Legal News

Landlord & Tenant

A tenant brought a claim against a landlord for breach of covenant in respect of damp and mould throughout the rented flat. The tenant later appealed against the judge's decision not to include damage to plaster in the award he made in favour of the tenant. The tenant submitted that the landlord should have been liable to repair the damaged plaster. The question later was whether the plaster formed part of the building structure in which case the landlord would have been responsible to repair the wall.

The Court of Appeal held in May that plasterwork generally was part of the structure.

For further details please refer to http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/law/reports/article3151548.ece (subscription may be required)

Posted On : September 19 , 2011

 

Criminal Law - Bribery

The Bribery Act 2010 received the Royal Assent April last year and came into force June 2011.

Quoted from the Law Society,

"The act creates three main offences:


  • bribing a person to induce or reward them to perform a relevant function improperly
  • requesting, accepting or receiving a bribe as a reward for performing a relevant function improperly
  • using a bribe to influence a foreign official to gain a business advantage."
It suffices if the person committing the offence has connections with the UK and not necessary been a British Citizen.

More information can be obtained from the following website: http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/productsandservices/practicenotes/briberyact/4970.article#ba1_1

Posted On : August 5 , 2011

 

Immigration

Significant changes to the Tier 4 student route of the points-based system came into effect earlier this month.

The revised immigration rules:

  • "restrict work entitlements, by only allowing students sponsored by higher education institutions (HEIs) and publicly funded further education colleges to work part-time during term time and full-time during vacations;

  • restrict sponsorship of dependants to those of students sponsored by HEIs on postgraduate courses lasting 12 months or longer, and of government-sponsored students on courses lasting longer than 6 months;

  • require institutions to confirm that courses represent genuine academic progression from any previous courses studied by the student in the UK; and

  • create a streamlined application process for low-risk nationals sponsored by Highly Trusted sponsors."

 The new versions of these forms can be accessed on the UKBA website.

MPs have said that the government has rushed plans to curb student visas, saying the restrictions could cost the economy £3.4 bn.

Posted On : July 26 , 2011

 

Polygamy

Although Sharia Courts have been given power to rule on Muslim civil cases and their decisions are enforceable through the county court and the High Court, the government has decided against legalising multiple Islamic marriages.

For more information please read:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8653300/Coalition-rules-out-legalising-multiple-Islamic-marriages-after-Whitehall-leak.html

and

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article4749183.ece

Posted On : July 25 , 2011

 

Non-Matrimonial Property

A husband of a wealthy wife (£58.8m gross by date of trial; £28.3m at date of separation) could only get 9.3% of the assets (£5.3m) because the assets were entirely non-matrimonial, they were ring fenced and the wife had lived extremely modestly throughout her marriage of over 20 years. The court held that 'special contribution' does not apply to non-matrimonial property.

Posted On : July 19 , 2011

 

EU Cookies Law

UK has delayed EU's Privacy and Communications Directive in respect of cookies for one year, the effect of which is that user's consent should be obtained for the replacement of cookies on their computers.

Ed Vaizey, the communications minister said "We recognise that some website users have real concerns around online privacy but also recognise that cookies play a key role in the smooth running of the internet" .

Posted On : June 3 , 2011

 

Crime

The Supreme Court ruled that the police guidelines on retaining DNA profiles is unlawful after the European Court of Human Rights's ruling that indefinite retention of samples breached article 8.
 
To read more please see:

http://www.solicitorsjournal.com/story.asp?sectioncode=2&storycode=18394&c=1

Posted On : May 23 , 2011

 

Family

A North London family solicitor has launched an app designed to help divorcing or separating couples in England and Wales to save money on their legal fees.


The £9.99 programme is titled Divorce? A Comprehensive Guide To Divorce
In England And Wales.

The application contains various sections that "intuitively" guide a user through what their options are should a relationship break down.

There is a chapter devoted to applying for a divorce, while others deal with children, financial issues, choosing a lawyer and working out budgets. Divorce can be downloaded to any iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

The application, however, has already been criticised by family groups who accuse it of trivialising marriage and divorce.

