Many wills contain clauses which alter the distribution of assets in the event of changing circumstances, such as the death of one of the beneficiaries under the will before the person making it. Continue reading →
Many wills contain clauses which alter the distribution of assets in the event of changing circumstances, such as the death of one of the beneficiaries under the will before the person making it. Continue reading →
Although commercial surrogacy businesses have long been banned in the UK, the Court of Appeal has ruled in a ground-breaking case that a clinical negligence victim will not be breaking the law if she enters into such an arrangement in California, where a more liberal surrogacy regime prevails. Continue reading →
A recent case, brought by a man who had entered into a two-year tenancy agreement with no break clause on a house and garden in Kent, dealt with the interpretation of a rent suspension clause. Continue reading →
Disregard for legal obligations in property development is unwise, as a recent case shows. It involved a developer that high-handedly decided to build affordable housing in the full knowledge that the charity which owns adjacent land benefits from restrictive covenants which would thereby be breached. The charity intended to use its land to build a hospice for sick children. Continue reading →
For those whose loved ones die as a result of clinical negligence, achieving closure can be as important as obtaining just compensation. That was certainly so in one case in which a woman succeeded in proving that her father’s death was avoidable and was caused by a mistaken decision to send him home from hospital. Continue reading →
Those who suffer injury as a result of their employer’s negligence or failure to comply with health and safety rules are entitled to compensation. In one striking case, nine hair and beauty college workers who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning due to a blocked boiler flue won over £100,000 in compensation between them. Continue reading →
Recently, Santander was fined more than £30 million for failing to distribute more than £180 million held in deceased customers’ accounts to their personal representatives or entitled beneficiaries. More than 40,000 account holders were involved in a problem that persisted for years, leading to an investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Continue reading →
A recent case in which a landlord sought repossession of a property from its tenant on the ground that it intended to redevelop the property has gained a great deal of attention, but may not be as important as it first seems. Continue reading →
The Court of Appeal has upheld the decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) that drivers who use online taxi company Uber’s app are ‘workers’ within the meaning of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA), rather than self-employed contractors, and thus have the right to be paid the National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage and to receive holiday pay. However, the Court has given the company permission to appeal to the Supreme Court (Uber BV and Others v Aslam and Others). Continue reading →
For sufferers of Cauda Equina Syndrome, failure or delay in diagnosis can have permanent and life-changing consequences. Those who have been misdiagnosed or who have developed the condition as a result of another medical procedure may be able to claim compensation. Continue reading →
Proposals to link the cost of being granted probate over an estate valued at more than £5,000 (currently fixed at £215 for those applying individually or £155 if applying through a solicitor) to the value of the estate were announced in 2017 but were quickly dropped amidst a storm of protest. Continue reading →
In a guideline ruling, the Court of Appeal recently found that on a straightforward reading of the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999, two care workers who were expected to sleep for all or most of their shifts and were provided with suitable facilities were entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for time when they were required to be awake for the purpose of performing some particular task, but not for time when they were asleep (Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake and Shannon v Jaikishan and Another). Continue reading →
The Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 established a minimum standard of fairness for part-timers so that they cannot be treated less favourably than comparable full-time co-workers, unless the treatment is justified on objective grounds. Continue reading →
Struggling companies all too often put off settling their tax liabilities in order to meet their other creditors’ demands and stay afloat. However, a case in which the boss of a beauty treatments business was banned from holding directorships shows how very unwise that is. Continue reading →
When a firm set up two websites that had names close to those of a competitor’s registered trade marks, it was making an expensive mistake, as a recent High Court decision shows. Continue reading →
With a growing population and relatively low levels of new house-building taking place, the UK property market has suffered a perennial shortage of housing. Under the National Planning Policy Framework, councils are obligated to confirm on an annual basis that they have a supply of deliverable sites which are capable of meeting their housing demand for the next five years. Continue reading →
The general rule is that employees who work outside Britain cannot bring complaints before domestic Employment Tribunals (ETs). However, as a guideline Court of Appeal decision showed, there are exceptions and the issue of where the territorial reach of UK employment law finds its limits is highly fact sensitive (The British Council v Jeffery). Continue reading →
Litigation takes time but, as a High Court case showed, specialist lawyers are more than capable of obtaining interim compensation awards so that negligence victims can have their pressing needs for accommodation and care swiftly met. Continue reading →
Asbestos ruins lives, frequently decades after exposure, and you should not delay in taking legal advice if you or your loved ones are affected. Recently, a man whose beloved brother died from asbestos-related lung cancer received a six-figure sum in compensation from two of the brother’s former employers. Continue reading →
Many employers require their staff to sign copyright agreements by which they give up their intellectual property rights to designs or other works created in the course of their employment. In an important decision concerning a luxury leather goods manufacturer, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruled that one such agreement was a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim (Gray v Mulberry Company (Design) Limited). Continue reading →
Freak accidents do happen but, where an accident is someone else’s fault, it is all part of a specialist lawyer’s work to ensure that victims are fairly compensated. In one case, a young man who was catastrophically injured when felled by a heavy metal gate that was blown into him by a gust of wind secured £10.4 million in compensation. Continue reading →
When a dispute broke out over an insurance claim, the value of line-by-line analysis of the policy terms and the obligations to make disclosures were made starkly evident. The dispute arose after the owner of a property rented it out to another firm for waste recycling. Insurance cover was placed with two insurers by a broker on behalf of the tenant and the property owner to cover various risks, including to the plant and machinery. Continue reading →
It is common for a formal contract to be preceded by a letter of intent which allows the parties to the contract to make progress whilst the formalities are being sorted out. Normally all goes well, but a recent case shows the dangers of proceeding too quickly under a letter of intent without having all the necessary contractual safeguards in place. Continue reading →
Statistical evidence, however striking, is rarely enough to prove discrimination in the workplace, a correlation not being the same as a causal link. However, in Brando-Calderon v Co-operative Group Limited, the fact that there was not a single non-white manager of a retail chain’s 81 stores in a particular region had a persuasive impact on an Employment Tribunal (ET) in determining that the claimant had suffered direct discrimination because of his race. Continue reading →
Although it is normally necessary to ensure that personal injury claims are brought soon after an injury occurs, there are some injuries which may manifest themselves only years after they have been caused. Exposure to noxious substances is a common cause of delayed injury, with mesothelioma often taking decades to manifest itself after exposure to harmful asbestos fibres. Continue reading →
A dismissed university professor has succeeded in keeping alive her hopes of winning compensation for sex and disability discrimination. In ruling on her case, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) succinctly defined the legal tests that should be applied in disability cases (Sheikholeslami v University of Edinburgh). Continue reading →
ER v Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
Jonathan Austen-Jones represented the Claimant (“ER”), a 53 years old man who was taken by ambulance to the Royal Sussex County Hospital on 4 March 2017 after suffering with abdominal pain over the previous two days. Continue reading →
RH v Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
RH sought help and advice from Jonathan Austen-Jones to investigate a potential claim for clinical negligence against the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust following back surgery carried out by one of its orthopaedic and spinal specialists.
