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Breathing Space for those with problem debts

Jessica McSorley
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Breathing Space protects debtors from any action taken by creditors for up to 60 days, a welcomed reform for those who are struggling to manage their debts as they will be able to seek much needed advice without facing increased interest and charges as a...

COVID-19 - Remote Hearings are here to stay

Jessica McSorley
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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the civil justice system. Lockdown played havoc with court listings resulting in many hearings being vacated. At this time, with no alternative, virtual hearings were welcomed by parties and their...

How to enforce a County Court Judgment during a pandemic

Jessica McSorley
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Enforcing a County Court Judgment which has been obtained against an individual may seem to be unfeasible during the pandemic however, there are several enforcement methods which remain available to include; 1) Warrant of Execution, 2) Attachment of Earnings...

What is Contentious Probate?

Robert Weston
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People often ask on what "Contentious Probate" means. A brief summary is set out below: a) Concerns over the validity of the Will. For example, that the Deceased did not have the mental capacity to make a Will, wasn't aware of the contents,...

Vento Bands

Chris Amys
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Discrimination compensation awards increased Under the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful to discriminate an individual due to a protected characteristic. This includes age, sex, disability, race, gender reassignment, marriage/civil partnership,...

Is expert determination an alternative to Court Proceedings?

Rebecca Rogers
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What are the alternatives to Court proceedings in order to resolve disputes? There are various ways to resolve disputes rather than simply issuing a claim through the Courts.  Litigating through the Courts is not a quick process. There are lots of...

The wheels of civil justice are still turning!

Rebecca Rogers
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Disputes continue to arise in business. Here at mfg Solicitors LLP, we are working remotely to resolve disputes for our clients. The Civil Courts are continuing to operate remotely (and are working hard to keep the justice system working) during the outbreak...

Williams (Deceased) [2012[ EWHC 586 (Ch) (16th of March 2021)

Robert Weston
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In the recent case of Re Williams (Deceased) [2012[ EWHC 586 (Ch) (16 th of March 2021) it was determined that the lack of knowledge and approval by the Testator justified the Court upholding the validity of the Will with deletions. The Judge found that...

Minimum wage for on call and sleep in shifts

Sally Morris
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Several businesses rely upon members of staff to be on call, with many organisations paying these individuals a flat rate or sometimes no pay at all for simply being on call. This presents a number of problems: Is the individual an employee or worker? ...

Public footpaths and farmers - a new direction?

Hannah Taylor
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In her latest blog on rural issues, associate Hannah Taylor covers the options open to farmers and landowners to protect their crops from walkers veering off public footpaths – and why it’s important for everyone to work together. Last year I...

BRUNT - DECEASED [2021]

Robert Weston
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In the recent case of Re: BRUNT – DECEASED [2021] the High Court have ordered a re-trial where it was alleged that a Will had been forged. The High Court found that the Judge had not dealt properly with the evidence before him when he made an Order...

COVID-19 Advice for Company Directors - What to do and not to do!

Samuel Pedley
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Directors of many companies are struggling with the financial uncertainty caused by the Covid 19 pandemic. With the threat of insolvency ever present many companies are simply trying to “hold on” and make it through the pandemic with as little...

Employment law issues arising from the March 2021 Budget

Chris Amys
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The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has delivered his second Budget on  3 rd March 2021, which contained a number of important announcements for UK businesses. In this blog, we summarise the key employment aspects of the Budget. As stated in our recent blog ,...

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extended for businesses

Sally Morris
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The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be extended by a further 5 months from 30 th April to 30 th September 2021. The key points are as follows: The scheme has been extended from 30 th ...

Implications of extending workplace testing

Chris Amys
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As part of the Government’s response to COVID-19, there has been an expansion of workplace testing for businesses. Employers who employ more than 50 essential frontline staff, who cannot work from home, will be able to access lateral flow tests, free...

Lockdown 3.0 - Cash flow has never been so important

Rebecca Rogers
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Effective and efficient debt recovery is vital to the continuation of any business, even more so in these continued unprecedented times. Businesses need to ensure that they have sufficient cash flow to allow them to continue to weather the storm. Can I...

