Pre Nuptial Agreements

ByMichael Morrison

Pre Nuptial Agreements

Family solicitors are expecting a surge in prenuptial agreements following the Court of Appeal’s ruling in Hart v Hart, two weeks ago, which dismissed Mrs Hart’s claim for an equal share of her former husband’s assets.

As much of his assets were acquired before their 23 year relationship commenced it was affirmed that her award of £3.5 million out of a possible £9.4 million was correct.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ByMichael Morrison

Domestic Violence Offenders Should Be Registered

A report entitled Domestic Abuse in London has recommended that those charged with domestic violence offences should be registered in an attempt to rein in the ever fast rise in this crime.

Between 2014 and 2016 an increase of 9380 incidents, 15%, has been recorded; in the latter year just under 72000 which is 10% of all crimes in London.

This make sense as the victims of domestic violence are usually the victims of re-offenders.

 

 

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ByMichael Morrison

Employment Tribunal Fees Are No More

The Supreme Court has ruled against the fees for employment tribunals which they said discriminated against the low paid and females.

Lord Reed, giving the lead judgement, with whom six other judges, including the President and Deputy President, agreed said the decrease in the number of claims issued due to the fees was inconsistent with access to justice.

The Government has now started the process of refunding the fees that have been charged since July 2013 which is believed to be about £32,000,000.

 

 

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ByMichael Morrison

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

The number of people making lasting powers of attorney has increased dramatically in recent years.

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ByMichael Morrison

Service in Good Time – Service, Service how long should a service take to complete? Construction, Refurbishments etc. …

What is a reasonable amount of time to wait for a service?

A common consumer complaint has statutory constraints that it would seem timely to remind you of.

If a contract between a consumer and a supplier was entered into before the 1st October 2015 the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 applies. In particular section 14 provides:-

Section 14 Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982

14 Implied term about time for performance.

(1) Where, under a relevant contract for the supply of a service by a supplier acting in the course of a business, the time for the service to be carried out is not fixed by the contract, left to be fixed in a manner agreed by the contract or determined by the course of dealing between the parties, there is an implied term that the supplier will carry out the service within a reasonable time.

(2) What is a reasonable time is a question of fact.

If your contract was entered into on or after the 1st October 2015 then the Consumer Rights Act 2015 applies. In particular section 52 provides:-

Section 52 Consumer Rights Act 2015

52 Service to be performed within a reasonable time

(1) This section applies to a contract to supply a service, if—

(a) the contract does not expressly fix the time for the service to be performed, and does not say how it is to be fixed, and

(b) information that is to be treated under section 50 as included in the contract does not fix the time either.

(2) In that case the contract is to be treated as including a term that the trader must perform the service within a reasonable time.

(3) What is a reasonable time is a question of fact.

Analysis

Therefore the consumer has a right to redress in the form of damages in respect of the delay in the performance of a service by a contractor.

The seminal case or authority from which these statutes are derived is Charnock -v- Liverpool Corporation and Kirbys (Commercial) Ltd: 1968 CA. In this case a damaged car went into the garage for repair and it took 8 weeks to complete. The plaintiff sued for the delay and the Court found that it would have taken a competent contractor no longer than 5 weeks. The plaintiff was awarded damages in respect of hiring a replacement car for 3 weeks.

This case also clarifies that:-

i) It is the consumer, here the car owner, to whom the garage owes a duty of care in respect of the service offered rather than the paying insurance company.

ii) That it is incumbent on the contractor, in this case the garage, to inform the consumer immediately about any reasons why their order may be delayed so that they are free to take their business elsewhere. For example, an agreement that exists with a preferred supplier to carry out an order within a specified time period. It is common for contractors seeking to retain the client’s business not to inform the client of any such factors early on. However in such cases the untimely contractor is now caught by the Acts.

 

 

 

 

 

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ByMichael Morrison

“I’ve Been Disinherited By My Parents Will”

“I’ve Been Disinherited By My Parents Will” is a common cry for help we at the Solicitors Information Service have been hearing recently.

People unable to get onto the property latter and an ageing population with rising levels of dementia are the key factors boosting a rise in disputes over wills. The recent Supreme Court case Ilott v The Blue Cross and others has confirmed that a will should be left intact unless exceptional circumstances prevail e.g. as provided in the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

Legal commentators have predicted a massive surge in court cases as people try and test out whether they have a valid claim.

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ByMichael Morrison

Mergers & Acquisitions – Corporate & Commercial

Commercial solicitors in London have reported an increase in contract instructions. Many feel that this is due to the fact that post the Brexit vote American deals with the United Kingdom have increased recently compared to last year. This upturn however is not reversible i.e. it is not reflected with transactions between the United Kingdom and America.

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ByMichael Morrison

Commercial Litigation – Corporate Crime and Fraud

Prosecutions for commercial fraud are expected to rise this year due to a stronger commitment to bring proceedings under the Bribery Act 2010. It will be interesting to see how the offence of failing to prevent bribery is handled by both the prosecuting authorities such as the Serious Fraud Office and defendants alike.

The Criminal Finances Act currently forging its passage through Parliament, as a Bill, should bring some tantalising developments.

 

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ByMichael Morrison

Domestic Violence Cases are Going Unprosecuted

Reports of sexual violence and domestic abuse have risen by nearly 12% year on year over the last four years in London. Cases of domestic violence soared by just under 58% in the same period. Last year despite a rise of almost 7% of domestic violence matters reported the proportion of people being charged with the offence has dropped.

In the year September 2015 to 2016 just 28% of domestic violence cases lead to either a caution, charge or other punishment compared to 41% in the previous four years. There were nearly 6000 rapes which contributed to a total of 17,000 sexual offences with 150,000 being the total of domestic violence incidents. 16% of sexual offences resulted in prosecution compared to only 10% four years earlier.

Whilst victims gain in confidence in reporting crime is commendable it will be a pity if this is thwarted by police inactivity.

Meanwhile a coordinator of a women’s refuge in north west London has been jailed for two years having been charged with fraud by abuse of position for the theft of nearly £35,000 which augmented the charity’s closure.

 

 

 

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