Continue reading →
Gazebos are used by all kinds of organisations when attending events up and down the country. It may not seem that an employer’s duty to assess and minimise workplace risks would extend to tasks such as carrying and assembling gazebos, but a recent case shows that it does. Continue reading →
In order to succeed in a ‘secondary victim’ claim as a result of clinical negligence it is necessary to establish that the claimant suffered psychiatric illness or injury – as opposed to grief, sorrow, deprivation or the need to provide care for the loved one who has suffered the injury – as a result of witnessing a sudden, shocking event. Given the number of hurdles a claimant has to clear to show that the many tests have been met, there have been very few successful claims to date. Continue reading →
Two recent cases illustrate that employers need to be vigilant in assessing tripping and slipping hazards in areas where workers perform their tasks. If they fail in this duty, those who are injured as a result may be able to claim compensation. Continue reading →
Hospital accident and emergency departments work under intense pressure but, if negligent mistakes are made, it is only right that compensation is paid. In a case in point, a boy who was sent home by medical staff despite suffering from a rare brain infection has won a seven-figure compensation pay out from the NHS. Continue reading →
When a fire at a military base in Shropshire in 1983 covered a large area near Telford with toxic dust, the potential long-term health implications were clear. It took the local council three days to start a clean-up operation to clear the area of the dust, which contained asbestos particles. Continue reading →
A radical proposal for cycling awareness has been unveiled by the government. The plans include a series of measures to improve safety for vulnerable road users, and to encourage and support cycling. The aim is to reduce the significant number of serious and fatal accidents suffered by cyclists. Continue reading →
The perils of contracting with undercapitalised limited companies, with no guarantees from directors or others associated with them, were starkly revealed by a High Court case concerning the £5 million refurbishment of a manor house. Continue reading →
The process of making staff redundant needs careful handling, as was illustrated by a recent case in which a charity that failed to consult an IT support worker before terminating his contract only narrowly defeated his unfair dismissal claim (Colquhoun v Independent Living Support Limited). Continue reading →
It is normally essential at all stages of an employment law claim to provide the necessary documentation and to meet the requisite deadlines. It is therefore sensible to put your case in the hands of solicitors, who have systems in place for ensuring time limits are met. Continue reading →
Healthy competition is one thing, but using a rival’s confidential information in order to gain an unfair edge in the marketplace is quite another. That distinction was at the heart of a bitter commercial dispute between competitors in the party balloon business. Continue reading →
Questions asked of job applicants at interview should be carefully considered in advance and formulated with the benefit of legal advice. In one case where that signally did not happen, a 67-year-old man who was turned down for a park attendant’s job succeeded in an age discrimination claim (James v Coedffranc Community Council). Continue reading →
One of the biggest dangers when a senior employee leaves an organisation is the ease with which they can spirit away confidential information of importance to the business. Data is a critical asset for many businesses, and along with the sanctions which may be available under the Data Protection Act 2018, there are other weapons that can be deployed to prevent it leaking. One of these is having in place the right terms and conditions of employment. Continue reading →
No matter how many security measures are taken, plots of vacant land are at risk of being invaded by trespassers. However, with the right legal advice, landowners can take pre-emptive action to minimise such hazards and protect their investments. Continue reading →
If you receive notice of an Employment Tribunal (ET) complaint against you, we strongly advise that you seek professional legal advice as soon as possible. A recent case that reached the Court of Appeal shows the potentially dire consequences of any delay (Office Equipment Systems Limited v Hughes). Continue reading →
Those who dishonestly procure goods in the knowledge that they lack the funds to pay for them are guilty of deceit and at risk of being ordered to pay damages. The principle was underlined by a case involving a commodities trading company that went bust leaving a seven-figure bill for a consignment of sunflower oil unpaid. Continue reading →
When the owner of a property that had been designated as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) by his local council in 2001 chose to challenge that ruling some 15 years later, the council refused to review the decision. The property owner claimed to have had no knowledge of the decision when it was made, which was disputed by the council. Continue reading →
Local authorities are obliged to maximise the income generated from exploitation of their property and other assets. The High Court made that point in rejecting claims that a council acted unlawfully in renting out two hi-tech advertising towers to the highest bidder. Continue reading →
Employers can be found vicariously liable for the actions of their staff when these occur in the course of their employment, which can include during an office function, but what is the position when one employee suffers injury at the hands of another at an impromptu get-together some hours after a planned works event has finished? The High Court had found that a recruitment company was not liable for serious injuries inflicted by one member of staff on another in such circumstances, but that decision has now been overturned by the Court of Appeal (Bellman v Northampton Recruitment Limited). Continue reading →
The perils of contracting with undercapitalised limited companies, with no guarantees from directors or others associated with them, were starkly revealed by a High Court case concerning the £5 million refurbishment of a manor house. Continue reading →
In a workplace context, an employer can be found liable for the acts or omissions of its employees, provided it can be shown that they took place in the course of their employment – i.e. where there is sufficient connection between the employee’s position and the wrongful conduct to make it right for the employer to be held responsible. Continue reading →
With skyscrapers in big cities reaching ever more impressive heights, rights to light have become an increasing source of controversy. That was certainly so in a High Court case in which an office block tenant feared its windows would be starved of sunlight by plans to increase the height of an adjoining building. Continue reading →
In a decision that will be essential reading for property professionals, the High Court has ruled that landlords who invoke the statutory commercial rent arrears recovery (CRAR) regime may thereby waive any right they have to forfeit leases. Continue reading →
There are estimated to be more than 40 million people who are victims of ‘modern slavery’ at any given time. A quarter of them are children, and the number of victims in the UK was estimated to be between 10,000 and 13,000 in 2013, although the National Crime Agency has found this to be only the ‘tip of the iceberg’, with the true figure being substantially higher. Continue reading →
Even apparently innocuous business models can have an unforeseen discriminatory impact. A medical practice faced just such an allegation due to its belief that only full-time doctors could provide the best possible medical care to patients (Ali v Bedford Hill Family Practice). Continue reading →
Financial penalties imposed for health and safety breaches are meant to hurt. That was certainly demonstrated by one case in which a small trailer repair company was fined £120,000 following a much-loved grandfather’s death in an avoidable workplace accident. Continue reading →
Staff who are transferred from one employer to another have a right to work under the same terms and conditions as before, but what happens if such provisions become obsolete? That was the issue facing the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in a guideline case. Continue reading →
Property title deeds often contain restrictions on future use of the land and one of the most common is a requirement that only one house can be built on a single plot. It may be thought that such a restriction must be adhered to forever, but if the circumstances are appropriate, restrictions can be lifted if they impede reasonable developments from reaching fruition. Continue reading →
Some forms of workplace misconduct may appear to be so serious as to obviously justify dismissal as a matter of common sense. However, as an instructive decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) showed, the need for even-handed fairness and consistency is a constant in every employment case, no matter how grave (Doy v Clays Limited). Continue reading →
In the heat of office disputes, it is only too easy for employers to unwisely take hasty action and make accusations that do not stand up to proof. A High Court case in the context of the insurance industry showed just how costly a failure to take stock and seek legal advice can be (Brown and Another v Neon Management Services Limited and Another). Continue reading →
Rent review clauses are normally straightforward, but when they are not there may be trouble brewing. Recently, a case involving an office block in Bromley found its way to the Court of Appeal. In dispute was the amount of rent payable on the rent review date. Continue reading →
Hospital accident and emergency (A&E) departments work under intense pressure but, if negligent mistakes are made, it is only right that compensation is paid. In a case in point, a boy who was sent home from a hospital despite suffering from a rare brain infection secured a seven-figure compensation pay out from the NHS. Continue reading →
Worldwide freezing orders are an essential means by which dissipation of wrongfully obtained money and assets can be effectively prevented. However, as an important High Court ruling showed, such orders are worth little more than the paper they are written on if they are obtained without full and fair disclosure of evidence. Continue reading →
Trees may be easy on the eye, but they can also be dangerous and landowners are under a legal duty to protect the public from falling timber. In a recent case, a bus driver who was seriously injured when his cab was hit by a falling lime tree won the right to up to £500,000 in compensation. Continue reading →
The debate about zero hours contracts has very much focused on the perceived lack of protection they provide to workers. However, as a case concerning a student who worked part time in a restaurant shows, they do not necessarily work in the employer’s favour either (Rice Shack Limited v Obi). Continue reading →
Taking on the police in court can appear daunting, but specialist solicitors are more than capable of performing the task, as was shown by a recent case in which the family of a young man who suffocated in a police van following his traumatic arrest successfully negotiated a six-figure settlement of their damages claim. Continue reading →