Caveats - key facts you need to know

Robert Weston
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In our latest online Q&A, partner and head of our contentious probate department Robert Weston covers the often-complex issues of caveats around a deceased person’s estate and the key facts you need to know. First and foremost, a caveat should...

BEWARE! Crown Preference IS BACK!

Samuel Pedley
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The reintroduction of Crown Preference is an unfortunate development at a time of unprecedented uncertainty, when many businesses are struggling with the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic. The Enterprise Act 2002 abolished Crown Preference, meaning that HMRC...

Are you prepared for a restructure or redundancy?

Chris Amys
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A Freedom of Information request to the Insolvency Service by the BBC shows that 10,000 employers plan to cut 795,000 jobs. By comparison, 530,000 jobs were proposed to be cut during the last economic crisis, namely the recession in 2010. It is important...

Updates to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Chris Amys
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The Government have issued a new Treasury Direction in relation to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. There has been a series of Treasury Directions since the introduction of the furlough scheme in March 2020. These Treasury Directions set out the legal...

Can members of staff be forced to take the COVID-19 vaccine?

Chris Amys
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It has been recently reported in the media that Pimlico Plumbers is to rewrite all of its contracts to require its workers to take the COVID-19 vaccine. This “no jab no job” policy raises an important question for businesses in the coming months...

Christmas and Workplace Issues (Part 3)

Chris Amys
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Q7: What happens if an employer decides to close the business for the day due to adverse weather? Employers owe a duty of care to their employees. As such, if the authorities are telling people to stay at home unless their journey is essential, they may...

Christmas and Workplace Issues (Part 2)

Chris Amys
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Q4: How should an employer address issues about an employee’s wellbeing? Over the Christmas period, an employee’s wellbeing may be affected by the exacerbation of stress and/or depression. This may be for a number of reasons, including but not...

Christmas and Workplace Issues (Part 1)

Chris Amys
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Q1: Does an employee have the right to take Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day as holiday? A: Over the winter months, there are three bank holidays, which are Christmas Day (Friday 25 th December 2020), Boxing Day (Monday 28 th December...

Wedding Cancellations

Jessica McSorley
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Like many other industries, the wedding industry has been hit hard by the Government restrictions which have been brought into effect to tackle COVID-19. With large gatherings being prohibited it is no surprise that there has been a significant downturn in...

What is Family Dispute Resolution/Mediation?

Katherine Tippetts
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Mediation is an alternative means by which the two parties can try and resolve issues. These may be issues regarding contact arrangements for the children, or alternatively financial matters as part of divorce proceedings or following separation. The...

What are basic rights of workers?

Chris Amys
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In the UK, there are different types of employment status, with the main ones being an employee, worker and self-employed. Determining someone’s employment status helps to define their employment rights and the responsibilities of their employer. A...

COVID-19 Winter Plan

Chris Amys
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On 23 rd November 2020, the Government published its COVID-19 Winter Plan. We have summarised the key points which arise from an employment law perspective and how this may impact employers during the next couple of months. This is up to date at the time of...

How do I apply for a Parental Responsibility Order?

Katherine Tippetts
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Parental Responsibility is a term which describes all the rights and responsibilities that parents have in relation to their children. This includes for example, being responsible for consenting to medical treatment for a child, making decisions such as...

How do I dispute an application to change a child's name?

Katherine Tippetts
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In order to change a child’s name any party who has parental responsibility for the child must agree to the change of child’s name. If all parties who have parental responsibility agree to the change of the child’s name then a Change of...

New lockdown restrictions and how they will affect employers

Chris Amys
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Due to the rapid rise of new COVID-19 cases, England will be entering into a second nationwide lockdown initially between Thursday 5th November 2020 and Wednesday 2nd December 2020. This means people will be required to stay at home (except for specific...

What is Private Client law?

Samantha Freeman
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Private Client Law covers a wide range of disciplines such as Wills and Lifetime Planning, Mental Capacity, Trusts and Estates. Private Client Practitioners can also handle a range of charity work advising on specific legal issues. Wills and Lifetime...

