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Nichole  Giddings
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Until recently, no one had an automatic right to see your Will, even if you had lost capacity to make a financial decision.  If you wanted to allow your Attorney to see your Will, you would have to have included a specific condition in your Lasting Power of Attorney for Property & Financial Affairs or signed a separate letter to go with your Enduring Power of Attorney.

Rosalyn Workman
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If you are an animal lover like me you would have been outraged when you heard about the case of Illot v Mitson. This was the case where the mother, Mrs Jackson, left her estate of £486,000 to three charities; The Blue Cross, the RSPB and the RSPCA.  Her daughter, Heather Illott, took the matter to court arguing that she had not received “reasonable financial provision”.  This was despite being estranged from her mother for some 26 years. If the court disregarded the Will, where does that leave... well, basically everyone with a Will!

John Wagstaffe
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Our specialist property litigation team successfully represented a property management company in a dispute with a couple keeping a dog in their £1million penthouse apartment, a clear breach of the terms of their lease. 

Alastair  Liddiard
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From May 2017, the government is introducing a new set of Probate fees based on a banding system – the larger the value of the estate, the higher the fee. In many cases a Grant must be issued by the Probate Registry in order for personal representatives of a deceased person to access their assets. When this happens, upfront costs of around £200 are met by the representative and reclaimed later from the assets of the estate. But what if the upfront cost is £20,000? 

Miranda Mulligan
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This week is National Apprenticeship Week. What many employers don’t realise is that the term ‘apprenticeship’ can mean many things and, in legal terms, the contractual arrangements can be quite complex.

Richard  Gvero
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Family businesses are so important to commerce but without sensible protective steps they can easily implode and in the process destroy the family relationships on which they were founded. So how can you pre-empt these issues if they arise, and manage them effectively to avoid nuclear fallout? 

Charles Fraser
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As T2 – the sequel to the 1996 blockbuster film Trainspotting – hit cinema screens at the end of January, a new generation were introduced to a world of drugs and addictions. The new film is set 20 years later and with the original cast in their original roles. Despite the structure therefore being the same, it was important for the director to update it.

Choice, a common theme in both films, means that you have a choice whether to keep your affairs in order and up to date. The Trainspotting characters choose to ignore the future and possible problems they might have, and to live life for the moment. But what should you do? 

Rachael Spalton
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Britain’s historic vote to leave the European Union shook the nation on 23 June – but what impact has it had on the UK’s commercial property market? 

Richard Horwood
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As everybody returns to work and children start back at school, a sense of normality is descending upon us. The fun of a festive season is enjoyable whilst it lasts but it is important to look ahead to the forthcoming year, whether that is for you as an individual, or whether it is your business that you are planning ahead for.

Nichole  Giddings
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There are a number of legal issues that can arise when children with disabilities move from paediatric to adult care. The transition can present challenges for families, who may need advice on how an Application to the Court of Protection for a Health and Welfare Order can give them the authority to make healthcare decisions for their child after they become a young adult. Without such an Order in place, a parent or member of the family has no legal right to interfere which that young adult’s care. 

Rina Sond
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The confusion surrounding competition law has been a cause for concern for some time. With this in mind, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recently produced some resources in an effort to improve understanding of competition law.

Nichole  Giddings
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As the UK population ages, knowing our legal rights and putting in place plans for our later years is more important than ever. 

John Wiblin
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Generally, litigation – the process of taking a dispute through the court to a final judgment – is something that any business will want to avoid.  It can be as expensive as it is time consuming, and there are often much more efficient ways to resolve your dispute out of court. That is why alternative dispute resolution, such as arbitration and mediation, is becoming increasingly popular for businesses.

Catrin Mills
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The much-publicised employment tribunal claim brought against taxi firm, Uber, concluded last week and the ruling could have major implications for many businesses operating in the so-called gig economy.

