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December 2017

  • 29

    Chris Knight Collaborates On Charities Initiatives

    Chris Knight, head of charities at Hewitsons has been sharing advice to support charities in their managment of charity trusteeships and how they pursue corporate fundraising partnerships.
  • 22

    Supreme Court Limits Damages For Negligent Valuation

    On 29 November 2017 the Supreme Court considered the proper approach to the quantum of damages in professional negligence cases where a lender had advanced funds based on the negligent valuation of a property offered as security for the loan. The decision provides welcome clarification on the correct approach to the assessment of damages and, no doubt, a great sense of relief to valuers.
  • 22

    Brexit And Acquired Rights: A Fishy Case.

    Much has been said of the prospect of a shower of litigation raining down on the English civil justice system as the UK departs the EU arena, stage right. But, will this be how events unfold?
  • 20

    Brexit: An Update On Citizens’ Rights

    Since the referendum on 23 June 2016, in which 51.9% voted to leave the EU, one of the main areas of focus for Brexit negotiations has been immigration including what will happen to the rights of United Kingdom (UK) and European Union (EU) expat citizens.  Understandably this has been an emotive subject, both for individuals affected as well as employers whose businesses rely heavily on EU workers.  As such, since the triggering of Article 50 on 29 March 2017, we have been following the negotiations closely in order to be able to advise our employer clients and contacts on the most up to date position as it becomes available.
  • 06

    Living Will – Tragic Error

    BBC Breakfast today discussed a tragic situation which highlighted the pros and cons and differences between Living Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney .
  • 04

    Hmrc Introduces Simple Assessment

    As part of making tax digital, HMRC has introduced Simple Assessment.  This will replace the need for many individuals with simple tax affairs to complete a Self Assessment Tax Return.

November 2017

  • 24

    Charities And Social Media: How To Remain Compliant With The General Data Protection Regulation (gdpr)

    For many charities, maintaining a presence on social media, is a key tool in building a profile and increasingly vital for marketing purposes; it can provide an easy way both to keep in touch with supporters and share news with an audience well beyond a traditional mailing list.  But trustees need to ensure that they follow best practice in order to protect their assets and avoid the pitfalls which can lead to significant enforcement penalties (enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office) and damage to reputation.  Penalties may hit a charity hard, but it can take even longer to recover from a loss of public trust.
  • 10

    The Effect Of Brexit On Business Immigration

    There are an estimated 3.2 million EEA nationals in the UK and many employers rely on EEA workers as part of their workforce. The UK’s decision to leave the EU has, therefore, caused a great deal of uncertainty for employers in respect of their obligations to their current EEA workers, their ability to recruit such workers going forward and what will happen when we leave the EU?
  • 02

    #metoo – Complaints Of Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

    Sexual harassment is headline news as the moment. Whether as a result of the allegations against Hollywood A listers such as Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman, the spreadsheet of various allegations of wrongdoings by MPs, the results of a Radio 5 live survey published last week showing that of 2000 participants 53% of women and 20% of men reported experiencing sexual harassment at work or place of study or the #MeToo hashtag trending on Twitter, there is a degree of controversy in this area which is likely to reverberate in workplaces less well known than Hollywood and Westminster.

October 2017

  • 24

    Sparks V Biden 2017

    The court has recently considered whether a term requiring the sale of dwellings subject to overage should be implied into an option agreement.
  • 19

    Brexit – An Opportunity For Local Government?

    What might Brexit mean for Local Government?  Answers to the national Government on a postcard.
  • 17

    Italiens Pauschalsteuer Für Ausländer

    Mit dem italienischen Haushaltsgesetz 2017 ist am 1. Januar 2017 eine neue Regelung für Personen mit hohem Eigenkapital, die ihren Wohnsitz nach Italien verlegt haben, in Kraft getreten, welche einen Steuervorteil für bis zu 15 Jahre ermöglichen kann.
  • 17

    Italy's "new Residents" Regime

    For a translation of this article into German please click here.


