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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

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...

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

Brendon Lee
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Historically, village greens were the white knight for local community groups seeking to protect beloved open spaces. However, in recent years, the prospects of successful village green registrations have been eroded by evolving case law and new statutory...

5 top tips to make sure your planning application is granted permission

Brendon Lee
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Understanding exactly what is expected of you and what requirements you need to meet is vital when seeking planning permission to develop your property. Such criteria will differ from council to council, so it is important to maintain communication with your...

Supreme Court dismisses appeal in Pimlico Plumbers case

Giles Betts
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The Supreme Court, which is of course the UK’s highest court, has dismissed an appeal against an original ruling that a plumber who operated as an independent contractor was entitled to workers’ rights. In Pimlico Plumbers Ltd and anor v Smith...

Immigration and Employment law - the rock and the hard place for employers

Alison Banerjee
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In the wake of the Windrush immigration scandal, employers find themselves between a rock and a hard place when implementing checks on the rights of individuals to work in the UK.  Many who believed they were legitimately living and working in the UK...

Divorce goes virtual, but complex cases will keep their day in court

Lyn Brisley
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A new online service to apply for a divorce has been announced. The Ministry of Justice confirmed plans for the nationwide scheme for online divorce applications follows a successful pilot earlier this year and is confident that the system will cut the...

Software supplied as a download is not a sale of goods

Stephen Oliver
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A recent judgment in the Court of Appeal has finally clarified the legal status of software provided in the form of a download. The decision in Computer Associates UK Limited v The Software Incubator Limited held that software provided in the form of a...

The right to work and dismissal

Alison Banerjee
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The terms of the Immigration Act 2016 require that every employee’s right to work in the UK must be checked before employment commences and repeat checks undertaken where the right to work is time limited.  It is only by carrying out these...

The Owens case and the case for no-fault divorce

Lyn Brisley
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The ongoing divorce case of Owens-v-Owens is highly significant. Tini Owens wants a divorce. Her husband, Hugh Owens, does not. This situation is contrary to most petitions for divorce which are usually uncontested. So far, the courts have found in Mr...

Seven good reasons to use Buckles Solicitors to prepare your Will

Matthew Porter
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A Will is one of the most important legal documents that you will prepare during your lifetime. An incorrectly prepared Will can cause severe and long-lasting difficulties on death. After all, it is not possible to have a second attempt at getting it right! ...

This is not a rubbish dump - the fly tipping blight

Brendon Lee
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At a time when correctly disposing of waste (especially industrial waste) is becoming more expensive, many unscrupulous traders and private individuals are choosing to fly tip rather than take their rubbish to a designated disposal site. That means the...

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...