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Samuel Phillips Law Blog

Wills, Probate & Trust

Tax Planning and Coronavirus

By Sarah Bowes

Tax planning during lockdown might seem like a strange concept, but if you are fortunate enough to be in the position of having surplus income or capital, now might actually be a key time to consider your position.

Employment

Holiday Rights and Pay during Coronavirus

By Robert Gibson

The Department for Business Enterprise and Industrial Strategy has published guidance on Wednesday 13 May about holiday entitlement.  It is guidance and subject to interpretation by the Courts but as I happen to agree with it, I venture to suggest it is good guidance. 

Employment

Return to Work v Health & Safety arguments

By Robert Gibson

We are now receiving mixed messages from the Government along the lines of return to work but stay at home.  We are not sure whether to use public transport or walk ahead of it.  As for the kids, they’ll get back to us on that one.  Still as long as we stay alert all will be well.

Employment

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

By Robert Gibson

The Government has today launched what may well prove to be an extremely popular loan scheme. Application forms are completed online with any of the approved banks.  The business bank will tell you which are the approved banks. I think this is a potentially good piece of news.  Not as good as a grant but a whole lot better than the ill-fated coronavirus business interruption loan scheme.

Employment

Preparing for the new normal – Furlough, Collective Consultation and Redundancy

By Robert Gibson

The Government’s job retention scheme is due to end on 30 June 2020. Employees can be subject to notice whilst on furlough.  In previous postings I have indicated they are probably entitled to full pay, albeit there is a counter argument, with the employer recouping furlough monies from HMRC.

Employment

Settlement Agreements, Notice and the impact of Furlough

By Robert Gibson

Settlement Agreements are the only way by which a potential claim to an Employment Tribunal can be lawfully compromised. For such an Agreement to be enforceable, it must be in writing, specify the particular complaints to which it relates and the employee must have the benefit of independent advice from an adviser who has the benefit of professional insurance, or in the case of an accredited trade union representative is certified by the trade union as being qualified to give advice.

Employment

Settlement Agreement and the Impact of Notice Payments whilst on Furlough Leave

By Sally Lomas Fletcher

Settlement Agreements (formerly known as Compromise Agreements) are the only means by which to compromise potential Employment Tribunal claims where proceedings have not been issued. Settlement Agreements are creatures of statute and the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) states that in order for a Settlement Agreement to be enforceable there must be a written agreement, which refers to the claim, identifies the parties and the employee must take independent legal advice on the agreement from someone who holds a policy of insurance to give such advice (e.g. a solicitor).

Employment

Leaving employment by agreement – protected conversations

By Robert Gibson

There are many ways in which an individual can leave his or her employment.  Often this involves complex legal procedures which can easily go wrong.  The easiest and most dignified manner in which an individual can leave, is by consent. This involves protected conversations under Section 111A ERA 1996.

Employment

Office Health & Safety Issues after Lockdown

By Sally Lomas Fletcher

Things will never be the same... that’s the conclusion people are coming to during this enforced period of lockdown. It’s important therefore to assess the impact of new technology and new ways of working when considering the future after lockdown. What will the office structure of the future look like? What will be the new "normal"?

Employment

Webinar: Furlough for Employers with Robert Gibson, Senior Partner

By Robert Gibson

In this Webinar, NE1 welcomes Robert Gibson, Senior Partner at Samuel Phillips to discuss the legal implications of the Furlough Scheme from an employer's perspective alongside highlighting common pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Employment

Health and Safety and Business Re-starts after COVID 19

By Sally Lomas Fletcher

In today’s vlog, Robert Gibson turns our attention, not just to his relaxation of formal wear (!), but to what businesses need to do to prepare when lockdown is eventually lifted by the government. There is much speculation as to when restrictions are likely to be lifted and when they are lifted, how that will take place. Now that businesses have got over the shock of furloughing their staff and the new "normal" routine is actually starting to feel normal, what better time to take stock, plan and prepare the re-starting of your business?

Employment

There is only one F in Furlough

By Robert Gibson

A day will come when we will not speak of Furlough.  Sadly that day is not today. There was a Treasury Direction to HMRC on 15 April followed by yet another update to Government Guidance on the Job Retention Scheme on 17 April. 