The received wisdom is that whilst debtor days are rising only slightly for most businesses, problem debts are on the increase. It is no great surprise, therefore, that a recent survey revealed that in the second quarter of 2018 one in four businesses had significant financial pressure brought on by the insolvency of a customer. Continue reading →
Products sell for widely differing prices in different national markets and that creates the opportunity for goods to be transferred from a low-price market to a higher-price one – a practice known as ‘grey importing’. This can undermine the profitability of the higher-priced market, especially where its marketing and distribution carry much higher costs. Continue reading →
If you fail to win a public contract following a flawed tendering exercise, you may be able to challenge the result. However, as a High Court case showed, such proceedings are subject to extremely tight time limits and those who delay seeking legal advice are at risk of stumbling at the first hurdle. Continue reading →
In a case concerning ownership of intellectual property (Sprint Electric Limited v Buyer’s Dream Limited), although neither of the parties called into question the description of the employment relationship between them, the High Court found that ‘where…the Court has concerns that the labels that the parties have chosen to apply to their relationship are untrue or inaccurate, and have been applied as a device to avoid the payment of taxes that are properly due, the Court can and should consider the issue of its own motion’. Continue reading →
Insurance is a legal requirement for any driver in the UK and that is why insurance policies cover drivers, not the cars they drive. Since insurance companies will always seek to minimise the amount they pay out on claims, there are often lively arguments about who was responsible for an accident, and to what extent, especially where there is more than one driver involved. Continue reading →
Healys LLP recently acted on behalf of a Client on an Application for an annulment of his bankruptcy, pursuant to S.282 (1) (b) of the Insolvency Act 1986, on the basis that the debts and expenses had been paid or secured for, to the satisfaction of the court. Continue reading →
Healys acted for the Trustee in Bankruptcy of Ms H, who was the subject of a bankruptcy order made in 2010 on the petition of the supervisor of her Individual Voluntary Arrangement (“IVA”). The IVA had been entered into by Ms H in 2003 as a means of annulling a previous bankruptcy order made in 2000. However, the supervisor petitioned for her bankruptcy on her failure to comply with the terms of her IVA. Continue reading →
With the benefit of expert legal advice, even motorists who are partly to blame for accidents can win compensation for any injuries they suffer. Exactly that happened in one case concerning a motorcyclist who was travelling well over the speed limit when he collided with a lorry. Continue reading →
Road accidents happen in seconds and those who are injured often have little or no memory of what happened. However, as a High Court case showed, that should not discourage victims from seeking legal advice with a view to fair compensation. Continue reading →
Boardroom conflict can often mean directors falling into opposing camps, with deadlock the result. As a High Court decision shows, taking legal advice is often the only means of achieving a resolution. Continue reading →
Expert legal advice is essential for those injured or made ill during a leisure activity, as was shown by a case in which lawyers secured a six-figure settlement for 28 victims of salmonella poisoning. Continue reading →
When a company enters liquidation, one of the principles that has to be observed is that creditors of the same class have to be treated the same way. There is, however, an exception to the rule under the Insolvency Rules 2016. If a company in liquidation owes money to a person or organisation and is also owed money by them, then an automatic ‘set-off’ applies and only the net balance is taken into account in the liquidation. This applies by rule of law and cannot be legally overridden. Continue reading →
In the year to May 2018, councils in the UK paid out more than £2.1 million in compensation to pedestrians who tripped on uneven pavements, according to information obtained following freedom of information requests made by the Automobile Association (AA). Continue reading →
The dangers of asbestos were first identified in the 1930s but people are even now dying as a result of workplace exposure to the carcinogenic substance as asbestos-related diseases often take decades to manifest clinical symptoms. However, as a recent case in which a widow was awarded a six-figure sum showed, a compensation settlement is still possible many years after the exposure. Continue reading →
People take professional advice all the time, and rely on it. A professional who gives advice will normally not only have the appropriate qualifications but will also be covered by the firm’s professional indemnity policy, so that if their advice turns out to be negligent, the client can be compensated. Continue reading →
Following on from the decision in Bear Scotland Limited and Others v Fulton and Others that payments for overtime which employees are required to work but which their employer is not obliged to offer them do count as ‘normal remuneration’ for the purposes of calculating a worker’s statutory holiday pay entitlement for the four weeks’ annual leave required under the EU Working Time Directive (WTD), the focus has shifted to whether or not payments for voluntary overtime should also be included in the calculation. Continue reading →
Business owners and directors who fail to pay fines can lose in more ways than just financially. When a Derbyshire company fell foul of the Health and Safety Executive following a near-fatal accident to one of its employees, the fine that resulted after the investigation amounted to more than a quarter of a million pounds. Continue reading →
Football Association (FA) rules require that, where disputes arise between players’ agents and clubs, they must be resolved by arbitration rather than by public court proceedings. The extent of that requirement came under analysis in a High Court case that raised novel contractual issues. Continue reading →
There is a common belief that in any contract, if the goods or services provided do not do what they are intended to do it will open the door for a claim in damages. That is not always so, as a recent case shows. Continue reading →
Judicial powers to review decisions reached by dispute arbitrators are strictly limited and do not provide an opportunity for disappointed parties to refight factual issues that have already been resolved. The High Court succinctly made that point in a case concerning the acrimonious demise of a business partnership. Continue reading →
Collecting debts is often a long and arduous process, but the use of bankruptcy proceedings can be an effective means of bringing matters to a head. That was certainly so in one case in which a businessman tried, but failed, to avoid bankruptcy in respect of a judgment debt totalling more than £16 million. Continue reading →
A hospital trust has been criticised for “serious failings” that led to the death of an elderly patient as a result of drinking cleaning fluid. An Inquest into her death, held between 10th and 18th September 2018, has resulted in the issue of a Regulation 28 Report (Prevention of Future Death report) by the Coroner. Continue reading →
The aim of compensation is to put victims of negligence as nearly as possible in the same position they would have been in had they not been injured. In a good example of that principle being applied, a woman who lost a leg in a road accident was awarded more than £4 million in damages. Continue reading →
Jerome O’Sullivan, a Partner specialising in Construction Dispute Resolution, recently successfully concluded a high value and complex dispute in the Technology & Construction Court. Continue reading →
More deliberation and responsibility needs to be brought to transactions by dealers, buyers and sellers in the classic car world, say London Solicitors Healys LLP, following the distressing news which was announced yesterday in the classic car world of the appointment of administrators to the troubled historic car sales, restoration and preparation business JD Classics which had publicly been perceived as a beacon in the sector. Continue reading →
The first step in proving negligence is to establish that a duty of care is owed, and that can be no easy matter. However, in an important decision, the High Court has ruled that a police force owed such a duty to a suicidal woman who died from an overdose following a delayed response to a 999 call. Continue reading →
A music teacher who suffered a serious leg injury when she fell off a stage at the University of London, while teaching the oboe to students from the National Youth Orchestra, has secured £65,000 in compensation. Continue reading →
If a loved one dies in an accident that is someone else’s fault, you are entitled to compensation to reflect the loss of services and financial support that the deceased would otherwise have provided to you. However, as a High Court case showed, proving the existence or extent of such dependency is not always an easy matter. Continue reading →
A recent case saw the family of a woman from West Yorkshire, who died after being diagnosed with mesothelioma many years after being exposed to harmful asbestos dust when she washed her husband’s work overalls, obtain compensation for the cost of her hospice care from the insurer of the company her husband had worked for. Continue reading →
Parents obviously bear responsibility for the safety of their children, but that does not mean that they have to be wrapped in cotton wool. A judge resoundingly made that point in rejecting claims that a mother was partially responsible for catastrophic injuries suffered by her eight-year-old son in a road accident. Continue reading →
In the current housing market, there is a pressing need for new-build developments and for ensuring that redundant agricultural buildings be restored or converted for this purpose. There must, however, be a sensitivity and awareness towards the surrounding landscape and architectural heritage, and new developments need to try to strike the right balance. Continue reading →
Healys are delighted to announce that they have been shortlisted to win “Regional Conveyancing Firm of the Year” at The LFS Conveyancing Awards.
The Conveyancing Awards, sponsored by Groundsure, are widely recognised as being the most coveted in the conveyancing industry. Judged by high-profile industry representatives and with a rigorous selection process evaluating conveyancing practices, staff training and client satisfaction, the winners will be announced at the awards dinner held at The Vox Conference Centre in Birmingham on 19th September 2018.
Kiri Kkoshi, Partner and Head of Real Estate, said: “We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for our second award this year, and proud to be one of the finalists at such a prestigious event. The LFS conveyancing awards are deservedly respected for their comprehensive judging criteria and our inclusion as finalists is testament not only to the unceasing hard work of our staff but also to our continued commitment to exemplary levels of customer service. I am proud of my team and look forward to the awards ceremony.”
