Thinking of Breaking Up?

November 12th 2019 | commercial property

A relationship between a landlord and a tenant is (usually) governed by a commercial lease which the parties have entered into at the same time as the tenant takes occupation of the property.  Such commercial relationships are, hopefully, usually harmonious.  But what happens when one party wants to end the read more...

Guide to The Court of Protection - Property and Finance Deputyships

November 6th 2019 | Court of Protection

What happens if decisions need to made for someone who lacks mental capacity? With an ageing population this is an issue which has become more prominent in people's mind. This is further compounded by significant care costs and high property values, which mean that incapacitated individuals are left with valuable assets read more...

The Horror of Homemade Wills

October 31st 2019 | wills and probate

I have been seeing more and more homemade Wills in recent years. I will freely admit that, as a Probate Solicitor, these fill me with dread. This is because homemade Wills usually lack useful administrative provisions, or worse, contain clauses which are unworkable or open to challenge. I would never read more...

Side Letter Leggings or Full Denim Deed?

October 29th 2019 | commercial property

For those of you who are fashionista’s of Vivienne Westwood’s global empire I imagine that as a landlord one could only dream of the prestige of being one or more of her landlords (consider one’s image daaaahrling) and the unimaginative wealth of interest it would generate in the property investment read more...

Harassment is not always Discrimination!

October 29th 2019 | employment

Harassment is defined in Section 26 of the Equality Act. It has a particular definition unique to the Equality Act which is as follows:- a person (A) harasses another (B) if- a) A engaged in unwanted conduct related to the relevant protected characteristics, and b) the conduct has the purpose read more...

Do I Need a Commercial Lease?

October 24th 2019 | commercial property

Although the risks of not having a commercial lease in place to formally document a tenant’s occupation is probably more of a risk from the landlord’s perspective there are a number of reasons why both a landlord and a tenant should enter into a formal lease: Certainty of terms – read more...

Litigation Privilege: The Dangers of Discussing Litigation in Emails

October 22nd 2019 | dispute resolution

We have discussed before in a previous blog post the difficulties in maintaining privilege in documents produced for employment cases within a company. However, there is similar difficulties in maintaining litigation privilege in commercial disputes. But what is privilege? In order to understand privilege, you need to understand the process read more...

Guidance on Menopause

October 18th 2019 | employment

18th October 2019 marks World Menopause Day - a subject which is surprisingly important for employers! A recent  government study  on menopause and it's effect on working women suggests that "significant numbers of working women experience problems at work as a result of individual symptoms" and that some aspects of work read more...

Probate Fee U-Turn

October 14th 2019 | wills and probate

I am delighted to report that the Government has now announced the formal scrapping of its proposed probate fee hike, or, as they put it:  "We will withdraw these proposals, and keep the current system while we take a closer look at these court fees as part of our annual read more...

Can You Be Discriminated Against For Being Vegetarian?

October 3rd 2019 | employment

In short- no. A recent case heard in the Employment Tribunal of Conisbee v Crossley Farms Limited decided this very issue. Under the Equality Act 2010, workers are protected from being discriminated against on the grounds of their religion or beliefs. In this case, the claimant claimed that they had read more...

Swedish Death Cleaning - All You Need to Know

October 1st 2019 | wills and probate

I have apparently arrived late to the game of Swedish Death Cleaning, a phenomenon which first garnered attention early in 2018 following the release of the book ‘The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning’ by Margareta Magnusson. Everyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one, and especially anyone read more...

A Quick Guide to Trusts

September 25th 2019 | wills and probate

The concept of trusts can be a difficult one to explain to non-lawyers. Most people know that they exist but have very little knowledge about how they operate or why they might be established. In recent years they have received a particularly bad rap as they have become associated with read more...

Shareholders Agreements – Who Needs them?

September 23rd 2019 | business services

French employers complain these days that it’s less risky to marry someone than employ them, since the state of French employment law is such that it’s easier to divorce a person than to fire them. And, in many respects, when we enter into business with someone, it is a bit read more...

Allan Janes at Kop Hill Climb

September 18th 2019 | social

Allan Janes LLP will, yet again, make an appearance at Kop Hill Climb on 21 st & 22 nd September 2019. Kop Hill Climb, for those of you who are not familiar with the history, started originally in 1910 as a motorsport event with vintage cars and motorbikes racing up read more...

5G Mobile Phone Mast Consultation

September 4th 2019 | residential property

Designed to support the deployment of 5G networks across England, the Government has proposed reforms to the development rights belonging to electronic communications code operators under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015. The proposed reforms, designed to extend geographical network coverage, would allow Code operators read more...

What’s Down the Back of your Corporate Sofa?

September 2nd 2019 | business services

“Bona Vacantia” might sound like the sort of thing Jacob Rees-Mogg would say when giving his dog a juicy treat, but it is in fact an ancient legal doctrine which has some sharp teeth of its own. When William the Conqueror won the English crown, he claimed all English land read more...

Probate Delays

August 22nd 2019 | wills and probate

In an effort to increase efficiency, the probate Courts introduced an all singing, all dancing new system earlier this year.  From a desperately inefficient 2 - 3 week wait for a Grant of Probate, Grants are now being issued in around 3 months..  Sadly, that's not a typo but fear read more...

What Happens If I Do Not Have a Will?

August 21st 2019 | wills and probate

A Will is a document, created by someone during their lifetime, which sets out what they would like to happen to their assets when they die. If you die without a Will, your estate passes under the rules of intestacy. There are several common misconceptions about what happens when someone read more...

