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We regularly write about different legal topics and welcome your comments on our posts. If you would like more information on our services, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

A right to refer a dispute to adjudication at any time?

Perdeep Grewal
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A right to refer a dispute to adjudication at any time? Not if you are in liquidation... The Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (Construction Act 1996) gives a party to a construction contract the right to refer a dispute to...

'Anyone who has never made a mistake, has never tried anything new'

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In my previous blog I spoke about how failure fuels success and this is still the constant process that I am facing. This fail, change, fail, change, learning mentality has been applied to not just my athletics but within my job as an Assistant Garment...

Civil partnerships for all?

Philip Hoddell
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Earlier in the year, the Supreme Court ruled that English law was incompatible with European legislation in that it allowed same sex couples to enter into a civil partnership or get married, whereas mixed sex couples were confined to just the option of...

Irish Data Protection Commission begin investigation into Facebook

Thomas Emmett
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  Around May 2018, I was very busy assisting clients in their preparations for the then incoming General Data Protection Regulation. I don’t think there was a day around that time that I did not use the acronym “GDPR”.   ...

A case of no interest on a loan

Perdeep Grewal
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  You decide to loan money to someone under an oral agreement, but you did not consider whether they should pay you added interest. Should interest be implied? Should you be entitled to interest? This was a significant issue discussed in the case...

What happens to our finances when we get divorced?

Philip Hoddell
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I have blogged elsewhere about the Ministry of Justice’s current divorce statistics .  Worryingly, it shows that in the last quarter measured, more than 32,000 divorce petitions were issued but only about a third of them led to financial...

Why does it take so long to get divorced?

Philip Hoddell
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Recently published statistics from the Ministry of Justice show that it is now taking longer to get divorced than at any time since records first began.     So, how long does it take to get divorced?   The average time from the...

The new Guardian (Missing Persons) Act 2017

Jennifer Ward
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Approximately 250,000 people go missing each year in England and Wales. Around 1% of those are missing for over a year. In this time, the person’s assets may dissipate, their property may fall into disrepair and any dependents of the missing person...

Divorce in decline?

Melanie Loxley
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  I was interested to read in a tabloid newspaper recently that there are presently fewer divorces than at any time since 1971, which was the last time our divorce laws were reformed.   This statistic however is focused on the number of...

To DIY or not to DIY? We are talking wills.

Jess Elwell
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  I was shocked to read a news article recently which said that there is a website that promises to write a will in just nine minutes for £20! Sounds like a great deal! However, hidden in the website’s terms and conditions is a clause...

Divorce law in the UK - time for a change?

Liz O'Mahony
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  The Supreme Court judgment in the case of Owens v Owens on 25 July 2018, has reignited the outcry for divorce law to be changed in the UK.    Currently, no fault divorce is not available in the UK, unless the parties wait until 2...

Leasehold scandal... Leasehold V Freehold

Lisa Cox
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The “leasehold scandal” continues, as the BBC reported recently that, according to a new survey, almost half the people who bought a leasehold house in the past decade did not know what they were signing up to, and 62% of respondents feel they...

The biggest cause of divorce is marriage...

Philip Hoddell
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In the first radical shakeup in 45 years, the government has launched a consultation on its proposals for the most far reaching reforms of divorce law since 1973.   At the moment, unless a couple waits until they have been separated for at least 2...

My Week at Birkett Long LLP

Liz O'Mahony
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My week of work experience at Birkett Long’s Basildon office gave me an insightful look into the day to day life of a solicitor, in a well renowned regional law firm.    During my time at Birkett Long, I was based in the Family department...

What are my rights in a common law marriage?

Philip Hoddell
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The number of marriages is increasing with the population, but an ever larger number of couples is choosing to cohabit instead.     A recent survey though showed that a significant number of cohabiting couples still thought that they were...

Good news for golfers?

David Wisbey
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Ping, a well-known maker of golf clubs, golf accessories and clothing, recently lost its appeal against a ruling by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that Ping’s ban on retailers selling its golf clubs over the internet was...

The legalisation of cannabis

Liz O'Mahony
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The future of cannabis use in the UK looks set to change. The formerly Class C, and more recently Class B, drug will be able to be legally prescribed by doctors within the coming weeks.  The Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, has emphasised that only those...