Business Interruption Insurance: COVID-19

Jessica McSorley
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If your business has been adversely affected by the restrictions brought about as a result of COVID-19 and you hold a business interruption insurance policy you may be able to make a claim in respect of your losses. The success of any such claim will depend...

Do I need a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

Katherine Tippetts
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It is always advisable for the parties to enter into a Pre-Nuptial Agreement prior to marriage. The purpose of a Pre-Nuptial Agreement is to record what both parties would wish to happen to the finances in the event of the unfortunate breakdown of the...

The Government has recently announced a number of key changes to existing coronavirus legislation and further introduced new legislation, The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020.

Darryll Thomas
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The Government has recently announced a number of key changes to existing coronavirus legislation and further introduced new legislation, The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020. Taking firstly the newly...

Do I need to make a Will?

Jayne Hill
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There are a number of reasons why making a Will is a good idea: Regardless of your circumstances, a Will provides a clear statement of how you want your estate to be divided when you die. It is more personal than leaving it to chance. If you do not make...

The compulsory company strike off process to be resumed

Suzannah Strickland
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As of 10 October 2020, Companies House is to resume the compulsory strike off process for companies.  This procedure was temporarily suspended in April 2020, in response to Covid-19.  On a recent review it has been decided that this suspension is...

How to respond to Larke v Nugus requests

Victoria Wall
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Private client practitioners prepare potentially thousands of Wills in their career. However, it can be unnerving to receive a letter from another firm requesting information in connection with specific Wills made in accordance with the case of Larke v...

Did you set up a new business during the pandemic?

Clare Lang
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The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has recently reported, perhaps unsurprisingly, that the number of new business incorporations were lower in the Quarter 2 period of April - June 2020 than they were in the same period last year.  However, the ONS...

Maintenance under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 - could COVID-19 increase claims?

Victoria Wall
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Anyone looking to claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (“the Act”) must fall under a category of applicant to be able to request “reasonable financial provision”. Most of the categories of...

Can I claim for personal injury?

Poonam Barnes
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A personal injury refers to a physical or psychological injury that is caused by the negligence of another party. Examples of circumstances that can give rise to a personal injury claim are: An accident at work. A road traffic accident. A...

Caveats - a practical guide

Victoria Wall
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One of the first pieces of advice we tend to provide when we have an initial enquiry either contesting the validity of a Will, looking to claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 or have concerns over an executor is to enter...

What happens during mediation?

Poonam Barnes
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Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution and can be described as a process where a neutral party known as a mediator assists parties in a dispute to reach an amicable resolution to their dispute. Prior to the mediation date, the mediator tends...

How far is too far? Intermeddling in an estate

Victoria Wall
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It can be difficult to deal with family members who tend to take control when a loved-one dies. Alternatively, you may wish to remove the burden from a family member who you believe could not administer the deceased’s estate. However, any person...

Recovering Bad Debts

Jessica McSorley
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The late payment of commercial invoices will have an adverse effect on creditor companies now more than ever as the pandemic has caused a strain on the economic standing of many businesses. It is vital that unpaid invoices are collected in swiftly to ensure...

Barlow v Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council - a complex highways case

Hannah Taylor
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A recent and fairly high-profile case in the North West of England has highlighted the complexities of UK laws around highways. The case was Barlow v Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council and involved the claimant, Mrs Barlow, claiming compensation after she...

When there's no Will, there's a way

Victoria Wall
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It is a requirement when making a Will that a person must have sufficient mental capacity – for example knowing the estimated size of their estate and who will benefit from their estate. However, what happens in the event that a person no longer has...

What rights do I have if the vehicle that I have purchased is faulty?

Jessica McSorley
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If you have purchased a vehicle and later discovered faults with the vehicle your rights and remedies will very much be dependent on the status of the seller. Private Sellers You have to be careful when purchasing a vehicle from a private individual as...

Wills and video-witnessing - How to protect you and your client

Victoria Wall
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The Ministry of Justice has recently issued a press release confirming that Wills and codicils can be witnessed via video-link. It is considered as a major breakthrough by the industry, but practitioners must be extremely careful when they look to execute a...