Employment

Treasury Direction to HMRC regarding the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

By Sally Lomas Fletcher

Yesterday (15th April 2020) the Treasury issued a Direction to HMRC regarding operation of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) under the auspices of the Coronavirus Act 2020. The Direction (perhaps) gives us the final guidance on how the scheme will operate and any changes are likely to be minimal (we hope).

Employment

Furlough, Risks, Pitfalls and Sanctions

By Sally Lomas Fletcher

In today’s vlog, Robert Gibson talks about enforcement in the context of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Family Law

COVID-19 Outbreak and Divorce: What happens now?

By Sarah Ward

The COVID19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has, in some cases, had a detrimental effect on many relationships as couples are forced to spend time together 24/7. For those going through a divorce, or considering a divorce, Jenny Goldstein and Sarah Ward of  Samuel Phillips Law, answer your questions as to how the COVID19 outbreak is affecting proceedings and should you be going through a relationship breakdown, what your options are during this time.

Employment

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Online Portal to go live on 20th April 2020

By Sally Lomas Fletcher

The Parliamentary Select Committee made an announcement yesterday (Wednesday 8th April 2020) that HMRC’s online portal for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will open on 20th April 2020 with a view to the first payments being made to employer’s on 30th April 2020. Please do ensure that your online PAYE is functioning and up to date.

Employment

Illegality & Furlough

By Sally Lomas Fletcher

What are the possible implications if you’re on furlough and your employer asks you to work? We appreciate that employees are concerned as to whether they will still have jobs when the crisis resolves and businesses are doing all they can to survive. However our advice to employees is that they should stop working whilst on furlough leave. They should raise the issue with their employer and inform them that they are concerned that the arrangement is illegal and tell them that they are not going to work whilst on furlough.

Employment

Self-Isolation and Sick Pay

By Robert Gibson

As a follow on from the identification of an employee with Covid-19 symptoms we thought it appropriate to review the rules around Statutory Sick Pay. The simple rule is that any employee who is unfortunate enough to contract coronavirus will be subject to the same process as any other sickness absence in terms of payment. If your policy is that you only pay statutory sick pay (SSP) during sickness absence, that is the policy you should adopt, subject to meeting the qualifying criteria. SSP is payable from day one; there are no “waiting days” where the reason for the absence is coronavirus.

Employment

How to Respond if Someone Exhibits Coronavirus Symptoms at Work

By Robert Gibson

Firstly, ensure that your managers and supervisors are all aware of the key signs and symptoms of Covid-19. Brief them as to the protocol to follow when a member of staff exhibits Covid-19 symptoms. You should identify any members of your workforce who would fall under the “social shielding” category despite the fact these individuals will have had a letter requesting them to be isolated for 12 weeks they may still be coming to work. These members of staff may have underlying health issues that are not obvious.

Employment

Covid-19 – Job Retention Scheme or “Furlough”

By Robert Gibson

The UK Government’s response to support both business and the employed has been an unprecedented move to help shore up the economy amidst the unfolding crisis of the Coronavirus pandemic. One primary initiative is the very American sounding “Furlough” as part of a job retention scheme. Furlough is indeed a US term used to describe a leave of absence. In terms of the UKs response to Covid-19 it aims to offer employers a practical option to retain staff whilst the country enters and works through its “lockdown” phase of social distancing to limit the spread of the virus.

Employment

Furlough and Annual Leave

By Sally Lomas Fletcher

We know that in terms of SSP, you cannot receive SSP and furlough at the same time and this is likely because both are government benefits. When an employee returns from sick leave and is fit for work, you can put them on furlough leave then. We know that holiday accrues during furlough leave and that employees/workers can carry over up to 4 weeks holiday in the next 2 years. We also know that Employers can require employees/worker to take holiday during furlough provided that they give twice as much notice as the leave they are required to take.

Wills, Probate & Trust

Your £1M inheritance tax free allowance is finally here… or is it?!

By Sarah Bowes

At the moment I am finding it hard to remember a time pre Covid-19. Before that it felt like Brexit had been with us forever. But, if you think back very hard, before all of that, when Boris was still the Mayor of London, you might remember an announcement that the inheritance tax threshold would be increased to £1M. Well today, 6th April 2020, is the day when that announcement finally becomes reality….. well sort of. In reality, having the full allowance available depends on many things, including the contents of your Will.

