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Are you looking for high quality legal advice? You have come to the right place.

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.

The options for resolving family law issues

Karen Johnson
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When a relationship breaks down, numerous issues arise such as; where both of you and the children will live how you will manage the arrangements for the children how the assets should be divided how, and if, the separation should be formalised by...

Morrisons faces equal pay backlash

Charlotte Holman
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Female employees are claiming that they are not paid the same as male workers who are doing comparable jobs at supermarket giant Morrisons. The claims which are being made relate to the difference in pay between employees who work on the shop floor, who are...

Have you and your valentine thought about a will?

Leah Woodnott
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With the country celebrating Valentine’s day this week, love is in the air for many couples across England and Wales. For those planning to get down on one knee and pop the all-important question, have they thought about how their marriage will affect...

A cunning ploy?

Claire Read
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As you will have read in many recent articles and blogs, it is highly likely that the probate fee will increase substantially very soon. You may recall a couple of years ago that the proposed fees to deal with a person’s estate (to obtain a grant of...

Insolvency investigation in sports

David Feakins
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A property developer, who received millions of pounds’ worth of funding from a local council to aid the redevelopment of a football stadium, has been banned from running companies for 10 years. Howard Grossman was a director of 1 ST Land Limited (the...

Annual increases to family leave and sick pay

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The following payment increases are expected to take effect from: 6 April 2019: statutory sick pay from £92.05 to £94.25 per week. 7 April 2019; statutory maternity pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay and adoption pay from...

How do the new probate fees affect our farming clients?

Katie Gibson-Green
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In 2016, the government announced a probate fee hike of exponential proportions, with the fee of estates worth over £2m being fixed at £20,000. With the snap general election and Brexit looming, this plan was scrapped, and was seemingly dead in...

Recognising dementia risk factors

Liz Jones
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I saw in the news today that a study by Alzheimer’s Research UK found that half of UK adults cannot identify any of the key risk factors for dementia. This is a worrying statistic. With more than 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK,...

Sporting injuries and a club's duty of care

David Feakins
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Athletes put their bodies on the line when playing sports and, as a result, they become prone to injury. However, recent incidences have highlighted the extent of a club’s duty of care to their athletes. Oxygen supply Last month, Charlton...

Probate fees are increasing!

Leah Woodnott
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The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice, Lucy Frazer, has recently announced an increase in probate fees. Currently, where an estate is worth over £5,000, fixed fees apply of £215 for probate applications made by individuals and...

Patisserie Valerie collapse leaves sour taste

David Feakins
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As high street retailers continue to feel the pressure of falling sales, Patisserie Valerie has become the latest business to enter administration. However, it appears that the collapse is due to other factors, rather than a reduced level of sales. In...

The dangers of online lasting powers of attorney

Chloe Hammond
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The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has recently released plans to become almost entirely digital, with paper being a rare exception by 2025. This includes how they interact and offer their services and the creation and registration of lasting powers of...

Discrimination in Sports

David Feakins
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Discrimination in sports has received a lot of media attention in the past month or so. Former England women coach Mark Sampson was investigated for allegations of racial discrimination against England player, Eniola Aluko, as well as for “breaching...

Cyclist failed to prove she was an employee or worker

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There has been an increasing number of high-profile cases in recent years considering whether individuals are employees, workers or self-employed. Most have gone in favour of the individual, lending some weight to the idea (which has increasing support in my...

Protection against redundancy for expectant and new parents

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On 25 January 2019, the government launched a consultation on plans to tackle pregnancy and maternity discrimination. This is part of a series of measures being considered following the so-called Taylor Review. The consultation proposes to require...

The growing world of esports

David Feakins
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As technology improves each year, the world of esports is growing more and more popular. There is now a large number of professional esports teams that participate in a variety of different game formats. The growth of esports is only expected to continue....

Data Protection - In the name of transparency

Veronika Koenig-Roach
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GDPR has only been in force for just about eight months and the first casualties are starting to appear.  The record fine (so far) of €50million is imposed on Google for its breach of data protection rules. This could be a starting point to what...

The costly ramifications of unregulated will writing

Katie Hayden
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A recent study by the Wills and Probate Consumer Research Report 2018 found that clients are often being misled with regards to fees by providers in the unregulated sector. 80% of those who made a will using a will writer or other provider in the unregulated...

