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Without Prejudice. What Does It Really Mean?

What is meant by ‘without prejudice’ when it is put on the top of a letter? Many people think they know that very well. They will say that without prejudice correspondence cannot be used or brought to the attention of the court should the matter go to trial. They...

Security for Costs

What do you do if you are served with a claim which is total nonsense? Or you issue proceedings against someone and they file a spurious counterclaim which cannot possibly be maintained. You have to deal with it and put in a defence which will cost you money and...

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...

Bailiff powers – what are bailiffs allowed to do

The powers of bailiffs and what they are allowed to do by law depends upon the type of bailiff. There are however some general rules which apply to all bailiffs. You must receive notice of their intention to call at least 7 days beforehand. So do not leave doors and...

Bankruptcy and Divorce

Bankruptcy,financial difficulties, divorce and the breakdown of a marriage often run together. It is very far from unknown for one of the spouses to be facing bankruptcy at the time of a divorce. So what would be the effect of a bankruptcy order on the financial...
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...

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 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...

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...

Divorce mistakes

Things can go wrong with a divorce through mistakes even where it seems there is agreement that the marriage is over and there is no dispute over who gets what. There are a number of mistakes which are commonly made which can lead to problems.  We signpost them here....

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...
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

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...

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...

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...

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...

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

Third-Party Dismissals

What happens if you are an employer and a third-party demands that you dismiss one of your employees? This situation may well arise if you are supplying workers under a service contract and are told by your customer that you will lose the contract unless you remove...

Constructive Dismissal

Constructive dismissal is defined in the Employment Rights Act 1996 as where: 'The employee terminates the contract under which he is employed (with or without notice), in circumstances in which he is entitled to terminate it without notice by reason of the employer’s...

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...

Employment References – When Are Employers Liable?

An employee may need a reference from an old employer to help secure future employment or may require a reference for personal matters, such as to provide to a landlord or for a mortgage application. An employer is not obliged to provide you with a reference when you...
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

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...

Abandoned Goods

What are you to do if someone has left their property with you or on your premises and do not remove it although you have asked them to do so? This is a problem often facing landlords when a tenant moves out leaving some of their possessions behind, although it can...

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...

Property Law Covenants

Property covenants are promises that come with a property and by bind the present owner of the property . The most common types of covenants are restrictive covenants. A restrictive covenant is a promise attaching land which binds the owner for the time being and...

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...
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

Loss of a Partner. Who Can Claim?

Nasty shocks can be in store for cohabitees when one of the partners dies without making a will. The late partner’s estate will not automatically pass to them in the absence of a will made in favour of the survivor. The rules of intestacy will be applied, which will...

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...

I’m dying and when I’m gone everything is yours

To pass on your estate when you die you must make a Will which must be properly executed. It has to be written, dated and signed in the presence of witnesses. The Law is quite clear in that. Sometimes however a person facing imminent death may not have made a Will or...

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...

Unclaimed Assets

At a conservative estimate, there is around £15 billion of assets left in the estates of deceased people which remains unclaimed. There may be a number of reasons for this and why it has not been possible for money to be paid to those entitled under a Will. Amongst...
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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