Latest News

Property advice - buying and selling can be daunting

Buying and selling property can be a very daunting prospect for most. At Birkett Long we take the pressure away, at least when it comes to the legal work involved.  However, before you instruct us, there are some things to think about. Buying a...

Why you should review your will

If you have already made a will you are doing better than most, but unfortunately that is not the end of the story.  Consider whether, since writing your will, you have separated or remarried, your family has expanded or your estate value has changed...

A good outcome for our client

By way of a very brief overview, the claimant in this dispute had two opportunities to get its claim right, but it failed to do so.  It also failed to correctly serve the re-pleaded particulars of claim on the defendant.  As a result, the claim was...

Payment through adjudication...not insolvency

Changes to the Housing Grants Construction and Regeneration Act were thought to make winding-up proceedings possible when a party failed to pay an interim certificate.  But that thinking appears to be flawed! The amount certified in an interim...

Make sure your interim payment applications are clear

As most people are now aware, ignoring an application for payment will not make it go away!  The amount claimed on such applications will usually become the amount that becomes payable if it is ignored.  This happens even if the paying party does...

SMEs encouraged to tender for public procurement work

For many years, it seemed that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were being pushed out of being able to tender for public procurement work, especially in the construction sector.   However, the introduction of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015...

Protecting your family

As a parent, you want to provide the best for your children and plan for their future.  We all know that raising children is expensive.  In 2011 the average cost of raising a child was £133,848 and in 2013 this had increased by 15% to...

Thinking ahead - the reality of separation

Part of each working day in the family team is spent resolving financial disputes between separating couples, whether married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting.  Regrettably, all too often we have to explain to clients that a simple document,...

Balancing and protecting

Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics show that there are more than 0.75 million step-families in the UK. Re-partnered spouses often face challenges as they seek to balance competing interests; financially supporting their partner after...

Joint ownership of property

When two or more people buy a property together it is important that they understand the types of joint ownership.  The way in which joint property is owned may have implications for couples who separate, friends and family members who pool resources to...

Clients to switch on to legal meetings

Essex law firm Birkett Long has started offering consultations with clients by Skype all of its offices.

Care fee funding - the proposed changes

Recently the Government published proposals on changes to social care funding.  This was, in part, a response to the Dilnot Commission report published in July 2012. It is impossible at this stage to assess the full impact of the changes as the...

Avoid post divorce court proceedings

Imagine the scenario – you separated from your ex wife thirty years ago (when you were both claiming state benefits) and divorced eighteen years ago.  Three years after the divorce you started the world’s first green energy company; fifteen...

If only I'd put a Retention of Title clause in my terms and conditions...

It’s all too common a situation – especially during an economic downturn - Seller delivers good to Buyer along with an invoice, payable within 30 days, Buyer becomes insolvent so Seller joins the ranks of all other unsecured creditors and will be...

Green Deal or No Deal

In spite of the difficult economic situation green issues are moving towards the top of the agenda for many property owners and occupiers suggests David Rayner, Partner in the Commercial Real Estate Team at Birkett Long. Sustainability is going to be a big...

2012 is a Big Year for Commercial Property

Fundamental changes are due to be implemented in the field of real estate in 2012 according to David Rayner, a Commercial Real Estate partner at Birkett Long solicitors. David explained that the most significant changes to take place this year are likely to...

Commercial tenants urged to investigate cracks in their rental contracts

Commercial tenants who have concerns about their rental contracts are being urged to take advantage of a new lease review scheme from solicitors Birkett Long. The firm has launched a fixed-price service giving tenants advice about the content of their own...

Will Axing the Agricultural Wages Board Mean Workers Will Suffer?

At the end of last year, despite campaigns to the contrary, MPs voted to abolish the  Agricultural Wages Board  as part of its planned ending of quangos .  Agricultural workers are covered by agricultural wages legislation which...

Be Aware of Pension Sharing Orders

A solicitor has warned divorcing couples to be aware of pension sharing orders, which have risen by 11 per cent over the last year. Philip Hoddell, who leads Birkett Long’s Private Client Department, explained that new statistics from legal publisher...

Our Greens and Pleasant Land

Village greens, once the home of fetes, cream teas and the pillory, are now becoming increasingly important as potential weapons in the war between property developers and local objectors according to environmental law specialist David Rayner , Partner at...