In the case of Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) v Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC) at the Court of Appeal, the Law Society is intervening in defence of professional privilege. Continue reading →
A recent case on the difficult area of proprietary estoppel demonstrates that when it comes to who will inherit your estate, you may not be able to change your mind if the potential beneficiary has already relied on the promise. Continue reading →
It is a common misconception that Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”) are an unregulated way for companies, in particular early stage companies, to raise finance for their projects. Avoiding the traditional and often ill-desired routes to financing, such as taking on demanding, control obsessed venture capital partners, they are seen as a quicker and less costly option, a mistaken belief that is propagated by the tech corporate finance press’s portrayal of an ICO as a sure fire way to attract investment for your start up. Continue reading →
The Mortgage Awards, from MoneyAge, acknowledge and reward outstanding achievement in the UK mortgage space. Judged by high-profile industry representatives, the announcement was made at a gala event at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London on May 10th. Continue reading →
Last week Mr Justice Green, a senior High Court judge, handed down a judgement in which he condemned immigration law firms who resort to litigation as a strategy to thwart removal proceedings for immigrants illegally in the UK, regardless of any merit to their case. Mr Justice Green said that: Continue reading →
David Schollenberger, Partner and head of Gaming, Hotels and Leisure at Healys LLP, will be moderating a panel discussion on the progress and development of the Integrated Casino Resort, as well as taking part in a discussion about the possible benefits and disruptions caused by the Integrated Casino Resort to the Cyprus Hotel Industry. Continue reading →
Marketing affiliates provide invaluable services to online gaming and betting companies in supplying marketing services and directing customers to operator websites. They do not typically hold customer funds, nor do they operate and provide games of chance and betting services to customers directly. Rather they advertise operator’s services and act as a liason between customers and operators and drive traffic to operator’s gambling services business. As such, their activities are similar in some ways to the services junket operators provide to land based casinos. Junket operators now require licensing in many gaming jurisdictions and are unfortunately tainted with a history of association with organised crime. Continue reading →
In a development that might best be described as better late than never (even if it is more than 40 years late), the Home Office have published a guidance document to help the Windrush generation to regularise their immigration status in the UK. In it, the Home Office give the following advice: Continue reading →
Solicitors Healys have stepped in to safeguard a unique collection of motoring memorabilia worth more than £250,000, which is owned by the Guild of Motoring Writers (GoMW). Continue reading →
Under current data protection laws, every individual in the UK (whether legally or illegally resident in the UK) has the right to request a copy of the data held by the Home Office on them. To obtain a copy of that data, a person can make a “Subject Access Request” (SAR) to the Home Office and pay a fee of £10. Continue reading →
On my first ever trip to Thorpe Park with my son (who was 8 years old at that time), it soon dawned on us that the we would only get to go on 3-4 of the popular rides during the whole day, as the queues for them were very long. Continue reading →
Yesterday, just as my wife and I were about to tuck into a delicious Sunday roast at “The Anglers” pub adjacent to Teddington Lock, I received a call from LBC asking me to be a guest on the Andrew Castle show to comment on that morning’s Guardian article, in which they say that there are calls for the Home Secretary to resign over the “Windrush Generation” scandal. Continue reading →
Head of Immigration, Ivon Sampson, comments on the warning from the Law Society, recently reported on the BBC, of ‘Serious Flaws’ in the UK immigration system. You can read the article here. Continue reading →
Financing for i-Gaming businesses is one of the most important considerations for successful operation and growth. What forms of financing are available to i-Gaming companies from start-ups to multinationals? Are banks interested in financing early stage i-Gaming companies? What are the best sources to find venture capital, angel investors and debt financing? What are the costs and advantages and disadvantages of different types of financing? Is the market for obtaining financing currently more difficult than previous years? Has Brexit had an effect on funding? What do investors look for operationally and structurally in i-gaming companies?. What legal issues are faced in financing i-Gaming businesses, both for investors and companies? Continue reading →
Buying or selling a home can be stressful, which is why the next most important decision to make is who should represent your legal interests. A Solicitor or Licensed Conveyancer will both be qualified and able to smooth the journey to completion: but how they work and what they charge can vary. Continue reading →
In what could be the largest ever equal pay challenge in UK history, legal proceedings have begun against retail giant Tesco. Up to 200,000 shop floor staff could be affected by the claim, which has the potential to cost Tesco up to £20,000 per worker in back pay over at least 6 years. If successful, the final compensation bill could be as much as £4bn. Continue reading →
David Bailey, Partner in the Dispute Resolution team, discusses the question in the Times Newspaper.
Mediation is generally a cost-effective alternative way to secure dispute resolution. These days, typically in commercial cases, parties arrive legally tooled up with a full set of solicitors, barristers and experts, much as they would for a trial, and act accordingly. Continue reading →
The stalling property market has led some frustrated sellers to set up online raffles to sell their homes, but David Schollenberger of Healys says they must make sure they don’t fall foul of the Gambling Commission. Continue reading →
There has been a great deal of uncertainty and animosity between the UK and the EU since the referendum of 2016 and the implementation of Article 50 in March 2017. It is not clear what kind of relationship the UK will have with the EU in the wake of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, or what form a post-EU arrangement will take. There are however several likely implications for EU nationals in the event of a hard or soft Brexit: Continue reading →
Compared to other European jurisdictions, Cyprus has been relatively slow to legalise land based gaming and launch online sports betting. But now that it has begun to open up its gambling market, David Schollenberger of Healys sees great potential ahead for the country. Continue reading →
No, is the short answer. It is a long standing myth that cohabiting couples have the same rights financially as married couples, this is not the case. Although in very few circumstances, as a cohabitee, you may have some rights financially, this is not guaranteed. Continue reading →
There is a lot of talk about fraud these days and rightly so. It is expensive, damages businesses, can have lasting emotional effects and we are all victims in one way or another. Continue reading →
When I have been faced with the prospect of a case not going our way, I have advised clients that they should consider withdrawing an appeal and reapplying rather than having a negative decision that could be adverse to the client in future applications. This is even more so where the court casts doubts about the credibility of the appellant, documentary evidence or witnesses that support the appellant’s case. Continue reading →
A case highlighted back in June was the court of Appeal decision in Harrison v University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trusts  EWCA Civ 792 which confirmed the principles established in the Merrix case regarding the inter-relationship between budgets and detailed assessment. In short… Continue reading →
A recent report by the IOD and BLM law states that negligence claims against property solicitors are continuing to rise, as the issue of leasehold ground rents comes into public view. These claims have arisen from purchasers of leasehold properties who have sought to recover compensation for ground rent charges, which they claim that they were never informed of. Continue reading →
In an age when we are living longer, but not necessarily healthier, nominating a trustworthy person to make decisions for us in the event of mental incapacity is sensible life planning. Continue reading →
Perhaps not surprisingly, there have been a plethora of authorities in relation to costs and recoveries and that continues apace.
In Jordan v MGM Limited  EWHC 1937 (Ch), the claimant was (“rightly”) penalised by the very late acceptance of a Part 36 offer. The offer had been made over two and half years previously and it was accepted just before trial. As a consequence, the Claimant was ordered to pay the Defendant’s costs (and on an indemnity basis) from the date of expiry of the relevant period under the Part 36 offer.
In a similar case of Briggs v CEF Holdings Ltd (2017) CA (Civ Div), the defendant appealed to the Court of Appeal in respect of the first instance district judge’s order on costs. The Court of Appeal overturned the district judge’s ruling and found for the defendant on costs on the Part 36 issue.
There has been much focus on ensuring that my team manage Part 36 offers properly in order to ensure that they know which ones are open and hence which ones might (depending on developments within the case) need to be withdrawn or increased/decreased. Of course, the other side of the coin is ensuring that you consider a Part 36 offer that is made by the other party carefully (and then advising the client accordingly) in order to determine whether it should be accepted or, if not, ensuring that the client is fully aware of the possible consequences. I can easily see how failure to deal with such matters properly could lead to a claim against the solicitor.
For more information on this topic or any service we offer please contact Robert Johnson on 020 7822 4000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The rules of financial requirements of sponsors has recently been changed by the Home Office. This was as a result of the Supreme Court’s judgement in MM (Lebanon) & Others which was given on 22 February 2017. This decision challenged the Minimum Income Requirements under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules on the grounds that they breached Article 8 of the ECHR. Continue reading →
The UK has again bounced back as confidence rises in investment with an increase in the number of Tier 1 Investor Visa applications for the UK which totalled 85 for the first quarter of 2017. The turnaround started in the last quarter of 2016 and is continuing into this year. Continue reading →
Eventus International, the global events and exhibitions company responsible for bringing forward-thinking events to the gambling and gaming industry, today announced a strategic partnership with Healys LLP to develop and support the Cyprus Gaming Show (CGS 2017). The partnership will combine Eventus International’s event expertise and reach with Healys’ extensive experience on regulatory and compliance issues for both online and land-based gaming. Healys is part of the team of consultants supporting the Cyprus government on the Integrated Casino Resort Project, assigned the role of the legal advisor. Continue reading →
The communities secretary, Sajid Javid, has announced proposals to make leasehold fairer. It is proposed that selling houses on a leasehold basis will be banned altogether, and the ground rent for new leasehold flats will be set at a peppercorn. Continue reading →
On the face of it bricks and mortar casinos might seem the obvious candidates for setting up successful online gambling operations, but historically their efforts have been a bit hit and miss. David Schollenberger of Healys explains why they’ve yet to make a big impact in i-gaming and ponders whether this may change in future. Continue reading →
Land based casino operators have had varying attitudes and approaches to online gaming. Some see it as potential cannibalisation and some view it as a massive opportunity. Various forays by land based operators into i-gaming have had mixed success. Continue reading →
The ‘fair and serious offer’ for anxious EU nationals living in the UK from Prime Minister Theresa May is neither and presents nothing new. Furthermore, it will leave many with the same uncertainty as they currently face. Continue reading →
It has been reported in the Guardian today that after the dinner of EU leaders which takes place tonight in Brussels, Theresa May will set out the principles of the Government’s negotiating position on the future rights of EU nationals living in the UK. Continue reading →
The case of Julie Sharp and her ex-husband Robin Sharp was widely reported in the news on 14 June 2017. This case related to a short marriage of six years in duration, with the parties having no children together. Continue reading →
R (on the application of Kiarie) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent) R (on the application of Byndloss) (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent)  UKSC 42 Continue reading →
With the growing threat of cyber crime, how can i-Gaming companies protect themselves and their customers? Prevention and technology tools are key, writes David Schollenberger of Healys LLP.
