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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.

Liability of Parent Company for Subsidiary

Cynthia Beesoon
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Who is ultimately liable? Here at Birkett Long, we know when going down the business road, issues may arise where the company has to take the (often financial) responsibility but who is ultimately liable?  The parent company or the subsidiary? A...

Victoria Beckham trademarks her daughter's name

Thomas Emmett
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In a previous blog, I told readers that I could only imagine what it would be like to be so famous that I could register my own name as intellectual property. You can read that blog here. Harper Beckham, the daughter of David and Victoria Beckham, has had...

The story of the Sex Pistols and The Supreme Court

Martin King
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On 4 April we saw the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ legendary album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. This album was not only revolutionary in itself, but changed the face of popular music. So why, you might ask, is this piece entitled...

The story of The Supreme Court and the Sex Pistols

Martin King
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On 4 April we saw the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ legendary album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. This album was not only revolutionary in itself, but changed the face of popular music. So why, you might ask, is this piece entitled...

Probate fee update

Claire Read
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Only a couple of weeks ago, the Law Society Select Committee reported that it was their view that the Lord Chancellor had gone beyond her powers in proposing to increasing the fees by such a great amount.  The reason for this is that the probate fees...

If a banker is not a genius, can a footballer be?

Philip Hoddell
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In December I commented here about the case of Mandy Gray and Randy Work. He had failed to persuade the court that his banking “genius” should entitle him to a greater share of the family’s £180m fortune and so decided to take his...

Farmer's Brexcuse plea fails to impress Judges

Philip Hoddell
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In one of the first known cases of its kind, Paul Mansfield, a fruit farmer from Kent, is seeking to persuade the Court of Appeal that the effect of the Brexit vote should be taken into account in his divorce.  After a very lengthy marriage, and nearly...

Parents on the run

Muntech Kaur
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There has been a considerable amount of media coverage concerning the matter of Dylan and Louis Madge. The brothers, aged 6 and 9, were abducted by their mother, Samantha Baldwin in March 2017. It has been a long judicial process for this family which...

Ed Sheeran's IP dispute settles

Stephen Avila
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Last September a work experience student at Birkett Long, Katrina Russell, wrote a blog on Ed Sheeran’s defence of a $20 million lawsuit in the United States. You can read the article, posted by Liz O'Mahony  here . The lawsuit was...

Preferred route for new Lower Thames Crossing announced.

David Rayner
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On 12 April the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, announced the long-awaited decision on the preferred route for the new Lower Thames Crossing, saying that it could create more than 6,000 jobs and boost the economy by more than £8 billion. The new...

Gordon Ramsay and his inheritance

Lisa Cox
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Anyone who has watched one of Gordon Ramsay’s popular television shows knows that the famous chef does not shy away from speaking his mind. The tabloids buzzed yesterday when he confirmed in an interview with the Telegraph that his four children will...

UK law continues to lag behind on cohabitation rights

Muntech Kaur
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Further to my earlier blogs on cohabitation agreements and the misconceptions around common law spouses , including the common misunderstanding that they are entitled to the same legal rights as married couples, there are other countries who are...

Lee Valley Youth Cycling - Sam Allen Cycling blog

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I am 16 years old and I ride for a cycling team called Lee Valley Youth Cycling Club Junior Team, who are lucky enough to have Birkett Long as one of our sponsors. This weekend (2nd of April) was the first round of the national junior series, the Cadence...

Do I need a cohabitation agreement?

Muntech Kaur
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At a time when there are 3.3 million couples living together, recorded in 2016 by the Office of National Statistics, only a small proportion of these cohabiting couples has given consideration to what each of them expects from the other during the course of...

Common law spouses and cohabitation rights

Muntech Kaur
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With a shift in lifestyle choices and family types, the modern day couple is more likely to opt for cohabitation than marriage. The Office of National Statistics shows that in 2016 there were some 3.3 million couples cohabiting, representing some 17.5% of...

Be aware - bogus law firms

Muntech Kaur
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It is now commonplace for us all to have been touched by fraud, either by way of personal experience or we know of someone who has been a victim . We are less likely to have a knock at the door from someone trying to con us out of our money and sensitive...

The rule on penalty clauses applied in the High Court

Thomas Emmett
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In a previous blog (which you can read here) , I discussed the change to the rule on penalty clauses resulting from the Supreme Court’s decision in Cavendish Square Holding BV v Talal El Makdessi and ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67. In that...

