Gemma Windle, Family Solicitor Taylor Walton LLP
If you have read the news, opened your emails or had a conversation with just about anyone over the last two weeks you will have noticed that we have reduced our communication largely to the following two phrases:
“These are unprecedented times”; and
“Well, at least it’s sunny”.
While we lawyers do love sunshine,...
The New Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Updated guidance published (this guidance replaces our previous guidance dated 23 March 2020)
The introduction of a new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (also referred to as Furlough leave) was announced by the Government on 20 March 2020. Further guidance was published on 27 March 2020.
The full guidance can be viewed...
Many businesses are confused about their rights and responsibilities in relation to Coronavirus in the workplace. In this note, we have sought to answer common questions in this area.
The situation relating to Coronavirus is developing and we will update this note as necessary to keep you up to date.
This note is current as at 17 March 2020.
Question 1 – Are employees entitled to...
Published by Nicola Smyrl (04 March 2020)
Various changes to employment law will come into force from April. It is important for all businesses to be aware of the changes in order that appropriate steps can be taken to prepare for the changes.
Upcoming changes include:
National Minimum Wage increases
New rates will apply from 1 April 2020.The rates will increase as follows:
The National Living Wage (for over 25 year...
Published by Angela Thomas (04 March 2020)
From one-person companies to the largest corporations, every business needs space to flourish. Renting space in an office can have enormous benefits, often providing more flexible rental arrangements than taking on an entire property. You may also gain access to facilities such as meeting rooms and breakout spaces that would exceed the budget in a standalone office.
For many businesses, sub-letting some...
Published by Hannah Borner (25 February 2020)
The Residence Nil Rate Band (‘RNRB’) will be fully in force from 6th April 2020, when it will increase to £175,000. When added to the ‘ordinary’ Nil Rate Band (‘NRB’) of £325,000, each individual will be able to leave up to £500,000 inheritance tax free. Any proportion of the NRB and RNRB which is unused when the first spouse or civil partner dies can...
Published by Peter Kouwenberg (25 February 2020)
The business world held its breath as 25 May 2018 came and went, the day which heralded the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), two years after publication.
Guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office suggested that the regulator would not necessarily flex its muscles immediately and seek to hit offenders with the maximum penalty (up to €20m or four...
Published by Stuart Wickham (21 January 2020)
It won’t be lost on anyone that building regulations dealing with cladding safety became under review and in need of change. Homeowners and buyers are concerned about construction methods on new and existing flat developments.
The difficulty that any homeowner or buyer may face is the work that is undertaken through the Building Regulations purports to offer the comfort that a certain...
Published by Anna Patsalides (21 January 2020)
As we embark on the New Year, many will be celebrating some very happy news. Aside from Valentine’s Day, Christmas Day is renowned for being one of the most popular days for marriage proposals.
A Pre-Nuptial Agreement may not have been on your Christmas list alongside that diamond ring but recently engaged couples should give serious consideration to such an Agreement...
Published by Tracey Taylor (17 January 2020)
Early in 2019, the Government announced that it intended to abolish Section 21 Notices. This effectively means an end to Assured Shorthold Tenancies as all future tenancies will be assured – either as fixed-term or contractual periodic arrangements. It is proposed that the minimum fixed term will increase from the current six months to up to two years.
Published by Tracey Taylor (13 January 2020)
Residential landlords should be aware of the new legislation that has been introduced to stop tenants being required to pay their landlords additional fees.
Currently, the restrictions set out below apply to all new tenancies entered from 1 June 2019. However, from 1 June 2020 it will apply to all private assured shorthold tenancies even ones entered prior to 1 June 2019.
The Tenant Fees Act 2019...
Published by Hannah Borner (18 December 2019)
For many, the family home is the most valuable asset they have. This leads some people to consider gifting their house to their children during their lifetime, to reduce the value of their Estate for inheritance tax, and to protect the house from care fees. But does this work?
Gifting your property
If the entire property is gifted, to be effective for inheritance tax you must pay a full market rent...
Published by Heather Cowley (12 December 2019)
As we approach the end of a year of political turmoil we look back at the key changes in employment law and look forward to the changes already scheduled for 2020. You can find a detailed analysis on our website (https://taylorwalton.com/downloads) but here are the highlights:-
In the complex area of holiday pay, BEIS published guidance to assist employers to calculate holiday pay for irregular hours...