Cyber crime is currently one of the biggest concerns of i-gaming operators, regulators and customers alike. As the business of online gaming has grown, internet fraud, theft and attacks have followed.
On Wednesday 26 April 2017, Healys’ Private Wealth team presented an update on all the changes that have been implemented or planned for 2017 that affect the protection of wealth to a private audience consisting of a number of professionals.
On 17 March, an investigation of 3 meatpacking units/plants in the Brazilian southern state of Paraná sent the world’s food industry on alert: are all meats from Brazil tainted? Continue reading →
The Supreme Court has today handed down judgment in the case of Ilott -v- Mitson, the first time that the highest court in the land has considered claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. The court has overturned the Court of Appeal’s decision in the case, making some important points on how the courts should apply the 1975 Act. Continue reading →
The last revision of the discount rate was undertaken on 25th June 2001, when it was set at 2.5%. From 20th March 2017, the rate drops from 2.5% to minus 0.75%. It is a change of 3.25 percentage points. Continue reading →
Franchising is one of the quickest, most cost efficient and widely accepted means of expanding a hotel brand globally. If a brand is strong, the hotel design and services attractive and the delivery of reservations robust, there should be a substantial demand from franchisees for franchises outside the home country of the franchisor and abundant hotel guests wanting to stay at those franchised hotels. Continue reading →
Following the UK’s decision to leave the EU after over 43 years of membership, there are plenty of questions and uncertainties surrounding the future both of current employees, and the employment of overseas workers. In a world of continued globalisation, we understand the necessity of having a network of employees, both local and overseas, in order to help your business to thrive and expand. Our presentation will look to answer any legal questions you may have surrounding the employment of overseas workers, and provide you with any assistance you may need.
The presentation will cover a range of the most common questions businesses and employees have over the future of employment law in the UK, as well as the considerations you, as an employer, need to make following Brexit.
We will look at the views of the public towards immigration, as well as the stance the government is looking to take, discussing the impacts and likelihoods that these attitudes are likely to present, as well as looking at a range of proposed policy changes surrounding employment law.
Looking at the results of the referendum, we will explore the fallout, and the timeline of the way Brexit may pan out.
We will discuss the new points and weightings which will be given to workers in rCoS requests, as well as increased costs of sponsoring overseas workers.
Looking at the new legislation surrounding illegal workers, including fines, and the responsibilities of employers in employing illegal workers.
In organising a new trade agreement with a 27-member organisation, what discussions will be made, and what model of trading are we likely to take on board? We will also take a look at the relationship between the European Court of Justice and the UK courts
Discussing the changes to legislation which affect employers directly, and things you need to look out for.
Looking at ways to protect your business, and how companies have already started making changes in employment strategies.
If you are interested in finding out more about any of the topics which will be covered in the presentation, or have any comments or questions, please contact us about coming along to our event on the 31st January.
Offering services in China offers huge opportunities for those companies comfortable with the risks. David Schollenberger of Healys LLP reviews the legality of gambling in the PRC, Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Continue reading →
As part of its strategy to help JAMS (just about managing) people, the Chancellor has announced plans today in the Government’s Autumn Statement that landlords in England and Wales will be banned from charging letting agents’ fees to residential tenants. No date has been set for the onset of the legislation, but the government hopes this will be “as soon as possible”. There is already a ban in place in Scotland. Continue reading →
George Osborne unveiled a shock tax change in 2015 which will remove landlords’ ability to deduct the cost of their mortgage interest from their rental income when they calculate a profit on which to pay tax. Continue reading →
A survey by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) showed house sales continued to fall in the three months to the end of July, whilst the number of new instructions and buyer enquiries also dropped. Prices have fallen in London, the West Midlands, East Anglia and the North of England, but surveyors are forecasting that house prices and sales will rebound and increase over the next year. Continue reading →
If you are business owner and looking to expand, have you thought about franchising?
Expansion is a risky business, whether by franchising or opening new facilities under your existing structure. You have an established product or service, a proven business model and the drive to take your business to the next level BUT there is no guarantee that the hard work you’ve put in to make your business successful up to now will work on a larger scale. Continue reading →
In the last 2-3 years there have been a number of changes to the UK tax rules applying to the purchase of UK properties. The changing tax rules and how they interact gives rise to options and solutions to suit the client and his particular circumstances and requirements. One size does not fit all, and clients should be assisted as far as possible to make the right decisions. Continue reading →
The business world is constantly changing, but then again, some things always seem to stay the same…Oh dear…another horrendous cliché…will this article be the same ol’ hackneyed message from another professional advisor?.. well if it ain’t broke don’t fix it – right?
Let’s take a look at some of our favourite old business clichés and see if it’s possible for a professional advisor to get away from trite business truisms and add something fresh and useful to put you ahead of the curve… Continue reading →
Jerome O’Sullivan, Senior Associate, discusses the risks involved in commencing work on a project before a formal contract is agreed and signed.
With the run-up to and eventual Brexit vote adding momentum to the impetus for M&A in the industry, David Schollenberger, Partner and Head of Gaming, Hotels & Leisure, Healys LLP, runs through the key considerations of the due diligence process for iGaming companies. Continue reading →
Healys LLP continues its series of i-Gaming seminars on Thursday 06 October on the topic “Post Brexit i-Gaming Mergers & Acquisitions- Key due diligence issues”. Continue reading →
By Jerome O’Sullivan, who has significant experience in advising clients involved in complex and high value insurance litigation. For advice and information in relation to the issues set out in this article, please contact Jerome O’Sullivan of Healys LLP on 020 7822 4144 or Jerome.email@example.com. Continue reading →
By David Schollenberger, Partner and Head of IT/IP Healys solicitors
Starting and operating a franchise network without adequate brand protection is like unprotected sex. Well maybe not quite as enjoyable- but it is reckless and involves taking risks that could be avoidable and could prove catastrophic to the franchisor’s business. Continue reading →
By David Schollenberger, Partner, Head of Gaming, Hotels and Leisure, Healys LLP
Many international hotel management and franchising companies and well as franchisees and investors have focused their attention, development efforts and investments in Asia and the US over the past several years. The UK and Europe have seen less focus and expansion in the UK. This may be currently changing with prevailing market conditions.
According to a recent article in the Economist, last year saw hotel occupancy rates reach their highest in a decade in the UK. A building boom in hotels is underway to try to keep up with demand but there is still no sign of over capacity. Continue reading →
Healys LLP continued its series of i-Gaming seminars on Thursday 02 June on the topic “Gambling (Licensing And Advertising) Act – Experience To Date”.
The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act, enacted in 2014 (“Act”) requires all UK facing gambling operators, wherever located, to obtain a licence from the UK Gambling Commission gambling operators.
How many licenses have been applied for since enactment of the Act?
What has the experience been for operators applying for UK licenses since the enactment of this Act?
Has it brought back offshore operators en masse?
What are the positives and negatives for operators, the UK Government and the users of online gaming services in the UK?
How has it affected Alderney, Gibraltar, Malta and the Isle of Man?
What are the key issues that need to be addressed to make the Act successful?
Our panel of experts will discuss and evaluate these issues and how it will affect your business:
Moderator: Michael Caselli, Publisher, i-Gaming Business
Neil McArthur, General Counsel, Gambling Commission
David Schollenberger, Partner and Head of Gaming Team, Healys LLP
Clive Hawkswood, CEO, Remote Gambling Association
Micky Swindale, Head of Advisory, KPMG, Isle of Man and Gibraltar
Graham Martin, Director, Catalyst Gaming
Peter Greenhill, Head of e-business and e-gaming, Equiom Group
Neil McArthur, General Counsel of the Gambling Commission emphasised that the change to point of consumption regulation and taxation in addition to providing greater consumer protection, levels the playing field between UK and offshore based UK facing online operators. Clive Hawkswood of the Remote Gambling Commission was not convinced of the need for the change from point of supply regulation and taxation, then and now. The economic proposition has changed and a number of online bookmakers formerly located in Isle of Man and Alderney have left over the past couple years although Gibraltar remains buoyant. Graham Martin, a bookmaker by background involved with a number of online betting businesses said that he just got on with it and welcomes the mergers and acquisitions arising from it.
