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Author Archive: Alice Beck

Cohabitation: Property Ownership Rights Following a Break Up

Posted by on January 8th 2018 in Blog Posts, Family

Cohabitation: Property Ownership Rights Following a Break Up

It is a common myth that couples who live together for a long period of time have the same rights as married couples, this is often referred to as a ‘common law marriage’. In fact the concept of ‘common law marriage’ has no legal validity in the UK, you are either married or you are not. So where do cohabiting couples property rights stand following the breakdown of a relationship?

Unmarried couples have no guaranteed rights to ownership of each other’s property. Where a relationship breaks down and the couple are unmarried the court has to resolve questions of property ownership...

Bereavement Damages - Battle Won for Unmarried Couples

Posted by on January 8th 2018 in Blog Posts, Family

Jakki Smith has won a legal battle against the Government and established better rights for unmarried couples.

Jakki Smith took the Government to court for breaching her human rights and denying her bereavement damages. Jakki had been in a long term relationship with her partner John Bulloch for 16 years. John fell ill whilst on holiday in Turkey after having a benign tumour removed from his foot; a post operative infection had been missed by medical staff.

Under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 a fixed sum of £12,980 can be claimed in statutory damages if a person dies as a result of...

The Law of Wills is Outdated and in Need of an Overhaul

Posted by on July 20th 2017 in Private Client

The Law Commission have recommended an overhaul in the legal system of Wills, stating that the current system is outdated and out of step with the modern world. The independent body are currently consulting on proposals to soften the strict formality rules, introduce a new mental capacity test, lower the age for testators from 18 to 16 and introduce electronic Wills.

Formality rules

It is estimated that 40% of adults are dying each year without a Will; the Law Commission has suggested that the current law may be putting people off making a Will they therefore want to make the process...

Government Legal Service v Brookes

Posted by on May 16th 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

Multiple Choice Assessment taken by Applicant with Aspergers Subjected Her to Indirect Disability Discrimination

In the recent ruling, Government Legal Services v Brookes UKEAT/0302/16, the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) upheld the decision of an Employment Tribunal that requiring a job applicant with Aspergers to take a multiple choice test as part of the recruitment process amounted to indirect discrimination.

The Facts

Ms Brookes applied for a position with the Government Legal Service (GLS) whose jobs are highly sought after and whose recruitment is notoriously competitive. Applicants are required to complete and pass a multiple choice situational judgement test in order to...

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...

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