Employment

Furlough Agreements

By Sally Lomas Fletcher

Picture the scenario, the staff called together, and the MD says I’m terribly sorry, we’re going to have to close the business due to the CO-VID 19 pandemic but the good news is we can pay you 80% of your salary as we can reclaim the cost under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The HR manager sends out a letter to staff confirming what the MD said. The letter may or may not offer a right of appeal. Are the staff truly on furlough leave? Can the company recoup 80% of their wages (up to £2,500 each)?

Employment

Furlough in one job, working in another

By Sally Lomas Fletcher

This is a tricky subject as we don’t have Regulations yet, only Government guidance. That guidance says if you’re furlough by an employer you can’t do any work for that employer during the furlough period. It also says that if you have two jobs you can be furloughed by one or both jobs and receive 80% of your salary (up to a maximum of £2,500) from one job or both jobs. That doesn’t however answer the question as to what happens if you take up a new job whilst furloughed by your employer.

Litigation

Eviction of residential tenants and the Coronavirus Act 2020 – Section 21 Notices

By Thomas Cumming

The Coronavirus Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 25 March 2020, meaning this emergency piece of legislation is now, officially, law. But what affect has this had on residential tenancies? In the first of this two-part blog, Commercial and Litigation Solicitor Thomas Cumming considers the affect of the Coronavirus Act 2020 has had on possession proceedings under both Section 21 Housing Act 1988 and Section 8 Housing Act 1988.

Employment

Frequently Asked Questions regarding Furlough Leave

By Sally Lomas Fletcher

Good afternoon Pop Pickers! Further to Robert’s vlog; here are the top 6 frequently asked questions that we’ve been asked in the last couple of weeks about furlough leave.

Employment

Can’t Work, Won’t Work – What to do

By Sally Lomas Fletcher

The Government ordered lots of workplaces (e.g. pubs, cafes non-essential shops) to close over the last couple of weeks but some remain open for business. For those that businesses that haven’t been ordered to close, those employees who can work from home; must do so and employers are under an obligation to set them up so they can work from home.

Employment

Redundancy Appeals and New Starters

By Sally Lomas Fletcher

Many employers rushed to make redundancies when businesses were first ordered to close down at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic in the UK. Redundancy is a fair reason for dismissal if it is handled fairly.  Fair process includes consultation, the duty to consider suitable alternative employment (if any) and the payment of a Statutory Redundancy Payment. If the redundancy was unfair employees firstly need to contact ACAS’s Early Conciliation service and if the claim cannot be settled that way then a claim can be issued online in the Employment Tribunal.

Employment

Coronavirus Scheme for the Self Employed

By Sally Lomas Fletcher

On 26 March 2020 Rashi Sunak announced support for the self employed; namely a taxable grant of 80% of average earnings calculated over the last three years up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.  It is available for those with trading profits of up to £50,000 per annum and whose majority of income is from self employment.

Employment

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for Furloughed Workers

By Sally Lomas Fletcher

The scheme applies to employees who have been furloughed meaning that they have been put on a period of leave during which they are not required to work.  The employer must agree with the employee that they will be placed on temporary leave (furlough leave) and this then allows the employer to recover 80% of the employee’s wage costs or £2,500 per calendar month whichever is lower.

Employment

Coronavirus Act 2020 – Changes to Statutory Sick Pay

By Sally Lomas Fletcher

The Coronavirus Act 2020 received Royal Assent yesterday 25 March 2020.  It confirms some of the announcements that were made last week regarding payment of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) in relation to Coronavirus.  The Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) Regulations 2020 came into force on 13 March 2020 and amended the SSP rules such that those who self isolate are deemed incapable of work for the purposes of claiming SSP.

Employment

To close or not to close?

By Sally Lomas Fletcher

Some businesses have been ordered by HM Government to close, e.g. pubs, clubs, restaurants, leisure facilities. Some have been permitted to stay open supermarkets, petrol stations, chemists etc, but may have elected to close anyway on an individual basis.