    The 2017 Italian Budget Law introduced a 15 year preferential regime for wealthy individuals taking up residence in Italy (‘New Residents’), which came into force on 1st January 2017.
  • 15

    What Should Organisations Be Doing In The Countdown To The Implementation Of The Gdpr

    The GDPR comes into force on 25 May 2018, notwithstanding Brexit, and with it will come a new era in data management. The Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, describes the GDPR as "a once in a generation change in the law". Organisations will be expected to understand and comply with the GDPR, when it comes into force next year.
  • 12

    Can You Make A Paperless Will By Text?

    An Australian court has accepted an unsent draft text message on a man’s mobile phone as his official Will. Although this wouldn’t be valid in England – yet - there is a move towards it which makes this case relevant to us.

  • 02

    New Pre Action Protocol For Debt Claims

    The Pre Action Protocol for Debt Claims came into force 1 October 2017 and will potentially have a severe impact on businesses trying to recover outstanding debts due from individuals.

September 2017

August 2017

  • 22

    Rare Case Of Mutual Wills Made Out

    The High Court has recently found in favour of claimant daughters who were seeking to uphold an earlier will of their mother, whose later will dated 12th December 2014 was admitted to probate (Legg v Burton [2017] EWHC 2088 (Ch)).The daughters sought to establish that the earlier will, made in July 2000, was a mutual will made in conjunction with and at the same time as their father’s will.
  • 14

    Warning Over Power Of Attorney Risks

    LPAs and their risks were discussed during Radio 4’s Today programme and an article headed “Warning over power of attorney risks” appeared on the BBC website.

  • 07

    A Brexit Recipe For Continuity And Change

    The Government’s draft Repeal Bill (The European (Withdrawal) Bill) published last month provides that from the point at which the UK exits the EU, the English Courts will be entirely freed from the law making authority of the ECJ and the EU legislatures - a line drawn in the sand.

July 2017

  • 31

    The Livelihood Condition Requirement In Agricultural Tenancies Confirmed By The Upper Tribunal

    In the recent case of Kingsbridge Pension Fund Trust v David Michael Downs [2017] UKUT 237 (LC), The Upper Tribunal have turned their attention to the issue of the “livelihood condition” that must be satisfied on an application for succession of an agricultural holdings tenancy on retirement. In a meticulous and helpful decision the Tribunal have clarified the time for satisfying the livelihood condition test.
  • 27

    What Is Retained Land?

    A recent case has highlighted the need for careful drafting when dealing with the sale of multiple plots at different times.
  • 25

    Supreme Court Rules That Employment Tribunal Fees Are Unlawful

    In a decision which will have very significant ramifications for both employment and constitutional law, the Supreme Court has this morning ruled that the 2013 Employment Tribunal Fees Order (‘the Order’) is unlawful.
  • 24

    Estranged Daughter Wins Award Of £30,000 From Father’s Estate

    In a recent County Court case, that was reminiscent of the Supreme Court case of Ilott v Mitson (see our article here), a daughter who had had little or no contact with her father for several years preceding his death was nevertheless awarded £30,000 on her claim against his estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (Nahajec v Fowle 2017 EW Misc 11 CC).
  • 23

    Departure From Equal Sharing Principle On Divorce – Impact For Inheritance Claims?

    The Court of Appeal recently found in favour of Mrs Sharp, who was appealing against an award of 50% of the matrimonial assets to her ex-husband on their divorce (JS v ES [2017] EWCA Civ 408). The decision marks a departure from the commonly accepted position that the matrimonial assets of a divorcing couple should normally be shared between them on an equal basis (known as the equal sharing principle).
  • 20

    One Gate Too Many

    In the recent case of Kingsgate Development Projects Ltd v Jordan and Another (2017) EWHC (TCC) 343, the court had to settle a number of issues in dispute between the parties including how far if at all, three gates constituted a substantial interference to the claimant’s right of way. 
  • 16