For those of you who missed the session, it was recorded and you can view it below. We look forward to seeing you at the next i-Gaming Breakfast Briefing, which is scheduled for Thursday, 8 September 2016 at 8.30 am.
If you were unaware, the Government imposed Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) changes on anyone buying a second home. As of 1st April 2016, the SDLT rate on purchasing/investing in a second property has increased. For example, before 1st April 2016, if you were investing in a property with the value of over £250,001 you would have to pay an SDLT rate of 5%, after the 1st April 2016 the rate rises to 8%. To put this in perspective, the average house price in Brighton is £352,037, you would pay £17,851.85 before the 1st April 2016. Continue reading →
David Schollenberger, Head of the Gaming and Leisure Team at Healys will be speaking on the Technology, Data & Products Masterclass panel on Thursday 21 April at the KPMG Gilbraltar eSummit. Continue reading →
As published on Lexis Nexis
Immigration analysis: To what extent can check-in staff be expected to spot false documents? Meghan Vozila, solicitor in the immigration department at Healys, explains the background to Ryanair Ltd v Secretary of State for the Home Department and considers the wider implications of Judge Lochrane’s decision. Continue reading →
On 24 March 2016, James Brokenshire announced that the Home Office will implement the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) recommendations, arising out of their review of the Tier 2 Points Based System. The implementation will be staged, with some changes coming into force in autumn 2016 and further changes in April 2017. Continue reading →
Most European employment law is created at an EU-wide level (in the form of directives) and then brought into national law by each member state. Therefore, some UK employment law has its origins in the EU but has been implemented in the UK by national law. Continue reading →
Healys is pleased to announce that they are attending MIPIM Cannes 2016 from 15 – 18 March.
We have been attending the real estate event for a number of years and are looking forward to the networking and business opportunities at this year’s event.
Representing Healys will be three of our Partners;
If you would like to schedule a meeting with one of the team during the event, please contact Raana Malik on 020 7822 4187 or email Raana.Malik@healys.com.
David Schollenberger, Head of the Gaming and Leisure Team at Healys will be speaking on the Cybercrime, Security and the Regulatory Compliance conference panel on Wednesday 3rd Febraury at the 4th AML Directive at the International Casino Exhibition (ICE) held at the ExCel Centre in London. Continue reading →
Meghan joins us from Sturtivant & Co a niche Immigration firm. Meghan specialises in all aspects of UK economic/business immigration and nationality law as well as complex European free movement applications. She trained with the niche City firm Laura Devine Solicitors and has been working in corporate immigration for over 8 years. After qualifying she moved to Mishcon de Reya where she gained particular experience working with HNWIs.
Talitha joins us from LEXLAW solicitors in London. Talitha has a wealth of experience advising clients on a wide range of corporate immigration matters. Her focus is advising HNW individuals who wish to relocate to the UK under the Tier 1 Investor and Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa category.
Talitha also advises non EU client companies that wish to set up a branch office in the UK or relocate their non EU staff to an existing business in the UK.
Talitha is fast becoming recognised as an expert in her field. She edits our monthly news letter keeping the department abreast of the rapidly changing immigration rules and Home Office Policies, so much so that she is regularly invited to give her comments to ITV News on topical immigration issues.
Ivon Sampson, Head of Immigration, commented “We are pleased that we are able to bring in Meghan and Talitha to the team. This will allow us to expand our current skill set and offer better value to our clients”.
by David Schollenberger, Partner and Head of Gaming and Leisure, Healys LLP
Fantasy Sports play and online betting offered by companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel has become increasingly popular and visible in the US and is being slowly introduced into the UK. For those unfamiliar with online fantasy sports, contestants pay to select a roster of players and earn points based on their actual performances in real-life matches. With online sports betting on real sports events not permitted in the US, other than with some limited exceptions for horse race betting, and online casino games only permitted in three states, online fantasy sports betting is virtually the only game in town with many millions of users currently in the US. Continue reading →
Healys is proud to announce that it has become one of a select few, of less than 50, legal practices in the UK to be admitted as an affiliate member of the British Franchise Association (bfa). Continue reading →
On 6 October 2015, the European Court of Justice in a landmark ruling declared the European Commission’s US Safe Harbor decision to be invalid. This decision has the effect of striking down the Department of Commerce Program agreed with the EU that allows US companies to receive personal information from the EU by agreeing to be bound by certain data protection principles. This could have a significant impact on the way gaming companies transfer data from the EEA to the US. Continue reading →
Jerome O’Sullivan, Senior Associate, discusses the main provisions of the Construction Act 1996 and sets out a helpful summary of the key procedures for dealing with payments under construction contracts. Continue reading →
The Section 21 Notice has, historically, enabled landlords to recover possession of property where the fixed term of the tenancy has come to an end and without having to justify recovery on a specified ground. Legislative changes in recent years have restricted the landlord’s ability to recover possession where a landlord has failed to protect a tenant deposit in an approved scheme and where prescribed information about the tenant deposit has not been served. Legislative changes coming in to force from 1 October 2015 further restrict the landlord’s ability to recover possession for failure to comply with prescribed requirements and in retaliation to a tenant complaint. Continue reading →
Durante meus 11 anos em Londres (estudando e trabalhando) pude vivenciar uma gama de experiências e situações que gostaria de dividir com vocês através de uma série de 10 mini-artigos com dicas para estudantes. Espero que as 10 dicas os ajudem em seu planejamento antes da viagem. Continue reading →
Durante meus 11 anos em Londres (estudando e trabalhando) pude vivenciar uma gama de experiências e situações que gostaria de dividir com vocês através de uma série de 10 mini-artigos com dicas para estudantes. Espero que as 10 dicas os ajudem em seu planejamento antes da viagem. Continue reading →
Jerome O’Sullivan, Senior Associate Solicitor, discusses the process of dealing with an Environmental Contamination. For further information you can download Jerome’s white paper on the topic. Continue reading →
While affiliates do not currently require licensing by the Gambling Commission, some of their activities can easily cross the line, making demonstrable self-regulation by the industry all the more important, as David Schollenberger of Healys LLP explains. Continue reading →
Perhaps one impact of the Jackson reforms and reduced financial aid for access to family lawyers has been an increase in the numbers of those looking to utilise mediation services.
For example, the National Family Mediation reports that there has been a 100 percent increase in calls to its helpline over the past twelve months, with the average number of monthly calls rising from 1,600 to 3,400.
“The cuts to legal aid mean the routes separating couples are taking as they try to reach settlements are becoming more convoluted,” commented Jane Robey, CEO of National Family Mediation.
If you are considering a professional negligence claim, there are a number of things outside of financial considerations you might want to think about before proceeding.
This is because winning your professional negligence claim and ensuring maximum financial compensation may not necessarily be the overriding imperative.
For example, in many cases preserving and nurturing relationships may be of at least equal importance to securing settlement. Fortunately, however, it does not have to be an either/or situation; sometimes it may be possible to preserve the fundamentals of a successful relationship while also ensuring financial settlement from the professional’s indemnity insurer.
Shared ownership on the River Thames is now an option for a few Londoners – all of whom are likely to be first-time buyers – with the development of flats at an exclusive site on the Greenwich Peninsula.
The Platinum Riverside apartment block initially went on sale around two years ago and attracted buyers from destinations as far afield as China, Russia, UAE, Hong Kong and Singapore. Now, in line with housing rules, the developers, Bellway Homes, are now offering first-time buyers on incomes no greater than £50,000 the opportunity to buy into a shared ownership scheme.
The Conveyancing Association recently convened with lenders with the aim of looking at how it could expedite the property transaction process.
Those present discussed a number of the issues currently most pertinent to the residential conveyancing process. These included the impact of regulation, the difficulties of delays, and how to bring consistency and uniformity to the process.
“The event was extremely successful and we are making great progress. This is clearly something lenders are interested in engaging with us on and we are really looking forward to our continued work together as well as reaching out to other lenders who would like to be involved,” commented Eddie Goldsmith, chair of the Conveyancing Association.
One thing that professional negligence solicitors must do if they are to avoid potential liability for professional negligence claims is to follow the correct protocols.
Yes, even professional negligence lawyers sometimes come a cropper themselves and if protocols are not followed they risk incurring cost penalties or having cases thrown out before they are even able to reach court.