Residential Property

Residential Property at Samuel Phillips Law during COVID-19 Crisis

By Jane Fiddes

Our residential department is now working and functioning remotely from the office so clients and referrers please feel reassured that it is business as usual.  Whilst some people may be cautious about proceeding with their transaction during the state of lock down, there are many for whom it is crucial as they need a safe home or they may be currently living with elderly parents and do not wish to put them at any risk. 

Wills, Probate & Trust

Helping the vulnerable self-isolate – the role of the financial attorney

By Sarah Bowes

We are living in worrying times. For many of us, our major concern is not for our own health, but for the health of our loved ones, particularly the elderly or those with underlying health issues. When faced with so much uncertainty and worry it can be reassuring and comforting to know that there is a practical way for us to be of use to those we love.

Wills, Probate & Trust

How to make a Will and observe social distancing

By Sarah Bowes

All of the uncertainty as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic is making people worry about all sorts of things. It is unsurprising that one of these is their Will. Our Wills, Probate and Trusts team have thought carefully about this and have developed solutions which ensure that you will still get the same excellent service, tailored advice and protection from Samuel Phillips Law, whilst also maintaining social distancing and complying with the latest government guidance.

Family Law

Co-Parenting During Coronavirus

By Sarah Ward

The Coronavirus pandemic is creating special challenges for all of us, not least separated parents. Co-parenting children when separated is not without its challenges at the best times. With schools now closed and social distancing strongly encouraged, as family lawyers, we are increasingly being asked for advice on how to manage shared care arrangements.

Employment

IR35 – A Practical Guide to Engaging Consultants

By Robert Gibson

As the responsibility of policing the tax liabilities of consultants moves to the “fee-paying” client and broadens from public to now include private businesses we thought it timely to look at the practicalities and IR35 compliance. We would, of course, advise all our readers to take professional advice when putting new policies and procedures in place and the following is simply a suggested guide to assist in efforts to remain compliant.

Employment

Brexit – is it Good for Business?

By Robert Gibson

A recent FTSE 350 survey suggests that 50% of the businesses polled were concerned about the impact of Brexit and that in the short term they consider it will damage prospects for growth.

Employment

2020 – Forthcoming Changes to UK Employment Law

By Robert Gibson

We covered a number of the April 2020 changes at the end of last year but as ever its worth a further reminder just before they come into force.

Employment

Coronavirus – Employment Issues

By Robert Gibson

As of 27 February 2020, 7690 people have been tested in the UK for Coronavirus. All bar 15 were negative. The risk has been raised in the UK from low to moderate by the Chief Medical Officer. Coronavirus is a virus which typically causes fever and a cough. In the elderly or those with compromised immune systems, the symptoms can be much more severe, even life-threatening.

Wills, Probate & Trust

Your tax year end checklist

By Sarah Bowes

When the clock strikes midnight on 5th April, millions of pounds of tax allowances and exemptions will be lost without being used. We caught up with Simon Davis from The Grove Private Wealth Limited to get his top tips for maximising your allowances, whatever stage of life you are at.

Employment

Managing Through Financial Distress – Redundancy

By Robert Gibson

A recent report by Begbies Traynor, corporate recovery and insolvency experts, suggests that as many as 494,000 UK businesses are in significant financial distress. This number of almost half a million businesses is the highest in 16 years and 81% up on figures reported in 2016. This suggests that uncertainty over the political landscape, specifically Brexit, has played a major part in the commercial downturn.

Employment

Is it Time to Take Executive Search In-House?

By Robert Gibson

Most organisations have well-drafted and rehearsed recruitment procedures and for 99 out of 100 vacancies this process works for you. But what about the executive hire? How do you ensure that you land the best possible candidate available for the package you have on offer? Do you outsource?

Employment

Increase in Disability Discrimination Cases

By Robert Gibson

A recent research exercise commissioned by the Financial Times has identified an upturn in claims related to disability discrimination. As with other claim classifications disability cases fell away with the introduction of tribunal fees in 2013 but since their removal in late 2017 cases have steadily returned to previous levels. According to the latest statistics they have now surpassed those seen before 2013.

Wills, Probate & Trust

How long would your business survive without access to the business bank account?