    Sse Generation V Hochtief Solutions Ag (2016) Court Of Session Scotland

    SSE Generation (SSE) employed Hochtief as an engineer to carry out works under an NEC2 ECC contract to design and build a hydro-electric scheme in Scotland. Within a year one of the major tunnels collapsed, and SSE and Hochtief began to argue over who was liable. Although the collapse was within the defects correction period, the parties were unable to come to an arrangement as to Hochtief returning and carrying out remedial work.
  • 16

    Free Advice Can Be Costly

    In a warning to all professional advisers, in the recent case of Basia Lejonvarn v Peter and Lynn Burgess an architect who provided friends with some freebie advice ended up on the receiving end of a claim for negligence. It was found that despite the absence of a contractual relationship, the advice had not been given with the requisite duty of care.
  • 16

    Kersfield Developments (bridge Road) Limited V Bray And Slaughter Ltd (2017)

    Kersfield entered into a JCT contract with Bray and Slaughter Ltd to refurbish and convert a mansion house and stable block, plus build some additional houses. Bray issued an interim application for payment as required by the contract but this was not paid and therefore the matter ended up in front of O’Farrell J in the Technology and Construction Court.
  • 16

    Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd V Robert West Consulting Ltd (2016)

    Willmott Dixon appointed RWC to design some underpinning to a party wall, and then appointed Toureen Contractors Ltd to undertake the work. Toureen damaged the party wall, and Willmott Dixon alleged that this is because RWC’s design was defective.
  • 06

    Hewitsons Co-sponsors Mk Midnight Moo Walk

    Law firm Hewitsons is co-sponsoring this year’s MK Midnight Moo Walk to raise money for Willen Hospice and celebrate Milton Keynes’ 50th birthday.
  • 04

    Meaning Of Residential Curtilage Clarified By High Court

    The Planning Court has recently considered the meaning of ‘residential curtilage’ in Burford v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Test Valley Borough Council.

June 2017

  • 28

    Hmrc Success In Targeting Offshore Assets

    Those with offshore assets are coming under close scrutiny from HMRC, who now have far more access to information about offshore assets.
  • 21

    Whose Right Is It Anyway?

    The case of Gore v Naheed and Ahmed (2017) EWCA Civ 369 recently decided by the Court of Appeal has provided useful guidance as to when a right of way granted for a specific property can be extended to cover neighbouring land.
  • 20

    A New Route To Obtaining Disclosure Of Trust Documents?

    The principles applying to a beneficiary’s right to disclosure of Trust documents and information were set down by the Privy Council in the case of Schmidt –v- Rosewood [2003] 2 AC 709. That case confirmed that no beneficiary has a proprietary right or absolute entitlement to information concerning a Trust and that the right to seek disclosure of Trust documents should be regarded as part of the Court’s inherent jurisdiction to supervise the administration of Trusts.
  • 14

    Sports Governance Code

    The Government’s Sporting Future strategy published in 2015 set out the requirement for a Code of Governance for publically funded sports organisations in the UK. The Code for Sports Governance (the ‘Code’) was published jointly by UK Sport and Sport England in October 2016  and came into effect in April this year.
  • 11

    What Might Brexit Mean For Charities, Voluntary Organisations And Wider Civil Society?

    Later this month, Hewitsons partner Dominic Hopkins will be contributing to a discussion on the potential implications of Brexit for charities and voluntary organisations in Northamptonshire and beyond.

May 2017

  • 30

    Power To The Telecom Operators

    There have been vast changes in the world of digital technology over the last 30 years and the current legislation is widely regarded as outdated. As part of the Digital Economy Bill which received Royal Assent in April, the existing Code governing the relationship between landowners and telecoms operators is set to be updated with a new Electronics Communication Code. Ofcom are currently carrying out a consultation with the industry which will close on 2nd June and the Code will come into force on a date to be decided. In the meantime it is the existing Code that regulates telecoms equipment.
  • 17

    Delay Or Frustrate The Mediation Process At Your Peril!

