihen
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It is usual for couples to buy property together, either as a permanent or holiday home, or even as an investment, however, when the relationship ends, the property is still owned by both. The way the property was purchased and is owned, and whether the...

Final decision for daughter excluded from mum's Will

Alex Burch
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Final decision for daughter excluded from mum’s Will: Ilott v Mitson finally decided For background information see my previous post , dated 28 July 2015. This is the first time the provisions of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and...

Maintaining the status quo?

Alex Burch
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After a year of high profile, and often unexpected, celebrity deaths, Rick Parfitt of Status Quo died on Christmas Eve 2016. In the short time since his death, national media has reported that Rick’s wife apparently told newspapers that Rick changed...

Arbitration - the future of family dispute resolution?

Anika Aston
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Relationship breakdown can be difficult, and can involve many elements to resolve, such as property, finance and arrangements for children. It can seem very daunting, and in the event an agreement can’t be reached, the automatic assumption may be that...

Housing White Paper: Government's vision for reforming the planning system

Brendon Lee
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On 7 February 2017 the Government published its Housing White Paper - Fixing Our Broken Housing Market - which sets out its vision and programme for reforming the perceived long standing problems in the housing market and ensuring more homes are built in the...

Data Protection overhaul for UK businesses

Katy Jarratt-Poole
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A huge piece of EU legislation that will replace the UK’s 1998 Data Protection Act as from May 2018, was confirmed in May last year. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been a long time coming with various drafts having been published...

Changes to rateable value and the impact on statutory compensation

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The rateable value of a property is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency based on the annual open market rent for the property. The last revaluation took place in 2010 which used 2008 valuations. As we are well aware, the property market has changed...

The new Resolution Code of Conduct

Anika Aston
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Our family law team are members of Resolution, an organisation of family justice professionals who work with families and individuals to resolve issues in a constructive way. Resolution membership is about the approach we take to our work. This means that...

Does my business need a social media in the workplace policy?

Nicola Cockerill
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With the increase of social media site (such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) users must be careful when posting articles and comments on these forums. There have been a host of cases where an individual has posted inappropriate comments whether about a...

Difficulties administering an estate

Alex Burch
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Taking on the role of a personal representative to administer a deceased person's estate is often carried out by a family member or by a solicitor instructed by that family member. A recent case in the High Court demonstrated a catalogue of undesirable...

Breach of planning control? Served with an enforcement notice?

Brendon Lee
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It is important to know your rights and options, and those of the local planning authority, where there is an alleged breach of planning control. What is breach of planning control? A breach of planning control is where a person carries out development...

What's yours is mine - or is it?

Anika Aston
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After practising in family law for over 11 years, I have encountered many clients who have lived with a partner for years without marrying, and wish to seek advice as to their financial entitlement upon the breakdown of their relationship. All too often...

The kids are alright?

Anika Aston
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For many, it is somewhat a grey area on what age children should be left alone at home. There is no right or wrong answer, as the law in the UK does not stop a parent from leaving their child at home alone. Instead, it states that children must not be...

What rent can the Court order in a business tenancy renewal?

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When parties are negotiating the terms of a renewal lease, it may be that they call upon the Court for assistance. Under sections 32 to 35 of the LTA 1954, the Court can decide those terms on which the parties cannot agree, including rent. The Court will be...

No fault divorce - time for change, no more conflict

Anika Aston
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There has been much discussion over the past few years about the need for divorce law and procedure to be updated in line with our changing times. Resolution and some senior members of the Judiciary, have called for the introduction of no-fault divorce. ...

A little bit of interest might pay dividends

Nick Porter
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With the Bank of England base rate now at an historic low of 0.25% (and with many commentators suggesting it could go lower) it is an “interesting” time to revisit the provisions of the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Interest Act 1998 and how...

The end of Brangelina - but what about the children?

Anika Aston
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There has been much media interest in the recent announcement of the divorce of 'A-list' celebrity couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. After nearly 13 years together, and a joint fortune of approximately $400 million, speculation mounts as to how...

Examination of the test applicable to declaratory relief where threat is not imminent

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In the case heard this summer of San Juan and others v Allen the Defendants had applied for and been granted planning permission to demolish their home and construct four new properties on the site, despite there being a restrictive covenant which...

Law Commission consultation on Wills reform looks to the future

Paul Branch
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It is estimated that approximately 40% of adults die each year without having made a Will, known as dying ‘intestate’. A consultation document published by the Law Commission earlier in July seeks to reduce these figures. It describes the...

A lot of my business is conducted via email. What are the advantages and pitfalls?

Charlotte Stojak
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The business world is constantly changing and adapting to keep up with the fast moving technological advances. Probably one of the most influential technological developments in the last 20 years has been the development and use of email. Email has...

The importance of a Shareholders' Agreement

Katy Jarratt-Poole
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For the purpose of this blog post I am concentrating on private companies limited by shares but other forms of businesses are vulnerable in the absence of adequate agreements to govern the interested parties. For companies with more than one shareholder, it...