Restructures and Redundancy Q&A

Chris Amys
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Q1: What is a redundancy? Redundancy is defined in s139(1) of the Employment Rights At 1996 as the closure of a business or workplace, or the diminished requirement for employees to do work of a particular kind. Restructures and redundancy can take place...

Executors beware - continuing duties after COVID-19

Victoria Wall
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COVID-19 associated deaths have recently passed 41,000, while the weekly number of deaths for 2020 has been above a five year average since mid-March. As the number of deaths hopefully decline further, the focus will turn to the estates of those who fell...

Insolvency Statistics for the April to June 2020 quarter: period of tranquillity before chaos?

Samuel Pedley
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30 July 2020, the Insolvency Service published its quarterly insolvency statistics for April to June 2020. Surprisingly despite these tentative times, company insolvencies in England and Wales have declined by one-third compared to the same quarter ending...

COVID-19 Employment Law Updates

Chris Amys
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In the last few days and weeks, there have been a number of clarifications and updates from the Government about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and furlough leave, which we have summarised below: Redundancy and notice pay Employees who are or who...

The Stamp Duty Holiday

David Faulkner
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The chancellor has announced a temporary holiday on Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on the first £500,000.00 of any purchase of a main residence in England and Northern Ireland. It should be noted that Wales and Scotland have differing property taxation...

Now is the time to review farm succession plans

Helen Gough
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Despite the COVID-19 lockdown starting to ease across the UK, most across the country are still spending many hours at home with their families. Whilst lockdown causes some difficulties, it’s also a good opportunity for farming families to sit down...

Are the Courts open during lockdown?

Jessica McSorley
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Are the Courts open during lockdown? The Courts are still operating however, they are not open to the public. This means that you do not need to attend court unless you have been instructed to do so by the Court. Can I still file documents? You can...

Pears Magazine Issue 35

Elizabeth Armstrong
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We are delighted to be featured in this issue of Pears Magazine; the magazine of Worcestershire Law Society. Read articles from Helen Gough , Sam Pedley and Clare Regan as well as a Lockdown Q&A from Alex Phillips and news of Clare Lang...

Top 10 Will Questions from Business Owners

Thomas Evans
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Expert Wills Solicitor, Thomas Evans TEP , answers the top ten most popular questions he is asked about making a Will for Business Owners. What happens to my business interests if I don’t make a Will? Not making a will could spell disaster for...

How do I know where my property boundaries lie?

Rachel Chambers
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With a lot of us spending more time in our homes and gardens, more and more of us are taking the time to embark on outdoor DIY projects and renovations, or simply enjoy our outside space. Unfortunately, this can lead to any underlying disagreements with our...

Chancellor's budget won't solve every issue - but it's another step in the right direction

Gary Priest
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This week Conservative Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s unveiled his summer budget – probably one of the most eagerly awaited economic speeches for decades. I don’t say that lightly as quite simply, Mr Sunak’s budget speech was so important...

Myths about Wills and Probate

Melinda Rice
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Many people have the idea that if you have a Will, your estate won't need a Grant of Probate or if you do have a Will, your estate is required to apply for Grant of Probate. Neither of these myths is true. So what is Grant of Probate? It is a document...

Extension to deadline for registering charges at Companies House

Abbey Jones
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In response to the challenges faced by companies to maintain their filing requirements caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, new regulations have been published to extend various filing deadlines. On 26 June 2020, the Companies etc. (Filing Requirements)...

People on paternity and maternity leave exempt from cut-off date

Chris Amys
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People on paternity and maternity leave exempt from the 10 th June 2020 cut-off date In their most recent update to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Government stated the last day new individuals can be placed on furlough will be 10 th June...

COVID-19 and Wedding Cancellations

Jessica McSorley
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A question of particular importance to anyone who was due to get married this year will be whether or not they can cancel their wedding and claim a refund. The answer to this question is very much dependent on the terms and conditions which were agreed. It...

Farming for the future - getting the balance right

Sally Smith
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The farming community is often concerned about passing down the family farm to the next generation and what this means in the often-complex world of inheritance tax.  The key points that many miss are that farms, or parts of farms, can benefit from the...

