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President of the Solicitors for the Elderly Praises Kitsons Solicitors

Posted by on April 25th 2017 in Press Releases, Private Client

Lynn Smith a Partner and head of department at local law firm Kitsons Solicitors and Marjorie Creek a Private Client Solicitor in their Plympton branch, both full accredited members of Solicitors for the Elderly, have been singled out for praise by Anne Edis, President of the Solicitors for the Elderly.

The SFE is an independent, national organisation of over 1,500 solicitors, barristers and chartered legal executives, committed to providing the highest quality of legal advice for older and vulnerable people, their families and carers. It has campaigned hard, alongside other organisations, to have the draft Non-Contentious Probate...

The End of Tenants Abuse?

Posted by on April 24th 2017 in Blog Posts

The End of Tenants Abuse?

The Government announced in the 2016 Autumn Statement that it intended to hold a consultation on introducing a ban on letting agents charging residential tenants a fee for finding accommodation. This consultation is due to end on 2nd June 2017. The consultation relates to England. Scotland, with its usual more enlightened approach to such matters, has already banned such fees. The position is under review in Northern Ireland and Wales. It is anticipated that the ban will lead to a “better and more transparent service” and increase competition between agents. It is also intended that it will prevent a tenant...

Seven Bedford Row to go “Paper-Less”: Is this the End of Paper-Cuts and Filing Cabinets?

Posted by on April 19th 2017 in Blog Posts

Seven Bedford Row to go “Paper-Less”: Is this the End of Paper-Cuts and Filing Cabinets?

‘We’re Going Paperless’ is a phrase that can be heard reverberating around the conference rooms and corridors of businesses up and down the country, and none more so than in the legal industry. With the introduction of a new online court system on the horizon, and the opportunity to provide a quicker, more cost effective service for clients, more and more firms are making the effort to go “paper-less”.

To remain competitive, Barrister Chambers are now feeling the pressure to adapt their own practices to embrace the changes seen in the way others are operating around them. It is therefore not...

Isle of Wight Council v Platt [2017]

Posted by on April 18th 2017 in Blog Posts

Isle of Wight Council v Platt [2017]

Isle of Wight Council v Platt [2017]: Supreme Court rules parents can be prosecuted for taking children out of school without permission

On 6 April 2017 the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a child fails to attend school regularly if they fail to comply with the rules prescribed by the school. Therefore, as set out in Section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996 (the Act), in this case Mr Platt was guilty of an offence:

444. Offence: failure to secure regular attendance at school of registered pupil.

  1. If a child of compulsory school age who is a registered pupil at a...

What Makes a House a House?

Posted by on April 17th 2017 in Blog Posts, Property

What Makes a House a House?

In Grosvenor (Mayfair) Estate v Merix International Ventures Ltd & Another [2017] EWCA Civ 190 the Court of Appeal had to consider what makes a property a house.  If a property is a “house” under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 (the ’67 Act), then a tenant may be entitled to purchase the freehold or extend their lease. The Court had to apply the law to the facts to determine the entitlement of the tenant.

Certain criteria must be fulfilled to entitle a tenant to enfranchise or extend. The tenant must hold a long leasehold of the property (more than 21 years)...

Can you Enjoy an Easement to use a Golf Course, Swimming Pool and Tennis Court ?

Posted by on April 15th 2017 in Blog Posts, Property

In the case of Regency Villas Title Ltd v others v Diamond Resorts (Europe) Ltd and another [2017] EWCA Civ 238 (“Regency”), the Court of Appeal considered whether the right granted to use a golf course, swimming pool and tennis court was capable of forming a legal easement.   Regency explored the test established in Re Ellenborough Park  [1955] EWCA Civ 4 where the Court of Appeal had to consider the validity of easements, of various kinds, to enjoy recreational facilities.

Regency Villas Title Ltd was the freehold owner of Elham House which lies in the middle...

The New Probate Fees

Posted by on April 13th 2017 in Blog Posts, Private Client

Probate fees are payable by executors when they apply for a Grant of Probate which is a formal document required in order to administer a deceased person’s estate. Currently a flat fee is payable of either £155 for an application made by a solicitor or £215 for an application made by an individual regardless of the value of the estate. Probate fees are separate to inheritance tax and are payable on an application irrespective of whether inheritance tax is due. 

New provisions intended to be introduced from May will replace these flat fees with a system...

Achbita v G4S Secure Solutions: ECJ Rules that Banning Headscarves in the Workplace can be Legal

Posted by on April 4th 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

According to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), employers can ban the wearing of any “political, philosophical or religious sign” including headscarves, without it being direct discrimination.

The ECJ has highlighted that so long as the ban is based on internal company policies outlining that all employees must dress neutrally, it will be acceptable for employers to ask that staff refrain from wearing clothing of a religious nature.  

Such ban must not however, be based on “subjective considerations” alone, for example, the wishes of a customer or supplier.

The ruling comes following a claim made by Samira Achbita - a receptionist who...

ACAS Early Conciliation and Limitation - How Is Early Conciliation Treated Before the Limitation Period Commences

Posted by on April 4th 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

ACAS Early Conciliation and Limitation - How Is Early Conciliation Treated Before the Limitation Period Commences

In order for a Claimant to “institute relevant proceedings” (i.e a claim to the employment tribunal), the prospective claimant must comply with the duty to commence Acas Early Conciliation. In such cases, the limitation date is extended to take into account the period of conciliation. The primary limitation time period in order to bring a claim in a tribunal is three months less one day from the date of dismissal.

Normally, the period is extended by the time between the day the prospective claimant contacts Acas, (or when their EC form is received by ACAS), and the day in which the...

When Does Notice of Termination Take Effect?

Posted by on April 4th 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

This case concerned the timing of contractual notice. An employment contract may contain an express clause which stipulates when notice under a contract is deemed to have been served and specifying when such notice is deemed effective. The case in question was Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust v Haywood [2017].

In this case, the notification of notice being served was important as it will have effected the pension payments Ms Haywood received after having been made redundant. Ms Haywood was out of the country on holiday when the employer sent notice of termination for redundancy via post.  The letter was...