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Are you looking for high quality legal advice? You have come to the right place.

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

Carer stripped of inheritance

Alex Burch
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A recent case involving a carer who ended up in court after “guiding the hand” of a man as he lay dying centred on the validity of his Will and whether he was of sound mind when he signed it. The court found against the carer and...

Service of proceedings by email

Nick Porter
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The digital revolution has changed the legal profession in many fundamental ways. I rarely send a letter by post now when I can email it instead; I can work from a laptop or tablet anywhere in the world; and I can even commence proceedings by uploading them...

Capacity to marry and the Court of Protection

Paul Branch
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A most unusual case came before the Court of Protection in July 2017, although the case has only recently become public.  A wealthy, retired insurance broker in his mid-80s had cohabited with his partner, a woman in her 70s, for some 20 years or more,...

What is a notaire?

Hubert Watin-Augouard
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In France, notaires are not only qualified lawyers, such as English Solicitors, but also public officers. Appointed by the Minister of Justice to act on behalf of the State, their duty is to the ‘transaction’ involved and to ensure everything is...

How to make contentious child arrangements less painful for the children involved

Lyn Brisley
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A marriage or partnership breakdown can feel even worse if there are children involved. Whilst the scenario involved will depend on the unique circumstances of the family unit, it is imperative that the children are protected from any animosity between the...

Five things we know about Inheritance Tax... but is it all set to change?

Karl Dembicki
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Here’s some current facts regarding Inheritance Tax: 1. Each individual can leave £325,000 (the “Nil Rate Band”) to their chosen beneficiaries on death without paying any Inheritance Tax, but above that figure assets may be taxed at...

The validity of Copy Wills

Alex Burch
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Does the use of a copy Will and original codicil, in the absence of the original Will, presume that the testator intended to revoke the original Will? In Whitton v Herman 2016, the argument was considered that any revocation would be conditional on the...

Arranging Spanish NIEs quickly and easily from anywhere in the UK

Dennis Phillips
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As a non-Spanish national with any formal dealings with Spain you are going to need an NIE. That may sound like a tongue-twister. To add to the confusion, you will hear NIEs phonetically referred to by Brits as ‘En-eye-ees’, ‘Knees’...

Shareholder decisions and the Duomatic principle

Stephen Oliver
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The frequently informal nature of small private limited companies often means that major decisions are agreed about the company’s business or its constitution without being recorded in minutes or writing. This, in turn, can lead to validity issues...

Wills and unlawful killing

Paul Branch
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The facts of Macmillan Cancer Support -v- Christopher Hayes and Charles Long (2017) are tragic. Peter, aged 84, was found hanging in the hallway of his home and, in the sitting room, his wife, Sheila, aged 88, was found fully clothed lying peacefully in a...

The value of confidential information

Stephen Oliver
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Every business holds and develops a body of confidential information which is viewed as a key asset in establishing a commercial edge in its market.  Many will take care to identify and label information as confidential and contractually restrict...

The risks involved in homemade Wills

Alex Burch
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The case of Richard Guest v. the Executors of Tracey Leaning has highlighted the importance of making a Will with a lawyer’s assistance and keeping it up-to-date. In an appearance on ITV’s This Morning and an interview with the Daily Mail in...

Funeral wishes and arrangements

Paul Branch
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Many people have a clear picture of how they want their funeral to be conducted. Technically, the executors of a Will are responsible for implementing funeral arrangements but are not obliged to follow any wishes related to this that are expressed in the...

How to delist a listed cottage or building

Brendon Lee
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Listed buildings, whilst often attractive and brimming with character, may not always be seen as desirable purchases. They cause potential headaches for the new owners given the statutory limitations, and resultant additional costs, in carrying out...

Judge awards part of £1.5m estate to deceased's partner

Alex Burch
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In the latest of a string of similar rulings since the outcome of the Illot v Blue Cross case , the High Court has granted reasonable provision to a cohabitee who was left out of her late partner’s Will. Wynford Hodge had left the entirety of his...

Tree Hugging: What is the law surrounding protected trees and conservation areas?

Brendon Lee
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Barely a month goes by without a local newspaper recording the infringement of a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). These are often accompanied by protestations from the accused claiming they had no idea that a TPO was in place and, more frequently, detailing...

