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Don't Sweep Accidents at Work under the Carpet

Robert Dempsey
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Monday June 17 th saw two contrasting stories relating to the Health and Safety Executive’s efforts to prevent injuries or fatalities in the workplace. Radio 4’s “Farming Today” featured Andrew Turner, Head of Agriculture at the...

Avoiding unpaid invoices as a wedding vendor

Catherine Rickett
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If you’re a service provider in the wedding industry, this is your time of year to shine. Whether you are a photographer, a make-up artist, or a venue, how do you protect yourself from the last minute cancellation of a wedding? Unfortunately this can...

DIY probate VS using a lawyer

Nadine Wealands
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DIY probate application Much has been written and spoken about the proposed hike in probate fees recently – likely to cost families, they say, £145m in the first year.  ‘They’ say the reason for the increase is to modernise...

Bereavement and estate administration - are you struggling to know where to start?

Esther Woodhouse
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Bereavement is an emotive subject and certainly not something any of us likes to talk about but, sadly, it is an inevitable fact of life.  When this actually happens to your family or a close friend there is undoubtedly nothing that can fully prepare...

Corporate transparency and register reform consultation: protection for transgender directors of UK limited companies

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On 5 May 2019, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy published a consultation to reform corporate transparency. Generally, the consultation looks at guarding against the misuse of UK corporate entities and balancing transparency...

Becoming carbon neutral: how can businesses help the UK become more eco-friendly?

Faith Horne
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Ambitious targets for the UK to become carbon neutral by 2050 have been announced by the Committee on Climate Change, which is calling on the government to step up and lay down the law for the nation to proactively take steps to lower its carbon footprint....

Update: Bereavement Damages

Tim Edwards
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Bereavement damages have been in the spotlight again following the recent decision of the Court of Appeal in the case of Smith v Secretary of State for Justice. Bereavement awards in England and Wales are provided for under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976. The...

Six principles to help protect your charity when working closely with non-charity organisations

Julia Seary
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The Charity Commission has issued guidance to assist trustees managing their charity’s connections with non-charities (such as trading subsidiaries).  Essentially charities are being reminded by the regulator to act with probity and ensure that...

The growing threat of cyber crime: five protective steps

Julia Seary
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A recent government survey has revealed that over two thirds of high-income charities had recorded a cyber breach or attack in 2018. Of those charities affected, the vast majority (over 80%) had experienced an attack in the form of fraudulent email...

UPDATE: Wild birds and licences

Julie Robinson
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This article focuses on action you need to take to stay within the law if you are controlling wild birds to prevent serious damage to livestock, feedstuffs, crops, fruit etc., previously covered by General Licence 04. The legal position The basic...

Do farmers still do joint ventures?

Julie Robinson
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Julie Robinson, head of our agriculture team, answers a question from a client. The short answer to our client’s question is yes. Farm businesses are engaging in a whole raft of collaborative ventures as they focus on increasing their...

Revocation of General Licences to kill wild birds : implications for shooting agreements

Julie Robinson
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Julie Robinson, head of Roythornes Agriculture team, considers the implications for landowners and shooting syndicates of Natural England’s revocation of general licences 04/05/06. As of 25 April 2019 anyone shooting the species of wild birds...

No-fault divorce - a step forward

John Boon
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On 9 April 2019 the Justice Secretary, David Gauke, announced that the Government would introduce legislation, as soon as possible, to allow married couples to divorce without blaming the other party for the breakdown of the marriage/civil...

Government announces plans for no-fault evictions to be scrapped in England

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By Kelly Willows and Michelle Moore The Government has announced plans on to scrap Section 21 notices in order to protect tenants from unethical landlords and to give them more long-term security. What is the current law? Landlords in England can...

Ten top tips for charities operating with a non-charity subsidiary

Julia Seary
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  Ensure that the purpose of the non-charity subsidiary is to help the charity to make a positive difference for its beneficiaries. The linkage must be for one of the following purposes: trading to raise money for the charity; carrying out...

Commercial Agents Regulations: new guidance on valuing compensation

Peter Cusick
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The recent (6 March 2019) High Court decision of Green Deal Marketing Southern Limited v Economy Energy Trading Limited and Others has a number of interesting facets, but arguably its greatest contribution is in relation to the question of how to value an...

Leaving the EU with no deal - will I still get my 2019 BPS payment?

