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Legal Updates

Brexit uncertainty having knock-on effect to wider economy

13/02/2019

According to recent reports, falls in factory outputs and car production, and uncertainty surrounding Brexit, have taken its toll on the UK economy, which is now seeing the slowest economic growth in 6 years.

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Housing crisis hits hard for under 35s

11/02/2019

According to new research by Civitas, around one million more adults in the UK are living with their parents compared to two decades ago. It looks as though more people will be relying on the bank of mum and dad for a little bit longer.

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Buying a leasehold property may not always be totally straight forward

27/06/2018

As the famous saying goes, an Englishman’s home is his castle – or is it? If you’re buying a leasehold property, you might just find that there are a few hidden aspects to take into consideration before signing on the dotted line.

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No-fault divorce law passes through

08/02/2019

Regular followers of Downs’ news will know that we have closely been following the law surrounding no-fault divorce. In an update published today[https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/feb/08/no-fault-divorce-to-become-the-law?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Email

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What's new in the world of Insolvency?

08/02/2019

As always our IP Alerter provides you with a snapshot of the key developments and insight into key cases. The cases covered in this issue include:

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Could property market re-build in 2019?

07/02/2019

Here at Downs, we quite often keep an eye on house prices and their effect on the local economy. Whilst there has been a cloud over the growth of house prices, could there be better things on the horizon for 2019?

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Brexit: How are businesses faring?

05/02/2019

Whilst the jury is still out about how Britain-of-the-future will look after March 2019, but still, the headlines continue to tell us of companies that have been blighted by Brexit.

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Google’s lesson is one we could all learn

23/01/2019

The story about Google[https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-46944696]and its hefty fine for breach of GDPR is perhaps a reminder to all of us about the seriousness of data protection.

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Registration of Overseas Entities – the draft Bill is here

22/01/2019

The long-awaited Registration of Overseas Entities Draft Bill has finally been published. Even though it is unlikely to come into effect before 2021, there could be a few things to do to prepare – and there are severe sanctions for non-compliance.

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Sort out debts this Blue Monday to avoid being left out in the cold

21/01/2019

Monday 21 January has become known as Blue Monday. It has been saddled with lots of negative connotations, from long, dark, cold days to distant paydays and the festive season a distant memory. However, one of the major contributions to Blue Monday is debt as the Christmas credit card bills start to land on the doormat. But, addressing debt early doesn’t have to be scary – and it can help you avoid a whole host of problems later on.

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Building Brexit uncertainty in the property market

18/01/2019

As the Brexit debate rages on in Parliament, it seems there are still some problems to be resolved a bit closer to home. Property prices have been named as one of the biggest concerns surrounding Brexit, and, as a number of property experts come forward expressing concern, what can homeowners come to expect?

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Your family or your finances: what would you choose?

16/01/2019

You’d think the answer to this question would be easy and that anyone would choose family over any situation. However, it seems at times we forget how our assets, such as property and finances, can tear families apart.

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Divorce: Is it just too easy?

11/01/2019

If you were keeping an eye on our legal updates[http://stay-informed/legal-updates/] during Christmas, you may have noticed we stuck to a slightly less festive topic. Divorce season is well and truly upon us and with a forecast spike in the number of separations, have we simply made divorcing a spouse far too easy?

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Feast or famine in the house price market?

09/01/2019

 All eyes will no doubt be on the property market this year as Brexit starts to get underway. However it would appear that UK house prices actually grew at an annual pace of 0.5% in December – although this is the slowest rate in nearly 5 years.

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Happy Divorce Day

07/01/2019

Whilst the fun and festivities are over for another year, a number of people can find the effects of debt and stress finally take their toll. It is one of many reasons why this time of year is known as Divorce Season. However, there could be a solution to marriage breakdown and over the years I have certainly seen some of the simplest remedies become the most effective.

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Common law marriage – Really?

20/12/2018

In 2017 there were 3.3 million cohabiting couples who were neither married or in civil partnerships. This for the last 20 years has been the fastest growing group of couples. A significant proportion of this group are in single ownership or tenanted properties. This is a concern when considering the limited rights that cohabiting couples have versus married couples.

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How to divorce proof your marriage

18/12/2018

Tis the season to be jolly, but, we address a slightly more morose topic for a reason. Divorce Day will soon be upon us once again. It is the first working Monday of every year and gets its name due to a surge in divorce applications.

