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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

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

Nikki Aston
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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’...

'No fault' reforms set to mark new era for divorce law in England and Wales

Helen Saggers
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Following years of campaigning by members of the public and the legal profession, the government has taken a major step to introduce ‘no fault’ divorce in England and Wales. In a move that has received widespread support, legislation has been...

Mind the gap - gender pay inequality continues

Giles Betts
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Fewer than half of the UK's biggest employers have reduced their pay gap between male and female employees. In fact, according to the latest figures, the disparity increased in favour of men across 45% of firms, and there was no change to the pay gap in...

Pilot Disclosure Scheme set to revolutionise commercial litigation?

Nick Porter
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Disclosure, the process used by parties involved in commercial litigation to identify and disclose documents relevant to their dispute, often requires the exchange of thousands of documents for scrutiny. This often proves to be a complex procedure which can...

Planning Applications - what happens if you're refused permission and how can you challenge such decision?

Brendon Lee
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If you think a council planning department has made an incorrect decision regarding your application, or if you haven’t received a decision on your application within the prescribed period, you can request that the Planning Inspectorate examines the...

Government consultation launched on misuse of workplace confidentiality clauses

Giles Betts
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In a bid to remove barriers to the reporting of harassment or discrimination in the workplace, the government is considering measures to prevent the misuse of confidentiality agreements and has published a consultation document on the matter. At the...

Informal grievances - dealing with workplace problems before they escalate

Ewan Carr
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Naturally, nobody is happy when a grievance is submitted - the employer would rather not have unhappy employees and the employees would rather not be in a position where they feel aggrieved. And, after all, it generally follows that a harmonious workforce is...

Contested deputyship applications

Lauren Godfrey
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Our Contentious Probate and Court of Protection teams have had recent success in relation to contested deputyship applications in the Court of Protection. A deputy is appointed by the Court of Protection to make decisions on behalf of someone who lacks...

Landowner carries the can on illegal waste

Brendon Lee
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The accumulation of an illegal waste wood stockpile in Devon has resulted in the landowner facing prosecution and the clean-up bill, after he was held responsible for knowingly permitting the activities of his tenants. The facts of the case The land was...

What next for retail? Three keys to a successful turnaround

Robin Johnston
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If you believe the media, retail is doomed. Exorbitant business rates payable by retailers, high rents, difficult landlords, the cost of goods, Brexit, consumer debt, consumer behaviour, online retailers, the list of apparent threats to retailers is endless....

Prime Minister offers workers' rights vote pledge in exchange for Brexit deal support

Giles Betts
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As we wait to see if there will be a third attempt to get the Withdrawal Agreement through parliament, the government has suggested that MPs would be allowed a vote on whether to adopt future EU legislation on employment rights after Brexit. The proposals...

Expired warnings - how should they be handled?

Ewan Carr
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Many employers will have faced a scenario whereby an employee was issued a time-limited warning following a disciplinary hearing, perhaps for an act of misconduct, which subsequently expired. But what should happen, in light of the initial warning, if the...

French Inheritance Tax - towards major reforms of the system?

Lea Maynard
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The Conseil des prélèvements obligatoires , an advisory body to the governmental authority that oversees French public finances, published a report in 2017 which looks into the state of the French Inheritance Tax regime. It identifies current...

Lasting Powers of Attorney - the importance of not leaving it too late

Jennifer Valentine
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We’re all aware that where there’s a Will, there’s a way to ensure our final wishes are followed. However, what happens if we are unable to make decisions for ourselves about our health and finances, possibly as a result of dementia or a...

Standstill agreement and Letter of Wishes feature in controversial Inheritance claim decision

Paul Branch
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A recent decision, in Cowan v Cowan, has caused consternation in the contentious probate world. It’s common practice for parties to agree a standstill agreement whilst attempting to negotiate settlements in Inheritance Act claims rather than issuing a...

The mutual benefits of a sabbatical for employees and employers

Giles Betts
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For many, the thought of giving up the day job on a temporary basis to pursue other interests – be they personal or professional – can be tempting but often not followed up because of concerns over job security. However, the opportunity to take...

Siblings dispute Will dividend, arguing that richer brother should inherit less

Paul Branch
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Two sisters are disputing the division of their mother’s £1.5m estate which, according to a Will made in 2013, split the estate equally with their brother. Jennifer Penny and Catherine Kennard contend that the 2013 Will is not valid as their...

Singapore Convention heralds new era for international mediation - or is it a false dawn?

James Maxey
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7 August 2019 will herald a new era in international mediation with the introduction of a new global enforcement scheme for mediated settlements. The signing of the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation,...

Ballerina wins estate claim after caring for grandmother

Paul Branch
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A Royal Academy of Dance graduate who sacrificed her ballerina career to care for her grandmother in 2008, has received £110,000 from her estate. Joan Flood, who died in 2016, had dementia and needed full-time support to remain in her own home. Lynsey...

