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Could lifetime gifting to avoid Inheritance Tax have risks?

Helen Taylor TEP
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Gifting inheritance early to children is becoming ever more popular by parents. For some, it is seen as the perfect way of addressing two birds with one stone: helping their children get onto the property ladder and reducing the amount of Inheritance Tax...

World Mental Health Day

Helen Taylor TEP
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10th October 2018 is World Mental Health Day – a day to raise awareness about mental health issues, services available and things you can do to help yourself in these situations. Research suggests that at least 1 in 4 of us will experience mental...

What is the role of a mediator?

Sarah Canning
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Unlike other forms of dispute resolution, a mediator does not decide a case. It is for the parties involved to agree their own resolution. The parties are responsible for the terms of any agreement and it is their choice as to whether or not the matter is...

Top Tips for Contract Disputes

Sarah Canning
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Disputes happen, but it is how the initial stages of the dispute are handled that can impact upon how quickly and cost effectively you can resolve the problem.         When you become aware of a dispute, the following can make all...

Business Injunction? What you need to know

Sarah Canning
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An injunction is a Court Order which stops a company or person doing something specific. It might be something that they have already done that must be rectified or are about to do and you wish to prevent it happening. The party breaching an injunction can...

Overage - Building Regs is the costly dark horse

Jo Pusey
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O verage agreements are entered into between a Seller and Buyer where there is a reasonable expectation that the land has the potential to be redeveloped or for planning permission to be granted for development. The Seller is then entitled to a slice of this...

What happens at a mediation?

Sarah Canning
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Mediation is a flexible process and the mediator will guide the parties through the process in a way to enable the parties the best possible opportunity of resolving their dispute. Whilst there is no set structure or order, there are some keys stages which...

Tenancy Eviction - The Accelerated Procedure

Amy-Jane Westaway
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The Accelerated Procedure is available for Landlords trying to regain possession of their Property following the expiry of a valid Section 21 Notice served upon their Tenant. This procedure can prove a much faster and cost effective alternative to the...

"That's Nacho trade mark" "I don't know what you are Taco 'bout"

Christopher Buck
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Salsas cease and desist letter Salsas, a restaurant chain with more than 43 franchises across Australia, registered the “Taco Tuesday” mark in 2011. The Mexican restaurant has now sent a cease and desist letter to the Reverence Hotel...

Cyber threats and the GDPR

Christopher Buck
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Cyber attacks Throughout the course of the last year, we saw a number of cyber threats and ransom driven hacks on large scale databases. In fact this time last year, the WannaCry ransomware was wreaking havoc in the NHS database, amongst others. In a...

Dr Dre, "I need a Doctor" - just not Dr Drai

Christopher Buck
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Dr Dre v Dr Dra Dr Dre has recently lost his legal battle against Pennsylvania based gynaecologist Dr Drai. Dr Dre has unsuccessfully tried to argue that the OBGYN’s name is confusingly similar to his own and his accompanying trade mark. In 2015,...

What is a 'breach' of contract and what can you do to remedy it?

Sarah Canning
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A Contract forms the base of almost every business relationship, whether that be for the sale and purchase of goods, provision of services, or an agreement between Franchisor and Franchisee. The Contract between the parties outlines acts each party shall...

Are you on auto-pilot when it comes to pension auto-enrolment?

Ben Stanton
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Automatic enrolment To quote the TV adverts, “You can’t ignore the Workplace Pension”. Essentially, every employer with at least one staff member is legally required to automatically enrol ‘eligible’ employees into a...

The right to be forgotten triumphs over Google

Christopher Buck
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The right to be forgotten The right to be forgotten is essentially being entitled to having actioned your request to have your personal information removed from the search engine. The latest Google transparency report has confirmed that 89% of such...

Are you ready for the GDPR?

Christopher Buck
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With a little under a month until the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) becomes law in the U.K., we again outline the who, what, where, when and why to  help you to achieve compliance and continue not to fall foul of the...

Tough negotiations? Be creative and bring in a Mediator

Sarah Canning
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Tough negotiations? Be creative and bring in a Mediator Negotiations whether as part of a merger, an acquisition or a goods and services contract can involve challenging conversations particularly when the terms are being negotiated. With so much at...

Top 10 things to know about Business mediation

Sarah Canning
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What do you know about mediation? Did you k now that it is becoming much more prevalent when looking at alternative dispute resolution options and it is even being set as the first option by the Courts to come to an agreement prior to heading to Court to...