Published by Joanna Scamman (12 December 2019)
The recent Supreme Court decision in the case of The Manchester Ship Canal Company Ltd v Vauxhall Motors Ltd serves as a timely reminder that the right of forfeiture (and relief from it) is not reserved solely for leases.
Although the facts of the case are highly specific, the decision reiterates that even a licence or easement could give rise to the right to forfeit: the key, in that case, was that...
Published by Joanna Scamman (03 December 2019)
Ever had a pen without ink? A car with a flat battery? A property but can’t use it? I hope not! Sadly the risk of the latter is there. One issue which clients often face is a property which does not have planning permission for the intended use, and this can lead to the client being prevented from using it.
Planning permission for use of a property is not to be...
Published by Angela Thomas (21 November 2019)
While it is the goal of most landlords to attract and keep tenants who provide a regular source of income, occasionally it is necessary to end a lease prematurely. Landlords who find themselves with a tenant who falls into arrears on rent payments can forfeit the lease, allowing them to take back possession of the property. While this can be a useful and effective measure, it is not always the best course...
Published by Richard Atkins (21 November 2019)
One of the most frustrating things about moving house is the fact that until Contracts are exchanged, an offer can be withdrawn leaving buyers and sellers with significant bills to pay and nothing to show for it.
It is estimated that up to a third of all sales in England and Wales fall through every year. Many fall throughs occur because people simply change their mind about moving.
Published by Alec Colson (30 October 2019)
The public reaction to the recent Every Mind Matters advertisement endorsed by four members of the Royal Family and numerous celebrities caused the NHS mental health website to crash. The growing awareness of mental health issues is likely to have profound implications for employers as the workplace is one of the main causes of stress and anxiety.
Employers have a common law duty of care for their...
Published by Saljuq Haider (30 October 2019)
In recent years there has been an increasing trend of companies issuing court proceedings themselves in relation to unpaid invoices debts. This can be a relatively straightforward process with the advent of Money Claim Online. In many cases, taking such a step can act as an effective catalyst for debtors knowing a company is serious about pursuing an unpaid debt and settling matters without...
Published by Emily Woodhouse (30 October 2019)
As the nights start to draw in, and the weather turns colder, thoughts start to turn to the festive period. Whilst this can be an enjoyable time, it can also be one of frustration and hostility for separated parents who are trying to agree child contact arrangements over the Christmas period.
Often parents are able to agree between themselves how the contact arrangements over Christmas will be...
Published by James Carpenter (30 October 2019)
It is generally understood that as Insolvency proceedings (Winding Up Petitions or Bankruptcy Petitions) are summary processes. They are appropriate for use against an insolvent debtor and are not to be used as a method of resolving disputes over debts.
However, the recent case of Sell Your Car With Us Ltd v Sareen 2019 indicates that there may be a softening of the Court’s approach.
Published by Anna Bithrey (01 October 2019)
The ever developing rules surrounding holiday pay leave many HR professionals and business owners confused about how to calculate holiday pay and the consequences of getting it wrong.
The Government’s "Good Work Plan" launched on 17 December 2018 proposed various reforms in relation to holiday rights which has made it increasingly important for employers to approach holiday pay in the...
Published by Rosalyn Workman (01 October 2019)
As people are living longer, they are increasingly concerned to ensure that the assets they have accumulated over the course of their lives are dealt with as they wish when they die. In addition they also want to put arrangements in place so that, if they become unable to deal with their own affairs during their lifetime (whether through absence abroad, physical frailty or mental incapacity), the people...
Published by Alison Voyce (01 October 2019)
Many people do not realise that, if they die without a Will, the law will stipulate by applying the Intestacy Rules how their estate will be distributed.
These rules do not necessarily bring about the result you might expect. For example, a wife will not necessarily automatically inherit the whole of her husband’s estate if he dies before her (and vice versa). Rather, the law stipulates that she...
Published by Angela Thomas (01 October 2019)
New developments, whether commercial or residential, make demands on the infrastructure around them – but they rely on the facilities of the local community for the comfort and wellbeing of their occupiers. It is essential that local authorities enhance and maintain schools, transport links, green spaces and, in some areas, facilities such as flood defences – all of which comes at a cost....
