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How to prepare a witness statement

Witness statements contain the evidence in support of your case. As such your witness statement is critical and winning or losing might well turn on how witness statements are prepared. If something you wish to put before the court is not in a witness statement it...

Litigant in Person’s Costs

A litigant in person is entitled to their legal costs as a litigant in person much as as a litigant represented by a solicitor or barrister is entitled to the costs of representation. Costs can be claimed by a litigant in person for work carried out preparing for and...

Money Received by Mistake

A person who receives money as the result of a mistake made by someone else is not entitled to keep the money. The position with money paid by mistake is much the same as if you find a £20 note in the street. The money received by mistake does not belong to you as it...

Personal Injury Awards and Divorce

Accidents and injury caused by accidents and injury are traumatic and can be life changing. However our legal system will usually ensure that financial compensation is paid in a personal injury claim by way of damages when someone is injured in an accident that was...

Dishonest Litigants and Fraudulent Evidence

One of the consequences of the UK adversarial legal system is that parties are expected and encouraged to pursue their case as forcefully as is possible. There can be occasions, however, when either a claimant or defendant will overstep the boundary and resort to...
Vicarious Liability

Vicarious Liability

Vicarious liability is where someone is held legally responsible for the acts or omissions of someone else. Therefore vicarious liability can make an employer strictly liable for the acts and failures of an employee if these took place in the course of their...

Litigant in Person’s Costs

Litigant in Person’s Costs

A litigant in person is entitled to their legal costs as a litigant in person much as as a litigant represented by a solicitor or barrister is entitled to the costs of representation. Costs can be claimed by a litigant in person for work carried out preparing for and...

Matrimonial Claims and Inheritance

Matrimonial Claims and Inheritance

What happens with money or property which has been inherited by one of the parties when they divorce can give rise to uncertainty and very often bad feeling. Will it be matrimonial property falling into the part for division? The answer is that there are no clearly...

The Family Business on Divorce

A family business is a family asset, and as such will fall into the 'pot' for division on divorce. At one time the courts were reluctant to order a sale of a business. If the business produced  income needed by the parties, they would try to leave it intact in the...

Severing a Joint Tenancy

There are only two ways in which people can own land together. Land can be held jointly either as beneficial joint tenants or as tenants in common. Neither have anything to do with tenancies as in renting property. They are just legal terms describing how land is...

Matrimonial Home Rights

Family Home Rights If, as a spouse or civil partner you do not legally own a share of the property you live in with your respective spouse or civil partner, you can protect your potential share in the property by way of a notice known as the ‘Matrimonial Home Rights...

Varying spousal maintenance orders

Spousal Maintenance Orders for maintenance (or periodical payments) can always be varied, suspended or discharged on the grounds of changed circumstances (Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 section 31). The basis of an application to vary a maintenance order is therefore a...

Defending a Divorce

Defended Divorce It is possible to defend a divorce petition but only just. You may wish to do so because you genuinely believe that the marriage has not broken down beyond repair and can be saved, or entering a defence may be a tactical move connected with financial...
Should you go for a DIY Divorce

Should you go for a DIY Divorce

DIY Divorce How practical is a DIY Divorce? Would money saved now by doing your own divorce cost you heavily later on? For most people the answer is that a Do It Yourself Divorce is quite possible especially if: • You and your spouse have agreed everything. This will...

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Moving away with the children

Moving away with the children

It can be devastating if your ex or former partner intends to move away and take your children with them. When a family breaks up the parent with whom the children live will sometimes wish to move away and relocate with the children miles away from the other parent....

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Separated but not divorced – types of separation

Separated but not divorced – types of separation

Separation When spouses are not living together they may consider themselves separated - but what does that mean in the eyes of the Law? How the Law and a court looks upon a separation when a couple separate but do not divorce can depend upon the type of separation...

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Business Law

How to prepare a witness statement

Witness statements contain the evidence in support of your case. As such your witness statement is critical and winning or losing might well turn on how witness statements are prepared. If something you wish to put before the court is not in a witness statement it...

Is time of the essence?

When you enter into an agreement with someone to do some work for you the time to complete that work will not be 'of the essence' unless this is specified. The work must just be carried out within a reasonable time and what is a reasonable time can be open to...

Interest on business debts

If you are in business and are owed money by another business as a business debt you are entitled to interest on the debt and amount owed. The Late Payment of Commercial Debts Act 1998 (as amended by the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2002) give you a...

Acceptance of contracts

For a contract to be legally binding there must be clear acceptance of the contract and an intention to be legally bound. The three elements of a valid contract-offer, acceptance and consideration -must be present. Unless it is shown that there was an acceptance of an...

Misrepresentation and the Misrepresentation Act 1967

A misrepresentation is an untrue statement of fact made by one party to the other, which induces and misleads that party to enter into a contract. Misrepresentation must be of fact, not of opinion or intention. Silence in itself can be regarded as a misrepresentation....
Matrimonial Claims and Inheritance

TUPE and the Transfer of Undertakings

TUPE is shorthand for the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006. What this act does is protect employee’s rights when the business they work for is sold or transferred to a new owner. Employees of the business, when the firm changes...

Tips when making a business agreement

Tips when making a business agreement

When you are in business you need to know how to make a business agreement. You will be entering into business contracts and buying and selling goods and services. Well drafted business contracts prevent disputes and misunderstandings and are essential if your...

Matrimonial Claims and Inheritance

Rights of Ways and Easements

An easement is a right to use another person’s property for a stated purpose. A type of easement can be a right of way that someone has over another person’s property. There are 4 main types of easements that are recognised rights: Rights of way Easements of support...

Employment Law

Employed or Self-Employed?