Can my partner force me to sell our house?

Philip Hoddell
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  We are often asked what happens to a jointly owned house when an unmarried couple separates.  As all family lawyers know, it is possible to force a sale of a property under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996, but what...

Farming dispute highlights the importance of written partnership agreements

Katie Gibson-Green
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The recent case of Wild and others [2018], heard in August this year, once again highlights the importance of having written partnership agreements in place to avoid lengthy and costly disputes.     The background is that members of the...

Remember a Charity in Your Will Week

Caroline Woodham
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As Campaign Supporters of “Remember a Charity in Your Will”, the team here at Birkett Long was pleased to find out that charity giving within wills was at an all-time high. The figures released to coincide with Remember a Charity in Your Will...

"princess" cannot manage her finances

Leah Woodnott
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Judge rules Hawaiian “princess” cannot manage her finances and protects her from financial abuse 92 year old, Abigail Kawananakoa, who native Hawaiians consider to be a “princess”, has been found to lack mental capacity to make...

UK mergers and acquisitions

Tim Field
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The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released its latest figures relating to mergers and acquisitions involving UK Companies for Q2 (April to June 2018). The figures produced by the ONS only looks at those transactions with a value greater than...

Changes to Termination Clauses

David Feakins
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On 26 August 2018, the Government announced its proposals to make extensive changes to the insolvency legislation currently in force within the UK. These proposed changes form part of the Government’s focus on “delivering a strong business...

Carer stole from client with Dementia

Leah Woodnott
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  Worcester Magistrates Court has recently made an example out of Sarah Isles, a carer who stole from a 91 year old woman who suffers from dementia.    Sarah stole over a thousand pounds from the elderly woman by stealing her bank card,...

More deregulation regulations coming!

Molly Frankham
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For those familiar with residential tenancy disputes, you will no doubt be aware of the extensive rules in place to protect tenants, especially at the conclusion of their occupation. The legislation which introduced this enhanced protection is the...

Aretha Franklin dies without making a will

Leah Woodnott
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Soul singer, Aretha Franklin, died last month aged 76 without making a will, despite being worth millions. As her family move on from her funeral, they are left with the uncertainty of not knowing how her estate will be divided. Aretha’s attorney,...

Keep your will up to date, you never know when you will need it

Rachel Leech
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A recent case highlights the importance of keeping your will up to date after two minor children had to make a claim against their father’s estate for financial provision. However, despite the estate being worth £3.5 million, the court only...

STEP issues advice

Caroline Woodham
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Many of the Wills, Trusts and Probate team at Birkett Long are members of STEP, which is the professional association for practitioners specialising in inheritance and succession planning.  STEP has recently issued a blog about Universal Asset...

It pays to seek legal advice

David Feakins
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For all of the soap lovers out there, you may have recently watched a storyline that appeared on Hollyoaks. Science teacher, Courtney Campbell, had accepted a loan from the villainous Glenn Donovan, in a bid to secretly assist with the financial problems of...

It still matters where the money came from

Philip Hoddell
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There has been a growing trend for spouses to claim that the origins of family wealth are unimportant and that any increase in assets which correlates with the time of the marriage should, without exception, be shared equally. Now the High Court has...

Advance Decisions or LPAs?

Caroline Woodham
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Losing capacity and end of life care are not things we like to think about, but planning ahead can help family, friends and medical professionals understand your wishes and feelings if you become unable to convey them. There are two documents we are often...

Looking after the finances of someone with dementia

Leah Woodnott
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  The Solicitors for the Elderly has published a report stating that the number of people diagnosed with dementia in the UK has increased by more than 50% in the last 11 years and now stands at 540,000.    What is dementia?   ...

Mental Capacity Act 2005 applications at record levels!

Leah Woodnott
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  The number of applications made under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to the Court of Protection are running at record levels according to the Family Court statistics.   Between January to March 2018, there were 8,089 applications made under...

Growing your business

Tim Field
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As news outlets are increasingly forecasting doom and gloom with the prospect of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, it was uplifting to see that economic growth in the UK actually picked up in the three months to June. Whilst uncertain times can be unsettling...

Millennials reliant on inheritance!

