Published Articles

Leanne Schneider-Rose's picture

Personal bankruptcy limits increase

Changes to the Insolvency Act 1986 that are being introduced on 1 October 2015 will mean that a person will no longer be able to be made bankrupt if they fail to pay a judgment debt of as little as £750 (a sum which has remained the same for 19 years).

Under the revised regulations, a petition for bankruptcy will only be able to be presented if the debt due is £5,000 or more.

John Irving's picture

Entering into a partnership? Get it in writing

Business partners who failed to define their working relationship in writing – instead reaching agreements orally over bottles of red wine in a pub – paid the price when a dispute over money erupted and made its way to the Court of Appeal.

Partner A had joined partner B in her professional practice and had contributed capital to the firm's account. On his retirement, partner A sought the return of those sums. Partner B denied that it had ever been agreed that he would be entitled to the contents of his capital account on his departure.

Mike Sutton's picture

How to Make a Claim if you have had a Holiday Accident or Accident Abroad

A holiday should be a time for rest and recovery. There is nothing worse than being injured on holiday, but if this has happened to you, you need the right specialist to help you. Mike Sutton of Sydney Mitchell LLP discusses how he can help you to recover compensation for your pain, suffering and expenses.

Holiday accidents don’t just include accidents in a hotel, but cover injuries on boats or cruises, in a plane, traveling in cars or rental vehicles, even the beach.  The causes of a holiday accident could include:

Tina Chander's picture

Zero hours contracts - tackling avoidance of the ban on exclusivity clauses

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 inserts a new section into the Employment Rights Act 1996 in order to render unenforceable exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts. However, aware of the potential for employers to sidestep such a ban without further measures being introduced to tackle the problem, a follow-up consultation exercise sought views on what these should be.

Richard Cooper's picture

ACTAPS Award for Richard Cooper

 

Sydney Mitchell is pleased to announce that Richard Cooper, a solicitor in the firm’s Dispute Resolution department, has been appointed as a full Member of The Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) and becomes one of only a handful of ACTAPS Members in the West Midlands area.

Only solicitors and barristers who have specialist expertise in disputed wills, Inheritance Act claims, estate administration and contested probates are admitted to ACTAPS.

Mauro Vinti's picture

Need the essential consideration in divorce settlement

Pre-nuptial agreements are rapidly becoming the norm when very wealthy people marry, but the courts are still inconsistent when it comes to decisions regarding the division of wealth when a 'pre-nup' does not exist.

Jade Linton's picture

Holiday pay and unearned commission - British Gas to appeal

As anticipated, British Gas has lodged an appeal against the decision of the Employment Tribunal (ET) in Lock v British Gas Trading Limited and Others that the Working Time Regulations 1998 could be interpreted 'purposively' in order to achieve compliance with the EU Working Time Directive (WTD).

Leanne Schneider-Rose's picture

Insolvency changes

Changes to the legislation on insolvency contained in the recently enacted Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 may affect directors of companies that become insolvent.

The changes, which will be implemented over the next year or so, include two new grounds for disqualifying a person from being a director of a UK company and broaden the range of review of the past conduct of a director and the 'harm done' as a result of an insolvency. 

Jade Linton's picture

Government increases the national minumum wage for apprentices

The Government has announced that the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rate for apprentices will increase by 57p (20 per cent) from 1 October 2015, from £2.73 to £3.30. The Low Pay Commission (LPC) had recommended an increase of 2.6 per cent to £2.80 per hour.

In addition, changes to the way in which funding for apprenticeships is provided were announced. A new 'digital apprenticeship voucher' will be introduced as part of a scheme that will give employers control over the Government's contribution to apprenticeship funding.

Leanne Schneider-Rose's picture

Personal bankruptcy limits increase

Changes to the Insolvency Act 1986 that are being introduced on 1 October 2015 will mean that a person will no longer be able to be made bankrupt if they fail to pay a judgment debt of as little as £750 (a sum which has remained the same for 19 years).

Under the revised regulations, a petition for bankruptcy will only be able to be presented if the debt due is £5,000 or more.

Richard Cooper's picture

Inheritance Act Claims Contested

“Where there’s a Will there’s a way around it” or is there?

A deceased mother who left nothing for her estranged child in her will,  instead preferring to leave her estate of nearly £500,000 to charity, has been held to have acted unreasonably having regard to her daughter’s financial needs.  Accordingly, on those facts the court would re write her will so as to make financial provision for the daughter.

Of equal concern, is how the case came to be before the Court of Appeal.  

Amanda Holland's picture

Court hands house to ex-wife of man who failed to make full disclosure of wealth

When divorcing, a failure to make a complete and truthful statement of one's financial circumstances when ordered to do so by the court can prove to be a costly mistake, as a wealthy man has found.