Published by Stuart Wickham (01 October 2019)
For those people that are managing to reach out and take their first steps on to the housing ladder, they may well be undergoing a number of emotions and stresses which can mean that first time buyers lose sight of some important element when moving forwards on the experience of buying property for the first time.
Please note the following key things to ensure that you go into your property transaction...
Published by Ben Twitchen (01 October 2019)
With rising property prices it is unsurprising that many children are looking for financial assistance from their parents when purchasing property. The Bank of Mum and Dad is consequently very much thriving.
What should parents and their child consider before making such a decision?
• Both parties should seek independent legal advice;
• Both parties should consider what the legal...
Published by Hannah Borner (30 July 2019)
Many people are keen to pass assets and wealth to their families, but worry that the assets they give away will be used unwisely. By gifting assets into Trust, you can reduce the value of your Estate for Inheritance Tax (provided you survive the gift by seven years), whilst also retaining control of those assets.
If assets are gifted outright, the recipient can decide what to do with them, during...
Published by Tobias Walker (30 July 2019)
Even with News Outlets reporting that house prices are stagnant, many first time buyers (“FTBs”) still find themselves priced out of the property market. The government have realised this and set up various schemes to assist FTBs looking to get on the housing ladder.
1. Help to Buy Equity Loan (“H2B Loan”)
A H2B loan* may be an alternative to FTBs who have considered...
Published by Heather Cowley (30 July 2019)
What is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force last May and many businesses were concerned to get the right documents in place before the deadline, such as privacy notices and data protection policies.
After this initial flurry of activity, many business owners are still unsure as to whether their employment-related practices...
Published by Angela Thomas (30 July 2019)
Freehold, Lease or Long Leasehold?
When purchasing a property, the status of ownership is an important consideration that affects the purchase price, what you can do with the property and your rights on disposal. Commercial buyers need to think carefully about whether a freehold, lease or long leasehold best suits their current business requirements and their future plans.
What is Freehold...
Published by Isaac Wilson (30 July 2019)
Arrangements for the care of children over the school holidays can be complicated where parents are separated. With the summer holidays now upon us, we consider some practical steps to follow when separated parents are trying to agree holiday arrangements in relation to the ongoing care of their children, particularly over the holiday periods.
Care for Children: Holiday Arrangements for Separated...
Published by James Carpenter (30 July 2019)
What are Entire Agreement Clauses?
Entire Agreement clauses will feature in most if not all drafted contracts. They are often described as a boilerplate clause and rarely are they subject to much, if any, scrutiny at the drafting stage.
The intention and purpose behind Entire Agreement clauses is to restrict or limit (insofar as the law allows) the parties to the express terms of...
Published by Tracey Taylor (28 June 2019)
Long leaseholders often have the misconception that if they buy a long lease, paying several hundreds of thousands of pounds (and in many cases much more), they cannot lose it. A recent case has said differently.
Recent Case Study
In the case of Gibbs v. Lakeside Developments Limited  EWCA civ 2074, Mrs Gibbs lost her interest in a long leasehold flat as a result of £1,500 worth of...
Published by Angela Thomas (28 June 2019)
For developers and investors dealing with commercial property, achieving a good return on investment is a top priority when disposing of an asset. This is not only a sound commercial objective but is likely to be an obligation for organisations such as trusts and charities which have to attain the best possible price. If the value of the asset when it is sold is not likely to be the best achievable price,...
Published by Shreena Parekh (20 May 2019)
There are many reasons why a shareholder might want to leave a company, but using company money is often the only way that the remaining shareholder(s) can afford to buy the leaver’s shares. This is perfectly possible, but it does need to be done correctly if it is to be effective and tax efficient.
A share buy-back?
The usual method adopted is for the company to buy back its own...
Published by Heather Cowley (20 May 2019)
Since the #MeToo movement gained momentum in late 2017, many individuals have felt emboldened to come forward and report incidents of unwanted sexual behaviour at work. It is increasingly common for HR managers to be grappling with difficult issues in this area.
Allegations of sexual harassment not only cause significant reputational damage for employers but also expose them to potentially...
Published by Joanna Scamman (24 April 2019)
When can you drive your car to your garage? It depends on what your lease says.