Sodje brothers jailed for taking charity money

David Feakins
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It was recently revealed that a sporting family embezzled cash from their own charity, the Sodje Sports Foundation, which had been set up in 2009 to provide sporting facilities in Nigeria. Ex-rugby player Bright Sodje and ex-footballers Stephen Sodje and...

Game, Set and....Fix?

David Feakins
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As Andy Murray waved goodbye to tennis fans at the Australian Open, a much more sinister story emerged from the world of tennis. Months of investigations have led to the arrest of Grigor Sargsyan, an individual who is the suspected ringleader of an...

Top 5 questions about making a will

Katie Hayden
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I often get asked about the process of making or updating a will, so thought I would share the regular questions I get asked, as it is so important to protect your loved ones and assets by obtaining specialist advice. When should I think about making or...

Regulations coming into force

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The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 come into force on 6 April 2020.  The Regulations implement some changes recommended in the ‘Good Work Plan’ published on 17 December 2018. So...

Artificial intelligence drafting wills

Leah Woodnott
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A recent survey has stated that the British public is not ready for artificial intelligence (AI) to draft their wills. 90% of those who participated in the survey stated they would not want a will drafted using AI alone, without any human input. In England...

What happens to "Prime" business assets on divorce?

Karen Johnson
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Amazon’s founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, last week announced on Twitter that he and his wife of 25 years, Mackenzie, were “parting as cherished friends” and “divorcing after a long period of loving exploration and trial...

Make a Will month 2019

Katey  Stephenson
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From 1 February, we are taking part in “Make a Will month 2019” with Colchester and Ipswich Hospital Charity. As part of our scheme, the usual cost of a will is waived and a donation to the Cancer Centre in Colchester Hospital will be paid...

Divorce Myth 12 - When I divorce, I'll keep my assets and inheritance from before I was married.

Karen Johnson
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When dealing with finances on divorce, the court has a wide discretion in terms of the orders that can be made. Primarily, the court is looking to divide the matrimonial assets. Matrimonial assets are those that have been built up during the course of the...

Why don't you trust me?

Karen Johnson
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A story of love, of loss and of lessons to be learned… Jack Smith is 27 years old. He is ruggedly handsome and someone most people would consider to be a genuinely nice guy. He works hard but also enjoys spending time with his friends and family....

My ex won't let me see our kids. What can I do?

Karen Johnson
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The breakdown of a relationship is hard on everybody involved. It can have a devastating impact upon the children of the relationship if the issues arising as a result of the breakdown are not dealt with appropriately. It could be said in most cases that...

Divorce Myth 11 - If you have not worked for a long time, your spouse will have to pay you maintenance for the rest of your life

Yolande Millar
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Spousal maintenance is a claim that can be made when dealing with finances on divorce. The level and duration are case specific depending on individual circumstances. How is spousal maintenance calculated? When calculating spousal maintenance, each case is...

Universal Wealth Preservation - progress with civil proceedings

Thomas Lee
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I have previously reported on the on-going criminal investigation into Mr Steven Long and his Suffolk-based business brand, Universal Wealth Preservation. With that investigation unlikely to conclude swiftly, there is concurrently progress in the civil...

Santander fined for poor probate process

Katie Hayden
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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Santander £32.8 million for its flawed probate and bereavement services. Santander was found to have stalled or failed to complete the probate process despite being informed of the death of customers...

Divorce myth 10 - If you're the highest earner, you keep most of it

Muntech Kaur
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Whilst this assertion may seem logical, the division of assets, capital and income between spouses and former spouses takes into account a number of factors. When determining how finances should be divided, the first consideration is given to any children...

When can I terminate a commercial agreement?

Veronika Koenig-Roach
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Yes, we are talking Brexit again, but not entirely. With Brexit practically upon us, businesses up and down the country might find themselves in unchartered waters wondering how easy or difficult it will be to get out of contractual obligations when the...

Divorce Myth 9 - Once you are separated your spouse ceases to be your legal next of kin

Francesca Cozens
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It is not true that your spouse ceases to be your legal next of kin when you separate. While you remain married, your husband or wife is still regarded as your legal next of kin. What if I die and have not divorced? If you separate but do not take steps to...

