From the Blog

Our legal blogs are here to help you find out more in depth information on those issues which matter most to you, from data protection to divorce, employment issues, probate and making a will.

 

Commercial property leases and ‘contracting-out’

Unless specific steps are taken prior to completion of a lease of business premises, a tenant usually has an automatic right to renew their tenancy under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (or the ‘1954 Act’). Our commercial property specialist Joy Hancock explains how this right can be excluded from new leases through a provision known as ‘contracting out’.

By contracting out, the parties agree to take the lease outside of the automatic renewal rights as afforded to a tenant…

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Taking on a commercial lease? Advice for tenants from our commercial property team

Taking on a commercial premises for the first time – or moving up into a larger property – can be a huge step for any business, bringing with it a raft of financial and health and safety commitments which all need to be taken into consideration.
Scrutinising the lease you agree as a tenant is key as it can affect how your business can operate. It will help you avoid being hit with unexpected costs in the future which you hadn’t…

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Preserving your assets for the next generation using a Trust

A trust is a way of managing assets such as money, investments, land or buildings for other people. Each type of trust is taxed differently, affecting liabilities such as Income Tax (IT), Capital Gains Tax (CGT) or Inheritance Tax (IHT). Our trust and tax planning specialist Ian Naylor explains how they can be used to ensure how assets are passed from one generation to another.

 You can create a Trust during your lifetime, or through your will, and there are…

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Contracts of employment – how to get it right

Employment contracts continue to make headlines due to debates around zero hours contracts, the ‘gig’ economy and the national minimum wage. Our employment solicitor Clare Thomas explains the common mistakes employers make when it comes to employment contracts.

Key issues with employment contracts:

There is no written contract!
Poorly written/drafted
Contractual or non-contractual provisions
Contracts are altered incorrectly
Post termination restrictions are excessive or vague

There is no written statement

An employer must provide a written statement within…

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Mental health in the workplace

Mental Health Awareness Week has put workplace wellbeing back in the headlines and the measures employers are taking to support their staff. Our employment solicitor Clare Thomas explains how mental health can be managed and what legal obligations employers must meet under the Equality Act 2010.

One in four of us will experience mental ill health at some point in our lives according to the Department of Health, which means it’s essential for employers to have a strategy in…

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How does a no-fault divorce work? UK divorce law changes explained

Family and Matrimonial Solicitor, Lisa Cogger, of Bowcock & Pursaill Solicitors, explains how the recently announced changes to UK divorce law by the Government will work in England and Wales.
Why is UK divorce law changing?
Existing divorce law in the UK has remained unaltered for nearly 50 years, and increasing demands for change came following the Tini Owens case in 2018. The Supreme Court ruled in July that she could not divorce her husband without her spouse’s consent…

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What allowances and expenses can residential landlords claim for rental property?

Landlords could be in line for further tax reliefs to make improvements to their properties following a recent Parliamentary committee recommendation. Our landlord and tenant specialist, Joy Hancock explains what tax reliefs are currently available to landlords.
What are the allowable expenses a residential landlord can claim?
The most common types of expenses you can claim are:

General maintenance and repairs to the property, but not improvements (such as replacing a laminate kitchen worktop with a more costly granite worktop…

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National Minimum Wage Rise – An Employer’s Guide

According to the government the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 ‘provides essential protection for our lowest paid workers’. ACAS state that the National Minimum Wage (NMW) is the minimum pay per hour most workers are entitled to by law.

This framework is reviewed annually by the Low Pay Commission, with new rates set to take effect from 1 April 2019, so it’s important that business owners take those necessary steps now to comply with this updated legislation, says Bowcock…

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Change of planning rules for farm buildings and housing conversions

Farmers will be allowed to increase the size of buildings and convert more buildings to housing, following changes to permitted development rights (PDRs). Our farm property and agricultural specialist Ian Naylor explains more…

Permitted development rights enable certain building works and changes of use to be carried out without needing to obtain planning permission from the local planning authority.

Following a consultation last year, the Government announced changes to the Class Q permitted development legislation which allows for the conversion…

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Time to settle for it? A guide to settlement agreements for employers & employees

Is a settlement agreement the same as a compromise agreement? Are settlement agreements legally binding? And are they only used in redundancy situations? Our Employment solicitor Clare Thomas explains all in this guide to settlement agreements.

What is a settlement agreement?

Previously known as a compromise agreement, a settlement agreement is recognised by statute as a legally binding contract between an employer and employee, which waives an employee’s right to bring most claims in the employment tribunal and other…

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28/10/2019

Intern Christina joins our Hanley office legal team

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21/10/2019

Sponsorship helps Leek Cricket Club to thrive

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17/10/2019

Commercial property leases and ‘contracting-out’

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