You may think that it goes without saying that a garage has to be accessible by car, but this was not what the Upper Land Tribunal found in the recent case of Park v F Morgan and C Morgan  UKUT 20 (LC). The case highlights the court’s reticence to change retrospectively the wording of a lease and the...
Published by Will Mercer (18 April 2019)
Family Law practitioners who have been calling for a change in divorce law will note with optimism the outcome of the Government’s recent public consultation into reform of the divorce law.
David Gauke, the Justice Secretary, has recently announced the Government’s response to a 12 week public consultation entitled Reform of the legal requirements for divorce and significant changes appear...
Published by Heather Cowley (18 April 2019)
Dealing with every day employment matters as well as more complex issues can be tricky for businesses that do not have in-house HR support. Taylor Walton’s employment law team appreciates that business leaders are not HR managers and that their priority is to protect their business and to be aware of the pitfalls of employment law.
Taylor Walton's Employment Law Support &...
Published by Peter Kouwenberg (01 February 2019)
It is vital that your terms and conditions protect your business on a wide range of issues, but the following points are particularly worthy of consideration.
Limitation of Liability: T&Cs for Businesses that Provide a Service
Your T&Cs should seek to cap the maximum amount of damages payable to your customer in the event that something goes wrong.
How can you ensure that your...
Published by Nicola Smyrl (01 February 2019)
Employment status and the gig economy were rarely out of the headlines in 2018. This theme seems set to continue into 2019 and beyond. The recent decision of the Court of Appeal in the Uber case, followed by the Government’s proposals for reform targeted at improving conditions for atypical workers, means that it is important for businesses to understand the potential risks and upcoming...
Published by Saljuq Haider (20 January 2019)
Issuing Court Proceedings Independently
Historically, if a debtor refused to pay for goods or services it would be the almost exclusive domain of a solicitor to raise court proceedings on your behalf. With the advent of a concerted effort to make justice accessible to all, it has been possible for some time for companies to issue proceedings without the necessity of instructing legal...
Published by Angela Thomas (23 December 2018)
It is no secret that the retail sector has taken some hard knocks in recent years, hit by a combination of the financial downturn, changing consumer habits and the uncertainty of Brexit. The rise of out-of-town retail centres and online shopping has changed the face of retail across the UK. Those of us living near local high streets may be familiar with a regular churn of small businesses setting up only...
Published by Nicola Smyrl (05 December 2018)
The Christmas party can be a great way to boost staff morale. Most employers will be aware that the Christmas party is an extension of the workplace and that the usual obligations apply. What this means in practice, however, can be more difficult to determine.
Practical Tips to Ensure that your Christmas Party is an Enjoyable Event
Tip 1 - Remember...
What Happens to Crypto-Currency Investments when the Investor Dies?
One of the main attractions for people investing in crypto-currency has always been the extremely secure nature of the investments. While this can be reassuring for the investor, it can pose real problems for family members once the investor has died.
The Private Key
Crypto-currencies are incredibly secure, with multiple layers of...
Published by Olive McCarthy (23 November 2018)
What is a Cohabitation Agreement/Cohabitation Deed?
A cohabitation agreement is a written, signed document, often signed as a deed in front of witnesses. It will generally deal with three principal areas:
who owns (and owes) what at the time of the agreement, and in what proportions
what financial arrangements you have decided to make while you are living together, and
how property, assets and...
Published by Olive McCarthy (23 November 2018)
Taylor Walton LLP are delighted to announce the arrival of Family Law specialist and Arbitrator Olive McCarthy, who joins our St Albans office as a partner adding to our ever-expanding family team. Olive has over 18 years’ experience in Family Law with a particular interest in alternatives to Court proceedings.
Who is Arbitration for?
Arbitration is not just for the rich and famous who crave...
Published by Richard Crocker (12 November 2018)
What Are Probate Fees?
The Government has decided to reintroduce its proposal to increase probate fees, very substantially. Probate fees are the charges imposed by the Probate Registry for the issue of a Grant of Representation, usually a Grant of Probate, which is required to deal with the estate of a deceased person. This is ostensibly designed to fund the current comprehensive reform of...
Published by Richard Atkins (01 October 2018)
Moving house is not something most of us do on a regular basis and the conveyancing process is not always familiar even to those who have moved before.
