It is not uncommon for a couple's financial circumstances to change a great deal after they divorce, and in such circumstances it will often happen that the poorer ex-spouse will seek to reopen the earlier financial settlement in an attempt to gain a bigger slice of the cake.
The long-awaited judgment in a case that dealt with precisely such circumstances, which was heard more than a year ago, has now been handed down by the Court of Appeal.
Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mitchell LLP. As featured in the Worcester News on 24th March 2015.
Q. A friend has worked for a small firm for three years. She has no employment contract and earns £250 a week, although she gets nothing when it’s quiet and has to work evenings and weekends (for no extra pay) when they’re busy.
Big money divorce cases get into the news for a whole variety of reasons, but an allegation of sex discrimination is seldom one of them.
However, this was one of the issues raised in a divorce case involving a high-flying wife who sacrificed her career to be a home-maker.
Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mitchell LLP. As featured in Worcester News, 17th March 2015.
Q. I have a compensation claim going through following an accident in a supermarket. I have a “no win, no fee” agreement with a solicitor, but I’ve lost confidence in the firm and I feel we’re going to lose. Can I transfer my case to another solicitor at this stage?
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has issued an updated version of The Guide to Data Protection, which is designed for use by those who have day-to-day responsibility for data protection.
The guidance explains the purpose and effect of each of the eight data protection principles listed in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998, and answers frequently asked questions.
In addition, it contains information on specialist topics, including CCTV use, data protection issues that arise during employment and data sharing.
A decision of the High Court that a provisional liquidator could be appointed following a 'without notice' winding-up application by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) should serve as a warning to companies whose VAT affairs are in arrears.
Tenants are required to comply with the covenants in their leases and breaches of lease covenants can have serious implications, as a recent case shows.
It involved a tenant (a car sales and repair business) that wished to end its lease, which ran for ten years from February 2005. The terms of the lease allowed the tenant to terminate it on three months' notice if there was a failure to obtain planning permission to load and unload cars on the premises, for which the tenant was obliged to apply and duly did.
Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mitchell LLP, As featured in Worcester News 10th March 2015.
Q. I was on a probationary contract, but they didn’t take me on when it came to an end, saying they were not satisfied with my performance. I have been looking for another job, but I’m always asked to give the name of my previous employers on application forms, and they always give me a bad reference. What can I do?
Divorces where there is considerable family wealth often lead to protracted arguments, and a recent case illustrates the problems that can arise if one of the couple comes from a wealthy family, but is himself or herself of relatively modest means.
The case dealt with a couple's divorce after a short (two-year) marriage. The husband's income, which derives from his billionaire father, is about £10,000 per month. He claimed to have net assets of a few hundred thousand pounds.
As a result of our continuing success in our Shirley office, Sydney Mitchell Estate Agents is delighted to announce that we are opening a new Estate Agency office in Sheldon. The new office will have the support of Sydney Mitchell’s long established conveyancing department that has a wealth of experience in helping house buyers and sellers in Sheldon, Shirley, Solihull and the surrounding areas.
Our new office Branch Manager is Phillip Light, who has worked in the area for over 15 years. Phil and his team look forward to welcoming you to the new office.
Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mitchell LLP. As featured in Worcester News on 3rd March 2015.
Q. My cousin died 18 months ago. I was his last remaining relative, though he had a partner he’d lived with for 30 years. She has now died. They had £27,000 of his money in a joint bank account, which never went to probate when my cousin died. Was my cousin’s partner entitled to this money, and if not can I claim it?
Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mitchell LLP. As featured in the Worcester News, 24th February 2015.
Q. My husband was recently declared bankrupt and, since all his assets including bank accounts were in his sole name, they have been seized by the trustee. We have been married for over 50 years, so should I not be entitled to a share of his assets as I would be on divorce?
Readers who live apart from their spouses or civil partners, but who have not formally dissolved their relationships, are warned that following changes to inheritance law brought into effect in October 2014 by the Inheritance and Trustees' Powers Act 2014, your 'ex' may have the right to inherit the whole of your estate if you die without leaving a valid will and have no children.
The tired old adage fail to prepare: prepare to fail, still has strong element of wisdom to it. Many people suffer from degenerative illnesses, such as Parkinson’s disease. Specialist support groups help and assist many sufferers and can give an enhanced understanding of the illness that they or their loved one are suffering from. People often still do not want to address their concerns about the future, as if by acknowledging these concerns it might in some way cause the worst to happen.
This last few months has seen some further cases and announcements in the long running series of questions relating to holiday pay which still seems a long way from resolution.
Questions which have been addressed are:
- How is holiday pay calculated for a worker whose pay varies?
- If a worker claims unpaid or a shortfall in holiday pay, how far back can they claim?
How is holiday pay calculated for an employee whose pay varies?
Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mitchell LLP. As featured in Worcester News, 17th February 2015
Q. I have worked for the same employer for 34 years. Recently there have been many redundancies and I am now left with little work to do. I feel the reason I wasn’t given severance pay is because of my age and length of service.
A pedestrian who suffered fractures to her right ankle and knee when she tripped on the edge of a path has been awarded £30,000 in damages from her local authority.
Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mitchell LLP. As featured in Worcester News, 10th February 2015
Q. I have rented a house for 25 years. We have been passed from one managing agent to another. In the last 15 years we have had to get the council to make enforcement orders to get essential repairs done. In June I suffered severe injuries when the stairs to the cellar collapsed under me. Am I entitled to compensation?
Sydney Mitchell LLP, leading Midlands’ law firm, has won Law Firm of the Year for the fifth time in the 5-15 partner category in the Birmingham Law Society Legal Awards for 2015. The award was sponsored by Landmark Information Group.
The firm was shortlisted in three categories:
Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mitchell LLP. As featured in Worcester News on 3rd February 2015.
Q. I am a self-employed electrician. Four years ago I lost a large contract, and since then have been working more or less part-time, on a much lower income. This year HMRC decided that I must be doing work for cash, so they require me to pay tax on an imaginary extra £5,000 turnover. Are they judge and jury in these matters?
Richard Cooper, Associate Solicitor, Sydney Mitchell and a team of leading barristers and experts have assisted a shareholder in recovering substantial damages following his removal as a director and dilution of his shareholding.
Due to an accounting error the company’s balance sheet and trading had been overstated with a result that a capital contribution from the shareholders was needed.
Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mtichell LLP. As featured in Worcester News, 27th January 2015.
Q. A friend has bought a lease on a shop which was in very poor condition and she has started to spend a substantial amount of money on refurbishing it. If the shop was compulsorily purchased as part of the town’s regeneration plans, is there any way she could recoup the money she has spent?
Sydney Mitchell has launched a new product which is aimed at corporate and commercial businesses, called “Employment Armour”. This is an employment law annual fixed fee retainer aimed at ensuring that companies are compliant with the ever changing employment law landscape.
Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mitchell LLP. As featured in Worcester News on 20th January 2015.
Q. My eldest brother died leaving £7,000 and didn’t make a will. My youngest brother was able to go to the bank and withdraw this money without my knowledge. Was that legal?
Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mitchell LLP. As featured in Worcester News on 15th January 2015.
Q. I have a small manufacturing business in a mill and have been a tenant for more than 30 years. The mill has been bought by property developers, who have now told us that all tenants must leave by next May. Do I have any rights, or a right to compensation?