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Christmas parties: don’t be tempted to treat yourself to a sick day

14/12/2018

Apparently, around 9 out of every 10 businesses have had an employment related issue as a result of Christmas party antics[http://www.consulthr.co.uk/avoid-tears-tantrums-legal-actions-following-office-christmas-party/]. One of the most commonplace issues is the hangover and staff calling in sick the next day after drinking too much at the Christmas party the night before.

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What is a post-nup and why are they increasing in popularity?

14/12/2018

We’ve all probably heard of a pre-nuptial agreement, but what about the lesser-known post-nup? What exactly is it and why are more people looking to write them?

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New Rules for Changing Times

13/12/2018

To guard against the possibility that UK immigration requirements might remain the same for longer than one second, the Home Office laid further changes to the immigration rules before parliament on 11 December 2018. Immigration rules enter into force by negative resolution, which means proposed rules come into force without much, or any, debate or pro-active approval by Parliament. The proposed rules are wide-ranging. Most will come into effect on 10 January 2019.

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Separation doesn’t have to end in divorce

12/12/2018

It may seem a strange sentiment, but this time of year actually sees the highest number of divorces than any other time of the year. Dubbed “divorce day” by many of us in the legal profession, January 7 2019 is the first working Monday after Christmas. It is also predicted to be the day we see a predicted spike in the number of divorces – but maybe there is something we can do about that.

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3 reliable “relationship killers”

07/12/2018

We are probably all guilty of it, but, seeing as it is divorce season, perhaps now is the best time to be thinking about some of the things we do that cause unnecessary bitterness.

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Top 5 myths surrounding divorce – dispelled by a divorce lawyer

05/12/2018

The most popular day to start divorce proceedings is in early January. Whether it is the pressure of the cost of Christmas, or working longer hours in the lead up to the festivities, the first working Monday of the new year is commonly referred to by many lawyers as “Divorce Day.”

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‘Tis the season – for divorce?

05/12/2018

Whilst the fun and festivities come around, a number of people can find the effects of debt and stress finally take their toll. It is one of many reasons why this time of year, we often term as Divorce Season. However, there could be a solution to marriage breakdown and over the years I have certainly seen some of the simplest remedies become the most effective.

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Bringing your investments “home” for probate purposes

29/11/2018

If you hold any overseas shareholdings, you might just find a very costly sting in the tail on your estate – so inheritance planning is key.

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Good Divorce Week – time to address the blame game!

28/11/2018

This week is Good Divorce Week, aptly named as a way of raising awareness of the wider impact a separation can bring, particularly for children. Whilst divorce is always difficult, a number of studies have revealed the long-term serious impact on children, specifically around the conflict a divorce brings. Good Divorce Week aims to address the issues affecting children and how separating couples can mitigate any complications by providing practical help and support.

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How the Morrisons data breach case should put employers on their guard

23/11/2018

GDPR seems to be the word of the year, but as many businesses still try to get to grips with it, the Court of Appeal have issued details surrounding a case of data protection. Is an employer responsible if an employee deliberately breaches a data protection law?

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Fact: No Will means unclaimed estates will be claimed by the crown

09/11/2018

We really do seem to have a reluctance to write a will in this country. According to recent research, around 60% of adults in the UK have not written a will. We may shrug it off as something we’ll “get around to” or “maybe someday” – but there is a very serious underlying issue. If you do not write a will, your estate is likely to be claimed by the Crown.

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BREXIT: Migration to the future

07/11/2018

Read Samar Shams, Head of Immigration, recent article in the Employment Journal which considers what the UK’s immigration policies may look like when free movement of EU nationals ends.

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House prices continue to flat line

07/11/2018

According to stats from the Nationwide Building Society, house prices rose at their slowest annual rate for five years, due in part to a sustained period of economic uncertainty.

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Make sure a law suit isn’t welcome this party season

06/11/2018

It’s that time of year where the seasons change and we celebrate a few festivals. But, whether it is a hellish Halloween, or November 5 goes off with a bang, employers need to beware. They could be held responsible for any mishaps during any celebrations – including the parties.

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IHT: Planning early pays off

31/10/2018

An extremely controversial, yet lucrative source of income for the Treasury, inheritance tax has been in the news again highlighting the contrast around the country.

