News

Property buyers play it safe with no-nups 4th August 2014

Savvy property owners who club together to buy a home are turning to "no-nups" to safeguard their investment. Whether as a cohabiting couple, or two or more friends clubbing together, a cohabitation agreement, or "no-nup", as they now becoming known, can help fix the outcome if things go wrong. And that is particularly important when contributions to buying a property are unequal. Nowadays, many young people are buying with the help of parents, and there is often a differ... more...

New rules for those without a will 1st July 2014

From October, different rules come into force on how assets should be distributed when someone dies without making a will, but it is still likely to cause a shock to families, particularly where couples were not married or in a civil partnership New rules on what happens when someone dies without making a will should make it easier for families in future, but the changes don’t go far enough according to experts. The Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014 received the Royal Ass... more...

Lifelong campaigner leads the way for dementia sufferers 22nd May 2014

Dementia sufferers wanting to remain in their own home have been given hope thanks to a lifelong political campaigner. In a case that has emphasised the importance of making one's wishes known before illness strikes, a challenge to Westminster Council over residential care has successfully been fought on behalf of dementia campaigner and former politician Manuela Sykes. A Labour councillor for Westminster from 1974, Manuela Sykes was a long standing camp... more...

#MindYourMouth warning as secretly taped evidence is admitted in tribunal hearing. 22nd May 2014

There's a warning to mind p's and q's as the sexist revelations of football Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore go public, following hard on the heels of racist comments by Los Angeles Clippers' owner Donald Sterling, and an employment tribunal says that secretly taped evidence is admissible in an employment tribunal hearing US billionaire Donald Sterling looks set to lose his Los Angeles Clippers basketball team over racist remarks recorded by his ex-mistress ... more...

2014 Budget Summary 29th March 2014

Download our 2014 budget summary. Download now... more...

Business and pensioners come out on top in Osborne’s Spring budget 28th March 2014

UK business has been offered a hand-up in the latest statement from Chancellor George Osborne, with a package of measures designed to further stimulate the economy. This year’s Spring budget was made against a radically different background to 12 months ago, when the Office for Budget Responsibility had downgraded the 2013 growth prediction to just 0.6%. This year, however, the Chancellor was able to announce a growth target of 2.7%, and 2.3% next year, higher than previously forecasted by... more...

Avoiding family feuds when you die 7th February 2014

Avoiding family feuds when you die Inheritance issues are in the headlines, following the reading of Nelson Mandela’s will, highlighting problems that are becoming increasingly common with the rising number of ‘blended’ families following remarriage. Commentators have pointed to the international leader’s decision to exclude his second wife Winnie from the will and the restrictions he placed on legacies to some of his surviving children. Closer to home, the dilemma of gettin... more...

Countdown to Christmas comes with a warning for consumers 4th December 2013

As the retail sector revs up for the all-important Christmas selling season, online sales continue to grow. The first Monday in December has become known in the retail trade as Cyber Monday because of an annual spike in online sales, which is said to happen following the last pay cheque before Christmas. For many, online shopping seems so much easier than stomping round the high street, but with the growing number of web-based retailers, many of whom cannot be identified offline, consumers... more...

Young globe-trotters set to be winners with inheritance tax changes 28th August 2013

Globalisation is leading more young professionals into international work and they look set to be the winners in changes in inheritance tax rules in the UK, designed to reflect the lifestyle changes of the rising tide of overseas workers who are increasingly likely to marry someone from a different country. The 2013 Budget introduced two important changes to the inheritance tax (IHT) rules that will benefit couples where one partner is domiciled abroad. From 6th April the IHT exemption on gi... more...

Making it fair and square for all your families 29th July 2013

Inheritance claims are on the rise, as family structures get more complicated with the increasing number of remarriages. Currently 40% of marriages are second time round, and spouses and children of both first and second marriages are increasingly making claims where they feel they have been unfairly treated in the will of a former partner or parent. And around 1000 new cases have been formally commenced in a three-year period according to recent figures by the Law Commission, which has h... more...

Lifelong campaigner leads the way for dementia sufferers 12th May 2013

Dementia sufferers wanting to remain in their own home have been given hope thanks to a lifelong political campaigner. In a case that has emphasised the importance of making one's wishes known before illness strikes, a challenge to Westminster Council over residential care has successfully been fought on behalf of dementia campaigner and former politician Manuela Sykes. A Labour councillor for Westminster from 1974, Manuela Sykes was a long standing campaigner for better treatment for d... more...

Employers using unpaid interns fall foul of minimum wage 24th April 2013

Employers who use unpaid interns are being warned they could be breaking the law and flouting national minimum wage legislation. The warning comes as 100 employers have been referred to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) by the employment minister Jo Swinson following a campaign by Intern Aware, to raise awareness of the practice. The employers will be investigated by HMRC under the National Minimum Wage Act 1998, which requires workers to be paid the national minimum wage, currently £6.19 per ho... more...

Why baring all may be best for the kids 16th April 2013

The recent case of Kloosman v Aylen highlights the need to obtain proper legal advice and to openly discuss intentions before making large lifetime gifts. Elderly parents wanting to benefit children or friends before they die need to consider the consequences, and be clear and open about their intentions if they want to avoid family fights and court battles. A recent case highlighting this problem revolved around the will made by Richard Frost in September 2007, when he set out that he wan... more...