Posted in:CatrinMills, Employment
Tracey Dargan
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More and more people are entering into second or even third marriages, civil partnerships and long-term relationships later in life.  Frequently they have property, investments and savings and are concerned what will happen if the relationship breaks down.  

Posted in:TraceyDargan, Family
Catrin Mills
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With the right to wear religious dress having dominated the news lately, it is an issue which is also occupying employers. Increasingly, employers are facing dilemmas over religious dress when enforcing dress codes, and they are having to tread carefully.

Posted in:CatrinMills, Employment
Victoria Sandberg
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There is a growing trend of rural landowners leasing barns for commercial purposes. But what factors should you consider before you take the leap? 

Craig Harrison
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The Duke of York is encouraging people of all ages to come forward with new ideas, as part of a Palace-backed project to help start-up businesses.

Chris  Pease
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Landlords are being advised they cannot afford to ignore changes to energy efficiency laws, as debate continues about the likely impact of reforms on the rental sector.

Rina Sond
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Two recent court cases should change the way businesses view commercial contracts, as judges have determined that what someone says or does can amend a contract originally put in writing.

Alastair  Liddiard
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Whilst it is true that you do not need a solicitor to prepare your Will in order for it to be valid, as with most drafted legal documents, it is often safer for a solicitor to prepare it.  They are well used to the legal requirements to make a valid Will and what happens upon a person’s death.  This will help avoid uncertainty in the future. The following are some aspects of a Will a lay-person may not be aware of and which highlight the fact that legal advice is important. 

Tracey Dargan
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Divorce in Britain among the over-50s is increasingly on the rise, say recent figures published by the Office of National Statistics. A recent report stated that the number of so-called ‘silver divorces’ nationwide has increased by three quarters in the past 20 years, while the number of ‘younger divorces’ continues to fall.

Posted in:TraceyDargan, Family
Richard Horwood
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If you are a beneficiary of a Trust you may wonder what your rights to information and documentation may be.  A distinction may need to be drawn between the type of trust originally created, in particular whether you, as a beneficiary, have a fixed right, often the case with a life interest trust, or whether you are a potential beneficiary of a Discretionary Trust.

Richard  Gvero
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Recruitment firms have been urged to check their contracts in light of changes set to be ushered in as part of wider reforms to trade union laws.

Rosalyn Workman
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A Discretionary Trust is a trust where a Beneficiary has no right to either the income or capital of the Trust Fund.  The Trustees would normally have complete discretion as to who, within the class of Beneficiaries, can receive capital and...
Tracey Dargan
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A study conducted by the Legal Services Board has found that British people are continually left dissatisfied by family law services from unregulated providers, highlighting the importance of seeking specialist advice from a regulated solicitor.

Posted in:TraceyDargan, Family
John Wiblin
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A garage that had used the same branding as the AA’s breakdown and repair service on a number of company vehicles and online adverts has admitted infringing copyright laws.

Tracey Dargan
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A son in-law has won the right to challenge his mother-in-law's Will in a landmark legal ruling which could set a new precedent for future Will disputes.

Posted in:TraceyDargan, Family
Stephen Stewart
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Most tenants will recognise the importance of lease terms relating to the amount of rent payable or the length of a lease, but the remaining provisions can be just as, if not more, important with potential ramifications on their business costs.

Tracey Dargan
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A hospital doctor is continuing to challenge the maintenance payments imposed by a divorce court. He argues the terms are unfair and mean that he has to work exceptionally long hours to cover the costs.

Posted in:TraceyDargan, Family
Chris  Pease
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Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) has already had a noticeable ripple-effect on the country’s housing market – and the future could hold numerous complications for homeowners and first-time buyers.

Richard  Gvero
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With the summer finally upon us and the Euro 2016 football tournament well under way, employers across the UK are likely to encounter an increasing number of staff ‘pulling a sickie’. Unpredictable and irregular time off can have a serious impact on an organisation’s wellbeing – particularly when repeat offenders are involved.