There is a lot of hot air talked about conveyancing, usually by those who have no first-hand knowledge of it! As a result, myths have grown up confusing people who are embarking on a move.
The Top Ten Myths in...
Published by Alec Colson (19 September 2018)
Letting an Employee Go due to High Absence
Employers tolerate a reasonable level of sickness absence by their employees but when the absences become high, employers may consider letting any of those employees go. In such circumstances, the employee's potential rights must be considered especially if these absences are due to any type of disability.
What Categorises an Employee as...
Published by Peter Kouwenberg (20 August 2018)
Unless you have been living under a rock, you will undoubtedly be aware that the new The EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) came into force on 25 May 2018.
The tidal wave of update notices and consent emails flooding into our inboxes has now subsided, but dealing with the implications of GDPR and all it involves is now part of everyday life for businesses across the UK.
Published by Anna Patsalides (02 August 2018)
Domestic Abuse - Key Statistics
Statistics show that English, Welsh and Northern Irish Police receive calls about domestic related abuse every 30 seconds.
Two women are killed each week by a current or former partner in England and Wales.
There is an assumption that only women suffer from domestic abuse. But figures recorded between 2016 -2017 confirm 31% of domestic abuse victims were...
Published by Anna Patsalides (20 July 2018)
Coronation Street is one of the longest-running British TV soaps and admittedly one of my own guilty pleasures.
The show has seen many family Law issues highlighted over the years.
The storyline which is keeping everybody gripped at the moment is Johnny Connor’s abduction of his granddaughter Susie.
Susie was believed to have been born by a surrogate...
Published by Anna Patsalides (16 July 2018)
With school holidays fast approaching summer getaways are on the horizon for many families this year. As a family solicitor, I am often asked for advice from separated or divorced parents about whether they need to ask the other parent for their consent before taking a child abroad. It is not at the forefront of every parent’s mind especially if they have been through a difficult breakup. It is,...
Published by Natalie Hughes (05 April 2018)
With the latest Office for National Statistics survey showing that the average age of divorcing couples is 46 for men and 43 for women, it is no surprise that divorced couples may go on to find new partners they wish to marry later in life.
What are the complications when remarrying later in life?
Individuals may have accumulated assets and are more likely to have inherited money from relatives or...
Published by Heather Cowley (22 March 2018)
A stable workforce which meets the needs of the business is a key requirement for any business and all businesses strive to achieve this.
The battle to achieve the prize of a stable and appropriate workforce is never fully won. Market forces, changes in the needs of the business and in particular growth strategies upset the balance in the workforce.
At the start of this year the Director General of...
As we head into 2018, many businesses will be looking to drive growth. This seemingly simple goal is not without its challenges. Here we explore three key areas of consideration when looking to grow your business:
1. Terms & Conditions: Common Pitfalls
As your business grows it is essential to keep your eye on the ball - standard terms and conditions should be updated regularly in...
Published by Claire Baynham (06 March 2018)
In this day and age you may be forgiven for thinking that sending formal documents by email, such as a Claim Form (the first step in bringing Court proceedings against another individual or company), is acceptable. Unfortunately, the position is not that straightforward.
In a recent case which came before the Supreme Court, Mr Barton (who was not represented by solicitors) purported to serve a Claim...
Published by Joanna Scamman (06 February 2018)
Any commercial letting, subletting, tenant or landlord works, dilapidations claim and rent reviews effected on or after 1 April 2018 will be affected by the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (“MEES”) introduced by the government.
From 1 April 2018 a landlord cannot lawfully grant a new tenancy, and from 1 April 2023 cannot extend or renew an existing...
Published by Nicola Smyrl (24 January 2018)
The huge growth in social media in recent years has created challenges as well as opportunities for many employers.
Staff may be required to use social media as part of their employer’s business activities such as marketing or recruitment activities and it is important that any such communications are appropriate. Many employees are also likely to be engaging in social media activity of a personal...
Published by Zoë Sivelle (04 January 2018)
Many parents are keen to pass on wealth that they have accumulated during their lifetimes, usually to children or grandchildren. Careful gifting and the potential use of trusts can ensure that inheritance tax (IHT) is not charged and that any money given will be used as intended.
Each individual can give up to £325,000 free of inheritance tax, on death but also taking into account the value of...