By Sarah Bowes

Your banking app or internet banking service being down for just a day can be hugely inconvenient. Imagine that it was not just being unable to view your statement or make new one off payments, but that all of your accounts were actually frozen.

Employment

Ethical Veganism – a “philosophical belief”

By Robert Gibson

Jordi Casamitjana claimed he was sacked by the League Against Cruel Sports because of his ethical veganism.  The employer however states that he was dismissed for gross misconduct and the ruling has no effective bearing on the decision to sack their Head of Policy & Research.

Employment

Testing…testing…1,2,3 – Employee Espionage

By Robert Gibson

Technology has its role in the workplace, but should an employer be on the receiving end of its use if a phone or other device is used to secretly record meetings? 

Employment

Gig Update – Shift Sharers Entitled to Benefits

By Robert Gibson

There’s been no shortage of Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decisions regarding employment status in the gig economy and we start the year with another: Stuart Delivery Ltd v. Mr Warren Augustine.

Commercial Property

What are property searches and why do you need them?

By William Jarvis-Smith

As with any significant financial investment, it usually pays to find out as much as you can about the commodity that you are investing in. Property is no different. In property matters, information is usually power, in this case, the power to act quickly in walking away from a bad deal or to renegotiate its terms; or at least to anticipate and prepare for its negative consequences.

Employment

Be Present for Christmas – How to Manage a Works Party

By Robert Gibson

December should provide an opportunity to reflect on the hard work of the year and have a little festive fun. Unfortunately, "fun" for a large proportion of the adult population, in this context, means one thing; the chance for a good session paid for by their employer.

Employment

Cutting Remarks [R Lovelady vs Daniel James Hair & Beauty]

By Robert Gibson

A Colwyn Bay Hair Salon has failed in its defence of an unfair dismissal claim brought by an employee stylist due to the fact the employer was found to have pre-determined the outcome before fully investigating.

Employment

2020 Vision – The Upcoming Changes to Employment Law

By Robert Gibson

Find out about important upcoming changes to Employment Law coming in 2020.

Employment

Over Half of UK Adults Will Work Past Retirement Age

By Robert Gibson

Working Beyond Retirement – Research indicates over half of the UK working population would continue to work beyond their official retirement date.

Employment

Supermarket Sweep – ASDA Introduce New Employment Contracts

By Samuel Phillips

1000 staff are holding out against the Walmart owned supermarkets new terms. We look at the details and lessons we can learn from such a process.

Employment

You’re Joking, Not Another One!

By Robert Gibson

Brenda from Bristol summed up the mood of the nation back in 2017, but now we’re truly in Groundhog Day territory with yet another Brexit Delay and General Election. We revisit the main points of concern for UK business.

Commercial Property

It’s a bargain, but I’ve got to move quickly

By Phil Dean

My client has a great business plan, a great idea and an amazing opportunity and all she needed was a property to base her plans from, she’d searched for a few weeks finding nothing and then “PING” a new property dropped into her in box, in need of work but within budget and ideal for her requirements.

Wills, Probate & Trust

Is your client due an Inheritance Tax Refund?

By Sarah Bowes

In 2017 the Inheritance Tax Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) was introduced. The calculation of this allowance can be incredibly complex.  In fact, it is so complex that HMRC have actually been calculating the tax due from estates incorrectly in some cases.

Wills, Probate & Trust

If you’re considering divorce, or in the midst of divorcing, don’t overlook making immediate changes to your Will

By Stephen Robinson

Going through divorce is one of the most stressful experiences in life. On the Holmes & Rahe Stress Scale, it ranks higher than imprisonment and is second overall.  It is akin to grieving upon the death of a loved one.

Wills, Probate & Trust

Where there’s no Will, there’s a way

By Catherine Taylor-Wilson

The grieving process can be traumatic and highly emotional, which can often be made significantly worse once family, friends and loved ones look to sort out the deceased persons affairs. From time to time, we deal with families where their loved one did not leave a Will, or in some cases, where they have been left out of the Will entirely.