Fraudulent calumny used to successfully challenge a Will

Alex Burch
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Fraudulent calumny relates to situations where a person dishonestly poisons the mind of a testator against a potential beneficiary, thereby depriving them of a legacy. In the case of Christodoulides v Marcou, the High Court held that the daughter of the...

Can the Executor of a Will be removed?

Paul Branch
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It is rare for Courts to remove Executors. They have been appointed by the Testator and so one usually must demonstrate that the Executor has been at fault or that there is a good reason for their removal. In the recent interesting case of Heath v...

Environmental Impact Assessments - what is involved?

Brendon Lee
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The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 (“the 2017 Regulations”), in compliance with EU Directives, govern the legal requirements for EIAs in the context of developments granted planning permission under...

Annual NHS charges rise to £195m for successful PI claimants

Martin Herson
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New figures, detailing increases to fixed amount charges on accident victims who make legitimate Personal Injury claims, help to explode the myth that they are a drain on NHS resources. The rates, which are due to rise by an average of 1.5 % on 1 st April,...

Court orders DNA test to daughter to prove entitlement to estate

Omar Choudhary
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In the ongoing case of Nield-Moir v Freeman (2018), the Court has ordered a daughter to take a DNA Paternity test to prove her claim to inherit her father’s estate . The case concerns the estate of Colin Birtles who died without making a Will in...

Brownfield land - is it the answer to tackling the housing crisis?

Brendon Lee
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Between 2011 and 2031, it is estimated that 245,000 new homes need to be built to meet current demand, according to figures released by The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA). This has opened a debate about the importance of regenerating brownfield...

High Court denies claims under Inheritance Act 1975

Alex Burch
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Two separate claims made under the Inheritance Act (Provision for Family and Dependants) 1975 have been denied on different grounds. In the case of Sargeant v Sargeant 2018 , a widow was refused permission to make a claim under the Act after the six-month...

Granting a Spanish Power of Attorney safely, quickly and easily from the UK

Dennis Phillips
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If you are based in the UK, it may not be practical to fly out to Spain to deal effectively with your Spanish property affairs. It’s often more efficient to appoint someone to act on your behalf locally and, to do so, you will need to grant a valid...

Professional negligence in Will drafting

Paul Branch
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It is usually the case that solicitors only owe a duty of care to their clients. However, when it comes to Will drafting, the case of White -v- Jones established that a solicitor’s duty of care extends to beneficiaries.  Furthermore, the law has...

GDPR - the impact on businesses

Thomas Birkett
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The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is scheduled to take effect in the UK from 25 May 2018. In line with this, businesses are advised to prepare for compliance with the GDPR, and to be aware of further potential changes to data protection law once...

When mini-breaks just don't cut it

Alison Banerjee
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The mini-break may have made the perfect date for Bridget Jones but, when it comes to employee rights, companies need to make sure they do everything to enable workers to take a full and uninterrupted 20-minute rest break. The warning comes after Network...

Outdated Wills - a cautionary tale

Alex Burch
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If you already have a Will but have not updated it following a change in circumstances, then the outcome of Martin v Williams may prompt you into action. It also threw light on the rights of cohabitees to make claims for financial provision from the estate...

Cyber-crime - managing the legal issues for victims

Nadine Duncan
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Government statistics show that nearly 70% of larger firms in the UK have been hit by a cyber attack or a breach in the last year and almost half of all UK businesses reporting at least one attack or breach. Over 4 million individuals found themselves the...

Statistics on employers' attitudes towards pregnancy raises concerns

Ewan Carr
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The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published statistics following a YouGov survey of 1,106 senior decision makers relating to the recruitment of women. Sadly, it appears that many businesses have not kept up with developments in UK...

Spain - Inheritance and donation tax changes benefit non-residents

Alejandro Verdu de Haro
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In recent years, two significant developments have greatly benefited non-residents owning property in several autonomous regions of Spain. A change in Spanish law, made in November 2014 on European Commission recommendations, ended years of tax...

Time's Up

Paul Branch
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With most claims, the law imposes a time limit in which they must be brought or they will be time-barred. Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 are slightly different in that the Act states that an application shall not...

Immigration law - what to expect in 2018

Alison Banerjee
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With the UK in the midst of negotiations with the EU, the future of employment regulations and immigration rules following Brexit remain unclear. The outcome could seriously impact on many individuals and businesses in the UK. There have been many...

The myth of the 'quickie' divorce

Anika Aston
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If you look in any tabloid newspaper from week to week, there will no doubt be a mention of the latest celebrity being granted a ‘quickie’ divorce. This perpetuates the idea that a party to a marriage seeking a divorce can obtain a Decree Nisi...