Smoke on the water

A recent discharge of diesel fuel into the River Chelmer has highlighted an area of pollution which is becoming a growing concern, leading to an increase of prosecutions and fines. According to Birkett Long environmental law specialist David Rayner , it is...

Pension Changes Ahead

The Pensions Act 2008 comes into force on 1 October 2012, requiring employers to enrol qualifying employees into a pension scheme. The employer can use its existing pension scheme if it meets certain criteria, or the new Government National Employment...

Birkett Long to provide free legal advice for those celebrating Essex Pride

A team of solicitors from law firm Birkett Long will be on hand at Essex Pride in Chelmsford Central Park on Sunday 4 September to provide free legal advice. Those seeking a fun family day out at Essex Pride will be able to drop in on the team for...

Credit Card Debt Stands Despite Missing Agreement

A Barclaycard customer recently failed in his bid to have his £13,000 credit card balance set aside on the grounds that Barclaycard could not produce the original document showing that he had agreed to their terms and conditions, following the credit...

The Silent Witness

Disputes concerning wills are becoming increasingly common. More of us cohabit, divorce, remarry and have children with second spouses (who may already have children from a previous relationship); in fact the Office of National Statistics reported that in...

No Penalty for Driving While Using Mobile as a Dictaphone

The comedian Jimmy Carr was recently successful in using a loophole in the law to avoid a fine for using a mobile phone whilst driving. The argument was based on the fact that he was using his mobile phone as a dictating machine, rather than as a...

Free legal advice for busy lives

A team of solicitors will be giving out free legal advice to shoppers for the second time in Chelmsford on Friday 21 May. Shoppers in the town can consult Birkett Long’s Street Legal solicitors on anything from wills and conveyancing to personal...

Essex shoppers get free legal advice in the supermarket car park

From wills and copyright issues to divorce and disrupted wedding plans, Chelmsford shoppers voiced their troubles on Friday to an innovative group of legal eagles in a supermarket entrance hall. More than 15 shoppers turned out for on-the-the-spot free...

Pick up some free legal advice with your weekly shop this April

A team of Essex solicitors is to hit the streets and offer free legal advice to shoppers in Chelmsford next week. Inspired by hit TV show Street Doctor, six solicitors from Essex firm Birkett Long will share their knowledge at Sainsbury’s car park,...

Leading Essex solicitor hands over practice 'captaincy'

The man who has overseen the major expansion of leading Essex firm of solicitors Birkett Long is to step down as Managing Partner. Philip George, who has held the post for the past eight years, will hand over on March 31 to the practice’s current...

Happy Birthday to the Web - 20 years old

Author: Colin Willett Difficult to believe perhaps but the World Wide Web is now 20 years old. Has any invention, other than the wheel, had such a profound and lasting impact on just about every aspect of our lives? Probably not. The origins of the web...

Lasting Powers of Attorney - The New Form

Author: Claire Read On 1 October 2009, the Office of the Public Guardian introduced the new Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) forms. These are much shorter and simpler than the old style LPAs. Originally, the LPA forms were introduced to replace the more...

Should care cost you your home? - Preserving Assets

The cost of long term care is increasing and becoming a significant worry in what many people now describe as an ageing population. In 2007, statistics reported for the first time in history that Britain had more people over the age of 65 than it did...

Texting Driver's Jail Sentence Based on Facts

We all know that it is dangerous to drive whilst talking or texting on a mobile phone and are probably aware that doing so is now a criminal offence. However, for many people this has not acted as a deterrent, as was illustrated by a recent case involving a...

Thousands Face Driving Bans Under New Totting-Up Proposals

Practically everyone moans about the standard of driving seen on the roads, but few drivers will welcome a proposal, contained in a recent Department for Transport consultation paper, which would allow the police to levy ‘on the spot’ penalties...

Thousands Face Driving Bans Under New Totting-up Proposals

Practically everyone (well, everyone over 40) moans about the standard of driving they see on the roads these days, but few drivers will welcome the proposal contained in a recent Department for Transport consultation paper which would allow the police...

Faster Driving Bans for Speeders

Jim Fitzpatrick, the Transport Minister, has set out new guidelines on penalties for speeding in a Road Safety consultation paper . The proposed changes will mean that motorists caught driving significantly over the speed limit could face a penalty of six...

New Driving Offences Cover Mobile Phones

On 18 August, two new driving offences came into force. These are causing death by careless driving and causing death by driving while unlicensed, uninsured or disqualified. The effect of the changes is to increase the likely penalty for persons...