 Stephen Green, a spokseman for campaign group Christian Voice, told The Guardian: 'It could encourage divorce by normalising the decision, making it seem as easy to make as any other lifestyle choice.

'It could also deter the other partner from fighting to save their marriage.'

It is released just weeks after it was revealed that the number of divorces in England and Wales dropped by 6.4 per cent in 2009 when compared with the year before - down from 121,708 to 113,949. This was the lowest annual figure in 35 years.

It also marked the sixth consecutive year that the number of divorces fell, from 153,065 in 2003.


Source: Daily Mail, Law Gazzett and Times of India

 

Posted On : April 18 , 2011

 

Wills

Major & Co Solicitors has joined the Certainty National Will Register www.certainty.co.uk

Certainty is the National Register of Wills and Will search service endorsed by the Law Society.  Only a will written by a legal professional can be included on the register which records that we hold the will, but the will always remains confidential with us. 
 

A recent survey established that more than 60% of those surveyed did not know where to find their parents’ Wills (perhaps due to changing circumstances, moving to another area or the passage of time). If your Will cannot be found after your death then your assets will be either distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules, or an earlier and out of date Will, if any, is admitted to probate and your assets will not necessarily be distributed in the way you would have wished.  Either way, this can cause emotional distress and financial loss for the loved ones you intended to benefit from your estate. 


Registering your Will with Certainty is a precautionary method to ensure that your Will is traceable by your beneficiaries.

Posted On : April 18 , 2011

 

EU regulations

Micro firms still hit by a raft of EU regulations as moratorium on regulation begins  

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is warning that micro firms will still be hard hit by the large number of regulations that come from Europe, as the moratorium on regulation begins.
 

The Government has put in place a moratorium for micro firms on all new domestic regulations for the next three years. But ahead of the Common Commencement Date tomorrow (Wednesday 6) which sees all new laws and regulations come into force, the FSB is concerned that micro firms are going to be hit hard by new regulations that come from Europe – 72 per cent of the total cost of UK regulation now originates from Brussels.  
The overall cost of red tape to businesses in the EU is €124 billion a year and there have been more than 100,000 pages of new EU regulations since 1997. New regulations coming from Europe that will impact micro and small firms include:
 

  • - Agency Workers Directive
  • - Regulation of working time for self-employed lorry and coach drivers
  • - Parental Leave Directive
  • - Pregnant Workers Directive
  • - Capital Rights Directive 4

The FSB is calling on Government to push for stronger changes in the EU to ensure that this constant flow of extra burdens ceases.
The FSB is urging MEPs and Commission Officials to ‘think small first’ and introduce a one in one out rule for all Commission proposals. The FSB is also disappointed that the Government appears to have decided to remove some large regulatory changes from the moratorium – including the extension to paternal leave and pay and the removal of the default retirement age – both of which impose a big burden on small businesses.  
 

Research by the FSB shows that four in 10 small firms believe that a moratorium on new regulations would have a positive impact on their business, however more than a third of small firms do not feel that the budget will help to tear down the barriers of enterprise.  For the moratorium to truly work and to help small firms grow, small businesses need to have confidence that it will be put in place properly and that the regulations that impose the greatest burden to their business – employment regulation – will be included.  John Walker, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:
 

“This Common Commencement Date is an important one because it sees the beginning of the three year moratorium on regulation for micro firms. The FSB has welcomed the Government’s commitment to help ease the burden of regulation on these businesses, but we are concerned that regulations coming in from Europe will hit small firms harder and as a result they will feel the impact of these on their firm much more.  “
If the burden of unnecessary regulation is lifted from small businesses, they would be free to get on with creating wealth, jobs and growth.  It is worth remembering that if only 50 per cent of the EU's small businesses employed just one extra person there would be an additional 10 million jobs."

“Micro firms will be in a much better position to plan for their future, grow, innovate and take on new staff, without the worry of constant changes to the law, yet it is disappointing that some of the most burdensome aspects of employment regulation are not included.”

Source:

FSB News Release

PR/2011/29Issue date: Tuesday 5 April 2011  

Posted On : April 5 , 2011