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Miranda Mulligan
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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.

Tracey Dargan
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Valentines is a time of romance for many, when couples show their love and affection for each other by exchanging cards and gifts. For many, it will also be the day that they chose to propose marriage!

Posted in:TraceyDargan, Family
John Wagstaffe
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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.

Charles Fraser
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I was asked for some advice recently by an Attorney who was acting on behalf of her mother, Marjorie, who no longer had capacity to manage her own affairs.

Chris  Pease
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It is the question that everyone asks and lawyers always find really difficult to answer.  Everyone seems to know that the conveyancing process can be slow and uncertain.

Nina Roby
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Consent Orders are essential in order to make any financial agreement reached on divorce legally binding and enforceable.  

Posted in:NinaRoby, Family
Chris  Pease
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In the budget back in November 2017 the government announced an important change in stamp duty (SDLT) as it affects first time buyers.

Victoria Sandberg
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Overage – also sometimes known as “clawback” – is a mechanism to enable a seller to share in any potential increase in the value of the land they are selling. 

Krishen Patel
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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.

Chris  Pease
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We are all guilty of it.

We have found the property we want to buy and we just want to get on with organising our lives and buying furniture and other stuff to go in it.

Richard  Gvero
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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.

Tracey Dargan
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For some married couples, January will be a time when they resolve to try and save their marriage. With help and support from the right professionals, family and friends, many will succeed.

Posted in:TraceyDargan, Family
Richard Horwood
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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.

Krishen Patel
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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.  

Richard Horwood
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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.

Tracey Dargan
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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.

Posted in:TraceyDargan, Family
Chris  Pease
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If you own a flat and want to sell it then you need to remember that the process will be more complicated than it would be with a freehold house.

Karen  Fletcher
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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.  

Rosalyn Workman
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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).

John Wagstaffe
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Continuing our series of blogs addressing common questions relating to property disputes

Alastair  Liddiard
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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.

Chris  Pease
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Second properties which are let by the owner or empty properties (for example where the elderly owner is now living in a nursing home) are particularly vulnerable to property fraudsters.

Agata  Marosz
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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. 

Natalie  Melvill
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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.  

Posted in:Natalie Melvill, Family
John Wagstaffe
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Continuing our series of blogs addressing common questions relating to property disputes. 

Karen  Fletcher
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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.

Krishen Patel
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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.

Hayley Grantham
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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.  

Richard Horwood
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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.

Richard  Gvero
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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.  

John Wagstaffe
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Continuing our series of blogs addressing common questions relating to property disputes. 

Richard Horwood
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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.

Hayley Grantham
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The new Pre-Action Protocol for debt claims comes into force on 1 October 2017, is your business ready?! 

Richard  Gvero
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As the summer draws to a close and interns go back to college, it's worth highlighting a potential problem with the internship concept.

Charles Fraser
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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.

John Wagstaffe
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In the first of a new series of blogs, we look at common questions regarding property disputes. ​

Miranda Mulligan
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In a unanimous decision in the case of R (Unison) v The Lord Chancellor on 26 July 2017, the Supreme Court found that tribunal fees are unlawful.  

John Wiblin
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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.  

Rosalyn Workman
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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.

Hayley Grantham
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Once neighbours become embroiled in a boundary or right of way dispute, it can get messy and expensive very quickly!  All too often, nothing short of a Court order will resolve the dispute.       

Richard Horwood
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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.

Richard  Gvero
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The power of contractual restrictions preventing former employees from wreaking havoc with customers and sensitive commercial information is often underestimated.

Rosalyn Workman
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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?

Tracey Dargan
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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.  

Posted in:TraceyDargan, Family
Chris  Pease
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If you are a home owner or thinking of buying a home, then you need to be aware of Japanese Knotweed, what it looks like and how to deal with it.

Richard Horwood
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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.

Chris  Pease
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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". 

Natalie  Melvill
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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.

Posted in:Natalie Melvill, Family
Richard Horwood
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In this final blog in my series about “How to Save Inheritance Tax” we look at how to save IHT through making use of exemptions.  

Bernard Flanagan
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When acting as a Personal Representative (Executor and Administrator), you must be mindful of the potential Capital Gains Tax (CGT) issues which can arise when selling the deceased’s assets.