Catrin Mills
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Everyone knows that having company policies in the workplace is a healthy thing all round. But do you know what the legal status of your policies is? You may have thought they were there for guidance purposes, but did you know they could contain serious contractual obligations?

Posted in:CatrinMills, Employment
Tracey Dargan
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A third of couples in the UK admit that financial security is the main reason they have remained with their current partner. 

Posted in:TraceyDargan, Family
Richard Horwood
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A woman who claims her mother was suffering from dementia and having hallucinations when she signed her final Will has lost her case in the High Court. While the judge admitted the facts showed that Doris Harris had begun suffering from dementia in May 2004, there was no indication she was unable to understand the Will she signed less than a year later.

Catrin Mills
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A new survey has found that a startling number of UK employees are struggling with stress in the workplace – and that just over half of the UK workforce are happy at work.

Posted in:CatrinMills, Employment
Tracey Dargan
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A Judge has ruled that a divorcee can keep a long-disputed £3.5million divorce settlement, despite the fact that she now cohabits with a new partner.

Posted in:TraceyDargan, Family
Richard  Gvero
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Euro 2016 begins today, and employers across the UK are advised to prepare for some flexibility and employee absences.

Victoria Sandberg
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A recent ruling in the Court of Appeal confirms that land owners do not have to take costly steps if they want to prevent people from parking on their land.

Nichole  Giddings
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The Office of the Public Guardian recently produced guidance in an attempt to clarify the current rules on deputies and how they should approach family care payments.

Richard Horwood
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It is a common misconception that it is not necessary for a Will to be prepared because, in the case of a couple, everything will pass to the survivor.  Whilst this may, in part, be true this is not necessarily always going to be the case.

Jennifer Crossthwaite
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The recent case of Marks and Spencer v BNP Paribas has been of great interest to commercial landlords and tenants. The case involved a commercial lease granted for a fixed term (expiring in February 2018). The lease incorporated a break clause, and the tenant exercised its right to terminate the lease on 24 January 2012, having paid  in December 2011 the quarterly rent which fell due under the lease  for the period  25 December 2011 to 25 March 2012.

Tracey Dargan
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A woman who expected to be awarded £6million during divorce proceedings was left with just £36,000 after her husband died before a settlement could be finalised.

Posted in:TraceyDargan, Family
Richard  Gvero
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An employment tribunal has awarded a female tour guide a £38k pay-out following a discrimination dispute between the guide and her ‘bully’ boss.

Natalie  Melvill
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HMRC are taking a hard line approach when it comes to failing to disclose gifts made by a deceased person.  With this in mind, it is crucial that both gift recipients and Personal Representatives have a clear idea of what is expected of them when it comes to disclosure.

Tracey Dargan
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The Family Justice Council (FJC) released new guidance for expert witnesses late last week, following longstanding claims that expert witnesses have a lack of understanding of the requirements of family law.

Posted in:TraceyDargan, Family
Tracey Dargan
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Asking couples to blame each other for the breakdown of their marriage in order to get a divorce is “bordering on cruel”, the new chair of family law group Resolution has said. In a speech to 400 family lawyers at the group’s annual conference in Gateshead, he said Resolution will continue to press ministers for change.

Posted in:TraceyDargan, Family
Stephen Stewart
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At the start of April the latest Government reform came into play with the intention of cooling the buy-to-let market, being an additional 3% payable on SDLT charges.  The increase also affects those buying a second home or a holiday home however it is the buy-to-let market that it is anticipated will be affected most. So what is the alternative? 

Tracey Dargan
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Campaigners continue to feel frustrated over the lack of progress in changing the format of marriage certificates. In 2014, more than 70,000 people signed a petition calling for mothers’ names to be added to the forms used in England and Wales.

Posted in:TraceyDargan, Family
Charles Fraser
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Since musician Prince passed away late last month, there has been increased press coverage of the fact that the multi-millionaire recording artist had not made a will prior to his death.