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Legal Updates

Has Japanese knotweed from neighbouring land spread to your property?  If so, you could be entitled to compensation

By | Legal Updates, Litigation | No Comments

Japanese knotweed is a fast-growing, invasive plant that spreads easily and requires careful management to control.  The root of the plant can cause significant property damage if it takes hold and can be difficult to eradicate.  If your home is affected by Japanese knotweed it can be harder to sell or remortgage and any plans you had to develop your property may have to be shelved if the presence of the plant means they are no longer financially viable. Where…

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End of “Meal Tickets for Life” in Divorce

By | family, Legal Updates | No Comments

The press are very much focusing upon the “meal ticket” headline but the case of Mills -v- Mills does show that a party paying maintenance (often the husband) is not expected to compensate for poor financial decisions by the recipient. In this case the ex-wife got herself into significant financial difficulty, and 13 years after the original Order, applied to increase the maintenance to pay her rent, having lost the £230,000 she was awarded to buy a house. The case…

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Inheritance Tax & Your Home – Could you be paying too much?

By | Legal Updates, Probate and Trusts, Will and probate team, Wills | No Comments

In 2017 new rules were introduced to allow home owners to a claim an additional allowance to reduce their Inheritance Tax (or IHT) liability.  This news came as a welcome relief to many homeowners wishing to pass their most prized asset to their loved ones. “Claiming this allowance may not be straightforward” says Ben Holden Associate Solicitor of MacDonald Oates Wills, Probate & Trusts Team “many people may losing out by failing to meet the various conditions set by law”….

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Supreme Court decides on Pimlico Plumber case

By | Employment, Legal Updates | No Comments

Following our update for 2018, we now take a look at the The Pimlico Plumber case which has now been heard by the Supreme Court. In this case Mr Smith was a gas electrician carrying out work solely for Pimlico Plumbers from August 2005. The contract said he was an independent contactor and Pimlico was not obliged to offer any work and Mr Smith was under no obligation to accept it. However, the company manual stated that he should work…

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Are you GDPR ready?

By | Employment, Legal Updates | No Comments

You will recall in January we highlighted how employers needed to get ready for changes to data protection law that comes into force on 25th May 2018. We have already, in our previous update, provided you with some helpful links and the Information Commissioners website continues to provide updated guidance to help businesses. Is your business ready? If not, don’t panic. It is better to start now rather than bury your head in the sand. Here some tips for putting…

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Online divorce now available

By | family, Legal Updates | No Comments

Online divorce is now available on the HM Courts and Tribunal Service website, which is a huge step forward. However, just making the application online does not change anything: ALWAYS get some advice first, even if you conduct the divorce yourself afterwards. When, how and by whom the divorce is started can all have significant implications, and there are certainly hidden pitfalls: putting the form online does not suddenly make it easy. You can see more information about divorce here….

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Woman imprisoned for 7½ years for torturing and starving her boyfriend

By | family, Legal Updates | No Comments

This case involves a 22 year old man was isolated from his family and friends and subject to frequent, horrendous physical and mental abuse. Fortunately the neighbours eventually called the authorities and the ambulance and A&E staff realised what was happening. Otherwise apparently he was 10 days away from being dead. He did not truly realise what was happening was wrong, let alone that it was abuse. It sounds terrible but what is truly shocking is that this is not…

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Update on Shared Parental Leave case

By | Employment, Legal Updates | No Comments

This update follows our update in July last year regarding Mr Ali’s claim of sex discrimination because he was not paid enhanced pay whilst on Shared Parental Leave like those on maternity leave. Capita, the respondent and employer in this case, took this to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (the EAT).  The EAT has upheld their appeal. It stated that the decision of the original Tribunal was based on an incorrect finding that the purpose of maternity leave and pay is…

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The end of “Meal Ticket” divorce settlements

By | family, Legal Updates | No Comments

In 2012 Kim Waggott was awarded £9.76 Million and £175,000 per year maintenance for life. However she applied to increase the amount, and her former husband challenged the original award. The result was the court not only refused to increase the maintenance, but provided for it to end in March 2021. Therefore she lost her lifetime maintenance (and incurred a very large legal bill). Whilst press coverage has been rather lurid, in fact this should not have been a surprise:…

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April updates in Employment Law

By | Employment, Legal Updates | No Comments

It is the time of year which sees the statutory rates for payments such as maternity pay and sick pay increase, as well as the national minimum wage. See here for our pdf setting out these changes. Employers considering using settlement agreements should also note the changes to the taxation of termination payments. On 6 April 2018, all payments in lieu of notice, even where there is no contractual pay in lieu of notice (PILON) clause, will be subject to…

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