Fortunately, for any professional negligence lawyer worth his or her salt, the procedures are clearly laid out in the various pre-action protocols which were introduced by the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) of 1998.
In international divorce news, a legal challenge has been brought forward by the Australian Labor party following an increase in court fees which was enacted on 12 July and saw those applying for divorce on 13 July having to pay 42% more than if they had made their application the day before.
However, the senate in Australia had originally disallowed a similar regulation before breaking for its winter recess and Labor, along with the Green party, say that the increase is invalid as Australian legislation holds that a government is not able to re-introduce a regulation within six months once any similar law has been barred.
Bircham Dyson Bell, a London-based law firm that “provides creative, practical and cost effective solutions”, has instructed RPC to fight its corner in a property professional negligence claim brought by Harding Homes.
Although precise details of the property professional negligence claim remain undisclosed at the early hearing stage, Harding Homes styles itself as a property company that specialises in “fast buying” of properties from people who are in danger of having their houses repossessed, usually because of acute financial difficulty.
Much has been published about the Brazilian economy recently, mostly of a negative connotation and invariably pessimistic. The economic growth seen between 2005 and 2010 largely promoted by commodities prices and domestic consumption is now settling down. The Brazilian currency is also weakening in the face of current international market trends and low GDP growth. Nevertheless Brazil is still a country with great potential for businesses with a medium to long term strategy. Continue reading →
Originally, The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) had said the divorce fee in England and Wales would rise from £410 to £750, an increase of more than 80%; a move which created consternation among many divorce solicitors and family organisations.
However, following a consultation, the MoJ has now announced that the fee will rise to £550.
Buy-to-let landlords face new challenges in the months ahead after the chancellor announced in his latest budget that he would be reducing tax relief for investors.
It was announced in the budget that from April 2017 landlords would be unable to receive tax relief worth up to 45% of interest payments on their buy-to-let mortgages, with the maximum relief to be capped at 20%.
A number of family law courts are under threat of closure as part of Michael Gove’s attempts to reduce Ministry of Justice expenditure by getting rid of England’s and Wales “surplus capacity” courts.
Currently it is understood that 91 courts and tribunals face closure; consisting of 57 magistrates’ courts, 19 county courts, two crown courts, four tribunal hearing centres and nine combined courts.
“Last year over a third of all courts and tribunals were empty for more than 50% of their available hearing time,” commented Shailesh Vara, parliamentary under-secretary of state for courts and legal aid.
A survey has revealed that property professional negligence claims are behind more cases of professional negligence litigation against legal firms than any other type of claim.
According to the survey, one of the major reasons for this is the growth in conveyancing “factories”, which have abounded ever since the introduction of the Legal Services Act 2007. This piece of legislation was revolutionary in that it allowed non-lawyer firms to provide legal services. However, it has clearly come at a cost, with unqualified conveyancers thought to be behind a high number of property professional negligence claims.
Survation, a market research agency, has carried out a poll on behalf of the British Association of Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) which reveals that 91% of British people over the age of 18 don’t have even a rudimentary understanding of what private fostering entails.
This has led charities and children law solicitors to express concerns that this could mean that around 10,000 children are potentially at risk because of serious shortfalls in the public’s understanding, particularly in relation to the duty to notify local authorities of any fostering arrangements.
As with every other area of the law, in the specialism of professional negligence litigation it is sometimes possible for the vexatious litigant to rear its head.
The truth of the above statement was recently underlined at the High Court where a judge issued a civil restraint order against a retired solicitor and her 88-year-old mother. The move came following numerous instances of vexatious professional negligence litigation being taken out by the woman and her mother.
The Law Society has issued guidance for family lawyers who act for and advise vulnerable persons. It is hoped that the publication will provide those who deal with cases of adoption, divorce, contact orders, domestic violence, and carers of such people, with the knowledge and capacity necessary to best promote their interests.
Redevelopment rolling break clauses are becoming increasingly common, particularly in areas where office space is scarce and competition stiff.
Businesses rely on landlords to renew tenancies for business security and, in order to give themselves more flexibility with redevelopment options, some landlords seek to impose redevelopment rolling break clauses in new leases. Continue reading →
In respect of children born or matched for adoption on or after 5 April 2015, parents can now share leave entitlement by taking Shared Parental Leave (SPL). We haven’t seen a rush of interest in SPL but it is likely to become more popular as time goes on. Therefore, if you haven’t already, we recommend employers develop a policy that sets out the rules and procedures for applying for and taking SPL as this is a confusing area. A policy will help to alleviate concern amongst both employers and employees, and ensure any applications are dealt with in a fair and consistent manner. Continue reading →
The Conveyancing Association (CA) has begun a course of action that is designed to foster positive relations with the lender community in order to try and provide a smoother conveyancing process for both buyers and sellers.
The CA move comes in the wake of 2013’s Conveyancing Association Protocol, an initiative designed to provide impetus and guidance to try to ensure that conveyancers, regardless of whether they were representing buyers or sellers, were “singing from the same hymn sheet”. This document was followed by 2014’s Conveyancing Association Best Practice Guide for Conveyancers and Estate Agents.
Statistics recently released by the Ministry of Justice have revealed that more than half of family law cases have at least one litigant in person, further raising concerns about the impact of the Jackson Reforms on access to justice.
According to the figures, those who initiate family law proceedings are those most likely to be represented by a family law solicitor, with applicants being the only party to be represented by a family law solicitor in 36 percent of cases. In comparison, respondents were the sole represented party in just 11 percent of cases.
International law firm Bird & Bird has been told it must pay £1.8m in property solicitor professional negligence compensation as a result of its failure to inform a client of the development of property adjacent to the one it planned to purchase; a development which would have had a negative impact on the value of the purchased property.
The claimant, Orientfield Holdings Ltd, began the professional negligence claim in relation to its attempted purchase of a property in St John’s Wood, North London, for £25m.
The Society of Licensed Conveyancers (SLC) has called on residential conveyancing solicitors to boycott the conveyancing seminar being held in London by Metro Bank on 2 July.
Although it might at first seem harsh, the call has been issued because Metro Bank does not include licensed conveyancers on its panel, a strategy which has resulted in strong criticism from SLC and prompted the body to suggest it might refer Metro to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) – it is understood that any decision hinges on the SLC’s receipt of legal advice regarding Metro Bank’s panel.
The balance of power is changing. For the first time in over 100 years, businesses will be able to purchase insurance, free from so-called “draconian” disclosure and warranty rules, which have historically given insurance companies considerable scope to avoid paying claims. Continue reading →
It is continually surprising how many otherwise well managed companies of all shapes, sizes and industries have brilliant business plans and spend a fortune on developing and marketing their products and services, but neglect to take steps to adequately protect their intellectual property. Continue reading →
Sony Pictures Entertainment has failed in an attempt to have a professional negligence claim against it thrown out.
The claim, which is being brought by nine ex-employees, relates to the high-profile cyber attack that hit the studio in the wake of its release of The Interview, a film about an assassination attempt on North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un.
The judge in the US court said that the claimants were free to pursue their allegations that Sony Corporation had been professionally negligent in failing to ensure adequate security from cyber “hack” attacks.
It was celebrated and condemned in equal measure, with supporters labelling it a “bold act of literalism” and detractors calling it “petty” and “psychopathic”, but the actions of a German man who gained notoriety by sawing all his possessions in half as part of his own retributive divorce settlement have been revealed to be nothing more than the marketing campaign of a German family law information company.
The apparently newly-divorced man, “Martin”, was recorded cutting all his and his wife’s possessions in half and then advertising them for sale on eBay.
Perhaps inevitably, the world’s media were attracted to the story, with outlets as varied as the BBC, Fox News, Russian RT and Press TV in Iran all devoting space to the story of seeming marital revenge.
A boom in the number of buy-to-let conveyancing customers is a significant factor in the current major property shortage in the UK. Estate agents averaged just 52 properties per branch during May, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ most recent reports.
The figures mean that there are now fewer properties on the market than at any time in the past 37 years.
Unfortunately, for first-time buyers and those hoping to position themselves to gain a foothold in the UK property market, it is buy-to-let conveyancing customers who are creating the squeeze; the Council for Mortgage Lenders recently found that one in seven of all mortgages currently outstanding in the UK are for buy-to-let properties. Five years ago this figure was just one in nine.
There are concerns that the pension reforms which came into effect in April 2015 could lead to an increase in pensions advice professional negligence claims, with this prospect causing considerable anxiety among the financial advice community.
Unfortunately, despite the fact that reforms were designed to give people more freedom and flexibility with their pensions, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that pension providers are failing to allow this to happen.