Flout Orders made by the Family Court at your own peril

Melanie Loxley
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…as Mr Assoun in the case of Assoun v Assoun [2017] EWCA Civ 21 discovered.  In 2013 the English Court made a maintenance order against Mr Assoun in favour of his wife.  Mr Assoun failed to make the payments ordered of him and in 2015, he...

Owens v Owens - No fault divorce

Bronda Lohan
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Much has been written in the press about this case where the Judge refused to grant the wife’s divorce petition based on unreasonable behaviour.  The background is that on considering her application for Decree Nisi, the Judge in the County...

Brexit - UK divorcing European Union

Muntech Kaur
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With the Prime Minister having officially triggered Article 50 on 29 March 2017 to commence the process of the United Kingdom divorcing the European Union, there has been some speculation as to the length of time which it shall take for there to be finality...

Barclays Charity Quiz Night

Jess Elwell
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On Tuesday evening a team of Kurt Goddard, Bradley Powell, Lisa Collins, Jess Elwell, Cara O’Donoghue and Alex Aspinwall-Livesey (who is currently undertaking work experience with Kurt), attended the Barclays Charity Quiz. The Quiz was in aid of PHAB...

Free advice - think again!

Muntech Kaur
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Like many professionals, solicitors often find themselves giving free legal advice to potential clients, generally at initial contact with individuals both during their working hours and at times away from the workplace. In a case already decided by the...

Dishonesty is not always relevant

Philip Hoddell
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In a previous blog, (which you can read here)  I discussed the Supreme Court’s decision to allow 2 wives to reopen their divorce settlements because their husbands had lied. In each case, assets had been concealed and it was felt that had their...

Offering an apprenticeship? - Be careful!

Reggie Lloyd
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From 1 April 2017 it will be a criminal offence for a business, when providing or offering a course or training, to describe  it as an apprenticeship when it is not a statutory apprenticeship. The Government wishes to protect the term...

The Controversy of Being Neutral

Cynthia Beesoon
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The recent judgment of Achbita v G4S Secure Solutions NV C-157-15 on Tuesday 14 March 2017, saw the conclusion of the controversial case regarding prohibiting the wearing of headscarves for religious reasons in the workplace. Ms Samira Achbita was a...

The Ministry of Justice, carries on regardless

Martin King
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Notwithstanding the outcry and criticism that has been levelled at the Ministry of Justice with regard to their announcement that they will be imposing significant increases in the cost of applying for a Grant of Representation which will range from between...

Boy's tragic death entirely preventable

Reggie Lloyd
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A care company based in Kettering has been fined £80,000 after a 16-year-old boy drowned at a disused quarry on a day trip. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, it was also ordered to pay...

Supreme Court delivers judgement in Ilott v Mitson case!

Jenny Bruce
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What does this mean for adult children who are cut out of parent’s estates? The Supreme Court has today delivered its long awaited judgement in the case of Ilott v Mitson. Those who have been following the twists and turns in this long running matter...

What happens with a will when a loved one loses capacity?

Lisa Cox
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The last thing you may want to think about when a loved one loses capacity is what will happen to their estate when they die. However, once a person loses mental capacity, this often goes hand in hand with a loss of testamentary capacity, which means that...

Reactions to changes in probate fees

Katie Gibson-Green
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On 18 February, the Ministry of Justice announced that from May 2017, the fee for applying for a Grant of Probate will go from being a fixed fee of £155 for solicitors making applications, to between £300 and £20,000 depending on the value...

It's not all over until the fat lady sings

Martin King
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Somebody recently asked me what this expression meant. I was able to give them the general gist of the meaning and suggested they have a look at Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable which would provide a more accurate definition. What it also...

When do you own your parent's house?

Philip Hoddell
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In an unusual case, the Court of Appeal has recently clarified some of the circumstances in which living in a property might give the occupier a financial interest in the value of it, despite the title deeds being in the names of other family members.  ...

Education headlines this week

Amanda Timcke
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It’s all education headlines this week, here’s what I have noticed so far! Relationships education Firstly the Department for Education (DfE) issued a policy statement on relationships education to include sex education, personal, social,...

What have quickie divorces and mammoths got in common?