Leah Woodnott
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A new report from Sanlan UK has revealed 64% of 25-45 year olds expect to receive an inheritance from their parents and grandparents.  The report predicted that millennials are expected to inherit £1.2 trillion in the next 30 years! The CEO,...

Louboutin gets a better break than Kit Kat

Tim Field
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In what can often be seen as the complicated world of intellectual property, why did Kit Kat lose their trademark case whilst Louboutin’s red soles won? Many people will be equally familiar with the trapezoidal snack bar and the striking red soles of...

Carer stripped of inheritance!

Leah Woodnott
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  A High Court Judge has ruled a deathbed will invalid and has stripped a man’s carer from her inheritance.     Donna Henderson has been accused of “guiding the hand” of the retired banker and millionaire, Marcel...

Brothers in High Court battle over their mother's estate

Leah Woodnott
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A recent court case involved brothers arguing over their role as executors of their mother’s estate as one claimed he should be entitled to a larger share than the others due to the care he provided for their mother whilst the others ‘left him...

Have a break... Have a Kyikk Lunsi?

David Feakins
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  Us Brits may not be familiar with the Norwegian chocolate bar Kvikk Lunsj. Kudos for those who have tried one, but for those who are unaware, it is a four-fingered wafer treat which looks very similar to a Kit-Kat.   Nestlé, the...

Attorneys and deputies should be aware

Lisa Cox
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You can appoint attorneys to manage your property and financial affairs if you lose capacity, or to assist you whilst you have capacity. When making a Lasting Power of Attorney you are referred to as the donor and, typically, it would be family member or...

An insightful look into the legal profession

Liz O'Mahony
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My week of work experience at Birkett Long’s Chelmsford office was an insightful look into the legal profession. During my placement in June, I was able to work with the Wills, Trusts and Probate team and gained valuable experience about both this area...

My week of work experience

Liz O'Mahony
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I managed to gain a good insight into the work of a Birkett Long solicitor through my week of work experience at the firm. A week in the Residential Real Estate team gave me a clear understanding of the day to day tasks of a property solicitor. I...

How hot is too hot for UK workers?

Amy Scholtka
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“Unions say action needed to protect UK workers in heatwave’’    The Trade Union Congress is pushing for a legal maximum temperature in the workplace, with a high of 30 degrees for indoor work environments and 27 degrees...

Charity Commission makes changes to rules

Tim Field
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It is perhaps not surprising that the Charity Commission has updated its automatic disqualification rule, given the recent charity scandals that have hit the headlines and public confidence in the charity sector being so low. On 1 st August 2018, greater...

National Minimum Wage (NMW)

Reggie Lloyd
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This month has seen two significant National Minimum Wage (NMW) issues in the headlines. On 6 July the gov.uk website stated that a record 22,400 workers would receive millions in back pay and on 13 July the Court of Appeal in Mencap and Tomlinson-Blake...

Owens v Owens

Melanie Loxley
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Following my blog back in March “Parliament may wish to consider whether to replace a law which denies Mrs Owens any present entitlement to a divorce...” This must surely be the stand-out statement in the judgment handed down by the...

Muntech Kaur's BBC Essex interview

Sarah Humphryes
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Today, 26 July 2018, Muntech Kaur , our divorce and separation expert, was interviewed by Sadie Nine on BBC Essex Radio  (From 01:17:00) following a Judgment of the Supreme Court. Divorce and the recent case of Owens v Owens is a hot topic at the...

Taxpayers victorious on Business Property Relief claim

Katie Gibson-Green
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There have been many high profile cases in recent years in which executors have endeavoured to claim Business Property Relief (BPR) on let holiday cottages, in a bid to save on Inheritance Tax – all of which have failed. Until now, let cottages have...

The Judgment for Owens v Owens

Muntech Kaur
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Victory for Mr Owens. Much disappointment for Mrs Owens and Resolution, the latter having intervened in this case. Considerable uneasiness is now felt by family practitioners following the 20 page Judgment of the Supreme Court. So where does this leave us...

Owens v Owens: Supreme Court decision

Muntech Kaur
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The day of the much anticipated decision of the Supreme Court in the matter of Owens v Owens has arrived. This was a rare case where Mrs Owens was unable to prove that Mr Owens, to whom she married in 1978 and separated from in 2015, had behaved...