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General Category

15th March 2019
In the course of my professional work, especially when advising clients about making or updating a will, I am often asked for advice on the best way of giving to charity. Charities carry out excellent work of great public benefit, nevertheless from time-to-time press reports highlight criticism of some charities, reflecting various concerns about day-to-day administrative matters or costs for example. So for anyone seriously…
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25th February 2019
Anecdotal evidence continues to point to a steady growth in the number of wills being challenged, although no clear evidence is emerging to explain this increase. Influential factors could include the increasingly complex nature of modern family structures, the economic climate, and perhaps an increasing reliance by some on the internet for legal advice. Unsurprisingly, any solicitor would suggest that a matter as important as…
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14th February 2019
Rugby fans like me will be happy that the Six Nations Championship is now well under way – but rugby, as a full contact sport involving heavy body collisions between two or more players, often results in serious injury to amateur and professional players alike. It is widely accepted that, by participating in a game, rugby players accept a certain risk of injury and, in…
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08th February 2019
Cases involving falls from height are still too common despite the UK’s current working at height regulations. These rules place significant obligations on employers who require work to be done at locations from which, if there are no precautions in place, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury. One such case arose from an incident involving the removal of asbestos roof…
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29th January 2019
In the Chancellor of the Exchequer's 2014 Autumn Statement George Osborne announced that under new rules surviving spouses may inherit their deceased partner’s Individual Savings Account (ISA), referred to as an Additional Permitted Subscription (APS), and that it may stay as an ISA, meaning that they would not pay tax on any capital gains. However, recent figures from HMRC reveal that a low number of bereaved…
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28th January 2019
If I had a pound for every client who asked whether or not they need bother with a building survey in respect of their property purchase, I would be contemplating retirement rather than writing this article. I always advise in favour of a survey – it will reveal defects that the legal paperwork or a physical inspection may not expose and, as such, is well…
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18th January 2019
When acquiring a property your solicitor is likely to recommend you undertake a variety of searches to get the full picture before you buy. A legal title review will not uncover every potential issue, so it is a good idea to undertake additional due diligence via a highways search with the relevant county council. This type of search will show the extent of the public…
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31st December 2018
Dispute resolution solicitors regularly receive enquiries from clients who have found themselves in dispute with a builder they have engaged to undertake works on their property. Such disputes can be complex, with problems often arising because the parties did not make clear from the outset what it was they were agreeing. In a perfect world, a formal contract that reflects or incorporates an agreed specification…
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07th December 2018
In November 2018, the UK government published its response to a public consultation on road safety for cyclists and pedestrians. As a personal injury lawyer and a keen cyclist, I contributed evidence as part of the consultation – I have also been considering the Department for Transport’s response and future plans. The government’s ultimate aim is clearly expressed: by 2040, most people should travel short…
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07th December 2018
Despite overwhelming opposition, the government looks set to introduce a substantial increase in probate fees that will take effect from April 2019. Aimed at the wealthiest members of society, this new stealth tax is expected to raise £145 million in its first year, with the proceeds being used to subsidise court reforms. Under the new rules, no probate fee will be payable on estates worth…
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