News

Separation or divorce advice

Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2016 - 1:21:19 PM

If you're going through separation or divorce right now, coping with the holidays may have been challenging. Your life is changing anyway, so why not take the opportunity to reinvent it on your terms? This is the perfect time to make some powerful 2016 Resolutions that will put you on the path to happiness and prosperity. Here are ten suggestions for 2016 Resolutions for separated or divorced individuals. Use whichever items apply to your situation, or use it to inspire you to create your own list.

AIRBNB short term property rentals

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:35 PM

The rise and rise of Airbnb and similar online community marketplaces that allow property owners to rent out their properties on short-term lets has led to many people making use of the facility to earn extra income, or even to operate as commercial providers of accommodation, using the Internet as their main marketing tool.

Will your property be an IHT trap?

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:35 PM

Data published recently show that the new £100,000 additional 'private residence' exemption for Inheritance Tax (IHT), which is due to be introduced in April 2017 and will increase thereafter, could not come soon enough for many people.

Jail threat for man who failed to cooperate in divorce

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:35 PM

A recent case shows that refusing entirely to engage in the court process is not a viable option in divorce proceedings.

Non-working daughter loses claim for financial provision

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:35 PM

Claims by disappointed children seeking a share, or a larger share, of a parental estate are on the rise, with the latest figures published showing a year-on-year increase of more than 10 per cent in such claims.

Charitable principle not enough

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:35 PM

It seems trite to say that the law is what the law is, but in cases where a decision is reached that is correct under the law but which seems unfair, or not in accordance with an underlying principle, it will nevertheless stand.

Tycoon must share £130 million fortune with ex-wife

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:35 PM

Those who fail to cooperate in divorce proceedings may get
away with it for a while, but they will ultimately be made to
pay for their recalcitrance. In one case, an international business
tycoon who dragged his feet was ordered to hand over almost half of
his £130 million fortune to his ex-wife.

Employer not liable for post party Christmas assault

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:35 PM

Employers can be found vicariously liable for the actions of their
staff, but only if these occur in the course of their employment.
Whilst an employer can, in some circumstances, be held legally
responsible for an injury to a worker sustained during an office
function, the High Court has ruled that a recruitment company was
not liable for serious injuries inflicted by one member of staff on
another some hours after a planned Christmas event had finished (Bellman v Northampton Recruitment Limited).

Urgent warning about Government’s ‘risky’ online legal tool for creating Lasting Power of Attorneys

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:35 PM

A new report and press release outlines the results of a study into the risks and hidden costs of DIY Lasting Powers of Attorneys, as opposed to choosing a specialist solicitor.

The LPA online tool is potentially leaving people at risk of financial abuse and fraud.
A coalition of organisations including Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE), Action on Elder Abuse, Anchor, Contact the Elderly and SOLLA are backing new report

SDLT clarification sought on mixed-use properties

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:36 PM

Owners of mixed-use properties will know that the Stamp Duty Land Tax charged on commercial properties is not the same as that charged on residential properties.

There is also considerable confusion over the definitions used in different parts of statute law as to what 'commercial' as opposed to 'residential' property is and over details relating to completion and occupation of buildings, planning status and the treatment of land associated with buildings.

Subjected to groundless litigation? You could win compensation

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:36 PM

A ground-breaking Supreme Court decision has for the first time opened the way for compensation claims by those who are subjected to groundless civil proceedings which have been brought maliciously without reasonable or probable cause.

The case concerned a businessman who was sued by a leisure company for alleged breach of fiduciary and contractual duties following his dismissal as a director. The claim was later withdrawn and the businessman contended that the proceedings had been part of a campaign by a former colleague to do him harm. He launched a claim for malicious prosecution but his case was struck out by the High Court.

Staff handbook created enforceable employment rights

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:36 PM

It is not uncommon for employees' contracts of employment to expressly incorporate the staff handbook, although much of its contents will refer to policy matters rather than having contractual status.

In an important decision for public sector workers (Department for Transport v Sparks and Others), the Court of Appeal has ruled that a clause in a staff handbook, relating to the policy of the Department for Transport (DfT) in respect of absences on sick leave, formed part of its employees' contracts.

Divorcee who refused to leave matrimonial home punished

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:36 PM

Judges possess a battery of powers to enforce compliance to Court orders. In one case, a divorcee who barricaded himself into his former matrimonial home in order to prevent its enforced sale was given ten days to move out – or go to prison.

The sale of the £500,000 farmhouse had been ordered so that the proceeds could be divided between husband and wife as part of their £6 million divorce. However, over a prolonged period, the husband had refused to leave and was said to have surrounded the property with barbed wire.