Julie Robinson
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In this short article, our Head of Agriculture, Julie Robinson, takes a look at what happens to UK farmers’ right to direct payments under the CAP if we leave the EU without a deal on 12 April. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 12 April,...

MIPIM 2019 - Roythornes' reflections at year three

Shruti Trivedi
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It does not seem that long ago that we were frantically preparing for our first ever attendance at MIPIM, but having just attended the third consecutive year, it is noteworthy to compare our experiences over the recent years and to monitor what, if any,...

Grant of probate fees are expected to rise

Tamsyn Lees
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Following Elizabeth Young’ s blog back in November 2018 , an increase in fees for applying for a grant of probate is still expected - but not for a least another 21 days. So, in preparation, what will this mean for executors making an application and...

Inheritance Tax hacks - plan now to reduce your liability

Elizabeth Young
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Much of my time is spent advising on Inheritance Tax (IHT) and the ways in which people can reduce their liability. After all, IHT is very often viewed as a voluntary tax as there are legitimate ways in which the liability can be reduced and, in some cases,...

Brain injury and sport

Robert Dempsey
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In the space of just a few days, the charity Headway,  which offers support to victims of Traumatic Brain injuries, has had reason to be critical of FIFA, football’s governing body, following serious head injuries on the pitch. On 17 of...

PART 1: Pushing Mo to his Personal Best for AvMA

Robert Dempsey
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After weeks of “training” for the London half marathon the weekend of the race finally arrived. The Friday before was not ideal preparation. A routine dental check- up resulted in 3 mouth numbing injections and a filling. It dawned on me I...

Defending a legal claim against you

Cristina Parla
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We talk a lot about how we can help if you have suffered injuries and financial losses as a result of an accident that wasn’t your fault .  But we receive a significant amount of enquiries from people who have received court documents through the...

Trustee disqualification

Julia Seary
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The Charity Commission has used its legal powers to suspend and remove two individuals, who were trustees of The Suyuti Institute charity, for misconduct and mismanagement.  This means they are disqualified from being trustees or from holding...

The Charity Commission focuses on charities not reaching their potential

Julia Seary
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The Chair of the CC, Baroness Stowell, yesterday spoke of the need for charities to continue to strive to live up to public expectations so that the sector can be a much-needed source of hope, identity and pride.  The Charity Commission is focused on...

Workers' rights to itemised payslips

Desley Sherwin
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With effect from 6 April 2019, all workers (not just employees) will have the right to receive an itemised pay statement.  This will include, for example, workers on zero hours contracts. Employers are currently required to keep a sufficient record...

Understanding the role of an executor

Naomi Message
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End of life planning is something that we all have to do. As an individual, a will is arguably one of the most important documents we have to create, so it's worth taking the time to get it right and understand the different elements.   It is...

The challenges of running for AvMA (or "The Lonely Mess of a Long Distance Runner")

Robert Dempsey
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On the 10th of March I’ll be running around London in a half marathon - more specifically, the bit around the Thames that you see at the end of Eastenders. The reason? To raise money for the charity Action Against Medical Accidents or...

Ministry of Defence to issue ID cards to service leavers

Cristina Parla
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From 18 February 2019 armed forces veterans will receive an ID card which will help them access specialist support and services.  The new ID cards will be issued to veterans leaving the military since December 2018.  The Ministry of Justice has...

New legislation to restrict landlords' ability to request large deposits

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On 12 February, the Tenant Fees Bill 2017-2019 received royal assent and became the Tenant Fees Act 2019 . This legislation, when it comes into force on 1 June 2019, will apply to tenants and prospective tenants of Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements and...

Digital probate service: DIY probate

Esther Woodhouse
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Since 2017, HM Courts and Tribunal Services (HMCTS) have offered an online service enabling individuals to apply for a grant of probate in a deceased’s estate, providing certain criteria were met. HMCTS have now updated the system, now allowing...

Charging orders - an effective debt recovery tool

Martin Spencer
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So, you have an unpaid invoice, issued legal proceedings and obtained a county court judgment against your debtor. What happens next? It’s likely that if you have reached this stage, your debtor has not been particularly co-operative and you need to...

Adverse weather and travel disruption policies

Laura Hill
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Bad weather and issues with travel arrangements can cause significant amounts of disruption to a business and employers are often put in a position where they have to decide at the last minute what to do to adapt working arrangements to ensure that...

Automated vehicles - who is liable for an accident?