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Budget: The countdown is on

24/10/2018

As we count down the days until the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget here are a few things to expect – as well as a few of the need-to-knows.

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Will the Autumn Budget provide any more news for housing?

17/10/2018

As the frenzy builds as to what the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget may contain, all eyes are once again on the property market.

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Truth, proof and the right to work

16/10/2018

Right-to-work checks and dismissal have always posed a challenge to employers. Recent inconsistent Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) judgments have exacerbated the difficulties. What is an employer to do? Head of Immigration, Samar Shams recent article in the Employment Law Journal goes back to basics and extracts the most important lessons from the muddled judgments.

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LPAs: Are you entitled to a refund of overpaid registration fees?

12/10/2018

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) launched a refund scheme earlier this year for Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) registered between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017[https://www.gov.uk/government/news/power-of-attorney-fee-refund-scheme-launched]. If this applies to you, you might be eligible for a refund from the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).

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Where there’s a will, there could be a cost trap

11/10/2018

The following blog came about following a recent experience with a client. They had used a will writing company to prepare a will around 10 years ago. Since then they have paid £18 per year to cover the ongoing costs associated with storing the will. However, nine days after the client signed the will, it was deposited with the Principle Probate Registry for a one off fee of £20.  Once received the Registry issue a Certificate of Deposit of Will confirming that it is held by them.

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For better for worse: Why are cohabiting siblings losing out?

05/10/2018

If you needed any further persuasion to plan ahead and consider your options for later life, you might the following interesting to know. 

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Need another reason to plan for IHT?

27/09/2018

More than 60% of adults in the UK still have no will. This tells us that many of us are still not planning for later on in life – but believe it or not, there is a really good reason to do so.

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GDPR four months on: what’s changed?

26/09/2018

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on 25 May this year. It, together with the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018), replaced existing laws in the UK relating to data protection and became an obligatory requirement across the whole of the European Union. Even though this had been bubbling away in the news for several months, there were concerns that businesses remained relatively in the dark about what they had to do. In the end, the majority of cases saw a last-minute scramble to implement the new regulation – and it appears to be still on-going.

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At the end of the day: IHT planning counts

25/09/2018

The benefits of Inheritance Tax planning should not be overlooked. Many of us don’t like to think ahead to later life, but it is important to plan ahead as far as possible to mitigate any heavy costs to our families.

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Staying on the right side of the law

21/09/2018

Back in June, we reported the story of Universal Wealth[http://stay-informed/legal-updates/are-you-caught-up-in-universal-wealth-preservation/]. The story surfaced to the front of my mind again at the weekend when I read a  comment  on the legalities around offering advice that is outside of your professional expertise.

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Another chapter open in no-blame divorce

19/09/2018

Following on from our recent blog[http://www.downslaw.co.uk/stay-informed/legal-updates/stopping-the-divorce-blame-game] calling for a review of divorce law, more plans have now been revealed to address some of the outdated areas of the law.

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Managing a more flexible workforce

12/09/2018

To follow up on a couple of recent news stories relating to flexible work, for employers thinking of adopting change, you will also need to know how to effectively manage a more flexible workforce.

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The email train: Does the commute count as working hours?

11/09/2018

It seems the debate about “working hours” rages on. We recently wrote a blog[[sitetree_link id=926]] about how working hours have changed and that people are moving towards much more flexible models.

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Time to think proactively about later life

10/09/2018

No one likes to think about getting old, or even what would happen to our family’s wellbeing and personal finances if we weren’t here. However, now is as good a time as any to be thinking about it, as yesterday, Sunday 9 September, marked Grandparents Day.

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Numbers of dependent elderly are rising fast – time to be proactive.

05/09/2018

According to recent research by Lancet Public Health Journal, and reported by the BBC, the number of elderly people needing 24 hour care is set to double by 2025. This puts the spotlight firmly back on why families need to be taking advice and planning ahead for the future, now.

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Another step forward for change

04/09/2018

For regular followers of our blog, you may have noticed a string of stories relating to cases of unmarried couples losing out, simply because they haven’t tied the knot.

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Working 9-5: not the way to make a living

04/09/2018

Despite Dolly Parton's smash hit, it seems that just 6% of working people are sticking to the traditional 9-5 shift pattern, according to a recent survey by YouGov.

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