My home is my pension

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:36 PM

Returns on private sector pensions have been in the doldrums for a long time, and with interest rates (on which annuity rates depend) firmly stuck at historically low levels, an increasing number of people are unable to rely on their pension savings to secure their post-retirement lifestyle.

However, for property owners, continuing increases in house prices over time, plus low mortgage rates, have meant that many have steadily built up equity in their homes.

Gift giving - guidance for attorneys and deputies

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:36 PM

When a person can no longer manage their own financial affairs, these will be managed either by their attorney (if a power of attorney has been made) or by their deputy if an application has been made via the Court of Protection in the absence of a power of attorney.

Once the appointment of attorney or deputy has been made, their responsibility is to act in the best interests of the person whose finances are being managed.

Need overcomes equality claim in divorce settlement

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:36 PM

With new guidance having been issued regarding the interpretation of 'need' for the purpose of financial settlements on divorce, a recent case shows how the courts have been moving away from a rigid adherence to the principle of 'equality' in the division of assets.

It involved a wealthy couple who had in excess of £10 million in assets when they commenced divorce proceedings 14 years after they married. The ex-husband argued that his former wife's claim for a half share of

Moving in with your partner? Take advice first

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:36 PM

ntering into informal property transactions without the benefit of legal advice is a recipe for disaster, as a young man found out when his relationship with his girlfriend ended acrimoniously and she insisted that he had no interest in the house that they had shared.

No tax deduction means tax return

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:36 PM

As a result of the introduction of the new 'Personal Savings not need to before. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have advised Allowance', from 6 April 2016 some forms of interest income no longer have tax deducted at source. In future, banks, building societies and National Savings and Investments will no longer deduct tax from the interest payments they make.

Bank director - age discrimination ruling

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:36 PM

Redundancy is a potentially fair reason for dismissal, but it may be found to be unfair – for example if a particular employee is unfairly selected for redundancy. Conversely, where voluntary redundancy is on offer, employers must take care not to exclude someone for reasons that are discriminatory.

Who decides the funeral arrangements?

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:36 PM

After a death in the family, tensions can often run high and it is not unusual for families to fall out over seemingly small details if the opportunity presents itself.

Help to buy aids 150,000 young buyers

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:36 PM

The Government has released statistics which show that more than 150,000 properties have been sold to buyers who have made use of the 'Help to Buy' mortgage guarantee and equity loan schemes.

Bank of Mum & Dad lending issues

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:36 PM

A recent report that the 'bank of Mum and Dad' is one of the leading sources of finance for house purchases will come as no surprise to many – it is expected that 300,000 mortgage deposits will be provided by parents of property purchasers in 2016. The survey, sponsored by the Centre for Economics and Business Research and Legal & General, revealed that parents now provide finance for a quarter of UK property purchases.

Brexit - some business complications

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:36 PM

The business press has been awash with 'post-Brexit' predictions of various sorts, but some of the implications requiring the most forward planning have attracted relatively little comment. After the UK Government formally begins the withdrawal process from the EU, there will be lengthy exit negotiations and no changes in the law are anticipated for at least two years. However, businesses will need to plan ahead for the eventuality.

Recalcitrant ex-husband discovers why court orders must be obeyed

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:36 PM

It is inevitable that those in receipt of court orders often consider them to be unjust – but that is never an excuse for failing to obey them. The High Court made that point in imposing a suspended prison sentence on a recalcitrant divorcee who took it upon himself to reduce his child maintenance payments.

Unfair dismissal - the correct legal test

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:36 PM

When a bank employee was dismissed for gross misconduct as a result of his behaviour at an office function, the Employment Tribunal (ET) found that his dismissal was unfair because of the inconsistency of his treatment when compared with that of a colleague who was given a final written warning for his part in the incident. The ET's approach was criticised by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), however, which overturned the decision on appeal (MBNA Limited v Jones).

Guidance on Zero Hours contracts

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:36 PM

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has issued guidance explaining what zero hours contracts are and how they should be used.

Shared parental leave announcement

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:36 PM

Recognising that many grandparents take on responsibility for part of the care of their grandchildren, the Chancellor has announced that the Shared Parental Leave Regulations 2014 are to be broadened to include working grandparents.

Boundary argument costs teacher £50,000

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:36 PM

Boundary disputes can take a long time to resolve and can be ruinously expensive, as a recent case illustrates. It involved a teacher who put up a fence along what she thought was the boundary of her property. Her neighbours did not agree.

Safeguarding vulnerable people

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:18:36 PM

With a steady and increasing trickle of cases involving the misappropriation of assets by attorneys appointed by people who have lost the ability to look after their own affairs, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has published a 'safeguarding policy' document designed to assist the prevention of abuse or neglect of vulnerable people.

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