Lynda Thompson
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What would happen if you were involved in a car accident and it wasn’t you driving, but the vehicle itself? In November 2017 the Chancellor promised to have fully driverless cars in use by 2021.  All drivers have a duty to other road users...

What happens to the Agriculture Bill if there is no Brexit?

Julie Robinson
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Following the decisive defeat of the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal in parliament this week, Julie Robinson considers the implications for the Agriculture Bill if the UK does not leave the EU. The whole rationale behind the Agriculture Bill was to...

Avoid a Christmas (debt) hangover

Catherine Rickett
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As a business, you may have seen an increase in sales during the run-up to Christmas – which is great news – until your customers are late making payment and your cash flow suffers as a result. It’s pretty common for people to overspend at...

Family Investment Companies

Lizzie Walters
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It is often a frightening concept to give away hard-earned assets and lose control over them and this, together with concern over future cash flow, can be a barrier to putting assets into trust or simply making gifts. One of the key benefits of a family...

What to expect if your claim is defended

Catherine Rickett
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So, you have an unpaid invoice, you’ve issued legal proceedings, and your debtor has defended the claim. What happens next? You’re now in the hands of the courts, which can be a worrying time if you’re not familiar with the procedure....

The OTS releases its first report on the review into Inheritance Tax

Ben Taylor
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The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has released its first report on the review into Inheritance Tax (IHT). This first report comments on the administrative complexities of IHT which, surprisingly from a lawyer’s perspective, were the most...

Road Safety Week 19-25 November #BikeSmart

Cristina Parla
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In recent years the popularity of cycling has increased, and it's easy to understand why - it’s a sustainable method of transportation, and an excellent way to keep fit! According to statistics taken from the European Cyclists’ Federation,...

When does a planning obligation no longer serve a 'useful purpose'?

Charlotte Lockwood
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When is a ‘useful purpose’ not a useful purpose when it comes to planning obligations? A recent judgement helps bring clarity to a contentious area. The recent judgement in R. (on the application of Mansfield District Council) v Secretary of...

A tax on the bereaved: increased probate court fees

Elizabeth Young
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A banded system for probate court fees, tantamount to “a tax on the bereaved”, is back on the agenda for the government following their last ‘U’ turn on this topic in the run up to the last general election. The increases have been...

Trick or treat: could you be liable this Halloween?

Victoria Stevenson
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As children and their parents blow the cobwebs off their costumes this Halloween ready to threaten unimaginable horrors if not rewarded with chocolate and sweets, it is time to perhaps think about hidden booby traps.     Whether you see this...

Brexit: what does it mean for debt recovery in the UK and beyond?

Catherine Rickett
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The good people of the United Kingdom could be compared with squirrels this autumn: stockpiling goods and cash ahead of the unknowns of another British winter and the imminent exit of the UK from the European Union. The deadline is 11pm on 29 March...

The importance of guardianship

Tamsyn Lees
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Considering the worst case scenario is not always easy to do. However, when you have children it is important to think about who would care for them if the worst should happen to you. It cannot always be assumed that if the worst case scenario occurred...

Cyclists and the highway code review

Robert Dempsey
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In light of the government announcing a review of the highway code in an attempt to reduce road casualties, we wanted to highlight an article written last year by Rob Dempsey discussing the 'Dutch reach' practice. Recent figures from the...

OTS reviews Inheritance Tax

Ben Taylor
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In February I wrote about the importance of reviewing your will  and, in particular, about the need to stay on top of changes to the tax regime which might affect your estate planning (for those who missed it you can read it here ). As we near the...

Should relatives be allowed to enter civil partnerships to benefit from Inheritance Tax exemption?

Naomi Message
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In the days of ever increasing property values, but where the amount a person can pass to anyone free from Inheritance Tax on their death has been frozen for almost 10 years, should we be looking to protect the assets of those co-dependent on one...

Spectator injuries: who is liable?

Robert Dempsey
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A terribly sad story came out of the recent Ryder Cup Golf Tournament.  A spectator, Corine Remande, was blinded in one eye as a result of being hit by a ball played by Brooks Koepka. In the UK, it is accepted that competitors in sporting events owe a...

Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd v Williams and Waistell Japanese knotweed - who is liable and for how much?

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The Court of Appeal has recently handed down a decision regarding the encroachment of Japanese knotweed onto Mr Williams’ and Mr Waistell’s bungalows from a Network Rail track.  Japanese knotweed costs the UK annually between £160m...