Are you paying the loyalty penalty?

Tim Field
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Citizens Advice has taken a super complaint to the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) to protect those loyal customers that are paying over the odds. As much as consumers may be told that they should shop around and change provider when it comes to...

Implementation of the EU Trade Mark Directive 2015

Veronika Koenig-Roach
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You may or may not be aware that the Trade Mark Directive 2015 comes into effect on 14 January 2019 and the changes it brings may impact on relevant businesses. I would like to highlight some of the key changes in the summary below which is based on the...

Professionals and a no-deal Brexit

Reggie Lloyd
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“Exit day” is 29 March 2019. If a no-deal Brexit occurs, professionals, such as lawyers, doctors, nurses, dentists, veterinary surgeons, midwives, pharmacists and architects who qualified in the European Economic Area (EEA) and work in the UK and...

What happens when someone dies without making a will

Leah Woodnott
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Avicii, the Swedish international DJ, died in April 2018 after taking his own life. Legal documents have now been made public by the Swedish Tax Agency, which state his parents, Klas Bergling and Anki Liden, are set to inherit his estate worth an estimated...

Divorce myth 8: You can set out a legally binding agreement in a deed of separation

Melanie Loxley
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You can set out a legally binding agreement in a deed of separation if you do not want to get divorced. Is it true that a separation agreement will do, rather than a divorce? Sadly, it is false. Any financial agreement that you reach with your spouse...

Divorce myth 7: It is impossible to bring a financial claim once you have got divorced

Melanie Loxley
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Mel Loxley considers the myth that it is impossible to bring a financial claim once divorced. Is it impossible to bring a financial claim once you have got divorced? No, it is possible to bring a financial claim against your spouse even after the...

Is too much pressure being placed on trustees?

Tim Field
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I have read some interesting articles lately that suggest too much pressure is being placed on charity trustees. As I regularly advise charities, and am a trustee myself, it is important to remember the statutory duties a trustee has and the standards to...

Breaking up is hard to do

Karen Johnson
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People contemplating divorce do not generally do so lightly. Separation involves huge emotional upheaval, whether you have reached that decision together or not. In all cases it throws up issues such as where you will all live, how the finances should be...

The role of an executor

Thomas Lee
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The overwhelming demands of an executor were recently highlighted and they did not make pleasant reading for those handling an estate without legal advice. At the end of November, the Office of Tax Simplification published their review on inheritance tax....

Divorce myth 6: If you do not see the children, you do not have to pay any maintenance

Karen Johnson
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Karen Johnson considers the myths around child maintenance, and when you have to pay it.​ My ex won’t let me see my children, so I don’t have to pay maintenance, right? Whilst, it can be extremely frustrating when there are difficulties...

Farming Proprietary Estoppel claim goes to Court of Appeal

Katie Gibson-Green
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Following on from my article last year, the case of Moore v Moore has gone to the Court of Appeal, with the Judge finding in favour of Roger Moore’s wife. At the previous hearing, the court ruled that Stephen (Roger Moore’s son) was entitled to...

Directors are often also workers and employees

Alan Massenhove
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It can easily be overlooked that in England & Wales a person who is an executive director of a company will often also be a worker, under the Working Time Regulations 1998 and an employee of the company, under the Employment Rights Act 1996 and various...

What's "fair" in love and war?

Karen Johnson
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At a time when the government has launched a consultation on proposals for a non-fault based divorce process, it is interesting to note that further proposals for the reform of divorce laws are currently in the process of being debated in the House of Lords....

Are you a parent without a will?

Leah Woodnott
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Royal London has released new statistics stating that 59% of parents either do not have a will or have one that is out of date. When someone dies without a valid will, the intestacy rules are followed, which sets out who will inherit your estate. However,...

Government resurrects the new 'death tax'

Katie Hayden
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It was announced recently that the government plans to reintroduce a hike in probate fees. Plans were dropped back in 2017 ahead of the general election after a furious backlash, as it was felt that the increase in price with regards to the application for a...

Divorce myth 5: After a divorce children always live with their mother

Muntech Kaur
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Do children always live with their mother after a divorce? In short, no. Neither parent has more “right” over the other. Arrangements relating to the long term care of children from the marriage can be dealt with separately from the divorce...