To mediate or not to mediate? That is the question

Sarah Canning
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The choice is yours. Decide how to settle a dispute on your terms or pass the decision to someone who doesn’t know anything about your business. What do you do? The majority of us would want to take control of our future and make a decision based upon...

Landlords - Don't be caught out by invalid Notices!

Sarah Canning
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Many Landlords are finding themselves caught out by serving invalid Notices on their Tenants when wanting to regain possession of their property. As a result, they are experiencing severe delays in recovering possession of their property. Great care should...

Could you have accidentally left your pension to your Ex?

Naomi Evans
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It is very important for people to ensure that their pension death benefits are left to the correct person when they die. Many people are overlooking to change the “expression of wishes” paperwork after they separate from a partner and many...

The Importance of a Financial Order on Divorce

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As Family Lawyers we frequently hear the same thing from divorcing clients in that they have agreed the financial aspects of the marriage so do not need advice or the expense of additional legal or court fees. With the ever-increasing desire for a...

What is a no-fault divorce?

Naomi Evans
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Current divorce laws are based on legislation introduced in 1973. Those wishing to seek a divorce have to claim that their marriage has broken down irretrievably. That irretrievable breakdown has to be based on one of 5 facts namely adultery, behaviour,...

Are employers liable for employee's data protection breaches?

Sarah Canning
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On 1 December 2017, the supermarket Morrisons was found vicariously liable for the actions of a disgruntled employee, who posted personal data of almost 100,000 employees on a file-sharing website. The claim was brought by over 5500 employees and is...

Would you want to be kept alive against your will?

Helen Taylor TEP
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Brenda Grant made an Advance Directive, commonly known as a Living Will, stating she feared degradation and indignity more than death after seeing her own mother lose her independence through dementia.  She did not tell her family about it but correctly...

Dispute between Dyson and former Chief Executive, Max Conze

Christopher Buck
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Dyson’s claims It appears that Dyson are intending to sue their former CEO, Max Conze, for leaking closely guarded secrets. Max was CEO for Dyson and headed the company from 2011 to 2017. He stepped down last month, in what initially appeared an...

Will the Woof-Tang-Clan be brought to heel?

Christopher Buck
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American rap group, Wu-Tang-Clan, is currently looking to pursue a New York dog walking group, Woof-Tang-Clan, for breach of copyright and Trade Marks. The group claims that Woof-Tang-Clan’s attempt to trademark their name is in breach of their rights....

Paying a relative's care home fees using their online banking system is probably a criminal offence

Kathryn Thornewill TEP
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Accordingly to a law firm in London, RadcliffesLeBrasseur, using a relative’s online bank account information to arrange payment of their care home fees, even if it is done in good faith with the account holder's permission, is probably a criminal...

Billionaire Property Developer Claims He Was Never Married In An Attempt To Prevent Wife's Claim On His Fortune

Naomi Evans
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A billionaire property developer has tried to protect his £1.1bn fortune from a claim by his estranged wife by claiming that they were never married. He has claimed that his marriage was based on a fake certificate which they obtained in order that...

Children in the middle

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As a Family Lawyer and Accredited Family and Child Inclusive Mediator I am often asked to advise or provide information on children stuck in the middle of separating or separated families. Conversations are usually with a parent or parents although quite...

English marriage law bias

Naomi Evans
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Under existing English marriage laws, minority faith marriages should be registered.   This would mean that couples who have a religious ceremony have to follow it up with a civil wedding in order that it is recognised as legally...

Should Children Be Heard In Court?

Barbro Zeineh
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Staggering statistics show that last year more than 100,000 children were involved in wrangles between their parents in relation to which parent the children should have as his or her main home, level of contact, should one parent be given permission to...

Wrapping up employment issues present at the Office Christmas Party

Ben Stanton
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The work Christmas party is often eagerly anticipated and a chance for employees to let their hair down. All too often, the combination of a relaxed atmosphere and too much alcohol brings out the worst in employees, leading to problems within the workplace. ...

Does divorce run in the family?

Barbro Zeineh
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Recent studies have established a pattern that children of divorced parents are more likely to get divorced themselves http://dailym.ai/2hBsEGC . Although no actual figures setting out the percentage have been released to date, it appears to follow the same...