Spain - Non-resident tax declaration deadline

Alejandro Verdu de Haro
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Amid all the recent New Year celebrations, you could be forgiven if you missed the deadline for the compulsory non-resident annual tax declaration in Spain, which passed on 31 st December 2017. Whilst you may incur a small fine for late submission, it is...

Corporate gifts and The Bribery Act

Nigel Moore
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Whilst the Bribery Act 2010 takes a tough stance on corruption, it is not intended to stop all forms of corporate hospitality or prevent businesses from giving gifts. So where is the line drawn between an innocent gift and a potential bribe? And how can you...

Government responds to Taylor review

Ewan Carr
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The government has issued a press release containing details of how it intends to respond to the independent review into modern working practices, concluded last year by Matthew Taylor. Whilst there is little in the way of legislative change proposed,...

Can a pre-nuptial agreement help to save your marriage?

Lyn Brisley
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The 2018 wedding season is just around the corner and has an extra buzz with the prospect of two royal ceremonies. If you are tying the knot this year, then you probably have most plans in place already. But have you considered adding a pre-nuptial agreement...

Debt collection: How can you protect your business?

James Maxey
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Disputes between businesses and customers are common. If you cannot agree a settlement, your business may be called to the Small Claims Court or a higher court. If the judge rules against you, and your ex-customer is awarded their money back or receives...

Power of Attorney fee refund scheme launched

Stephen Duffy
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Anyone who has registered a Lasting or Enduring Power of Attorney between 1st April 2013 and 31st March 2017, and who may have been over-charged in the process, could be entitled to a partial refund, on request , of the registration fee under a new scheme...

'Baby boomers' predicted to give 'millennials' an inheritance boost

Stephen Duffy
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A report published by the Resolution Foundation predicts that leaving an inheritance will become commonplace during the next 20 years, with ‘millennials’ born between 1981 and 2000 identified as the main beneficiaries. Historically, living...

Auto-Enrolment Pensions - employers' responsibilities

Alison Banerjee
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As an avid quizzer, I found myself somewhat perplexed when recently asked: “Who is Workie?”  Clue 1: he first appeared on our TV screens in 2015 Clue 2: despite being huge and multi-coloured he is ignored by all around him Clue 3: he was...

Mistress fights High Court legal battle over £2.5 million estate

Omar Choudhary
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The mistress of the late Indian businessman, Baldev Kohli, is in a court battle with her lover’s widow after their child was left out of his £2.5million Will. Melissa Proles, a HR executive, began a relationship with Mr Kohli, whom she met at an...

Businesses face bigger penalties on data leaks

Nadine Duncan
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The final countdown to the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018 has begun for businesses. It will tighten rules for data processing and impose greater penalties for non-compliance. The outcome of a landmark High Court...

Can a Will be invalidated due to mistake?

Alex Burch
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It’s easy to make a mistake, as the old saying goes. However, it’s not so easy for a mistake to invalidate a Will – in fact, it’s very difficult. In the case of Ball v Ball (2017), the High Court ruled that, for a claim to succeed...

Tontine clauses - one option to avoid forced heirship to French property

Lea Maynard
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France’s succession law is notorious for its principle of forced heirship, whereby children are the reserved heirs of their parents. Therefore, on the death of the first parent, the children have a protected right to inherit part of the estate which...

Mutual Wills

Paul Branch
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It is possible for two people to leave Wills where, on the first death, the survivor is not free to unilaterally alter their Will and make a new one inconsistent with the mutual Will. If that person does so, their representatives would hold that estate on...

Sign of the times - do you need planning consent for a sign?

Brendon Lee
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Everyone knows that planning permission may be needed for a house extension, adding a new building to a business complex, or even putting up a large wall. But did you know that you may also need planning consent for an advertisement sign? It all depends on...

Law Commission - Wills - A Brave New World

Paul Branch
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Only 180 years after the Wills Act was introduced, there is a suggestion that the law around making Wills may need updating to reflect “changes in society, technology and medical understanding”.  When one considers that Queen Victoria had...

The inside track on compulsory purchases

Brendon Lee
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The completion of the controversial HS2 train link project may seem a long way down the track. However, for the many people whose homes will potentially be swallowed up by the new routes, the impact of HS2 is very real and pressing. Given the green light...