Mistakes that mean landlords lose right to break-up

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The ruling in  Vanquish Properties (UK) Limited Partnership v Brook Street (UK) Limited again reminds us how difficult exercising break notices can be. Often case law focuses on errors made by the tenant but this case shows a landlord losing its right...

Brexit and employment law

Katharine Holliday
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In case you missed it (!) on 23 June 2016 the Brexit referendum took place which resulted in a 52% majority in favour of leaving the European Union. Since the results were announced, we have received quite a few queries about what Brexit means for employers...

Ever paid S106 contributions to the councilor planning permission? You could be due a refund

Brendon Lee
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In 2014, a BBC investigation revealed that councils in England were holding £1.5 billion of unspent S106 financial contributions received from developers. The BBC said that its investigation had also revealed that over the previous five years...

Does your property suffer from flooding? Has your property been damaged by flooding?

Brendon Lee
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Where your property suffers from flooding outside of your control it is important to understand your legal rights to prevent such flooding. Likewise, where property has been damaged by such flooding, you may be entitled to compensation. Responsibility for...

Resolving conflict - the mediator's way

Helen Saggers
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Can conflict ever be a good thing? In the context of divorcing and separating couples, the answer is probably not. Most people would agree that being in sustained conflict can be exhausting. Most strive for a harmonious balance life, free from the stresses...

Annual Returns replaced with Confirmation Statements - what you need to know?

Charlotte Stojak
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From 30 June 2016, UK Limited companies and LLPs will have to file a Confirmation Statement annually at Companies House instead of the current annual return. Information needed for the Confirmation Statement To complete the Confirmation Statement, each...

The buzz word for litigation lawyers at the moment is "Proportionality"

Nick Porter
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The usual rule in Court proceedings is that the winning party can ask for their costs to be paid by the losing party. Traditionally, the Court would make sure that the winning party could only recover their costs that were "reasonably incurred"....

To leave or not to leave? That is the question

Helen Saggers
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Decision day on the EU referendum is looming, soon the die will be cast. This issue has polarised and rallied many. Views on the subject veer from strong to indifferent. Some have rallied on the streets, on campaign buses, through social media and some have...

The great Tax giveaway?

Luke Appleby
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When Chancellor George Osborne announced significant changes to Inheritance Tax (IHT) in last summer's Budget speech, the move had been much anticipated. But rather than simply raising the tax-free threshold for everyone, he announced a new allowance...

Assignment from a tenant to its guarantors

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EMI Group Ltd v O&H Ltd is a very recent case decided under the Landlord & Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995 ("the Act") by the wonderful (so I think) Lord Neuberger. The basic purpose of the the Act was to ensure that tenants, and their...

Break clause drama

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As a property litigator, I like detail and I like tricky cases; it kind of comes with the territory. So, being a fan of complicated break clauses, I was intrigued by the recent case of Levett-Dunn v NHS Property Services Ltd . The facts of the case are...

Daughter excluded from Will faces appeal to Supreme Court

Alex Burch
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In July 2015, we mentioned here that Heather Ilot successfully claimed £163,000 from her mother's estate following following a Court of Appeal decision against the four charities that her mother had wanted to inherit. By way of reminder, Mrs...

Challenge to a 12 million pound estate

Alex Burch
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An interesting Court case has hit the headlines this week continuing the trend for high profile contested Wills and probate cases causing a media stir. A widow (Mrs Vindis) of a very wealthy English businessman (Mr Vindis) is challenging his Will, from...

A Prince-ly inheritance?

Alex Burch
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So far, 2016 has taken its toll in terms of celebrity deaths, more recently the sudden death of music superstar Prince that has hit the headlines. Whilst Prince fans are devastated, what has animated lawyers is that (we believe) Prince did not leave a Will....

Are your Ts&Cs with consumers "fair"?

Nadine Duncan
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The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published a series of at-a-glance guides that provide an introduction on the types of terms and notices that may be unfair. What is a "term"? A term is often set out in Terms and Conditions of...

How does the area of Trusts and Trustees affect myself, and my business?

Deborah Lewsley
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In this fast changing business climate, more and more companies are coming into contact with Trusts and Trustees than ever before. This may be in the form of pensions and pension providers, investment companies or simply business models to enable assets to...

Inheritance, the Ostrich effect for many of us

Paul Belliere-Wilson
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Inheritance is something of a taboo subject for the majority of us, leaving us feeling uncomfortable when faced with talking about making a Will. A survey by Aviva revealed that 63 per cent of us have yet to discuss the subject with their families,...

Companies countdown to new transparency regulations

Nigel Moore
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Companies are on a countdown to comply with new regulations around transparency of ownership. As part of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, unlisted UK companies and LLPs will have to identify people with significant control over them,...

How will my business be affected by the new ruling regarding consumer disputes?

Nadine Duncan
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Having highlighted the issue of disputes between companies and consumers in the last column, there has been an important development which businesses should be aware of. Just as recently as 15 February 2016, the European Commission launched its new European...