    The Court of Appeal in Thakkar v Patel has recently revisited the issue of whether it is reasonable for parties to refuse to mediate and what the costs consequences will be. In this case Lord Justice Jackson issued the stark warning to parties in litigation that “in a case where bilateral negotiations fail but mediation is obviously appropriate, it behoves both parties to get on with it”.
  • 16

    Duty Of Care In Sport Report

    The independent report into the Duty of Care sport has towards its participants, at both elite and grassroots level, was published by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport on 21 April.
  • 08

    Chariots Of Fire 2017

    On your marks, get set and register for Chariots of Fire 2017 in aid of Alzheimer's Research UK
  • 02

    Mees Regulations 2015 And The Challenges For Landlords

    With less than 11 months to go until the MEES Regulations take effect, landlords of commercial premises should start (if they haven’t already) reviewing the energy efficiency of their let properties to ensure they are not caught by the Regulations come 1st April 2018. From this date, landlords will be prohibited from granting new leases or renewing existing leases where the property has an energy efficiency rating of an 'F' or 'G'. In addition, from 1 April 2023 any lease granted before 1 April 2018 which continues beyond 1 April 2023 will be prohibited if the rating is an 'F' or 'G'.
  • 02

    Charity Disposals (a Lesson In How Not To)

    Trustees have an overriding obligation to act in the best interests of their charity. How they address that is often for them to decide save for: the need to show how decisions were reached; that due diligence was properly carried out (with expert reports and advice where necessary); and that conflicts of interest were considered and addressed.
  • 02

    Charity Finance Group Publishes New Edition Of ‘navigating The Charity Pensions Maze’

    The Charity Finance Group has updated its report on ‘Navigating the Charity Pensions Maze’ which offers practical guidance to help charities navigate pension issues.
  • 02

    Charities Welcome Consultation On Deferred Pension Debt Arrangements

    In response to its call for evidence on employer debt regime discussed here, the DWP has published draft regulations which, if implemented, will introduce a new ‘deferred debt arrangement’.

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

  • 24

    The Supreme Court Decides: Parliament Is Sovereign

    In the most significant judgment concerning the UK’s constitution in generations, the Supreme Court (a majority of 8 to 3) has rejected the UK Government’s case that ministers could start the process of withdrawal from the European Union without the authority of Parliament. The Court has held that such a step (the giving of notice under Article 50(2) of the Lisbon Treaty) can only lawfully be carried out with the sanction of primary legislation, enacted by the Queen in Parliament, although the consent of the devolved assemblies of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales would not be needed. The UK Parliament is sovereign on the matter. This was the Government’s appeal against the decision of the High Court last year.
  • 24

    Predictions For East Midlands Office Market Growth In 2017

    David Wells, a partner in the real estate team at law firm Hewitsons’ Northampton office, explains why he forecasts growth in the East Midlands office market for 2017.
  • 20

    A Win For The Wheelchair?

    In FirstGroup v Paulley, the Supreme Court has held that the operator’s policy regarding wheelchair space on its buses was in breach of the duty to make reasonable adjustments under section 29(2) Equality Act 2010.
  • 19

    Record Breaking Year For Chariots Of Fire 2016!

    2016 proved to be a record breaking year for Chariots of Fire with over £138,000 raised for Papworth Hospital Charity, its highest ever amount in any one year.
  • 11

    Parkour An Officially Recognised Sport

    The UK has become the first country in the world to officially recognise Parkour as a sport.
  • 06

    The Case Of The Unconvincing Witness

    Two recent construction cases - one arising from a development of Port facilities (Djibouti v Boreh [2016] EWHC 405 Comm) and the other a hotel and resort development claim (Harlequin v Wilkins Kennedy[2016]EWHC3188 TCC) - have provided the High Court with a further opportunity to warn those readying themselves for trial against the coaching of witnesses.
  • 06

    Natural England Announces New Licensing Policies For Protected Species

    Natural England is changing the way it issues wildlife licences to deal with protected species found at development sites.
  • 03

    Remembering A Charity In Your Will

    Legacies and bequests from generous individuals have always helped shape and enrich charities. Legacies of all sizes enable charities to carry out their invaluable work.