The increased financial capability of people post-recession has led to a doubling in the number of divorce settlements in the past year, according to statistics compiled by a Cardiff-based family law firm.
The firm said that with many people failing to secure a court order to formalise their divorce settlements, ex-spouses remain at liberty to pursue further claims.
The growth in this type of claim is stark; for example, in 2011 there were 3,620 claims brought outside of the divorce process, while in 2013 there were 14,690 and in 2014 there were 29,060. As can be seen, this growth coincides with the end of the recession and return to relative financial prosperity.
The Court of Appeal has dismissed the solicitor negligence claim of an international businessman in a case that has its origins in instructions given to a London-based legal firm in 2007.
It is reported that the claimant hoped to make significant profits by investing in solar electricity initiatives in the Greek Islands but instead made losses of nearly £10 million, for which he blamed the advice of his solicitors.
It could be an important week for the future of family law in the UK, with the High Court set to commence a judicial review which might have a significant impact on the way the government’s cuts to legal aid are implemented.
Family lawyers have largely been unanimous is their criticism of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) and its various consequences, including the Exceptional Case Funding scheme, which, lawyers claim, still falls some way short of protecting those “exceptional cases” that should have access to funding.
Anyone in the UK who has ever had trouble finding an estate agent who makes them feel confident enough to proceed with a property sale, residential conveyancing solicitor instruction and all, will be interested to hear about a new estate agent comparison website.
The site, which is for people in England and Wales, allows vendors to compare estate agents in their area, wherever they live.
Although the site is only its early days, it aims to rate estate agents on a number of criteria, from success rate, the number of transactions handled to the average time it takes to sell a flat or house. These will be recorded and reported in a monthly performance index, which will be available to all users of the site.
Claims for negligent tax advice should be made as soon as possible before the closure of important time windows; typically six years from the date on which the advice was received.
With high numbers of wealthy people who invested in now disputed tax minimisation schemes facing bills from HM Revenue & Customs, it is essential that they seek legal advice in relation to their possible rights under a claim for negligent tax advice, or risk missing out on the opportunity to receive compensation.
This is particularly true for so-called “naïve” investors who trusted professional advisors to handle their tax management in a responsible way only to have the same tax advisors treat them as “sophisticated” investors.
Since the Wills Act 1837 there have been strict laws on how property can be passed when someone dies; anyone who has made a will should have been told about the requirements for executing the will to ensure its validity. Even before 1837, the Statute of Frauds 1677 set down provisions relating to wills having to be in writing. On top of this, there are strict rules on agreements to transfer land having to be in writing, and (since the Law of Property Act 1925) executed by deed. Continue reading →
Increases in the price of semi-detached houses are contributing to rises in the average value of property transactions being handled by residential conveyancing solicitors, according to data released by the Land Registry.
The non-ministerial governmental organisation reported that the value of semi-detached properties rose by 5.6% over the past twelve months, ahead of rises in the price of flats (5.4%) and the price of detached houses (5.1%).
A study carried out by the Universities of Warwick and Reading, with the support of resources from the Nuffield Foundation, has found that fathers are not being discriminated against when it comes to divorce and separation as well as children orders.
The report, which was joint-authored by Dr Maebh Harding from the Warwick School of Law and Dr Annika Newnham from the University of Reading, found that, contrary to the claims of some fathers’ groups, fathers have a good rate of success with contact applications, with the vast majority of the 200 family law cases they studied resulting in positive outcomes for the fathers concerned.
The Law Society-supported online conveyancing portal, Veyo, began its working life across England and Wales on May 26, with seven unnamed law firms trialling the system.
The online conveyancing tool, a joint project between the Law Society and an IT firm called Mastek, aims to simplify the conveyancing process by centralising checks, processes and documentation into a single system.
It was only around two to three months ago that nearly half of all conveyancing firms in England and Wales expressed interest in the project, with both large firms of residential conveyancing solicitors and sole practitioners expressing interest.
The Supreme Court is due to hear the divorce and financial settlement claims of two women who say that their husbands lied about their respective financial situations in order to reduce the size of divorce payouts.
If the women’s respective allegations prove to be true, their ex-husbands succeeded in hiding assets on a truly astonishing scale. For example, one of the claimants, a mother-of-three, accepted a divorce and financial settlement of £270,000 but now says she has discovered that her husband concealed assets worth £35million.
Commercial lawyers could be at risk of professional negligence claims as a result of poor costs-budgeting planning and a failure to adapt to Lord Justice Jackson’s costs management reforms, according to a survey of the United Kingdom’s top 200 law firms.
In fact, of the 912 commercial lawyers surveyed, nearly 70% reported incurring costs above planned budget levels; yet, despite this, only 11% made applications to revise their budgets accordingly.
One of the most complex and devastating forms of professional negligence is that of medical negligence. The Medical Protection Society (MPS) has recently been reported on the Pulse website as saying that GPs are currently working in an increasingly litigious environment and that it is taking its toll.
However, in a move which perhaps could be mirrored across many professions, the MPS has called for increased vigilance in the sector; suggesting that colleagues should be on the lookout for signs of mental illness in co-workers, so as to prevent lapses in judgment which could lead to medical mistakes and the potential for a negligence claim.
Radio 1’s news arm, Newsbeat, has produced a handy guide to show young people that there is help out there to enable them to get on the property ladder.
However, as we have recently reported, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) suggests that the national shortage in available housing is tantamount to a ‘national emergency’.
Susan Jacklin QC, chair of the Family Law Bar Association, has branded the US phenomenon of all-male law firms a gimmick and says that the opening of a practice in the UK only serves to engender distrust in the system.
“I think that’s unfortunate,” she said.
Ms Jacklin was speaking about the London opening of a branch of a men-only divorce firm, based in the USA, which aims to target husbands and fathers who feel they will get a raw deal in the English and Welsh family law system.
Usually it is only the successful negligence claims against solicitors that manage to make news headlines, but this week a tragic case at the Court of Appeal, which involved two parents’ claim against a firm of clinical negligence solicitors, managed to generate headlines despite the pair losing out in their bid for compensation.
The solicitor professional negligence claim had its origins in the 1998 birth of a girl born with a rare medical condition at Liverpool Women’s Hospital; this was despite scans and tests indicating no sign of abnormality.
The High Court has ruled that a builder who became the subject of an inheritance dispute after being left £500,000 by a man whose gutters he used to clean has been told by the High Court that he can keep the bequest.
The contested will, which had been made by a 75-year-old man only two months before his death, left everything to the builder, contradicting and overturning a 2011 will in which he had left his estate to be shared between a cousin, as well as friends and a few extended family; he had no other close family. Continue reading →
An interesting case was heard in the family law courts this week, which presents a bearing on the application of child contact and residence orders.
Hearing a case, Re H-B (Contact)  EWCA Civ 389, in which a father had not seen his now teenaged children since 2008, President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, stressed the importance of parents using “carrot and stick” to ensure the fulfilment of child contact and residence orders. Continue reading →
Bad news for first time buyers as the number of houses up for sale is currently at its lowest level in nearly six years; a fact which has caused prices to rise further, according to surveyors, residential conveyancing solicitors and economists.
In fact, the situation has become so bad for first time buyers that the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has dubbed it a “national emergency”, while also warning that the Conservative government’s plan to extend the right-to-buy could be catastrophic in terms of ensuring it is able to reach its own housing targets.
Labour has said that if it wins the election it will ensure that a larger proportion of money is set aside for those who need to establish their rights under family law, with the victims of domestic violence earmarked for easier access to legal aid.
Labour’s move comes at precisely the time that more than 100 former family law judges and respected family lawyers have called for all the campaigning political parties to make pledges to restore legal aid for family law, something which has been depleted under the current Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition. In total, some £600million has been taken out of the legal aid budget, with critics arguing that the cruellest cuts have been felt by the victims of domestic violence. Continue reading →
The Court of Appeal has upheld a personal injury solicitor professional negligence claim after finding that the firm concerned made no effort to ensure that its client was compensated for loss of earnings or loss of services in his industrial illness claim.
Those present heard that the Yorkshire-based firm at the heart of the personal injury solicitor professional negligence claim was instructed to help a former miner seek damages for Vibration White Finger (VWF) caused by the use of excessively vibrating tools. Continue reading →
Has a professional’s negligence caused you to suffer financial loss? If so, you are going to have to consider some pretty serious questions before you look to instruct a professional negligence lawyer to help you claim?
First off, you will have to ask yourself whether the professional in question has liability insurance that will cover the cost of compensation – without this there is little point in even pursuing a claim, as any victory is likely to be merely Pyrrhic. Continue reading →