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Lawyers continue to lobby MPs to change divorce laws to end the unhelpful 'blame game' in divorce

Lawyers continue to lobby MPs to change divorce laws to end the unhelpful 'blame game' in divorce

Resolution – the 6,500 strong association of family lawyers committed to non-confrontational divorce, have recently sent a 150 strong delegation to Westminster to lobby MPs in favour of ‘non-fault’ divorces. Campaigners first fought for a ‘no fault’ divorce back in 1990 and thought they had won when the Law Commission proposed it as part of a new family law Bill. Currently anyone who files for divorce within two years of separation must blame their spouse for the relationship breakdown by accusing them of adultery, unreasonable behaviour... Read full article

Paying the high price of divorce - Shift in divorce settlements

Paying the high price of divorce - Shift in divorce settlements

There appears to be a growing trend of Courts becoming less likely to award generous financial settlements in divorce cases where there are no young children involved. Instead the Courts appear to expect those who divorce to do a lot more to support themselves financially after separation through their own means. Lawyers are seeing very few “open ended” spousal maintenance arrangements being awarded (usually) to wives. Wives in many cases will have been dependent on their husbands to provide financial support to the family during the marriage while they... Read full article

Association of Personal Injuries (APIL) calls for 'Radical change' for bereaved families

Association of Personal Injuries (APIL) calls for 'Radical change' for bereaved families

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has again highlighted the injustices in the law on statutory bereavement damages in England & Wales. Neil Sugarman, president of APIL spoke to ITV News about the tragic death at work of an 18 year-old, whose bereaved mother is not eligible for the statutory £12,980 payment and emphasised the need for a radical change in the law. He commented that there is no logical reason why the loss of a child who is over 18 should be treated any differently than the loss of a child who is under 18. Jeanette Suckling,... Read full article

Inheritance tax receipts at record level

Inheritance tax receipts at record level

Revenues from Inheritance tax have increased significantly to the highest levels since the tax was introduced in 1986.  The introduction of the new Main Residence Allowance in April next year may impact these figures in future years but for some people Inheritance Tax is still very much a concern. Here are few things to consider to make sure you cover all the planning opportunities: Take professional advice and make a Will to ensure spousal exemptions are maintained and any transferable allowances between spouses are available and carefully considered. Any... Read full article

BREXIT - further update

BREXIT - further update

Expats to challenge ban on negotiations with the UK over Brexit The organisation Fair Deal for Expats is planning to take legal action against the European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker on the grounds that his ban on EU officials negotiating with the UK over Brexit is unlawful. In a speech on 28 June 2016, the president announced that he had made a "presidential order" forbidding commissioners from holding discussions with representatives from the British government prior to UK triggering Article 50. Fair Deal for Expats is expected to argue that... Read full article

HMRC changes view of VAT treatment of dwellings formed from more than one building

HMRC changes view of VAT treatment of dwellings formed from more than one building

On 23 August 2016, HMRC published Revenue & Customs Brief 13 (2016), and updated VAT Notice 708, detailing its change of policy on the VAT treatment of dwellings formed from more than one building. Following the First-tier Tribunal's decisions in Catchpole v HMRC [2012] UKFTT 309 (TC) and Fox v HMRC [2012] UKFTT 264 (TC) HMRC now accepts that more than one building can comprise a single dwelling, provided that the buildings are designed to function together as a single dwelling. In order to benefit from zero-rating, the buildings must be constructed or... Read full article

Consultation process underway re payment of stamp duty land tax

Consultation process underway re payment of stamp duty land tax

HMRC have started a consultation process relating to the payment of stamp duty land tax. Currently the rules are that the Stamp duty land tax return is to be filed within 28 days of completion of the transaction and the penalties are assessed on the timescale of filing the return. The proposal is to reduce this timescale to 14 days – such amendment to take place possibly between 1st January and 1st March 2018. Watch this space for further information on this. To find out what stamp duty land tax payment relates to your transaction please see the flowchart... Read full article

Property Update - Residential Tenancies

Property Update - Residential Tenancies

Whether the landlord's development of a building interfered with the rights of the RTM (Right to Manage) company. The County Court has considered whether a landlord's right to develop its property is in conflict with the rights of a right to manage (RTM) company to manage the building. The landlord sought to build a new flat on top of the existing block of flats. The RTM company argued that the transfer of the management functions under the RTM legislation prevented the landlord from building the new flat. The court found that the RTM legislation required... Read full article

Making a Will: increase in number of intestate queries

Making a Will: increase in number of intestate queries

The Citizens Advice Bureau recently commented that the number of enquiries they have received about people who have died without making a Will has more than doubled over the past five years. In an interview with BBC 5 Live Daily they said they had received a total of 3,747 such enquiries in 2015 compared to 1,522 they had received in 2011. They also confirmed that they had seen an increase in the number of queries relating to the problems with executing Wills. According to a YouGov survey, nearly two thirds of the British adult population do not have a Will. Neil... Read full article

Immigration - The impact of Brexit

Immigration - The impact of Brexit

At present the UK remains a part of the European Union and it will effectively be business as normal. Employee rights and freedom of movement for workers within the EU will remain the same. If a Brexit is eventually formalised, it is possible (though probably politically unlikely) that the UK and the EU will negotiate to maintain freedom of movement.  The UK could negotiate to maintain freedom of movement rights with the EU has a whole, or it could negotiate with particular EU countries to maintain freedom of movement rights with them (though this, again, is... Read full article

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