Bronda Lohan
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There have recently been reports in the news that the mammoth is about to have a come back thanks to DNA developments and the plan was, I gathered, for DNA to be implanted into an elephant embryo. This was soon shown to be an error caused by over...

The Court of Appeal dismisses heterosexual civil partnership battle

Lisa Collins
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Recently, the Court of Appeal rejected a London couple’s wish to have a civil partnership rather than a marriage as they did not satisfy the legal requirement of being the same sex. The appeal was dismissed by a 2-1 majority, an extremely narrow...

Legal battle against a court's refusal for divorce

Melanie Loxley
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Last week we heard that the Court of Appeal had reserved its decision on whether HHJ Tolson QC was right to refuse to grant Mrs Owens divorce petition based on her husband’s unreasonable behaviour. This case, which has attracted lots of recent...

Kylie who?

Thomas Emmett
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I can only imagine what it would be like to be so famous, that I could file a credible opposition to an application to trademark my first name. I should be so lucky… However, that is exactly what Kylie Minogue’s legal team did in opposition to...

When should a person be free to divorce?

Yolande Millar
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Last year the wife of a multimillionaire mushroom farmer was refused a divorce after a judge ruled that her husband’s constant berating about her affair was to be “expected in a marriage”.  Mr Owens successfully argued that the 37 year...

Husband caught cheating by Uber - How would this affect the Divorce?

Jess Elwell
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Gone are the days of suspicious spouses following their partners’ movements. Unfaithful husbands and wives can now be caught out by their Uber account.   A businessman in France is currently suing Uber for ruining his marriage. The man borrowed...

New tax on bereaved families?

Claire Read
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You may have seen that probate fees are going to increase from £150 up to £20,000. I am gobsmacked by this because the responses to the consultation were overwhelmingly against such a high increase, but the government has just ignored those...

How do the new probate fees affect our farming clients?

Katie Gibson-Green
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The government have now published its response to the ‘Consultation on fee proposals for grants of probate’ which was published on 18th February 2016. During the consultation period, the government received a total of 831 responses to their...

Alienation - a form of child abuse!

Yolande Millar
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The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) believes deliberate parental alienation accounts for the majority of the most entrenched family disputes, possibly as much as 80 percent. Cafcass works with children and their families not...

Wife spends all of divorce settlement and comes back for more...

Jess Elwell
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Mr and Mrs Mills divorced in 2002 after 13 years of marriage. At that time, Mrs Mills received a lump sum of £230,000 with £1,100 monthly maintenance payments. Since then Mrs Mills lost the bulk of this settlement by making a number of poor...

Donald Trump trumps the Chinese in trademark dispute over his own name!

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After years and years, and rejection after rejection, in the Chinese courts over trademark rights to use his own name, President Donald Trump has finally been victorious. Last week the Chinese courts granted the President the right to use his own name for...

Considerations for co-habiting couples

Samantha Ellis
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Following on from the Supreme Court’s decision that a cohabitee is now entitled to receive a survivor’s pension, this really is a move in the right direction for cohabiting couples who are currently not afforded the same legal protection as...

No time like term time

Cynthia Beesoon
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Last year saw the landmark case where a High Court ruled that Jon Platt’s fine for removing his child from school for a holiday during term time was unfair.  The reasoning was that the overall attendance of the child was above the Isle of Wight...

Is the law regarding inheritance in divorce inherently unfair?

Jennifer Ward
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An appeal against a central family court judgment ordering that the only significant asset of the marriage, the former matrimonial home, was to be retained by the appellant's former spouse has been allowed by the Court of Appeal. The case brought by Mr...

Can we enable farming to continue profitably?

Caroline Dowding
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BBC news reported on 10 February, MP’s have stated that the Government's failure to pay EU subsidies on time or help farmers hit hard by delays raises doubts about its ability to cope with Brexit. They say that delays to Common Agricultural...

Keeping up with the Kylies

Molly Frankham
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Kylie Minogue has won a battle with Kylie Jenner over the trademark of their shared first name. Ms Minogue first found fame when appearing in Australian soap “Neighbours” and who, as we all know, went on to become a hugely successful recording...

Cohabiting couples and pensions

Ella Johnson
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The Supreme Court by unanimous decision today has allowed an appeal brought before them by Ms Denise Brewster, declaring she is entitled to “survivor’s pension provision” following the death of her late partner, Mr William McMullan. The...