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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

Planning for your future with assets in England and Spain - Wills and Powers of Attorney

Alejandro Verdu de Haro
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The importance of making a Will should never be under-estimated. It is a legal document that provides peace of mind and the assurance that the affairs of the person making the Will are dealt with by trusted individuals when they die. The certainty that an...

Non resident individuals in Spain: a guide to taxes

Alejandro Verdu de Haro
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If you have a property in Spain but are classified as a non-resident, understanding how the Spanish tax system applies to you can prove difficult. Basically, non-residents in Spain are subject to non-residents income tax and a local property tax, as well as...

Surrogacy - what's the legal position in the UK?

Sellina Kauser
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For couples who discover that they are unable to have children, the news can be devastating. Same-sex couples may also face challenges when it comes to starting a family. For many of those facing this situation, surrogacy may be an option. But what is the...

Relationship breakdowns - coping at Christmas and planning for the new year

Lyn Brisley
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It’s a sad fact that peace and goodwill may not be present in every household this Christmas. The festive period can often bring relationship breakdowns to a head and the ensuing new year period, in which making a fresh start is encouraged, may lead...

'Good Work Plan' provides blueprint for enforcing workers' rights

Giles Betts
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A series of legislative changes have been announced by the government to bolster workers’ rights. The raft of measures, set out in the ‘Good Work Plan’, aim to increase protection for agency employees, those on zero-hours contracts and gig...

Payslip processes set to change

Ewan Carr
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New payslip requirements requiring itemised calculations for variable rates of pay and hours worked are to be introduced in April 2019.  The two amendments to the 1996 Employment Rights Act will come into force from April, requiring that employees...

Ignore restrictive covenants at your peril! - Intentional breaches may jeopardise retrospective s84 applications for their modification

Brendon Lee
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The Court of Appeal has fired a shot across the bows of housing developers who attempt flout the terms of restrictive covenants which prevent construction on certain sites. Such covenants are regularly knowingly breached by development, particularly if they...

Shareholder rights in Spain

Alejandro Verdu de Haro
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Spanish law dictates that share capital is at least €60000 for a public company and €3000 for a limited company. Capital that companies can issue ordinary shares, privileged shares or stock. Ordinary shares provide general rights and obligations to...

Important changes to trade mark law in the UK

Stephen Oliver
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Significant changes to the law relating to registered trade marks in the United Kingdom will take effect on 14 January 2019. Based on an EU Directive which comes into force through the Trade Mark Regulations 2018, they will apply irrespective of Brexit...

Getting on the property ladder - Shared ownership could be an option

Michael Rabbett
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The price of properties, including so-called ‘first-time homes’, continues to be out of proportion to the average income. Saving for a deposit fora first home now takes years longer than previously. The ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ may be...

French Capital Gains Tax and social contributions

Hubert Watin-Augouard
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When selling a property in France, you may be liable to French Capital Gains Tax regardless of whether you are a resident or non-resident. However, if you are resident in France, you will be liable to pay Capital Gains Tax on any property you sell, be it in...

Parental Alienation

Ben Hills
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Parental alienation involves the attempt by a parent to use methods of psychological manipulation to alienate a child from the other parent. It is a factor increasingly examined by the Court when it comes to Children Act proceedings. So, what can you do if...

Tax litigation in Spain

Alejandro Verdu de Haro
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In recent years, the attention of Spanish tax authorities has been focused on a number of issues, including business restructuring, non-resident entities obtaining Spanish-sourced income, foreign-related company acquisition, and share buy-backs involving a...

Rejection of lease renewals in favour of third party redevelopment upheld by Courts

Michael Rabbett
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The recent case of Santander UK PLC v LPS Estates Ltd has upheld a landlord’s right to oppose the renewal of a lease by a tenant if the site is intended for redevelopment by a third party. In this instance, Santander, the tenant of a commercial...

Addison Lee drivers have worker status, EAT holds

Giles Betts
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Private hire drivers at the company Addison Lee were ‘workers’, a status entitling them to the national minimum wage and paid annual leave, the EAT has confirmed. Despite the fact that neither the drivers in question were contractually obliged to...

Brexit: Planning for after a 'Black Swan' event

Robin Johnston
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Some dreamed of it and others dreaded it, but nobody actually expected the Brexit referendum result. As such, politicians and business leaders seemed unprepared for the negotiations and practicalities of Britain’s exit from the European Union. Nassim...

