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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

Property regimes for international couples

Ben Sulley
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EU Council Regulation 2016/1103 harmonises conflict-of-law rules concerning the law applicable to matrimonial property regimes for international married couples, provided that the marriage or change of marital regime took place on or after 29 January 2019. ...

Ruling clarifies holiday pay situation for part-year workers

Giles Betts
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Holiday pay for those who work only part of the year and have no contractually set hours should not be calculated on a pro rata basis, following a Court of Appeal judgement.  In  The Harpur Trust v Brazel,  the Court ruled that part-year...

Couples shun shared parental leave - but why?

Sophie Georgiou
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Shared parental leave (“SPL”) was introduced in 2015 as a progressive policy allowing eligible parents to split maternity leave between them and thereby share the joys and challenges of having a new-born child. Purported advantages include a...

New adjudication procedure for resolving technology disputes launched

Zahir Iqbal
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In response to a marked increase in tech disputes, a ground-breaking contractual adjudication process has been unveiled by the Society for Computers and Law (SCL). The SCL Procedure offers an alternative dispute resolution forum for contractual matters...

Claim against family trusts in divorce case backfires

Roger Gurney
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The decision in Ankul Daga v Aparna Bangur offers a cautionary tale which demonstrates how things can go wrong in highly charged divorce cases. In 2015, whilst the couple were still married, the wife established two discretionary trust funds with combined...

Owning a property in Spain through a company

Alejandro Verdu de Haro
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When purchasing a property in Spain, choosing the appropriate ownership structure is an important and often overlooked decision. There are some key differences between the UK and Spanish tax systems to consider. Any person domiciled in England and Wales...

Social care funding under the spotlight again

Stephen Duffy
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The issue of adult social care caused controversy in the 2017 general election campaign with Theresa May being forced to row back on plans to overhaul the system and its funding. As another national poll looms, the policies put forward by the main parties...

Bake Off star opts for arbitration over litigation to settle divorce finances

Roger Gurney
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TV celebrity Paul Hollywood and his ex-wife Alexandra have ditched planned court proceedings in favour of arbitration to resolve a dispute over family finances following their divorce. There are several advantages of using arbitration for this purpose: ...

The life events that influence legacy making

Sara-Rose Welch
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Record property values and increasingly complex family structures make inheritance planning a growing issue. However, the percentage of UK adults without a Will remains stubbornly high. And of those who have laid down their wishes in black and white, many...

Out of hours work emails...a good thing?!

Ewan Carr
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If you find yourself inundated with work emails outside office hours, the title of this article may come as a surprise. For many, the days of the 9 to 5 work regime are gone and the lines between the office and home are increasingly blurred, with a negative...

High Court rules electronic signature is acceptable in contract case

Nick Porter
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An automatically generated electronic signature, contained within an email footer, has been ruled by the High Court as having an authorising effect for contractual purposes. The Court considered that, despite the footer being created...

Massage harassment appeal rejected by EAT

Giles Betts
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A female manager who massaged the shoulders of a male employee in the workplace has been ruled as unwanted conduct but, crucially, ‘not related to sex’ regarding a claim of harassment brought by the employee. An employment tribunal’s...

Share Buybacks: part 2 - Procedure and financing

Ben Hills
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In part one of my article on share buybacks, I focused on the potential advantages of them for companies. I will now turn my attention to the procedure involved and the issue of financing them. Procedure   Share buybacks are governed by Part...

Selling an apartment in Italy - the 'certificato di agibilita'

Jessica Zama
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If you are involved in the purchase or sale of a property, there is inevitably a significant amount of paperwork involved. This is the case the world over, and Italy is in no exception.   A seller of an apartment in Italy must provide the buyer with...

The new Tenant Fees Act

Gail Sykes
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The Tenant Fees Act, which came into force on 1 June 2019, is likely to have a profound impact on landlords, managing agents and their tenants in relation to the charging of fees and administration costs for rentals. Under its terms, all tenant payments are...

Share Buybacks: part 1 - Potential advantages and legal requirements

Ben Hills
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Share buybacks, historically a feature of American business finance, have become increasingly popular in the UK since their introduction in 1981 - to the point where they now seem to be a permanent feature of our corporate landscape. Big names like Diageo,...

Ex-husband set to make a claim against Amy Winehouse estate

Alex Burch
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Eight years after the death of singer Amy Winehouse, her former husband is set to make a claim against her estate under the Inheritance Act 1975. Blake Fielder-Civil is seeking a lump sum and a monthly allowance. Amy died, aged 27, of alcohol poisoning in...