The legal rights of the employed and the self-employed are very different. It is only employees who can bring claims for unfair dismissal, claim redundancy payments and have the protection of the various Employment Acts. Self-employed people have none of these rights....

Statutory Redundancy Payments

What do you do if your employer closes down, you are made redundant, and your employer either can’t or won’t pay you the redundancy pay that you’re owed? In these circumstances you can apply to the National Insurance Fund to pay either the whole or part of the...

Lies, White Lies and Your CV

In a competitive jobs market, people tend to think ‘does a little white lie in my CV matter if it helps me get the job?’. The answer to this is that it very well could, and the consequences could very well be serious. Your CV may well be a critical document when the...

Does an employment contract have to be in writing?

An employment contract is no different from any other contract in that most do not have to be in writing to be legally valid and enforceable. If you are offered employment, accept and then start work a valid contract has been created between you and your employer even...

Money Received by Mistake

A person who receives money as the result of a mistake made by someone else is not entitled to keep the money. The position with money paid by mistake is much the same as if you find a £20 note in the street. The money received by mistake does not belong to you as it...
Employed or Self-Employed?

Employed or Self-Employed?

The legal rights of the employed and the self-employed are very different. It is only employees who can bring claims for unfair dismissal, claim redundancy payments and have the protection of the various Employment Acts. Self-employed people have none of these rights....

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Statutory Redundancy Payments

Statutory Redundancy Payments

What do you do if your employer closes down, you are made redundant, and your employer either can’t or won’t pay you the redundancy pay that you’re owed? In these circumstances you can apply to the National Insurance Fund to pay either the whole or part of the...

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Blowing the Whistle

Blowing the Whistle

If you believe there is malpractice or wrongdoing in your workplace, then you can ‘blow the whistle’ on the behaviour and be protected from losing your job and/or being victimised by your employer. The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 legislates that if you believe...

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Property Law

Housing Repair Claims

If you are a private tenant whose landlord has failed or is refusing to carry out necessary repairs to your home having been informed of the problem your first step should be complaining to your local council. They have a statutory duty to investigate cases of...

Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme

Landlords or their agents who take a deposit from a tenant must have that deposit protected under one of two schemes: A custodial scheme - this is where the deposit is held in an approved scheme during the deposit, and will continue to be held if any legal dispute...

Obtaining Possession of Rented Property

A landlord wishing to recover possession of his property must follow the correct legal procedure. If he attempts to evict a tenant otherwise, he may be guilty of a criminal offence and could be ordered to pay substantial damages. Most private sector tenancies will be...

How to Avoid (or at Least Delay) Repossession

If you are facing repossession, realistically assess whether you are able to keep your home. When you have missed some mortgage payments, or you think you will soon, it’s time to face what’s probably the tough question: can you afford to keep your house? Apart from...

Public Landlords and Council Tenants

A public landlord will include local authorities, district councils and most housing associations. A council tenant will be a person who takes a tenancy from any of these. There are two main types of council tenancy: secure and introductory. Where a tenancy agreement...
Matrimonial Claims and Inheritance

Freehold or Leasehold

Freehold and leasehold are two different types of property ownership in the UK. Anyone considering buying a property here will need to know the meanings of both terms, as there are considerably different obligations and privileges bestowed upon the owner in each....

Assigning a contract

Assigning a contract

A contract is assigned when one of the parties transfers their rights and obligations under the contract to another. For the assignment of a contract to be effective however the other party to the contract must be informed and agree. Contracts are usually assigned in...

Matrimonial Claims and Inheritance

Private Landlords

A private landlord is any person (including a company) who rents out residential dwellings. A landlord who shares his living accommodation with a lodger is not classified as a private landlord. Repairs to rented residential property The question of who is responsible...

Inheritance Law

When to Change Your Will

It's time to write a new will if you're experiencing a big change in your life, such as moving, getting married or divorced, moving in with a new partner, or bringing a new baby into the family. Your will should be tailored to your current family and financial...

Lasting Powers of Attorney

A Lasting Power Of Attorney unlike a general power remains effective even if the donor loses his or her mental capacity. There are two types and separate LPAs can be granted by a donor to deal with each of his financial and his personal affairs. Unlike its...

Joint and Mutual Wills. Pros and Cons.

A joint Will is a single Will made by two people which deals with the estates of both of them. Usually it will leave everything to the other on the first death and then to agreed beneficiaries on the death of the survivor.Mutual or Mirror wills are where the parties...

Delay in Inheritance Act Applications

The Inheritance Act (or the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975, to give it its full title) was passed to help spouses, children, civil partners, cohabitees and other surviving dependents who have been left to cope without sufficient money to...

Inheritance Tax

Inheritance tax is payable when a person’s estate (their property and possessions) is worth more than £325,000 when they die. Inheritance Tax of 40% is payable on anything over this amount. The rate may be reduced to 36% if more than 10% of the estate is left to...
Help for Those Who Cannot Help Themselves

Help for Those Who Cannot Help Themselves

What would happen if you became unable to understand and deal with your business and financial affairs through ill-health or incapacity? How would you know that someone could be appointed to step in and manage your affairs for you? Who is there to protect and promote...

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Delay in Inheritance Act Applications

Delay in Inheritance Act Applications

The Inheritance Act (or the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975, to give it its full title) was passed to help spouses, children, civil partners, cohabitees and other surviving dependents who have been left to cope without sufficient money to...

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Powers of Attorney

Powers of Attorney

A power of attorney is simply a written confirmation of an agreed arrangement in which one person ('the donor') gives another person ('the attorney') authority to act on their behalf and in their name. The power of attorney confers upon the attorney an authority to do...

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