Legal News

Family Law

From April 2014, all couples who wish to get divorced and issue claims at court about their finances or agreeing child contact should first try mediation. Mediation is a confidential process in presence of an independent third party - the mediator- that enables both parties to explain and then discuss what their needs and concerns are so that they reach an agreement between themselves. This procedure can be more speedy and cost effective than litigation at courts. Exemptions apply when there is for example evidence of Domestic Violence. We at Major & Co we can help you go through this process with ease of mind by giving you sound and thorough advice about your legal position. 

Posted On : March 27 , 2014

 

Green issues on your housemove - let us help you to avoid the pitfalls

Many householders concerned about rising energy prices or wishing to help the environment are considering adding solar panels to their roof or using the government’s Green Deal to finance energy saving home improvements. But what will it mean when you come to sell? And should you buy a property subject to the Green Deal?

 

If you are selling a property subject to the Green Deal then the Green Deal should be identified on the front page of your Energy Performance Certificate. You may also be asked about it in the Property Information Forms or pre-contract enquiries. Your solicitors will then include the required wording in the sale contract so that the buyer takes over the charge on the property’s fuel bills. The buyer will then have to pay back the remainder of the Green Deal loan through the fuel bill.

 

Prospective purchasers impressed by a property’s green credentials may be shocked to find that the seller is expecting them to adopt the repayments of the seller’s Green Deal loan. The loan is subject to interest but repayments are capped at the amount which the scheme provider has estimated might be the homeowner’s fuel saving from the home improvement. A buyer may also find it affects their bank or building society’s willingness to offer a mortgage. Buyers may also want to re-negotiate the proposed purchase price downwards to allow for the debt that they are adopting.

 

Some solar panels are installed on the basis that the roof has been leased to a company. This can lead to problems on re-sale for buyers with a mortgage as lending may not be available if the lease did not meet the specification required by the Council of Mortgage Lenders. This might necessitate additional legal work for the rectification of the lease if rectification is possible. The extra weight of the solar panels on the roof may have rendered the property structurally unsound and buyers will want re-assurance from a structural surveyor before proceeding with their purchase. 

More information is available about the Green Deal at www.gov.uk 

This article does not constitute legal or financial advice. If you are considering buying or selling and would like advice on the implications of green home improvements please contact our conveyancing team for more information on 01483 455771.

   

Posted On : October 16 , 2013

 

Important Employment Update

 EMPLOYMENT LAW REFORMS - JULY 2013


From Monday 29 July 2013, Claimants will have to pay fees to bring claims in the Employment Tribunal or the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

The amount of fee payable will depend on the type of claim the Claimant is seeking to bring. Claimants who are genuinely unable to pay these fees may be entitled to relief through the HM Courts & Tribunals Service remission scheme but it will be interesting to see what impact this has on the number of claims being taken through the Tribunals. It opens up a debate as to whether the reforms protect employers too much, or whether they are simply part of a process to secure necessary funding for tribunals.

Employment Tribunal

Fee

Level 1 / Type A claims such as unlawful deduction of wages, or employer’s failure to consult on a transfer

Level 2 / Type B more complex claims, such as unfair dismissal and discrimination

Issue Fee

£160

£250

Hearing Fee

£230

£950

Total Fees Payable

£390

£1,200

Employment Appeal Tribunal

Fee Type

Amount Payable (Irrespective of type of claim)

Issue Fee

£400

Hearing Fee

£1,200

Total Fees Payable

£1,600

 

Other, application-specific, fees may also be payable. Again, those fees will differ depending on the type of application being made.

Tribunals will have a discretionary power to order the unsuccessful party in a claim to pay the successful party’s costs. It is hoped Tribunals will use this power effectively and in a manner which is fair and reasonable, compensating those that have had to incur costs to successfully pursue (or, if employer, defend) an employment claim.

 

For more information, please contact our consultant solicitor James Way

 

 

Major & Co 

Posted On : July 19 , 2013

 

Family Law

In the case of Prest v Petrodel Resources Limited & Others [2013] UKSC 34 the Supreme Court held that a 'one-man company' held properties on Trust for a former wife of the owner, who had sole control over the properties but did not own them personally. The companies were ordered to transfer the properties to the former wife. 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2013/jun/12/supreme-court-prest-joshua-rozenberg
http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/supreme-court-allows-appeal-prest-v-petrodel

Posted On : June 13 , 2013

 

Immigration

As of 6th April 2013, MBA graduates and other UK graduates who "have been identified by Higher Education Institutions as having developed genuine and credible business ideas and entrepreneurial skills" can apply under Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) to extend their stay in the UK after graduation to establish one or more businesses in the UK.


Source: UKBA Statement of Changes In Immigration Rules 14 March 2013 
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/statementsofchanges/2013/hc1039.pdf?view=Binary

Posted On : April 22 , 2013

 

Employment

The Business Secretary has put forward the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill which introduces changes to the way employers can treat employees and unfair dismissal claims. The measures are, inter alia:


- to cap payouts to 12 months' pay or £74,200 whichever is the lower
- that employees to pay court fees of £250 for lodging a standard claim and a further £950 if the matter goes to a hearing
- to protect employers by granting them freedom to offer payouts to employees to leave without any previous warning

The Bill will be introduced this summer

Source: The Guardian 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2013/mar/23/employment-tribunals-work-and-careers

Posted On : March 28 , 2013

 

The Online Supreme Court

The UK Supreme Court has launched a channel on You Tube showing short summaries of its judgments. Justices read out the summaries when a judgment is released. You can access these on http://www.youtube.com/user/UKSupremeCourt?feature=watch.

Posted On : January 24 , 2013

 

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) 

Source: http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/inpractice/lawreports/employment-tribunal


Posted On : December 17 , 2012

 

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.

Posted On : September 24 , 2012

 

Planning

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


Posted On : September 20 , 2012