The forced heirship regime in Italy

Jessica Zama
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In Italy, unlike the UK, a person cannot freely dispose of all their assets by Will or lifetime gifts.  Instead, certain family members including the spouse, children and, in some situations, the parents, have an absolute right to a portion of the...

Court of Appeal ruling supports the use of standstill agreements in inheritance claims

Paul Branch
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Further to my blog in March 2019, the claim in Cowan v Foreman has now been decided by the Court of Appeal so that Mrs Cowan, a widow, will be able to proceed out of time in a claim against her late husband’s estate. The original rejected claim was...

High Court rules that elder parent died first in inheritance dispute

Paul Branch
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In June, we highlighted the case of a contested estate arising from the tragic deaths of a couple, John and Ann Scarle , following an apparent burglary at their home. The Judge has now decided who, for legal purposes, died first. The couple each had a...

Handwriting expert called in over Aretha Franklin's contested Will

Alex Burch
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Back in October 2018, I wrote about the brewing claim against the estate of Aretha Franklin by members of her family. As the legal battle between her sons continues, the judge, who placed the administration of her estate at the Court’s discretion,...

The reliability of witness statements in dispute resolution cases

Nick Porter
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Back in February 2019, we covered the story of two former directors of Northampton Town Football Club who were found to be in breach of their fiduciary duties following a claim brought by Northampton Borough Council. The case raises another interesting...

Claim for conditional gift in Will is denied by the clock and the Court

Paul Branch
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The terms of a Will can often be a bone of contention, particularly when unexpected circumstances intervene and where reference to long-standing legislation is needed to resolve the dispute. The recent High Court case of Naylor & Another v Barlow &...

Agreed a time extension on a refused prior approval?

Brendon Lee
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Have you been refused prior approval for permitted development following an agreed extension of time in the last three years? If so, you may have an implementable planning permission. The recent decision of the High Court in Warren Farm (Wokingham) Ltd, R...

Resealing a foreign grant of probate to secure assets in England or Wales

Sallyann Short
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It is not always the case that a grant of probate (or letters of administration) obtained outside the UK will be recognised in the UK following the death of a person with assets in England or Wales.   In such situations, the English Probate Registry...

Inward investment into the UK

Nigel Moore
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If your business is seeking to explore opportunities within the UK as an inward investor, a vital first step is to plan ahead so that you can hit the ground running. In doing so, it’s important to be aware of UK commercial and employment law whilst...

New report on non-disclosure agreements in discrimination cases

Nicola Cockerill
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A recent report entitled ‘The Use of Non-Disclosure Agreements in Discrimination Cases’ has been published been published by a House of Commons committee. It finds that pursuing claims through the employment tribunals system can be challenging,...

Allegations of misconduct in the workplace and unfair dismissal

Ewan Carr
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Most employers will have faced a situation where they have to investigate and potentially take disciplinary action in relation to allegations of misconduct against an employee. If the nature of the misconduct may warrant a dismissal, what questions should...

Court of Appeal dismisses discrimination claims concerning shared parental leave

Nicola Cockerill
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Two recent Court of Appeal cases have held that the respective employers of two male claimants had not discriminated against them by failing to pay enhanced shared parental leave pay. Such a payment would have been equivalent to that received by a woman on...

ECJ ruling requires employers to record daily working time

Giles Betts
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A recent ruling made by the European Court of Justice has confirmed that employers must record the daily working time of individual workers to meet the terms of the EU Working Time Directive. The Directive lays down maximum limits on weekly working time and...

Carer neighbour retains inheritance following claim by estranged nephews

Alex Burch
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A man who became a carer for his elderly neighbour, has been told by Central London County Court that he is entitled to keep the inheritance that she left him in her Will, the Evening Standard has reported. The £1.8 million estate was contested by...

Mystery surrounding time of death leads to inheritance claim

Paul Branch
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A tragic and highly unusual case, reported by the Daily Mirror on 25 June, has again highlighted the importance of having a Will. It involves the death of a couple caused by hypothermia following an apparent burglary at their home. John and Ann Scarle...

Further delays to probate applications

Beverley Diamond
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The roll-out of new software across UK probate registries continues to be beset by difficulty and delay. In some cases, solicitors have experienced a hold up of 13 weeks from the point of making a probate application on behalf of clients before the matter...

