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Latest news & opinions

100% TAX RELIEF

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs seldom offer 100% relief but when they do it is worth knowing how to qualify. Agricultural Property Relief (APR) on Inheritance Tax is generally understood to be available to farmers but what is less commonly known is that APR can be a useful inheritance tax planning tool for many not…

Avoiding family feuds when you die

Inheritance issues are in the headlines, following the reading of Nelson Mandela’s will, highlighting problems that are becoming increasingly common with the rising number of ‘blended’ families following remarriage. Commentators have pointed to the international leader’s decision to exclude his second wife Winnie from the will and the restrictions he placed on legacies to some…

We’re “consciously uncoupling”, what happens next?

The idea of “conscious uncoupling” has attracted a great deal of attention in the last week following the announcement of Gwyneth Paltrow’s divorce from Chris Martin. In short, they have decided to separate amicably. The couple have two young children together and have spent married life living in the UK and the USA. Their joint…

Sunday working

The Religion or Belief Regulations (now part of the Equality Act) state that employers cannot impose a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) which discriminates against a worker on the basis of their religion, unless they can justify it. In Mba v The London Borough of Merton, the Court of Appeal held that the requirement for…

A top concern for employers by 2020 will be how to manage an ageing workforce

According to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a top concern for employers by 2020 will be how to manage an ageing workforce. Almost three quarters (71 per cent) of the 480 senior executives at companies across Europe surveyed by the Unit said that they expect the number of their employees aged 60+ to…

Debt Recovery

In an economic downturn customers want to hold on to their money for as long as possible, however, where business profits are being squeezed, cash flow becomes a necessity. Irregular cash-flow can be a big problem for small businesses who rely on regular cash-flow in order to pay their own debts, yet worry at the…

LIQUIDATED DAMAGES AND “COMMERCIAL JUSTIFICATION” – ANY RECONCILIATION?

The cases for “Liquidated Damages” or “Commercial Justification” Regardless of the type of commercial contract – construction, corporate, real estate, healthcare and even charter-party, the potential for a breach of contract by either party is always (or should be) in the minds of both parties before signing the contract. For the knowledgeable employer and indeed…

Osborne attacks corporate ownership of dwellings again

The Treasury and HMRC have long believed that there’s not really good reason for a company to own a dwelling and that anyone controlling a corporate owner of a dwelling must be engaged in tax avoidance. The 2014 Budget shows that this mind-set still flourishes in the Chancellor’s thinking. Anyone non-natural person (“NNP”) buying a…

Heritage remembered as new name unveiled

Mogers Drewett The merger of two West Country law firms sees their heritage remembered as the new name is unveiled. Mogers, which has offices in Bath, and Dyne Drewett, which has offices in Dorset and Somerset, revealed in February that they were to join forces from June 1. Today (Wednesday 28th May) at the Royal Bath…

Cadbury’s imperial coat of purple under threat

A long-running court battle between confectionary giants Cadbury and Nestlé has seen the UK Supreme Court throw out an appeal by Cadbury against an earlier judgement that refused to secure their unique colour purple as a trademark. And despite this being a clash between two international confectionary titans, intellectual property lawyers say the lesson is…