The Law Society introduces new Freehold Management Enquiries form (FME1)

May 22nd 2019 | residential property

The surge in freehold properties subject to estate/service charges (particularly on new developments) have led to the Law Society introducing a new standard form, Freehold Management Enquiries (“FME1”). The form includes standard questions that can be asked when acting for someone who is buying a freehold property that shares services read more...

Statutory Wills: A Brief Guide

May 20th 2019 | wills and probate

A Will is a document, made by someone, which sets out how their estate should be distributed on their death and who should deal with the administration. However, recent research carried out by Prudential found that around 60% of the UK population does not have a Will. If someone dies read more...

DIY Wills – Great News for Lawyers?!

May 17th 2019 | wills and probate

A good friend of mine recently told me that she was moving home. She saw no point in needlessly lining the coffers of those fat cat lawyers, so was planning on undertaking all of the conveyancing work herself. I wholeheartedly endorsed her savvy approach. Of course, the above is a read more...

Countdown to Kop Hill

May 14th 2019 | business services

For the fourth year in a row Allan Janes will be exhibiting at Kop Hill Climb.  The Kop Hill Climb, for those who were not familiar with it, is a fantastic family-friendly event which fundraises for the local community. It takes place in Princes Risborough every year in late September. read more...

Social Media in the Workplace – The Problem with LinkedIn

May 10th 2019 | employment

If you ask any business-owner they will probably tell you that they actively encourage their staff to be on LinkedIn, promoting themselves and the business.  LinkedIn is undeniably a great way for professionals to connect and network, however it can also pose significant risks for the employer who encourages its read more...

Probate Court Fees

May 3rd 2019 | wills and probate

What is going on with Probate Court fees? Anyone with any skin in the game will take a step back at this point, 1,000-yard stare fixed in the distance, and slowly shake their head.  For anyone who has managed to avoid the news for the past 18 months (well done read more...

Commercial Lease Renewal and Terminations under the 1954 Landlord & Tenant Act

May 2nd 2019 | dispute resolution

Richard Harriman, a Partner in our Litigation Department who deals with residential and commercial property disputes writes: “Does a tenant of business premises have security of tenure?  The answer depends upon the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (“The 1954 Act”).  There are two elements to the security provided:- Automatic continuation read more...

Another Reason Never to Use Will Writers

April 25th 2019 | wills and probate

I was having Sunday lunch the other day with a relative when they announced that they would like me to witness their Will. Having been in the family now for some seven years I have to say that I was not a little disappointed that we had not been consulted read more...

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Flexible Working

April 24th 2019 | employment

Flexible working gives the opportunity for employees to have flexibility on how long, where and when they work. The main way in which this flexibility can be achieved is through a statutory flexible working request, part of a scheme that was set out in the Employment Rights Act 1998. However, read more...

Stress Awareness Month - Our Top 10 Tips

April 18th 2019 | employment

April 2019 is Stress Awareness Mont h and at Allan Janes we are encouraging our employer-clients to consider stress in their workplace.  According to the Samaritans, ‘work’ is cited as the number one cause of stress in the UK.  A survey carried out by Mind, a mental health awareness charity, read more...

The Gig Economy - Employees, Workers or Self-Employed?

April 17th 2019 | employment

A host of recent cases, including cases brought against high-profile companies including Uber, Pimlico Plumbers, Addison Lee and Deliveroo have placed the employment status of people working in the ‘gig economy’ under scrutiny, but what is the difference between an employee, a worker and a self-employed contractor, and why does read more...

Being a Lawyer is Hard!

April 12th 2019 | residential property

You operate like a machine to make sure your client’s needs are met and like gymnastics, every transaction is like an obstacle course. After completion, sometimes you get silence, often you get a quick thank you, on occasion a glowing report is sent to your boss and if you are read more...

Director’s Duties – Need I Worry About Them?

April 12th 2019 | business services

Most people who are offered a directorship are usually so pleased to get a seat “with the grown-ups” that they rarely stop to think about what being a director involves, and what it requires of them. In owner-managed businesses, directors who are also shareholders often assume that they can do read more...

What Rights Do Directors Have To Access Company Information?

April 5th 2019 | business services

Where Board directors do not see eye-to-eye, there is sometimes a complaint by one or more directors that they are being denied access to key financial information, and are being squeezed out of the decision-making process. So what rights do directors have to access company information? The law on this read more...

Changes to National Minimum Wage – 2019 Budget

April 2nd 2019 | employment

Employers are reminded that National Minimum Wage and other allowances increase this month.  The new rates are as follows: For workers aged 25 and over from £7.83 to £8.21 For workers aged 21-24 from £7.38 to £7.70 For workers aged 18- 20 from £5.90 to £6.15 For workers aged 16- read more...

"It’s Just Banter!”: A New Defence to Discrimination Claims?

March 29th 2019 | employment

When dealing with complaints or disciplinary issues, many employers will have heard the phrase ‘it’s just banter!’ raised in defence of the accused. However, could this possibly be a defence in the Employment Tribunal? Well, possibly. In the case of Evans V Xactly Co Ltd heard last year, potentially discriminatory read more...

Can You Break Your Commercial Lease Because of Brexit?

March 27th 2019 | commercial property

The short answer is NO – at least, not yet. Here’s why: This very question has just been answered by High Court judge, Mr Justice Smith, in the recent case of Canary Wharf (BP4) T1 Ltd & Ors v European Medicines Agency. This case concerns the ongoing battle between the read more...

Can a Contract Be Varied Orally?

March 26th 2019 | dispute resolution

Not if the contract contains a "no oral variation" clause! In the recent case of Rock Advertising Ltd v. MWB Business Exchange Centres Limited, the House of Lords agreed that a contractual licence for a rented office between the parties, which stated that any variations must be signed and in read more...

