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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 Liston
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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

Michelle Moore
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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 Liston
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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?

Michelle Moore
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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...

De-linked payments, the agricultural transition and planning for uncertainty

Julie Robinson
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In the absence of further clarity from Defra, land purchases and other transactions involving the restructuring of farm businesses will inevitably be dogged by uncertainty about the basis for de-linked payments. Our Head of Agriculture, Julie Robinson,...

Things you need to think about when making a will

Naomi Liston
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Having met with clients to discuss their wishes and concerns and to take will instructions over a number of years, the same or similar initial questions often come up.  What is a will? A will is a legal document which takes effect on death.  A...

Six top tips to keep the cash flowing

Catherine Rickett
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Trying to keep a continuous cash flow when running a small to medium enterprise is incredibly hard. You are often so busy trying to find and retain valuable staff members, attracting and keeping clients, and dealing with all of the bureaucracy that...

FAQs : Welfare attorneys

Gemma Hopper
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I regularly advise health and welfare attorneys on their duties, and it’s quite apparent that the same concerns come up time and time again.  Planning for later, or even end of life is difficult, so below are some answers to the questions...

No such things as "next of kin": the ever growing importance of Health and Welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney

Naomi Liston
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The concept of “next of kin” is often misunderstood and misinterpreted.  Contrary to common belief,  “next of kin” only exist on death and are those who would inherit if the person in question died without leaving a valid...

Promises, promises...and the family farm

Julie Robinson
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Promising your farm to one of your children is fine as long as you find a way to deliver. In this blog, we take a look at some recent “proprietary estoppel” cases where the courts have upheld claims to the family farm. There are few areas of...

Charity data breaches and electronic communications

Julia Seary
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During the last 12 months there have been around 150 data breaches reported to the ICO regulator; to put it in perspective this equates to a 100% increase in just two years. Like it or not, all charities must comply with the GDPR; there are minimal...

Packaging - the drivers, the pressures and the future

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The following guest blog is by Paul Jenkins.  Paul is Managing Director of ThePackHub , and will be guest speaker at our next Food Business Breakfast on 15 November.  If you would like to join us at the Breakfast, full details and free...

Is Airbnb "fairbnb"?

Robert Dempsey
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To mark the 10 th  anniversary of Airbnb, Rob Dempsey of Roythornes Solicitors considers the legal issues surrounding this recent holiday phenomenon in the context of personal injury law . Airbnb has become an increasingly popular preference for...

Four key ways to recover your debt

Catherine Rickett
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You’ve issued proceedings and have secured judgment against your debtor, but how can you actually get your money back? Here, we consider four different methods of enforcement and how being more aware of the situation your debtor is in can help you...

Major trauma centres a major success?

Robert Dempsey
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Restructuring of the NHS by governments of any persuasion can often arouse suspicion amongst the general public. However, a report published this month (August 2018) examines relatively recent changes to the NHS with apparent obvious benefits.  In...

The robots are coming...eventually

Mark Dodds
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If you listen to the headlines you will be forgiven for believing that we will all be replaced by robots within the next few years. But how does the reality compare with the hype and how well has the food sector embraced this emerging technology? As we...