Legal articles

Don’t let time run out for making a claim

It is well established law that claims founded in contract are barred 6 years after the date on which the right to bring the claim accrues. This begs the question of when the cause of action accrues. In the case of someone bringing a claim against the seller or purchaser of a property, does it accrue when the sale is completed or when contracts for sale are exchanged? This can be a critical issue. By relying on the fact that the cause of action accrues on completion of the sale, you might issue your claim after the six year limitation period has expired if, in fact, the cause of action accrues when the contracts for sale are exchanged.

Inheritance rights of a cohabitee

The Law Commission has recommended that in certain circumstances, unmarried couples should have the same inheritance rights as spouses when a partner dies without making a will. Cohabitation is widespread and increasing. According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of cohabiting couples in England and Wales will increase from 2.3 million in 2008 to 3.8 million in 2033. Yet the Law Commission has suggested that cohabitants are among the people least likely to have a will, meaning that surviving cohabitants are often left with nothing.

Can an entire agreement clause succeed in excluding misrepresentation?

The case of AXA Sun Life Services Plc v Campbell Martin Limited and Others (2011) has served as a useful reminder that an entire agreement clause must be completely unambiguous if it is to succeed in excluding liability for misrepresentation. An entire agreement clause is a standard clause commonly found in a contract which seeks to prohibit the parties from relying on anything, such as representations or statements (and particularly those made during the course of the negotiation of the contract), apart from that which is expressly stipulated within the contract itself.

Loans to directors of private companies

Under the Companies Act 1985 (the “1985 Act”) all companies were prohibited from making loans to their own directors, directors of their holding companies or persons connected with such directors. Under the 2006 Act the general prohibition on making loans to directors was removed and all companies are now permitted to make loans to their own directors or to directors of their holding companies, provided that shareholder approval is obtained.

The Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction ACT 2009: changes to adjudication and payment

As some readers will be aware, the regime for payment, notices of withholding and adjudication under construction contracts is about to change. The Local Democracy Act instituting these changes got the Royal Assent before the election and will come into force once the revised Scheme for Construction Contracts has been finalised, which is likely to happen in April 2011. In layman’s terms this means that all the construction contracts you are dealing with in future will have to reflect the amended regime for payment and adjudication. Your own standard terms and conditions will likewise need amending.

Key characteristics of Limited Liability Partnerships

A Limited Liability Partnership (‘LLP’) is an alternative corporate business vehicle that combines the flexible structure of a partnership with the benefits for its partners of limited liability. LLPs are relatively new entities, the legislation creating them having come into existence in April 2001. They have a number of statutory requirements and failure to comply may result in a fine for the LLP and/or for all members in default.

Business protection wills

If you own business assets or are unsure of the best way to leave your assets it is possible to retain flexibility for your spouse/partner or your children to administer your estate in the most tax efficient manner according to the circumstances at the date of your death. Business protection wills are flexible and potentially the most tax efficient form of will.
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