Letting Agents Must Join Client Money Protection Scheme

March 25th 2019 | residential property

The Client Money Protection Schemes for Property Agents (Requirement to Belong to a Scheme etc.) Regulations 2019 come into force on 1 April 2019. The Regulations include a requirement for letting agents to join a government approved client money protection scheme, which provides a level of compensation of at least read more...

The Importance of Reviewing your Will (Nil Rate Gifts)

March 19th 2019 | wills and probate

To get the legal jargon out of the way, this article concerns the making of ‘nil rate band gifts’ in Wills and the effect of an available transferable nil rate band on such gifts. In plain English, a nil rate band gift in a Will is, in most cases, the read more...

Informal Oral Contract Costs Construction Company Almost £7 Million

March 18th 2019 | commercial property

Informal oral contracts remain sadly commonplace despite any number of examples of them leading to costly disputes, in one case, a construction company that allowed another to use its name in tendering for jobs ended up losing almost £7 million. One of the company’s senior employees was an acquaintance of read more...

Mortgage Deposits and the Bank of Mum & Dad

March 14th 2019 | wills and probate

The cost of buying homes in the UK has escalated significantly in the past few years. However, house prices themselves seem to have stagnated –Most likely as a result of a concerted effort by the conservatives to curtail the buy-to-let market (by way of increased stamp duty and loss of read more...

Dangers of Will Writing Companies

March 13th 2019 | wills and probate

Lawyers are one of those groups of professionals that many of us really want to avoid. Our fear, not always unjustified, is that the visit will be painful. Painful physically (dentists, we’re looking at you) and painful financially. In the world of Private Client, which often involves difficult discussions about read more...

Worker Status: The Barrage of New Cases Continues...

March 4th 2019 | employment

Following the success of workers in a number of high-profile cases including Uber and Pimlico Plumbers, it was expected that further cases regarding worker status would soon be hitting the Tribunals. This, coupled with the removal of fees for Claimant’s has led to a slew of new cases being issued. read more...

Rights of Forfeiture and The Importance of Reading Leases Carefully

February 27th 2019 | dispute resolution

The recent case of Andrew Toms v Marilyn Ruberry is an interesting one; it illustrates why you should give careful consideration to the contents of the forfeiture provisions of a lease before taking enforcement action.  This case shows the importance of interpreting the right of re-entry and forfeiture clause in read more...

Right of Way for Owner's Adjoining Land is Only Ancillary

February 21st 2019 | residential property

A recent Court of Appeal case has re-confirmed that if land ceases to be used for an ancillary purpose, it can no longer be accessed via a right of way benefitting adjoining land.  Parker and another v Roberts [2019] EWCA Civ 121 (7 February 2019) involved a case where in read more...

Employers Must Keep a Record of Working Time

February 12th 2019 | employment

A recent opinion expressed by Advocate General Pitruzzella – a member of the European Court of Justice – suggests that employers must maintain records of the time their staff spend at work. In the case of Federacion de Servicios de Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) v Deutsche Bank SAE, Advocate General Pitruzzella read more...

The Equality Act 2010 – How Much Is a Hurt Feeling Worth?

November 11th 2018 | employment

Probably more than you might think! The Equality Act 2010 expressly provides that compensation for discrimination may include (or be made up entirely of) compensation for injured feelings. An award for injury to feelings is separate from an award of compensation for financial loss. A claimant can therefore recover for read more...

Is a reference from Jabba the Hutt valid?

October 15th 2018 | employment

In an interesting case regarding obtaining references in the recruitment process, employers are given fair warning regarding their obligation to ensure that references are true and factual. Case facts In Francis-McGann v West Atlantic UK Limited, the Claimant had lied on his application, stating in his previous experience that he read more...

Flexible Working: The Benefits for Employers

October 10th 2018 | employment

Flexible working gives the opportunity for employees to have flexibility on how long, where and when they work. The main way in which this flexibility can be achieved is through a statutory flexible working request, part of a scheme that was set out in the Employment Rights Act 1998. However, read more...

The Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme

October 4th 2018 | wills and probate

Allan Janes has recently become an accredited member of The Law Society’s Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (WIQS). WIQS accredited firms are recognised by the Law Society as providing the highest standards of Will preparation and Estate administration by adhering to the best practice standards laid down by the scheme read more...

Consideration For Restrictive Covenants

September 24th 2018 | dispute resolution

Many people might be aware of the basic contractual principles, including the rule that you must provide consideration for a contract to be enforceable, however when contracting to restrict a person’s right to work (such as including restrictive covenants in a contract of employment), the situation becomes more complex. What read more...

Can you dismiss without prior warnings?

September 18th 2018 | employment

Most employers will be aware of the general requirement to give warnings prior to dismissing employees for misconduct. Most employers will also be aware of their right to dismiss an employee without notice if they have committed an act of ‘gross misconduct’, even if that employee has no prior warnings. read more...

Somatic Symptom Disorder

September 6th 2018 | personal injury

Somatic Symptom Disorder, formerly known as Somatoform Disorder, which manifest as the physical symptoms that suggest illness or injury. In people who have been diagnosed with a Somatic Symptom Disorder, the person’s symptoms cannot be explained. The diagnosis of Somatic Symptom Disorder requires that the person has reoccurring somatic complaints read more...

Can you give a bad reference?

September 4th 2018 | employment

Some of the most common questions received from employers concern giving references for ex-employees. Many employers do not understand their obligations in this regard, however it is vitally important that employers comprehend their duties and avoid common pitfalls. For example, many employers may not know that a claim for damages read more...
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