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Archive for the: Blog Posts category

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...

International Women's Day

Posted by on March 9th 2017 in Blog Posts

To celebrate International Women's Day our Plymouth Office came together to share their goals for this year.

International Women's Day is a global event celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements for women. The day also marks an action for accelerating gender parity.

#BeBoldForChange

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Overview of the Enforcement Process

Posted by on March 2nd 2017 in Blog Posts, Insolvency

Overview of the Enforcement Process

Before commencing enforcement action you will need to consider whether the debtor can afford to pay the judgment debt. You have spent money obtaining a judgment and you want to be sure that the debtor has sufficient means to pay before spending more money on enforcement action. If you know the debtor well, you might already know about their assets, income and property. If you don’t know if the debtor has means to pay, you might want to consider asking the court for an order that the debtor attends court for questioning. The court will then obtain this information from...

The Insolvency Rules 2017

Posted by on March 2nd 2017 in Blog Posts, Insolvency

The Insolvency Rules 2017

An Overview of Changes

The changes to the Insolvency rules  take effect from 6 April 2017.  The new rules aim to ‘facilitate, and achieve a more effective, efficient and transparent insolvency process’. There are three main purposes to the new rules:

  1. To consolidate The Insolvency Rules 1986 with the 28 updates that have been added to the rules since they came into force in 1986.
  2. To restructure the rules and update the language, including gender neutral referencing.
  3. To modernise the rules. In particular, to allow for updated methods of communication such as using  electronic communication instead of paper documents  and physical meetings, and...

Residential Property Update

Posted by on February 20th 2017 in Blog Posts, Litigation

Residential Property Update

A reminder for Landlords entering into tenancy agreements in 2017:

The Energy Act 2011;

Since April 2016, tenants have been able to ask their landlord to make their property more energy efficient, if it has an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) Grade below band E.

From April 2018, it will be unlawful for Landlords to let buildings with EPC Grades F and G.

Landlords will need to give early consideration to efficiency of a building and quickly take steps to make energy improvements.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 / Deregulation Act 2015:

This legislation only applies to Section 21 Notices...

Stamp Duty on Second Homes

Posted by on February 20th 2017 in Blog Posts, Conveyancing

Stamp Duty on Second Homes

What is Stamp Duty Land Tax?

Stamp Duty Land Tax (‘SDLT’) is payable to H M Revenue & Customs where chargeable consideration is given in return for property or land – this is not limited to purely monetary consideration. 

SDLT on main residence:

In general, for residential property purchases, SDLT is payable at the following rates on your MAIN home or residence:

  • Up to a price of £125,000.00: 0% of the purchase price
  • The next £125,000.00 (the portion from £125,001.00 to £250,000.00): 2% of the purchase price
  • The next £675,000.00 (the portion from £250,001.00 to £925,000.00): 5% of the purchase price
  • The next...

Review of Fees in the Employment Tribunal

Posted by on February 6th 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

Following the introduction of fees for Employment Tribunal claims, there has been a greater fall in the amount of claims being issued than was ever predicted. In an ongoing consultation, which will end on the 14th March 2017, the Ministry of Justice are proposing to raise the income threshold to £1250 per month, with anyone earning less being entitled to fee remission and potentially being exempt from fees. The proposal is to introduce types of proceedings which will be exempt from fees such as complaints relating to payment from an insolvent employer’s National Insurance Fund. A rise in the amount...

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