Wills, Probate & Trust

How to make giving your child a deposit inheritance tax efficient – lifetime giving explained

By Sarah Bowes

Lifetime giving done well can be an ideal way of passing on wealth and seeing the benefit, whilst also saving tax on your death. The problem is that the tax rules are both unnecessarily complicated and often misunderstood.

Employment

Business Owners’ Peace of Mind through Employment Protection from Samuel Phillips Law

By Robert Gibson

Samuel Phillips Law, with 100 years of legal experience behind it, offers an Employment Protection Scheme to cost-effectively and smoothly address complex issues, which could include employment tribunals. The scheme gives you peace of mind to focus on growing your business with easy access to local expert advice and support.

Employment

Holiday Pay and Permanent Part Year Workers

By Robert Gibson

In the case of Brazel v The Harpur Trust, the Court of Appeal recently ruled that the Working Time Regulation (WTR) approach to holiday pay, for permanent workers who only work part of the year, should be adopted and their leave allowance should not simply be pro-rated.

Employment

Claimant Takes a “Privileged” Position

By Robert Gibson

In legal matters such as employment disputes and other forms of litigation the term of legal privilege occasionally rears its head. But what exactly is “legal privilege”?

Employment

Don’t Just Book It…Plan It

By Robert Gibson

On the 5th July 1841 a young Mr Cook organised a rail excursion between Loughborough and Leicester taking passengers through the Leicestershire countryside, little knowing he was forming the World's first travel agency.

Wills, Probate & Trust

So just how secure is your business?

By Phil Dean

Everyone who’s run a business has woken up in cold sweats over deadlines, staff, buildings, anything of detail in the business but very few have sat back and looked at the biggest risk to their business… their not being in it.

Employment

Brexit – The Final Countdown

By Robert Gibson

They do say a week is a long time in politics...and boy after last week's political maelstrom they are not kidding. As it happens, we had prepared the following article ahead of the events and as we now know, matters have somewhat shifted.

Employment

The Importance of Discovering and Handling the Truth

By Robert Gibson

What to do if an employee hides the true reason for their absences. In a recent case [A Ltd vs Z] an employee was highlighted as having a poor absence record and this fact was questioned by a new employer.

Employment

Pet-ernity Leave?

By Robert Gibson

We are a nation of pet lovers, dogs, cats, ponies or pygmy bunnies. So, what happens when that longstanding pet passes and you’re left with a large or not so large hole in the family home?

Wills, Probate & Trust

Making your Will? Don’t be like Aretha – make sure your wishes are shown a little R.E.S.P.E.C.T

By Sarah Bowes

Aretha Franklin died on 16 August 2018. Just over a year later there are still ongoing court proceedings about her Will… or should that be Wills. 

Employment

Conducting the Perfect Interview

By Robert Gibson

OK, in reality, it’s unlikely you’ll ever consider you’ve run a faultless interview. From preparation on your part to the odd dress sense of the candidate, something nearly always crops up.

Employment

Two Recent Employment Tribunal Cases

By Robert Gibson

Here we explore two very recent cases where employers of well-known organisations have fallen foul of the procedural requirements necessary in circumstances they found themselves in.

Employment

Keeping Your Cool

By Robert Gibson

Like Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis would testify, “some like it hot”; but unfortunately, not everyone and record-breaking high temperatures are raising some very serious concerns about the working environment.

Wills, Probate & Trust

Samuel Phillips Law helping Make a Will month to succeed

By Sarah Bowes

Samuel Phillips Law is taking an active part in this year's St Oswald’s Hospice’s Make a Will month. It means that throughout June, it will offer Wills at a special rate and donate the fee to St Oswald’s.

Wills, Probate & Trust

Property Trust Wills reduce the worry of care home fees

By Stephen Robinson

When couples make a will, the majority are unaware that they can increase the amount of money they can pass on to their heirs through a Property Trust Will in a way that mitigates care fees.

Commercial Property

How important is your phone?

By Phil Dean

In the world of commercial property most things don’t change very quickly, we’re still reeling from the arrival of the Land Registration Act 2002 and discussions about CVA’s stopping landlords getting rents...

Employment

Managing Mental Health at Work – PTSD

By Robert Gibson

Unfortunately, with one in four of us likely to be impacted by some form of mental health problem in any one year the scale of the challenge remains huge.