Civil partnerships - an update

Paula Piquer Ruz
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Back in July, I wrote here about the discrepancy between the rights of same sex and different sex couples to enter into civil partnerships. In the article, I alluded to the likelihood of the extension of civil partnership rights, and now the law is about...

5 reasons for having a Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney

Stephen Duffy
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A Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that enables a person (known as the Donor) to appoint another person (known as the Attorney) to make decisions on their behalf in relation to health and welfare matters. The LPA takes...

Flexible working and the importance of a work-life balance

Ewan Carr
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Today, employees have competing responsibilities. Maintaining a work-life balance and good mental health is important, not least from the point of view of their employers. Achieving this can help avoid stress, high absenteeism and low productivity, and...

Crackdown on Inheritance Tax underpayment

Beverley Diamond
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HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is targeting the undervaluation of estates, particularly in relation to residential properties passed on to beneficiaries. And whilst revenue generated by Inheritance Tax (IHT) and the percentage of estates that are subject...

Shares - varying class rights

Katy Poole
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Many of us practicing in company law are asked to vary share rights. Frequently, this is permitted subject to checking the articles of association for authority or prohibition, any existing shareholders’ agreement and obtaining the requisite...

Recognising the gender agenda for trans staff

Giles Betts
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Trans campaigners are hoping for a simpler path to legal recognition of gender change following the government’s announcement that it is reviewing the process.  Elsewhere, the High Court has set an important precedent on the right to respect for...

Personal Injury Trusts - a quick guide

Suzanne Evans
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A structured solution to ensure a recipient can manage their inheritance properly is to put it into a trust. They are commonly used for larger sums that are passed down to younger recipients, this method can distribute money in such a way to avoid it being...

£6m gift for son of woman who has dementia

Alex Burch
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In the recent case of Re JMA and others , an application by an attorney to make gifts from the estate of his mother who has dementia, was granted. The gifts amounted to more than £7m and included one of £6m to himself. JMA gave her son, PBC,...

Volunteer Directors of not for profit community company held personally liable for VAT losses

James Maxey
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The High Court ruling in Situl Devji Raithatha (as liquidator of Halal Monitoring Committee Limited) and Mira Nazeer Ahmed Baig and others 2017 underlines the duties incumbent upon Directors and their responsibility to grasp an understanding of them,...

Wills are important, regardless of fame and fortune

Alex Burch
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The number of high profile celebrities who die without making a Will never ceases to amaze, particularly when you consider the value of the estates which they leave behind and the expectation that they will have had access to legal teams offering advice on...

Trade Secrets Regulations 2018 - what are the implications?

James Munn
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The Trade Secrets Regulations 2018 came into force in June. Their purpose is the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information from being unlawfully acquired, used and disclosed. It is also intended to standardise national laws and remedies...

Electronic signatures can be used to sign formal legal contracts under English law, the Law Commission confirms

James Munn
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The way business is conducted constantly changes. Technological developments provide more efficient, convenient and immediate methods for entering into binding transactions. However, issues surrounding the electronic execution of documents, including...

Changing circumstances - the importance of updating your Will

Paul Branch
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Nothing ever stays the same. Your personal circumstances can change from year to year and, when these changes are significant – e.g. marriage, divorce, the purchase of a property – updating your details in legal records is very important. Wills...

The Residence Nil Rate Band - assumptions could cost £140,000 in tax

Stephen Duffy
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Not considering the finer detail of the Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) rules could cost £140,000 in Inheritance Tax (IHT)! Under the RNRB rules, introduced in 2017, individuals can claim an additional allowance of £125,000 to reduce IHT due on...

Estate planning - Business Relief keeps you in control

Stephen Duffy
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Estate planning – that is, putting in place measures to ensure that our assets pass to the right people, and with the payment of as little tax as possible – is often put off. Sometimes this is due to the misconception that estate planning is too...

Testamentary capacity and mental health

Paul Branch
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The testamentary capacity of a person at the time of making their Will is often questioned when a claim is made against its provision. The Courts will always consider each case on the specific facts involved, applying the test established by Banks v...

Surfing the waves of disruption

Robin Johnston
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Think of the word ‘disruption’ and it will likely conjure up negative connotations – something that holds you back or creates a barrier. However, disruption can often be a force for good. Through the ages, innovators have improved or...

