Major & Co Solicitors

51 Quarry Street, Guildford, GU1 3UA

01483 455771

Ministry of Justice set to increase Court fees for probate

Under the new Court fees estates valued between £50,000 and £300,000 would have to pay £300 but this escalates to £1,000 for estates valued between £300,000 and £500,000 and then £4,000 for those between £500,000 and £1m. Rising to £20,000 for the largest estates. This is a big increase from the current solicitor’s application fee rate of £155 for all estates. The fees don’t come in until the spring so if you would like help getting a grant of representation before they come in then please contact our experienced probate team as soon as possible.

This fee increase will strengthen the need for professional support for executors needing to obtain a grant of probate to ensure that the estate is accurately valued before submitting the application and to signpost sources of funding. These fees coupled with inheritance tax considerations also heighten the need for effective lifetime estate planning. For more information about obtaining probate or wills and lifetime planning please contact Robert Swinburne or David Major.

EU nationals in the UK – what does Brexit mean?

There will be no immediate change for EU migrants who are living and working in the United Kingdom or UK citizens who are living and working in other EU member states whilst the UK has not completed the formal process of leaving the EU.

For EU citizens currently living and working in the United Kingdom, a potential safeguard against any changes to arrangements would be for them to apply for confirmation of their status under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 (eg, a residence card or family permit). It remains to be seen where the line will be drawn for EU migrants currently living in the United Kingdom, so the benefit of having a residence card would be that migrants could prove that they held rights of residence before free movement rights ceased.

Further, if an EU national has lived and worked in the United Kingdom for a continuous period of five years, they should consider applying for permanent residency. All EU nationals are required to hold permanent residency before naturalising as British citizens.

Call us to speak to an immigration lawyer if you are in need of further advice on 01483 455 771

Let us claim your Help to Buy ISA bonus towards your purchase

Since 1 February 2016, registered solicitors have been able to make a bonus application under the Help to Buy ISA scheme for first time buyer clients.

HM Treasury has confirmed that, since 1 December 2015, over 200,000 first-time buyers have opened and begun to save in their Help to Buy ISA accounts. Under the scheme buyers who have saved between £1,600 and £12,000 will be able to claim a bonus of between £400 and £3,000. The ISA account holder will need to obtain an ISA closing letter that their solicitor can submit to the scheme administrator in order to claim the bonus.

New SDLT rates from April 2016

From April 2016 purchasers of additional properties will have to pay a Stamp Duty Land Tax surcharge of 3% when they buy a property. For more guidance contact our property team on 01483 455771

Top Rated UK Solicitors

We are proud that solicitors at our firm were featured in a guide to the UK’s Top Rated Professionals distributed in The Sunday Telegraph newspaper on the 29th of March 2015. Clients have testified that our solicitors as professional, extremely helpful and prompt with excellent knowledge in their field of expertise.


The Court of Appeal in the case of MM v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 985 decided on 11th July 2014 that provisions in the Immigration Rules, imposing minimum income requirements on those with unrestricted right to live in the United Kingdom wishing to bring their non-European spouse to the United Kingdom is not a disproportionate interference with the UK partner’s rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This means that at present UK partners who have to meet the income threshold, have to demonstrate they have income of at least £18,600 per year for their spouse, £22,400 if including one child and a further £2,400 for every additional child. There are complex provisions about whether the income can be from employment or other sources. Our immigration solicitor, Mrs Attieh Fard, can talk you through these requirements, assess your case and help you prepare your application.

Employment Law

An employee withdrew his discrimination claim in the Employment Tribunal after the Tribunal had refused his application for an adjournment on medical grounds. The Employment Appeal Tribunal allowed the employee’s appeal as it had been an error of law and unfair for the Tribunal to proceed with the hearing without allowing a short adjournment to the Employee to obtain medical report.

Iqbal v Metropolitan Police Service and another: Employment Appeal Tribunal (Judge Richardson, Dr K Mohanty and Miss S Wilson)


Family Law

News from Family Law Week:

The new definition for domestic violence includes:

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Controlling behaviour is:

a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resoures and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is:

an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

The new definition will be implemented by March 2013.


The Court of Appeal held in Barker v Hambleton District Council that an application to quash part of the local development plan was out of time on the basis that  the statutory time limit under section 113 (4) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 for making an application to the High Court in respect of a local development plan starts “to run not on the day after the local planning authority had adopted the plan but on the very day of its adoption”. The Court held that “when a statutory time limit started with a particular day, time ran from that day and not from the following day.”

Source: The Times
Published on 21st August 2012

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