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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

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...

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...