Yoko Ono says no-no to the sale of John Lemon lemonade

Christopher Buck
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After looking to bring legal action against those producing John Lemon lemonade, Yoko Ono has successfully prevented the association of her late husband’s name with the brand. The drinks company, a small Polish company whic h distributes to the UK and...

Can you handwrite your Will yourself?

Helen Taylor TEP
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Well, yes you can but in order to be valid it needs to comply with that well known and thoroughly modern Wills Act of 1837. If your handwritten will (which everyone knows of course, is called a Holographic Will) fails to meet these legal requirements, it...

ePrivacy legislation reform

Christopher Buck
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Reform in line with GDPR: In addition to t he implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) there is also the intention of updating ePrivacy legislation so as to align the same with these new rules. Although the new ePrivacy...

Top 10 tips to avoid litigation

Sarah Canning
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Have you ever asked yourself whether or not the dispute could have been avoided?  If so, the answer may have been that with the benefit of hindsight you would have done something differently. The following top 10 tips are to help reduce those times and...

Top 10 tips for responding to a dispute

Sarah Canning
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Do you or your employees know the best way to respond to a dispute, when one arises? Do you know what information you need or the processes you should undertake to respond effectively to avoid litigation? If the answer is ‘no’, then the following...

Intestacy: and the reasons we encourage the preparation of a Will

Helen Taylor TEP
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Intestacy An intestacy does not just occur when a person dies without a Will.  It can also arise even if they have a Will but it is invalid or has been revoked.  It can also arise if a valid Will has not been properly drafted and a common...

Money Laundering Regulations 2017 Change: an Independent Audit and staff screening

Sarah Canning
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Are you compliant? For the first time, estate agents as a regulated business have to consider establishing an independent audit function to ensure that their compliance is adequate and effective.  So, does this apply to you? Regulation 21 of the...

Government committed to updating and strengthening existing data protection laws

Christopher Buck
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In a statement of intent the Government has committed to updating and strengthening existing data protection laws via the introduction of a new Data Protection Bill. The Bill will implement the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and...

Recruitment Manager fined for illegally sharing applicant's personal information

Christopher Buck
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The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) applies to the “processing” of “personal data”. Pursuant to section 1(1) of the DPA “processing” includes obtaining, recording, holding, using, disclosing or erasing data and...

Plant Variety Rights and Brexit - what happens now?

Christopher Buck
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When we think of Brexit and the potential implications it will have on the UK we often consider the effects upon the economy and immigration, what we tend to think less about is the effect it will have upon our access to plant varieties and the agricultural...

Trade Marks: The potential impact of Brexit

Christopher Buck
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A trade mark or “brand” is a sign used by a trader to differentiate their goods from those of other traders and may come in the form of a name, slogan or simply the distinctive style of packaging of a product. A trade mark provides the consumer...

Tribunal order HMRC to reduce Penalty

Sarah Canning
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In 2013, Jackson Grundy Ltd, an estate agency across Northamptonshire, was fined £200,000.00 for breaches of Customer Due Diligence under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 (as amended).  There was never any suggestion of money laundering....

The falling divorce rate is great news, but so are pre-nuptial agreements

Naomi Evans
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I t’s great to hear that the divorce rate is falling, as reported online by the Daily Mail, but there were still 101,000 or so divorces in 2015, which is a big number whatever way you look at it. Divorce is a big deal on a personal level and is...

Morrisons supermarket chain found to be in breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations (PECR)

Christopher Buck
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The Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations (PECR) set out specific rules which govern the use of marketing by electronic communications such as; e-mail, telephone, text message and automated calls. ...

Swiss banks secrecy to end

Christopher Buck
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Private banks in Switzerland are known for being used by the wealthy people of the world in essence to evade tax. However, since the global financial crisis, tens of billions of dollars have been removed from these accounts in a flurry to protect themselves...

Automatic for the people - Breach of Auto-Enrolment Pensions means Everybody Hurts

Ben Stanton
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The Pensions Act 2008 introduced legislation which required employers to provide pensions for their employees. The ‘Auto-Enrolment’ pension scheme means that employees are automatically required to deduct 3% of monies from an employee’s...

Is it time to review your Will to maximise tax-saving?

Kathryn Thornewill TEP
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We always recommend that you review your Will every 3-6 years to ensure that it does exactly what you want it to do, especially with the changing of laws surrounding Wills and Probate. On 6th April 2017, the Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) came into effect....