Business gets a boost in Osborne's Spring budget 21st March 2013

Business can breathe a sigh of relief following the latest statement from the Chancellor, with a package of measures designed to stimulate UK plc. The Spring budget was delivered against the gloomy backdrop provided by the Office for Budget Responsibility, which downgraded the 2013 growth prediction it had issued last December, down from 1.2% to 0.6%. The headline-grabbing measures of the Budget included bringing forward the raising of the personal tax threshold to £10,000 from April 2014 a... more...

Business gets a boost on bringing in debts 19th March 2013

Changes in the statutory protection for late payment of commercial debts sees a tightening up on how quickly commercial debts should be settled and the opportunity to recover costs, but businesses wanting to use the legislation need to make sure their contract terms do not over-ride the terms of the Act. The changes came into force on 16 March 2013 for contracts entered into after that date. One key change is that commercial businesses will be expected to pay their supplier invoices within 30 ... more...

Homeowners warned over new care home fees rules 14th February 2013

From 2017, the total amount that the elderly will have to pay in care home fees will be capped at £75,000 for personal care, but not accommodation and food, after which the Government will step in and pick up the bill. The amount is equivalent to a stay of about two and a half years in residential care, which is longer than most people need. Anyone with a home or assets worth less than £123,000 will get some help towards the costs - up from the current £23,250 means-testing threshold. Under... more...

Parents should read the small print when it comes to mobile phones for children 31st January 2013

As the debate continues over network-level filtering to block internet access to adult content, smart phones are causing increasing problems for parents of the young or those with learning difficulties. In a recent case, the father of a young man with learning difficulties turned to a newspaper to highlight the problems he faced in challenging a £5,500 mobile phone bill, run up by his autistic son making calls and texts to sex lines. The son is 21 but has a mental age of 12 and when the fa... more...

Divorce down, but family business in lockdown when it comes to settlements 11th January 2013

Official figures released in December 2012 show that the number of divorces dropped by 1.7%* in the previous year, but divorce statistics continue to peak in the period following Christmas, with the second week in January notoriously the busiest month for couples taking the decision to part. And following a recent landmark judgement in the Court of Appeal, lawyers are warning that divorcing couples will find it tougher to separate any family assets held in companies and are predicting an inc... more...

Are your terms of business fair?

Are your terms of business fair? 1st July 2012

28th June 2012 Companies whose Terms load the dice against the consumer stand to lose if challenged So easy, a child could do it.... This was the nasty truth for one punter when he found himself £50,000 in the red after a five year old got into his online spread betting account. But as well as striking fear into the hearts of parents everywhere, the resulting court case has delivered a wake-up call for companies who rely on contract terms that are buried in the small print. Now expert... more...

Beware of falling foul of conditions on effective exercise of lease termination rights

Beware of falling foul of conditions on effective exercise of lease termination rights 23rd April 2012

Hard hit businesses are being dealt a double blow as landlords refuse to accept break clauses when rents have been late, and experts are now warning companies to check the small print before signing new leases. The alert follows a court ruling where tenants were left unable to end a lease because they had not complied with the small print on interest payments for late rent. Commercial leases are normally granted for a specified period, such as seven years or fifteen years. A long lease gives ... more...

What the new employment changes mean to business

What the new employment changes mean to business 2nd February 2012

As we enter a new year employers are being reminded to prepare themselves for changes set for introduction over the coming 12 months. The Government is to put forward a raft of measures aimed at reforming employment law and whilst we wait to hear the detail, one change that is known for certain is the change in pension age. The Pension Act received the Royal Assent and became law last year. It means that the pension age for women will rise to 65 in 2018; the age for both men and women will... more...

More marriages are breaking up, but couples should jaw jaw

More marriages are breaking up, but couples should jaw jaw 1st February 2012

As Spring is traditional for weddings, so January has earned a reputation for the time to kick off a divorce. And this year has been no exception, if celebrity announcements are anything to go by. Hard on the heels of Katy Perry and Russell Brand, super-couple Seal and Heidi Klum have said they will be going their separate ways, as will reality star Kim Kardashian. For the fortunate few, a court battle may bring a secure future and London has become the divorce capital of the world, with... more...

Homeowners warned to watch out for squatters

Homeowners warned to watch out for squatters 30th January 2012

The housing market is sluggish, prices static, and more people are staying put and renovating or extending. But homeowners wanting to protect their property value should also invest time in checking out their boundaries and making sure they don't have squatters. If you mention the word "squatters”, most people think of someone who has made themselves at home in an empty property. But squatters' rights, or adverse possession as it is known in law, can happen in all sorts of prop... more...

Flower power wins the day in Interflora trademark battle

Flower power wins the day in Interflora trademark battle 16th December 2011

Internet advertisers who use competitor names to draw traffic have been dealt a rap on the knuckles following a high profile battle between Marks & Spencer and Interflora. In the fast growing world of internet advertising, new online techniques are demanding new rules and the latest ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) says that a trademark owner can stop a competitor from using their trademark as a keyword in a search engine such as Google. But the judgement stopp... more...

Common sense comes out on top in contract dispute

Common sense comes out on top in contract dispute 18th November 2011

Victory for common-sense as judgment is given in long running battle over bank payout Courts should apply business common sense when interpreting commercial contracts according to a judgment delivered this week (2nd November). The Supreme Court has ruled in the case of Rainy Sky SA and Others v Kookmin Bank, [2011] UKSC 50 that when the wording of a contract could be read in either of two ways, the court should opt for the interpretation that makes business common sense and reject the o... more...