June 2012 Archive

The difficulty with alleging undue influence in probate matters

The recent cases of Hubbard, Cowderoy and Wharton have all highlighted the difficulty in challenging a will based upon the allegation of undue influence. From an analysis of these cases it is clear that suspicious circumstances alone are not enough and a claim of undue influence will require strong evidence that actual coercion took place. Examples of where a claim for undue influence in probate actions have been successful are few and far between.

Transporting your horse: drivers' hours

An unintended consequence of the 2007 EU directive regulating drivers' hours was that people driving horseboxes over 7.5 tonnes are also covered by the rules – regardless of whether they are driving for commercial or leisure reasons. If the gross vehicle weight (GVW) of your horsebox is between 3.5 tonnes and 7.5 tonnes, drivers’ hours rules do not apply if the vehicle is used on a non-commercial basis. The main bone of contention for non-commercial horsebox drivers over 7.5 tonnes is the regulation determining rest periods.

Sports lawyer comments on GB Taekwondo star's legal challenge

GB Taekwondo star Aaron Cook has a real fight on his hands when it comes to his legal challenge for a spot at London 2012, according to leading sports lawyer Stuart Cutting. World number one Cook was controversially denied a place in Team GB’s Taekwondo squad in favour of Lutalo Muhammad – ranked 59th in the same 80kg category – when the British Olympic Association ratified the decision of the STUK (Sport Taekwondo UK) Selection Committee to omit Cook – following a third investigation into the selection process.

The benefits of collaborative law

Resolving family disputes such as separation and divorce can put a huge strain on families and the process of going to court can be particularly stressful. The aim of the collaborative law process is to help families deal with disputes without the need to go to court. Although not yet common practice in all law firms, collaborative law can be a very effective approach to family disputes. Each person has their own lawyer and meets face to face in a series of meetings to resolve their issues and achieve the settlement that best meets the needs of their family.

Dads at work - paternity leave and pay

On 16 May 2011, the government published its Consultation on Modern Workplaces which proposes a new system of shared flexible parental leave. Subject to affordability the new system will be introduced in April 2015 and incorporate unpaid leave for fathers to attend antenatal appointments, an 18-week period of maternity leave and a new 34-week period of shared parental leave. Broadly, dads who are employees and have sufficient continuous service are entitled to either 1 whole week or 2 consecutive weeks' Ordinary Paternity Leave within 56 days of a child's birth or placement for adoption.

The Bribery Act 2010: what your business needs to know

The Bribery Act 2010 (the “Act”)introduced a new criminal offence for commercial organisations (companies or partnerships) who “fail to prevent” bribery occurring for their benefit. The failure to prevent bribery extends to individuals (including not only employees but agents and external third parties) acting on behalf of a commercial organisation.

TOGC relief on investment purchases

Transfers of businesses as going concerns (TOGCs) qualify for TOGC relief if certain conditions are met. If a transaction qualifies for TOGC relief, it is taken outside the scope of VAT so that no VAT is payable. A sale of an investment property is prima facie a TOGC because HMRC sees the act of letting the property and generating income from the rents on the property as being a business carried on from the property.

Protect against title defects using legal indemnity insurance

Title defects are not unusual and legal indemnity insurance (if available) can be a quick way of dealing with them. Increasingly, legal indemnity insurance is being offered by sellers and demanded by buyers in order to protect them from actual or perceived title defects. Legal indemnity insurance which was once generally used only as a last resort, is now increasingly viewed as a quick and low-cost way of dealing with a title defect so that the defect does not prejudice or delay a sale.

Stamp duty land tax post 2012 budget

A snapshot of the post 2012 budget position on stamp duty land tax (SDLT) affecting residential properties, plus a reminder of the rates for non-residential or mixed use properties. The Chancellor announced a new 7 per cent rate of SDLT for residential property transactions where the chargeable consideration exceeds £2 million. The new rate applies to transactions where the effective date is on or after 22 March 2012, subject to transitional provisions for pre-existing contracts.
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