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What does the Prisons and Courts Bill mean for motorists?

Cristina Parla
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The government published the Prisons and Court Bill on 27 February 2017 which included provisions to introduce: fixed tariff compensation on road traffic accidents (whiplash and minor psychological injuries); a ban on pre-medical offers (road traffic...

The unseen work of charities and their trustees

Sarah Banner
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As a charity lawyer I never cease to be amazed by the number of charities operating in and around Lincolnshire. Just before Christmas my firm had the opportunity to talk to trustees and volunteers of a number of those charities. We talked about the new legal...

Charities are reminded of the pitfalls in selling charity land

Julia Seary
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The Charity Commission has publicly reported its concerns in relation to the sale of charity property and concluded that the trustees of the Spiritualist Association of Great Britain were responsible for serious mismanagement in the way they disposed of...

Charities fined for Data Protection Act failings

Julia Seary
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The Information Commissioner’s Office confirmed last week that it has fined eleven charities which have been found to have acted in breach of the Data Protection Act by misusing donors’ personal data. The charities were investigated by the ICO...

Probate fees - a planning conundrum!

Fiona Yorath
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There has been a good deal of animated coverage in the press in recent weeks over the proposed probate fees increase.  The fee payable to the Probate Registry on application for the Grant to administer the deceased’s estate is currently set at...

Changes to the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings

Ben Taylor
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Back in July 2016, I wrote about ATED and Mixed Partnerships , highlighting that the threshold on the charge to tax reduced from 1 April 2016. As a reminder, the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings targets interests in high-value residential property held by...

Lasting Powers of Attorney reduction in registration fees

Ben Taylor
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From 1 April 2017, the fee for registration of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) and Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) was reduced from £110 to £82. Before an LPA can be used by the attorneys, it needs to be registered with the...

The top six things we learnt as MIPIM newcomers

Shruti Trivedi
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With the most influential property leaders from more than 100 countries all coming together to talk business, a trip to Cannes for four days in March was definitely worth the resulting exhaustion! As part of the Property and Planning teams at...

Report released today shows state of our roads

Robert Dempsey
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"It is 20 times more expensive to carry out reactive maintenance than planned, preventative maintenance.” (ALARM 2017) The Asphalt Industry Alliance has produced its Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance survey (ALARM). This provides a detailed...

The Commission uses its powers under the Charities Act 2011 to permanently disqualify an individual from holding a trustee position

Julia Seary
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Today the Commission’s Investigations and Enforcement department published its decision to permanently remove a trustee from being involved with any charity following a breach of the trustee’s duties to protect charity assets by using the charity...

Changes to debt recovery procedures due October 2017

Leigh White
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Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims to come into effect on the 1st October 2017 The Protocol will apply to any business (including a sole trader or public body) claiming payment from an individual (including sole traders) and describes the conduct the court...

Misconduct and mismanagement in the administration of an Ipswich Charity

Julia Seary
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The Commission has issued a press release this morning highlighting trustee misconduct and mismanagement in the administration of an Ipswich Charity – ‘The Kurdish Islamic Cultural Centre’. It was found that the trustees made unauthorised...

Nestlé plan 10% sugar removal by 2018

Victoria Walley
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Nestlé have announced their next materiality goal in nutrition, building upon previous targets of reducing sugar in their children’s cereals and their unhealthiest products. The food giant has given itself the target of reducing the sugar...

“Too many trustees are not familiar with their charity's governing document”

Julia Seary
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Paula Sussex, Chief Executive of Charity Commission has expressed concern that too many trustees are not familiar with their charity’s governing document, are failing to ensure proper control and procedures are in place and work, and don’t ask...

Do your charity managers meet the ‘fit and proper persons test’?

Sarah Banner
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It can be tricky, especially for smaller charities, to keep on top of the necessary administrative measures and legal requirements needed to remain within the regulations which govern charities and the way they operate.  The regulations are however...

The survivor's pension and your employees

Phil Cookson
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The Supreme Court has given judgement in favour of an unmarried cohabitant in a dispute with a public sector employer regarding a ‘survivor’s pension’. The case dealt with the question of whether or not an employee’s unmarried partner...

