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Archive for the: Blog Posts category

Is Your Aged Debt Causing More Than Cash Flow Problems?

Posted by on February 17th 2015 in Blog Posts, Debt Recovery

A recent study by Bacs, the payment processor, has uncovered some interesting, if not perturbing, statistics on the late payment of invoices. Consider the following:

  • The average small company is owed some £32,000;
  • The additional costs incurred by small companies resulting from late payments are in the region of £677 per month;
  • Companies employing fewer than 250 people are owed £32.4 billion;
  • Larger companies are owed £9.1 billion;
  • Overall, some 59% of businesses are affected by the issue.

If that wasn’t enough to give you pause, the overall effect of unpaid invoices means that a lot of directors, partners and sole traders are forced to...

Stretching the Nil Rate Band?

Posted by on February 2nd 2015 in Blog Posts, Contentious Probate

This recent case involved a dispute between the family of the late Valerie Smith and a charity, the Woodland Trust.

What’s the background?

The current inheritance tax threshold (‘Nil Rate Band’) is £325,000. This amount is available to the estate of each individual, free of tax, in England and Wales on their death.

In order to protect against payment of inheritance tax, many people choose to leave a gift in their Will, which is equal to the value of the Nil Rate Band, with the balance being left to charity.

When someone dies leaving the whole of their estate to their surviving spouse or...

Online and Email Risks: Business Development Briefing

Posted by on January 30th 2015 in Blog Posts, Employment

This business development briefing highlights the risks all employees should be aware of when using email and the internet at work, sending work related emails or discussing the workplace on the internet.

Reputational risks

What you write in emails or on the internet could seriously damage your own or another person's reputation, you could lose your job and you and your employer could be sued, fined or even imprisoned.

Stop and think before you click

  • Anything written in an email has the potential for public exposure (for example, if the email is forwarded to others).
  • Posting on the internet is essentially making a public statement...

Social Media: The Termination of Employment

Posted by on January 30th 2015 in Blog Posts, Employment

The use of social media is fast expanding in the workplace. While an employer may legitimately restrict an employee's freedom of expression at work, or in a work-related context, whether that restriction can extend to personal, out-of-work, activities will depend on the circumstances of each case.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that an employment judge failed to take full account of the public nature of Twitter when finding that an employee's dismissal for posting offensive tweets was unfair. The judge did not properly consider whether the employee's purportedly private use of Twitter was truly private, given that he was...

Marriage (Same Sex) Conversion Act 2013

Posted by on January 29th 2015 in Blog Posts, Family

Marriage (Same Sex) Conversion Act 2013

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 was introduced to provide for legal status of relationships between two members of the same sex.  By giving legal status to same-sex relationships, the Act conferred rights and obligations similar to those available to married couples. In addition, on dissolution of the Partnership, the parties were entitled to make claims against one another in respect of income, capital, property and pensions, mirroring the S25 factors under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

After much debate, in December 2014, the Marriage (Same Sex) Conversion Act 2013 enabled Civil Partnerships to be converted to marriage. In addition, as of...

Lasting Powers Of Attorney - Are You Covered In Your Lifetime?

Posted by on January 28th 2015 in Blog Posts, Private Client

Last Friday evening on ITV, Money Expert Martin Lewis highlighted the importance of preparing Lasting Powers of Attorney. He talked about what would happen if you lost capacity without putting something in place to ensure that someone trustworthy can step in to manage your financial affairs or act on your behalf concerning your health and welfare.

Everyone knows it is important to make a Will to ensure assets are passed to the beneficiaries of your choice when you die, but what about protecting the assets when you are alive?

Illness or accidents can happen suddenly and without warning.  Common conditions relating to...

Beneficiaries Beware

Posted by on January 27th 2015 in Blog Posts, Private Client

A recent case (Hutchings v HMRC) involving the beneficiary of an estate has highlighted the importance of beneficiaries being open with Executors about gifts. In this particular case the beneficiary, Clayton Hutchings, failed to disclose to the Executors of his Father’s estate that his Father had gifted him around £450,000 from his Swiss bank account to Mr Hutchings’ Swiss account in April 2009. The Executors reportedly asked Mr Hutchings and the other beneficiaries on two separate occasions whether they knew of any gifts made by their father prior to his death and as no disclosures were made the Executors submitted...

The Consumer Rights Bill

Posted by on January 20th 2015 in Blog Posts

The Consumer Rights Bill is considered to be the centrepiece of the UK's consumer law reform.  It is intended to reform and consolidate much of consumer law in the UK, and is the most extensive consumer law reform in the UK in decades. It is expected to come into force in October 2015.

It is expected to amend the law relating to the rights of consumers and protection of their interests, to make provision about investigatory powers for enforcing the regulation of traders, to make provision about private actions in competition law, as well as providing enhanced remedies for consumers.

The House...

Bankrupts, Pensions and Income Payments Orders

Posted by on January 9th 2015 in Blog Posts

A recent decision by the Chancery Division may have called into question the decision of Raithatha v Williamson [2012] 1 WLR 3559.

In Raithatha, heard before Bernard Livesey QC,  the Trustee in Bankruptcy sought an Income Payments Order (IPO) after  the Bankrupt disclosed  the existence of various pension policies. These policies were not yet drawn down, but were capable of being so by the Bankrupt enabling him to obtain a lump sum payment and an income.

Section 310 of the Insolvency Act 1986 would make available to creditors the surplus income over what is needed for the reasonable domestic needs of the...

SDLT Changes: How Will It Affect You?

Posted by on December 3rd 2014 in Blog Posts, Property

From 4 December 2014 (effective from midnight tonight) Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) rates for residential properties will only apply to the part of the property price that falls within each band.

It was announced in today’s Autumn Statement that the old ‘slab’ system will be replaced so home buyers pay the tax at gradually increasing rates on tranches of the total value of the property – similar to income tax – rather than a single rate on the whole transaction, eliminating the steep jump in tax paid when properties cross, for example, the £250,000 threshold.

Buyers will pay no stamp duty on...

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