Interest, Royalties and Dividends: what a "no-deal" Brexit could mean for your business

Ben Hills
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As you may be aware, current European law allows EU companies to make certain interest, royalty and dividend payments to associated companies within the EU without requiring a tax deduction. The only requirements are that your company must be: subject to...

Bloodline Trusts and protecting your children's inheritance

Sara-Rose Welch
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Protecting future generations of your family is a natural priority when drafting a Will. However, a false assumption often made is that a standard Will alone guarantees that your blood relatives will be the sole beneficiaries of your estate. This is not the...

Widow wins legal battle to access family photos taken by late husband

Sara-Rose Welch
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A widow has fought a lengthy, expensive but ultimately successful legal battle with Apple to access family photos taken by her late husband on his iPhone. Under UK law, friends and relatives of a person who has died have no automatic legal right to access...

Son awarded lump sum in proprietary estoppel claim over family farm

Alex Burch
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A man who brought a claim against his parents relating to the family farm has had his case upheld by the High Court. In Guest v Guest and another [2019] EWHC 869 (Ch) (16 April 2019) , the claim involved the principle of proprietary estoppel which...

Change of use of commercial property - what's the process?

Brendon Lee
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In an ideal world, it would be possible to convert a commercial property from one type of business to another with minimal fuss and procedure. However, change of use often requires a surprising amount of paperwork and a firm grasp of the legal factors...

Keeping in contact with an employee who is absent from work due to illness

Nicola Cockerill
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I recently read an article about a worker who had sadly committed suicide after repeatedly being contacted by his employer whilst he was signed off work with work-related stress. This reminded me of conversations that I’ve had with employer clients...

New RICS Professional Statement for Commercial Service Charges

Michael Blank
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Service charges in commercial property , a new Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) professional statement which applies to the whole UK, has come into effect for all service charge periods. Compared with its predecessor, the Service Charge Code,...

Brexit: maddening but not frustrating when it comes to contracts

Michael Blank
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Brexit may be maddening for businesses, amid all the uncertainty that surrounds it, but the High Court has ruled that it does not constitute grounds for frustration of contract.   In passing judgement in Canary Wharf v European Medicines Agency ...

Post termination restrictive covenants - what are they and how far can they go?

Ewan Carr
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When an employment relationship ends, employers can sometimes have legitimate concerns that the departing employee will attempt to take clients and other employees with them, especially if they are moving to a competitor.  To mitigate this risk as far...

Directors held personally liable for breach of contract in relation to exploited workers

Giles Betts
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A group of former employees of DJ Houghton Catching Services, a ‘chicken-catching’ business, has brought a successful claim in the High Court following serious contractual and statutory breaches committed by the company. The breaches included the...

Caution urged over directors declaring dividends following Court of Appeal decision

Nick Porter
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The Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court decision which has practical implications for directors declaring dividends in companies. In BTI 2014 LLC v Sequana, the Court of Appeal confirmed that a dividend payment, which strips money out of a company and...

'Change of Heart' for the Petty family in dispute over rock star's estate?

Paul Branch
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Another day, another late famous person’s disputed Will… The singer-songwriter Tom Petty died in October 2017 moving onto ‘A Higher Place’, following an accidental overdose. A recent news story suggests all is not well in the Petty...

Housing Committee publishes proposals on changes to long leases

Michael Blank
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Following the release of the latest Committee report into the housing industry and developers’ use of leasehold sale transactions, many landlords are concerned that the government’s response could impact their businesses. The Committee are...

What do Articles 11 and 13 of the EU Copyright Directive mean for your business?

Ben Hills
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On the 26 March 2019, the European Parliament voted for the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, otherwise known as the EU Copyright Directive, a new law that makes sweeping changes to how copyright-protected content is dealt with on the...

Dirty John - he's not the first and he won't be the last

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A current hot topic of water cooler discussion is the Netflix hit series – ‘Dirty John’ – a true story about the life of John Meehan, a con artist and sociopath. The series tells the story of how he met unsuspecting women on the...

What responsibilities do absent parents have after several years without contact with their children?

Sellina Kauser
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The concept of a traditional family unit has changed over time and, in some situations, this can create problems. According to the Relationships Foundation’s report ‘The Cost of Family Failure Index’, the economic impact of family breakdown...

Do I need a disaster clause in my Will?

Sara-Rose Welch
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When drafting or amending a Will, it’s important to consider all eventualities. However, one unlikely scenario which is often, and perhaps understandably, overlooked is the inclusion of a disaster clause . A disaster or ‘common tragedy’...