Make the National Minimum Wage work for you

Phil Cookson
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Meeting the National Minimum Wage ought to be a priority for employers big and small across the UK - it is essential for providing individuals with enough money to get by in an economy with an ambiguous future. Despite this, it’s been widely reported...

Getting ready to shine at global property event

Shruti Trivedi
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Jo  and I are looking forward to travelling to Cannes next month – not for a holiday, but to attend an international property event along with thousands of experts from across the globe. We’re going to be joining some of the world’s...

An alternative to trusts?

Robert Webb
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When it comes to tax planning there can often be a temptation to keep up with the Jones’ and enter into the latest new tax planning schemes.  In some cases this may be a sensible move, but in others there is a distinct possibility that you may...

Government announces changes to calculations of personal injury compensation

Robert Dempsey
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On the 27th February the Government announced an amendment as to how lump sum payments to Personal Injury Claimants are calculated. In personal injury claims, where the Claimant’s injuries are long term, permanent or a person has died, they or...

No-fault divorce, the debate continues

Joel Tweddell
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My colleague, John Boon, in his recent blog sought to address the common misconception that it is possible for a married couple or civil partners to divorce or dissolve their civil partnership on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences” i.e....

Ikea issues global recall of Mysingsö Deckchair

Victoria Walley
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On 25 th  January Swedish furniture store Ikea issued a global recall of their ‘Mysingsö’ deckchair after five reports of hand and finger injuries. Ikea released a statement clarifying that “after washing the fabric seat it is...

No-fault divorce - does it exist?

John Boon
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It remains a common misconception that it is possible for a married couple or civil partners within the jurisdiction of England and Wales to divorce or dissolve their civil partnership on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences”, as they can...

Iceland v Iceland: the importance of legally protecting your brand assets

Lizzie Walters
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The cold war over the usage rights of the name Iceland highlights the legal problems that can arise without effective brand name protection. When Malcolm Walker opened his first Iceland store in Oswestry, Shropshire in 1969, no one knew that he...

Uber decision: the end of the gig economy?

Phil Cookson
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The Employment Tribunal’s decision in proceedings against Uber, released last week, has provided a potential hurdle to businesses seeking to utilise a network of self-employed individual contractors to provide services to customers, or...

Food price inflation - who will bear the brunt?

Peter Seary
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Since the Brexit vote, much has been made of the benefits for British exporters of a weaker pound, however, relatively little has been heard of the prospect of higher food prices - until the news of the recent impasse between Tesco and Unilever. Unilever...

Electric car charging points in every new home?

Iain Hibbert
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Under new EU proposals, potentially every new or refurbished house in Europe must be equipped with an electric vehicle charging point from 2019. This draft EU directive follows the recent proposals by Norway, Holland and Germany that by 2025 (2030 for...

Ministry of Justice 'set aside' whiplash reforms

Victoria Stevenson
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Yesterday, The Times newspaper reported that whiplash reforms, proposed in the Autumn Statement last year, have been set aside. While insurers are frustrated by the decision, campaigners have welcomed the news. What are the reforms? The Government wish...

Countryside Stewardship and Brexit - Treasury announcement

Julie Robinson
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The Treasury announcement of 3 October is, on the face of it, good news for farmers, land managers and woodland owners. The Government will guarantee funding for agri-environment agreements entered into before we leave the EU but which continue after that...

Method of Production labelling fraught with challenges

Tim Russ
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Calls for a mandatory ‘method of production’ label on meat and dairy products could be fraught with challenges and the recent proposals from the British Veterinary Association (BVA) could be impossible to police. The BVA has suggested that...

To RNRB or not to RNRB, that is the question.

Ben Taylor
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Back in August, Elizabeth Young wrote about the introduction of the new Residence Nil Rate Band (available here ) and noted some of the limitations, particularly for those who don’t have children and where the estate is worth more than £2m. ...

It's ok , Geoff'll sort it out...

Robert Webb
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As anyone involved in the agricultural sector knows, significant problems can very quickly arise through absence from the ‘hands-on’ business. Thankfully, such absences are usually short-term and although there is a noticeable effect in terms of...

Battery storage leads charge to a smart renewable energy future

Iain Hibbert
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One of the main barriers to the renewable energy revolution has been the unpredictable nature of energy created from natural resources – the sun does not always shine, the wind does not always blow and the tide does not always turn. For this reason...