Employment

Fixed Term Contracts – Own Goal or Winner?

By Robert Gibson

Unusually for the Premier League Rafa Benitez, Newcastle United’s beloved manager, found himself coming towards the end of his three-year contract but without a firm offer that would entice him to stay.

Litigation

North East police officers launch international training venture

By Adam Chaffer

Three North East senior police officers have set up a company to offer police training around the world.

Employment

Religious Freedom vs Foul Play

By Robert Gibson

Israel Folau is an Australian rugby player who found himself sacked as a result of an Instagram post in May which caused uproar and breached Rugby Australia’s code of conduct.

Employment

Driving adjustments for disabled workers

By Robert Gibson

Failing to stick to an organisation's own policy is a clear red flag in such situations and regardless of the steps taken in this case, HMRC failed to apply consistency to their adjustments.

Litigation

Spotting Unfair Prejudice

By Adam Chaffer

There is no one reason why people seek to invest their money into a company. The rationale can range from wanting to seek a return on the success of an organisation to investing in ensuring a company can succeed.

Litigation

Japanese Knotweed – Tying up the value of your property in ‘knots’

By Claire Farrell

Bank holiday weekend is approaching and the majority of us will be looking forward to lazy sunny afternoons in the garden; barbeques with a cold beverage, or two, after another hectic week at work. But would you know what to do if you saw this plant lurking in your flower beds or encroaching upon your boundaries?

Employment

NDA Prescription a misdiagnosis for whistle-blowers

By Robert Gibson

A recent case has highlighted the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) within the public sector and in particular the NHS.

Litigation

Resolving your disputes with the Rural Payments Agency

By Adam Chaffer

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is an executive agency of DEFRA who are responsible for paying out over £2 billion each year to support the farming and food sector. 

Employment

The four day working week – could it work for you?

By Robert Gibson

The call for a change in the UK’s core working week has been made by the Trades Unions Congress (TUC) and increasingly businesses are giving this controversial option serious consideration.

Employment

The Appeal of Appeals

By Robert Gibson

Quite often we find ourselves reporting on cases where, despite the decisions made by a company to dismiss an individual, their case is lost due to an inability to follow due process. Here follows yet another example of this inability to follow a set procedure.

Employment

Is Your Business Wrapped Up in Presenteeism?

By Robert Gibson

Recent research by health insurance company Vitality highlights a worrying workplace trend, that of presenteeism. This term relates to employees who find themselves driven, obligated or in fear tipping up to work when they’re unwell.

Employment

Better Rights for ‘Gig Economy’ Workers

By Robert Gibson

In an effort to improve the rights of casual or more commonly termed ‘Gig Economy’ workers the European Parliament has approved new minimum terms.

Employment

Pimlico Plumbers Payout Blocked

By Robert Gibson

Plumbing and heating engineer Gary Smith was successful at the Supreme Court where he was able to assert his rights as an employee rather than a “gig worker” during a tenure where he was encouraged to engage as a self-employed contractor.

Employment

Employment Law Changes – April 2019

By Robert Gibson

Details behind the important employment law changes that will apply to employers in the UK in April 2019.

Employment

Brexit Endgame

By Robert Gibson

What of the future of employment legislation in the UK post Brexit?  A topic worth reminding ourselves of as we enter into the final chapter of what has been a tortuous, protracted and fraught process.

Samuel Phillips Law

God is a Woman* – maybe – but Baroness Hale is President of the Supreme Court

By Jennifer Goldstein

My colleague Claire Farrell, Head of our Civil Team, appeared at my desk waving a copy of February’s Vogue at me; that worked. My head was full of asset schedules; such a random act got my attention. 

Residential Property

Samuel Phillips Law Promote New Partner

By Sharon Boyd

Following a year of significant growth, investment and transformation, Samuel Phillips Law is delighted to announce a second appointment to their Partnership team this year with the promotion of Jane Fiddes, Head of Residential Property at the Grey Street firm.

Litigation

Key considerations when preparing your business for a dispute

By Adam Chaffer

Whether you are seeking to take legal action against an another individual or a business or alternatively you are responding to legal action commenced against yourself or your business there are a number of key considerations to contemplate before instructing solicitors.

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