Settlement agreements (previously known as “compromise agreements”) are common place but not always fully understood. So, exactly what are they? Put simply, they are a contract between an employer and employee which is usually used to resolve any disputes which have arisen within the employment relationship. Under this type of agreement, an employee will agree not to pursue specific legal claims against their employer, as set out within the agreement, usually in return for a sum of money from the employer. Typically, a settlement agreement will be proposed at the end of the employment relationship, but this is not always the case.
It depends. As with so many questions concerning flats, the answer is normally in the lease. It may contain an absolute prohibition on pets, in which case the leaseholder won’t be able to keep a dog. Or it may be silent on the subject of pets, in which case they will be able to keep a dog.
Running a business invariably means that you will build up sensitive business specific information; whether that is a novel manufacturing technique, the confidential information of your clients, or even your staff wages, it is obvious that you would not want this information in the public domain.
Employment Tribunal fees were abolished on 26 July 2017 and a significant increase in claims is already being observed, just as there was a major depression of claims when the fees were introduced in 2013. Employers will also need to contend with late claims being brought by former employees if they can show that it was the payment of fees that stopped them bringing claims in the first place.
The area of private client law does not often go through a period of prolonged change. However, as I reflect upon the year it seems that 2017 has seen a number of development and proposals affecting our day to day work.
It may not always seem obvious but everyday life is full of contracts. Whether you are buying a train ticket, a chocolate bar or simply going to work, contracts underpin all these transactions, and in order for all these transactions to be valid they must all share five key elements.
If you are in the fortunate position to own valuable antiques, works of art, sculptures or other valuable personal possessions, it may be possible to consider using such items for your Inheritance Tax planning strategies.
From 27 November to 1 December, it is Cohabitation Awareness Week. Resolution, a national organisation that campaigns for improvements to the family justice system, are raising awareness about the lack of legal protection on separation for cohabiting couples. They are also continuing their call for greater protection for couples in this type of relationship.
Since 1925 when the Land Registry was first established it has been trying to extend the number of properties and amount of land registered with the eventual aim of covering the entire country.
They are still working on it but these days, if it is not already registered at the Land Registry, whenever a property or land changes hands or any “legal” dealing takes place registration will be triggered.
Enduring Powers of Attorney (‘EPA’) and Lasting Powers of Attorney (‘LPA’) are both documents which you can sign in order to give authority for your ‘Attorneys’ to make decisions on your behalf. The EPA is restricted to financial and property decisions, whereas the LPA can also include health and welfare decisions (there are two types of LPA; one for financial and property affairs and one for health and welfare).
The term “chattels” invokes the language of a time when Britain still had an Empire and people were concerned with what would happen to things such as their carriages and horses. The statutory definition of personal chattels was updated in 2014 from such delightful but archaic language but the principle remains the same. Any personal goods other than “money, securities for money or property used solely or mainly for business purposes” falls into the definition of chattels.
Heads of terms is a document that records the main terms of a lease agreement between a landlord and a tenant. The terms are usually prepared and negotiated by the landlord’s agent. Although heads of terms are not legally binding, it is important for the tenant to take time to understand the terms and the financial implications behind those terms before they start lease negotiations.
When applying for a divorce in England and Wales you have to prove that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. It is quite common for couples who have decided to separate to be under the misconception that the only way they can get a divorce amicably is to wait until they have been separated for more than 2 years. The reason for this is that to get a divorce before then involves one party having to place the blame for the breakdown of the marriage squarely on the other party as a result of their adultery or unreasonable behaviour.
When anyone decides they want to move or buy their first house, the exciting bit is searching through the online listings or estate agents details trying to find their ideal property, going round to have a look at it and deciding which bits of the decor or layout of the property they would never have chosen and would need to be changed immediately when they move in!
But there are some more boring and mundane tasks which everyone should also think about and which will help ease the process of selling and buying.
If you have recently made the step to start up a new business, you are not alone. Last year more than 650,000 new businesses and start ups were established in the UK. Here are three essential legal considerations should you have in mind before you start trading in earnest.
The methodology for calculating the premium to be paid to the freeholder in exchange for an extension to the lease under the Leasehold Reform Housing Development Act 1993 was, until fairly recently, a simple calculation. Recent changes mean that the valuation process is likely to become more complex and protracted, and it is therefore important that you obtain expert legal and valuation advice at an early stage.
Letters of Wishes are not a legally binding document. They are not part of a Will, nor a Trust Deed, and they have no legal status when prepared. However, such letters, sometimes known as side letters, do help to exert a sense of moral obligation on those left behind to help administer the estate, or trust.
The right to request flexible working has been with us since 6 April 2003 and from 30 June 2014 was extended so that employees could effectively make requests for any reason (rather than just for childcare reasons as was the position previously). Clients often call me concerned as to the damage flexible working might do to their business.
When individuals are looking at preparing Wills they should discuss such matters with their family. Whilst a Will is, of course, a private document if one is prepared to discuss the issues with the family that will be left behind after their own demise, it can be hugely helpful in maintaining harmonious family relationships.
On World Alzheimer’s Day, make sure that all your affairs are in order before it’s too late. Preparing and registering a Lasting Power of Attorney comes at a fraction of the cost of applying for a Deputyship once capacity is diminished.
When you’re involved in a dispute, your business will benefit enormously from the advice of an experienced dispute resolution solicitor who has seen disputes of that kind before and who is very familiar with the process. Businesses are keen to avoid cost and there is no doubt that professional services are costly. Here are some suggestions for maximising the value you receive.
Lasting Powers of Attorney (‘LPAs’) allow you to appoint someone to assist you with your affairs. There are two types of LPA; Health and Welfare and Property and Financial Affairs. As the names suggest, one is used to appoint someone to assist you with health matters such as care, medical treatment, etc, and one is to appoint someone to assist you with matters relating to your finances and property such as selling your property, making payments on your behalf, accessing your bank accounts for you, etc.
The preparation of Wills is governed by many pieces of legislation, but the primary statute is the Wills Act 1837, which still details the principal requirements for preparing a valid Will. Time has moved on significantly over the course of the last 180 years and whilst other Acts of Parliament, such as the Trustee Act 1925 and Trustee Act 2000, have updated parts of the legislation, there are many principles that endure from 1837. The Law Commission has began a consultation on significant reforms to this.
So you own a house and your partner moves in. They spend money making improvements and on repairs. You live happily together for some years and you tell them not to worry because half the house is theirs. Unfortunately, you die before you have updated your Will to make provision for them. What next?
On 7 August 2017, we posted a blog regarding the Court of Appeal’s judgement in the case of Owens v Owens. By way of recap, the case concerned a petition for divorce issued by Mrs Owens based on her husband’s unreasonable behaviour, which he [Mr Owens] defended.
In light of figures released by HMRC recently on the amount of Inheritance tax being paid, I am sure more people could do more to avoid or reduce their tax bill. In the 2016/17 tax year the amount of Inheritance Tax (IHT) paid to HMRC exceeded £5 Billion for the first time. Information published by HMRC shows the increasing amount of revenue received for, what many consider, to be one of the most unfair taxes payable.
Anyone considering building a new property or extending their existing property needs to give consideration to the possible impact of their proposals on neighbouring properties, and the "right to light".
To obtain a divorce in the UK, there is one ground which must be satisfied – that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. We do not have a no-fault system and hence it is necessary to prove to the court that this ground has been met.