Safety at school

Robert Dempsey
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The obligatory photographs shared by proud parents on social media of their children in new school uniforms tells us it’s back to school time. Understandably, parents need to know their children are safe at school, and if they are injured, remedies...

Energy decisions leave landowners confused

Edd Johnson
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In recent years, many farmers and landowners have been able to take advantage of the growth in renewable energy by leasing their land to energy companies. For many, this has become a vital source of income, however, two recent decisions have left many in...

Holiday Pay Decision

Phil Cookson
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The law in relation to holiday pay, and in particular what should be included in holiday pay, has evolved in recent years in light of cases such as Williams –v- British Airways plc and Bear Scotland Ltd –v- Fulton.  A recent decision...

The new Residence Nil Rate Band

Elizabeth Young
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Politics As we anticipate the publication of further detailed rules relating to the new Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) it is time to consider how to secure the Conservative Party’s long promised million pound exemption from Inheritance Tax (IHT). It...

Stamp Duty Land Tax and Partnerships

Ben Taylor
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The SDLT legislation applicable to partnerships (which includes partnerships under the Partnership Act 1890 and Limited Liability Partnerships under the 2000 Act) is, in my opinion, the most complex area of the entire SDLT regime. The effect of these...

New Gender Pay Gap Reporting rules explained

Phil Cookson
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Large numbers of  businesses are about to become subject to new Gender Pay Gap reporting regulations. Due to come into effect next spring, many companies appear to be unaware of the new regulations. Background The difference between men’s...

Brexit and Basic Payment Scheme Mark 2

Julie Robinson
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The Treasury announced on 13 August that it will guarantee the current level of agricultural funding under Pillar 1 of the CAP until 2020. In essence this means that the “direct payments” element of the CAP will continue beyond the date the UK...

Employers warned to take sexual harassment seriously

Phil Cookson
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Two recent news stories highlight the continued problem of sexual harassment in the workplace and the risks to employers who commit such acts or do not take complaints seriously. The TUC union has published the results of a survey of 1,500 women which...

Useful reminder regarding internal appeals

Phil Cookson
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A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision provides a reminder to employers about the effect of internal appeals against disciplinary sanctions. In Folkestone Nursing Home Ltd v Patel the EAT considered the effect of an internal appeal...

Agent awarded £500,000 under the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993 in landmark ruling

Peter Cusick
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As is well known under Regulation 17 of the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993 in certain circumstances, an agent has the right to compensation from their principal when the agency agreement is terminated. The High Court in the recent...

The Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings and Mixed Partnerships

Ben Taylor
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Many of our clients have residential property held within a business structure for one reason or another. Mixed partnerships (i.e. partnerships of individuals and companies) are popular, particularly within the farming industry. Although ATED was brought in...

Court fees increase for debt recovery

Leigh White
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On 25th July the Court Fees associated with some debt recovery matters rose by 10% The Court fee for applying for a Writ of Control rose from £60 to £66; The Court fee for applying for an Order to attend Court rose from £50 to...

Holiday carry over due to sickness

Phil Cookson
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A recent decision of the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) in relation to a Polish employment case confirms the principle that an employee who is prevented from taking their holiday entitlement due to sickness should be allowed to take their...

Wyatt v Vince - the importance of finality

John Boon
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The long running case involving Kathleen Wyatt and Dale Vince garnered national attention last year when the case came before the Supreme Court (Wyatt –v- Vince [2015] UKSC 14). The High Court has now delivered a judgement (Wyatt v Vince [2016] EWHC...

Is communication an answer to insecurity?

Phil Cookson
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The results of a survey conducted by Peninsula and analysis of statistics by Citizens Advice have highlighted two issues which will be of concern for employers. Citizens Advice analysed statistics produced by the Office of National Statistics which...

The impact of Brexit

Julia Seary
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Background The trilogy of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union agree the majority of EU legislation, and the power of the EU means that EU law and ECJ decisions have a direct impact on, and can take...

Successful claim against employer for allowing " modern slavery "

Phil Cookson
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High Court claims brought by Lithuanian nationals for exploitation have succeeded against a Kent based chicken farming company. This is the first court ruling against a UK company for civil damages in relation to victims of trafficking and “modern...