The millionaire executive lied in an attempt to hide his true wealth from his wife in the midst of their bitter divorce. His reward for being economical with the truth was to be ordered to hand her the keys to their £2 million home, following a ruling of the Court of Appeal.

Fahmida Ismail's picture

You and the law - legal advice from Fahmida Ismail

Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mitchell LLP. As featured in the Worcester News.

Q. I am contracted to do 29 hours a week although I regularly work nearer 40 hours. However, my pension and holiday entitlement are based on my contracted hours. I feel I should at least receive holiday entitlement on the hours I actually work.

Richard Cooper's picture

Court of Appeal upholds Sydney Mitchell's boundary dispute victory

Court of Appeal upholds Sydney Mitchell's boundary dispute victory

Following a two day hearing in the Court of Appeal, L.J. Briggs, L.J. Arden and L.J. Ryder unanimously dismissed the appellant's appeal and upheld the decision of the Birmingham County Court.

Richard Cooper of Sydney Mitchell LLP said

Fahmida Ismail's picture

You and the law - legal advice from Fahmida Ismail

Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mitchell LLP. As featured in Worcester News.

Q. For the last 10 years I have received a basic salary of £32,000 plus a ‘market supplement’ of £8000. I’ve always been aware that the market supplement could go up or down, but it’s always remained the same. However, my employer wants to reduce the supplement by £1000. Can they do this or is the £8000 now accepted practice?

Mauro Vinti's picture

Lady of leisure lifestyle no longer an option says Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal has issued a judgment that will come as a blow to anyone expecting their ex-spouse to pay them maintenance for life.

Jade Linton's picture

The gender pay gap

The Government has confirmed it will require companies with 250 or more employees to publish gender pay gap information. 

The new regulations will require private and voluntary sectors in Great Britain with at least 250 employees to publish information about the pay of their male and female employees. An ‘Employee' for this purpose is described as anyone employed under a contract of employment or apprenticeship or under any contract personally to do work. 

Fahmida Ismail's picture

You and the law - legal advice from Fahmida Ismail

Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mitchell LLP. As featured in the Worcester News.

Q. Shortly after moving to new premises we received a demand for payment from a window cleaning company. Although we told them their contract was with the previous owners they are claiming the contract is on the building and are threatening to take us to court.

Amanda Holland's picture

Wife who signed post-nup denied second bite of the cherry

The value of a post-nuptial agreement in protecting wealth was illustrated recently when a property developer with assets said to be worth more than £30 million was able to persuade the court that a post-nuptial agreement signed by his ex-wife should be binding on her. Although the couple had known each other for two decades, their marriage lasted only two years.

Leanne Schneider-Rose's picture

Pre-packs - What are they all about?

“Pre-Pack” describes a process through which a company is placed into administration (“old co”) and immediately its assets are sold to another company under a sale that is normally agreed prior to the Administrators being appointed. 

Often the purchasing company of Old Co’s assets has the same directors, shareholders or managers of Old Co, but this is not always the case and certainly does not have to be the case.

Mauro Vinti's picture

Cohabitee entitled to 25 percent share

Yet another case has come to court which illustrates the wisdom of cohabiting couples making a 'living together agreement' or formalising their respective rights over the property in which they live.

It involved a couple who formed their relationship in 1975 and started living together in a property bought by the male partner in 1982. When he died in 2009, the mortgage was not yet paid off and the mortgage company sought possession of the property.

Mauro Vinti's picture

Need the Essential Consideration in Divorce Settlement

Pre-nuptial agreements are rapidly becoming the norm when very wealthy people marry, but the courts are still inconsistent when it comes to decisions regarding the division of wealth when a 'pre-nup' does not exist.

Leanne Schneider-Rose's picture

Insolvency Changes

Changes to the legislation on insolvency contained in the recently enacted Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 may affect directors of companies that become insolvent.

The changes, which will be implemented over the next year or so, include two new grounds for disqualifying a person from being a director of a UK company and broaden the range of review of the past conduct of a director and the 'harm done' as a result of an insolvency.

Karen Moores's picture

Movers and Shakers at Sydney Mitchell Event

Over 60 attended the Sydney Mitchell LLP ‘Movers & Shakers’ Midlands Networking event at Ginger’s Bar, Purnell’s Bistro in Newhall Street Birmingham.

Karen Moores, Partner said: “An excellent turnout; with many guests commenting on the relaxed atmosphere and the good cross–section of professionals joining in from the city. The food as always was superb; provided by Glyn Purnell and his team.”

Fahmida Ismail's picture

You and the law - legal advice from Fahmida Ismail

Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mitchell LLP. As featured in Worcester News on 21st April 2015.

Q. I am buying a 100-year-old cottage in Wales which sits on the property line with the neighbour. The neighbour is refusing to sign an easement to allow me to go on to his land to carry out maintenance work. Do I have any legal right in this matter?

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