Breathing Space for Coronavirus Impacted Businesses: The New Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill

Clare Lang
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The new Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill had its second reading in Parliament on Wednesday 3rd June and should come into force very soon, the Government having squeezed the approval process - which would normally take over a year - into just six...

Looking to move house? Your questions answered

Javed Ahmed
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Can I still move house? The government has stated that; “People are free to move home, however the process of finding and moving into a new home is likely to be different, as those involved in the process will need to adapt practices and...

I know who I want to inherit, but how should they inherit?

William Rowe
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William Rowe , Associate Solicitor in the Wills and Probate Team at mfg Solicitors' Telford office, explains what important points to consider when making a Will Recent events concerning the Coronavirus pandemic have given many people time to pause for...

Is an Option Right for You?

Alexandra Phillips
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Despite the current COVID-19 lockdown situation, farmers are still being approached by developers asking for an ‘option’ to buy some of their land subject to obtaining planning permission. Many farmers and landowners may be in the same situation...

COVID 19 Crisis - Cash flow has never been so important

Rebecca Rogers
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Effective and efficient debt recovery is vital to the continuation of any business, even more so in these unprecedented times. With experts warning that that we may see a financial crisis like no other, businesses need to ensure that they have sufficient...

Reviewing your personal legal affairs at a time of crisis

Peter Stephens
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Peter Stephens , Partner and Wills, Powers of Attorney and Probate Specialist at mfg Solicitors Ludlow Office sets out what you need to review to check your legal affairs are in order during lockdown. I, like many legal practitioners, am regularly asked by...

Portal now open for employers to reclaim COVID-19 related SSP

Chris Amys
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Portal now open for employers to reclaim COVID-19 related Statutory Sick Pay (“SSP”) As part of the Government’s response to COVID-19, one of their first announcements was the ability for businesses to recover SSP for COVID-19 related...

Powers of Attorney - FAQ

Janna Vigar
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Janna Vigar , Partner in the Wills, Probate and Power of Attorney team at mfg Solicitors, Ludlow Office answers some frequently asked questions about Powers of Attorney: I’ve got a Will, why do I need a Power of Attorney? A Will comes into being...

Directors Beware!

Samuel Pedley
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Directors, including non-executive directors, should always keep an eye on the financial wellbeing of the companies they manage during these difficult times. Some practical steps that directors should consider taking include: Constantly monitor the...

Restructuring Coronavirus-Impacted Businesses

Clare Lang
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Whilst we await further direction from the Government as regards relaxation of the lockdown measures and how businesses will be permitted to operate, almost all owner-managers will be considering the future of their businesses.  Whilst some businesses...

COVID-19: Can I enforce rent arrears?

Harjie Bindra
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The COVID-19 pandemic presents landlords with unprecedented challenges both in considering the impact on the cash-flow of their tenants and, naturally, how this will impact the financial stability of their own businesses. On 23 April 2020 the government...

Future Business Planning - what now?

Clare Regan
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As business emerges from the shock of lockdown, attention is shifting towards future business planning. Many business are already examining their property footprint and what changes should be made and at what cost. Some retailers are limiting or even in...

Landlords asking for a 'surrender and re-grant'?

Iain Morrison
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Over the past few months, and despite the current lockdown situation, I have been approached by some tenant farmers asking advice about the running of a small shoot on their land – with their landlords asking for a ‘surrender and re-grant’....

5 Good Reasons to Make a Will

Sally Smith
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COVID-19 has made us all feel very vulnerable and aware of our own mortality.  Concentrating on things we can control is a way of reducing stress and anxiety.  Making a Will is probably one of the most important documents you can put in place and...

Property market allowed to move forward

Nichola Wilson
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On Sunday night I, along with 27m others, sat down to watch Boris announce the government’s plan to ease the lockdown phase of the fight against COVID-19. From a professional point of view, I was hoping to hear that movement restrictions could be...

Employment Status

Chris Amys
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Cases about employment status and the repercussions for employers continue, with a recent case against Yodel being found in the Company’s favour. A courier driver for Yodel was engaged as a self-employed contractor. He was provided with a contract...