Landlords must check they hit the spot with deposits

Gail Sykes
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Claims for incorrectly handled property rental deposits are soaring and landlords should be alert to the danger and ensure they or their agents are complying with the legal requirements to avoid high penalties.   According to figures from insurers DAC...

NPPF2 - Changes made to the draft consultation...and a few surprises sprung

Brendon Lee
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Having digested the contents of the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF2), issued by the government in late July, it’s evident that some significant changes have been made to the original NPPF. Among the new policies outlined, the...

Getting your house in order on property ownership rights

Alex Burch
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Despite our best efforts, we can never predict the future with absolute certainty. However, we can make provision when our personal circumstances change to protect our interests in future years. For co-owners of property, this can be done by making of formal...

Supreme Court ruling upholds agreed withdrawal of end-of-life treatment

Karl Dembicki
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The Supreme Court has upheld that clinically assisted nutrition and hydration (CANH) can be withdrawn from patients in a long-term permanent vegetative state without the approval of the Court of Protection when  both   family and doctors agree...

Local taxes relating to your French property

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As the saying goes, timing is everything. In terms of property transactions, it can have financial implications. If you own a French property, completing its sale at the right time can save you money. The main reason for this is the French tax system. There...

Supreme Court ruling stirs lifetime maintenance payment debate

Roger Gurney
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The debate over the fairness of granting lifetime maintenance payments following divorce is not new. The Supreme Court’s recent decision to grant an appeal against the increasing of such provision, in the case of Mills v Mills 2018, sends the message...

Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill published

Omar Choudhary
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A new piece of draft legislation promises to establish legal safeguards to protect the human rights of those who lack the capacity to consent to care, treatment and support. On 3 July 2018, the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill 2017-19, designed to amend the...

Challenging times: what happens when family members are cut out of a Will?

Lauren Godfrey
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High profile inheritance disputes follow celebrities and the super-rich as surely as night follows day. Salvador Dali’s body was exhumed last year for a DNA test after a woman claimed to be his daughter and entitled to a share of his $1bn...

Evicting squatters from your Spanish property

Dennis Phillips
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Squatting is when someone deliberately enters property without permission and lives there or intends to live there. Under any circumstances, this is an extremely difficult situation for the owner but, when the property in question is fifteen hundred miles...

Civil partnerships: where do we stand?

Paula Piquer Ruz
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Civil partnerships were introduced in 2004, allowing same sex couples to enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as married couples. This seemed to be an intermediate compromise, providing legal protection for same sex couples whilst avoiding...

Knowledge and approval claim fails in contested Will case

Paul Branch
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In a recent High Court case, Rakesh Gupta claimed that his late mother’s Will, which favoured his younger brother, Naresh, was invalid due to lack of knowledge and approval. The Court found in favour of Naresh on the basis that, when considering the...

Heathrow Third Runway: Could you be entitled to serve a blight notice?

Brendon Lee
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Whether you support or oppose a third runway for Heathrow Airport, the Government appears committed to continuing with the legal processes for its final approval and implementation. An important recent step for landowners is the Government’s adoption...

Proprietary estoppel - Is your word your bond?

Paul Branch
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The recent High Court judgement in Gee v Gee dealt with proprietary estoppel. This is a legal principle whereby a person will acquire the rights over property if they have been given assurance to this effect on which they can reasonably rely and that their...

Assets of Community Value: the new village green for protection of informal open spaces? - Part 3

Brendon Lee
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In this final part of my mini-series of articles on ACVs, I will assess their potential role in resisting development projects. Earlier in the series, I first looked at whether an informal open space can be classed as an ACV and then in Part 2 compared ...

French pensions and probate: entitlements for widow(er)s and ex-spouses

Lea Maynard
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When dealing with the estate of a deceased who spent some time working in France, it is possible that they might have received French pensions during their lifetime. Just as in the UK, there are two types of pension: the mandatory French State pension,...

Assets of Community Value: the new village green for protection of informal open spaces? - Part 2

Brendon Lee
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In this second part of my mini-series of articles reflecting on ACVs, I compare the legal tests required for village greens and ACV. Previously, I looked at whether an informal open space can be classed as an ACV. Finally, I will be looking ahead to the...

World Cup 2018 - Employers must keep their eye on the ball

Alison Banerjee
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So, England has qualified into the knockout round of the 2018 Fifa World Cup and fans are buoyant. With several games taking place during working hours, some have planned their holidays to be in Russia to support their team whilst most are following on...