Surgery, Clinical Negligence, and The Need for Informed Consent

August 20th 2019 | personal injury

It has been four years since the decision made in Montgomery . Mrs Montgomery was a diabetic and became pregnant. The mother carried a risk of a larger than average baby as a result and there was a higher risk of shoulder dislocation occurring during labour which posed a significant read more...

The £1 Million Inheritance Tax Threshold - Is it Real?

August 14th 2019 | wills and probate

The concept of inheritance tax is fairly strange to our American cousins. In the UK, when someone dies, any amount in their estate above their available tax-free allowance is charged to tax at 40%. There are some exceptions to this rule, for instance if estates are passing to spouses or read more...

What is the Trust Registration Service?

August 13th 2019 | wills and probate

If you are reading this blog, chances are you already have some idea what the Trust Registration Service (TRS) is. Perhaps you are a trustee wondering whether you need to register with this service. Maybe you are thinking of setting up a trust, or have already set up a trust, read more...

Social Media in the Workplace - What Is Your Problem?

August 12th 2019 | employment

As an employer, it is often difficult to tell where the boundaries lie regarding the implications of your employee’s actions on social media. A recent case heard at the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that, in Forbes v LHR Airport Limited , the posting of an offensive image on Facebook read more...

Help to Buy Loans: There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

August 6th 2019 | residential property

Help to Buy in England was introduced to assist those buying a home on a new-build development. The Government, via Homes England, will provide an equity loan of up to 20% (outside London) and 40% (in London) subject to a maximum purchase price of £600,000 and on which no interest read more...

Lifetime Gifting: A Salutary Lesson

July 31st 2019 | wills and probate

A friend of mine recently forwarded this article to me, asking what the legal position is in relation to gifts to children, and if parents have an ability to ask for their money back. In this scenario, a lady’s parents gifted her £100,000 to help her to buy her home. read more...

Can Employees Take Holiday Whilst on Sick Leave?

July 30th 2019 | employment

The law relating to holiday rights and sick leave was in a state of uncertainty for some years. There were many unanswered questions, including whether a worker (see our previous blog post for an explanation of who falls within the ‘worker’ category’) on long-term sick leave can take annual paid read more...

Holiday Home Owners Take Note: Brexit and Brussels IV

July 25th 2019 | wills and probate

This article will have specific relevance if you are a British National (even if not living in Britain) who has property in mainland Europe. This doesn’t need to be a holiday home, it could be (more or less) any other type of capital investment (cash, shares, your main residence, a read more...

Can Employees Secretly Record Meetings?

July 25th 2019 | employment

In most cases, it is misconduct for an employee to make a covert recording at work because it breaches the implied term of trust and confidence, but a recent ruling at the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) showed that it depends upon the purpose of, and circumstances surrounding, the recording. Compensation read more...

Brexit Stands as an Unviable Reason to Break a Commercial Lease

July 24th 2019 | commercial property

Landlords – heave a sigh of relief, tenants – look the other way. Following from my earlier article on this subject, the European Medicines Agency (“EMA”) has announced that it will not be appealing the High Court’s ruling which determined that Brexit would not frustrate its 25 year lease.  Instead, read more...

Potential Pitfalls in Granting Overseas Powers of Attorney

July 16th 2019 | notarial services

Powers of Attorney are regularly used by parties located in this country when they want to appoint somebody abroad to deal with matters on their behalf. Examples of where such Powers are used are:- Buying and selling property, court proceedings, administering a deceased’s Estate and dealing with company incorporation. If read more...

Too Hot To Work?

July 2nd 2019 | employment

If you look at your weather app, chances are you may be greeted by the little sun icon you've been longing to see over the last few wet, windy weeks.  With the "Sarahan Bubble" raising temperatures in Europe to scorching, the UK is set to see some warmer weather. As read more...

Partner from Allan Janes to Appear on BBC News

June 21st 2019 | social

Every year I work at Glastonbury Festival with some old University friends. We are part of a 2,000 strong group volunteers that undertake all of the recycling at the festival.  As I'm sure you can imagine, with a festival the size of Glastonbury, that is no mean feat! There's a read more...

CMA Finally Launches Investigation Into the Leasehold Housing Market

June 19th 2019 | residential property

The Competition and Markets Authority (the “CMA”) have initiated investigations to look into potential breaches of consumer protection law in the leasehold housing market. Particular concerns raised relate to the mis-selling of leasehold properties, potentially onerous and unfair contract terms pursuant to escalating ground rents; exorbitant service charges, consent and read more...

Why Use a Solicitor for HR Services?

June 7th 2019 | employment

Many people view HR Consultants as the cheaper and more obvious option to provide “day-to-day” HR services. These services include the provision of contracts and staff handbooks as well as advising on disciplinary and capability issues within your business. However, it is important to consider whether they are always the read more...

Employment Contracts - Unclear Wording Can Be A Costly Error

May 28th 2019 | employment

Many businesses give little consideration to their contracts of employment. Many may not have one at all (there is no legal requirement to have a contract) and others may simply hand out the same standard document with the necessary details amended. However, a failure to give proper consideration as to read more...

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 | Court of Protection

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 | social

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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Whatever your query, our expert team of solicitors are on hand to help. We are always pleased to have an initial chat over the phone to discuss your situation. From there we can either provide you with straight forward advice if your query is simple, or we can arrange an appointment to discuss it further if this is required. In either case, we are always happy to assist, so please feel free to call us at any time.