Tackling SAD in the workplace

Giles Betts
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Most of us will identify with the dampening effect that dark and dreary winter days can have on our mood. However, for as many as one in three people, this is more than just a temporary feeling and is a form of depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder...

East West Rail - Public consultation opens on the Bedford-Cambridge line

Brendon Lee
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The East West Rail is a new railway line that will connect Oxford and Cambridge, linking them with Bicester, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Bedford and many communities in between. It will be constructed in two sections: the Western Section between Oxford and...

Reservations over home buying reservation agreements

Michael Rabbett
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If there’s one sure to infuriate house sellers, it’s a buyer pulling out at the last moment without good reason. However, the government has announced that it will trial “reservation agreements” later this year. These agreements would...

Leasing property in Spain

Alejandro Verdu de Haro
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Generally, contractual lease provisions can be freely negotiated but some terms are required by law, including a minimum lease period and guarantees for the owner. If a party involved requires the lease to be registered with the Land Registry, it must be...

Statutory Blight and Public Infrastructure Schemes: part 3 - Alternative options

Brendon Lee
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In this third and final part of our introduction to statutory blight and how it can arise when local authorities and public bodies are promoting their infrastructure schemes, we provide some suggested alternative options similar to, but outside of, the...

Statutory Blight and Public Infrastructure Schemes: part 2 - Claims procedure

Brendon Lee
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In the second instalment of this three-part article, which provides an introduction to statutory blight and how it can arise when local authorities and public bodies are promoting their infrastructure schemes, we explain the procedure steps that may arise...

Statutory Blight and Public Infrastructure Schemes: part 1 - Know your rights

Brendon Lee
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In this three-part article, we aim to provide you with an introduction to statutory blight and how it can arise when local authorities and public bodies are promoting their infrastructure schemes. In this first part, we take you through the legal concept of...

Holiday checklist for separated parents (not forgetting Brexit!)

Nikki Aston
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One way of getting through the chill of winter is to plan and book a summer holiday in warmer climes. From just a few hours of internet browsing, your dream break can be booked – something to look forward to until the thaw sets in. However, the...

Investing in Spain - the tax system

Alejandro Verdu de Haro
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A corporate entity is the main vehicle for structuring an investment in Spain. Limited liability companies and joint stock companies have their own legal and tax status. Taxation and the applicable regime are determined by the existence of a tax residence in...

Divorce Transfers of Spanish property - what could possibly go wrong?

Dennis Phillips
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Property implications tend to feature highly on the agenda during a divorce. You may jointly own property in both the UK and Spain and need to transfer your share of the family home in the UK and your second property in Spain under the terms of a UK Court...

Northampton Town FC and 'the missing millions' - Directors personally liable

James Maxey
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A judgment has been obtained by Northampton Borough Council against two directors of Northampton Town Football Club, Anthony and David Cardoza. It is a stark reminder to company directors of their personal liability should they be found in breach of their...

Neighbour disputes - how to stop a boundary wall becoming a battle line

Paul Davis
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As the old saying goes “An Englishman’s home is his castle”. But experience has shown that battles over land are by no means confined to the English, and nor are they an exclusively male phenomenon!   Few things are more universally...

Share Agreements in Spain

Alejandro Verdu de Haro
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There are two types of company acquisition models used in Spain – share acquisitions and asset and liability acquisitions. Share acquisitions are generally considered to be the more straightforward option as, unlike asset and liability acquisitions, no...

Busting the myth of common law marriage

Beverley Harrison
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Browsing the weekend newspapers recently, I came across an article which confirmed something that, from years of experience practicing family law, I had long suspected. The piece highlighted a British Social Attitudes survey which reveals that almost half of...

Divorce in farming families

Lyn Brisley
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The dynamics of farming life are unique in the way they impact on the relationships within the families involved. There is a 24/7 element to it which means that the stresses and strains of combining business and family commitments can sometimes lead to the...

Purchasing commercial real estate in Spain - an overview

Alejandro Verdu de Haro
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With the Spanish economy improving and uncertainty over possible restrictions to the UK’s post-Brexit trading relationship with the EU, this could be a golden opportunity to invest in commercial property in Spain. Depending on the type of investment...

Buying 'bona vacantia' land from a dissolved company

Brendon Lee
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If you want to acquire and develop neighbouring land or an adjacent highway but the company landowner has been dissolved, it’s important to know your options. Here’s the scenario. You have an interest in purchasing unused land suitable for...

Single parents granted access to Parental Orders in surrogacy cases

Ben Hills
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It is now possible for a single parent of a child born through surrogacy to have a Parental Order made by the Court, providing for that child to be treated as the legal child of that single parent. This follows an amendment to the Human Fertilisation and...

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...