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The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Act: What you should know

Laura Kurowski
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The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Act became law on 24 May 2024 – it was the very last bill passed during the so-called ‘wash-up’ period, after the general election had been called.   The Act, which is the second part of a...

Stamp Duty Changes For Multiple Dwelling Transactions

James Hodgson
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From the 1 June 2024 the Multiple Dwelling Relief (MDR) was abolished. It was first introduced in England and Northern Ireland in 2011 and offered Stamp Duty Land Tax relief to purchasers who acquired two or more residential properties in a single...

Hopes for implementation of Section 21 Reform dashed

James Hodgson
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With the decision to call a general election on 4 July, the Renters (Reform) Bill – the government’s plan to transform the private rented sector for tenants and landlords alike – will not be passed. Despite a promise to outlaw no-fault...

Navigating the rocky waters of rapidly changing interest rates

James Hodgson
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Over the last three years, high inflation figures have caused the Bank of England to increase interest rates on many occasions with lenders hiking their mortgage rates in response. While inflation has gone down from highs of 11.1% in October 2022 to 3.2% in...

What is Public Law Outline? (PLO)

Kate Machon
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The Public Law Outline (also known as PLO) sets out the duties the Local Authority have when they are considering issuing court proceedings. The PLO process is usually initiated if the Local Authority are concerned about the welfare of a child or the care...

Conveyancing Process Guide for Homebuyers and Sellers

Laura Kurowski
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If you’re looking at buying or selling a home, you might find the whole conveyancing process a little overwhelming. But, when you break down the steps, it really is quite manageable, especially if you have specialist support from our property team ....

Spring 2024 Budget Update

Laura Kurowski
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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivered his Spring Budget on Wednesday 6 th  March 2024, in which he stated that ‘lower taxes mean higher growth’, declaring it was his long-term ambition to continue to cut National Insurance, ‘to make work...

Simple Contracts and Deeds: A Guide for Clients

Laura Kurowski
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Understanding different kinds of agreements and how they work helps businesses avoid problems and ensures that things are done correctly. Two commonly used agreements are simple contracts and deeds. Here we explain what they are and how they are executed....

Tips for dealing with divorce

Clive Masters
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It’s something no one ever really plans for - divorce. As a challenging life event that’s emotionally and physically draining, it’s important to seek support and guidance during divorce proceedings and not to go it alone. At Wilkinson...

Why you need a will

James Hodgson
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No one likes to talk about it and that’s completely understandable. It’s natural to feel worried thinking about the topic of death, funerals and wills. However it’s prudent to overcome your fears and make the responsible choice to sort...

New Employment Rights Regulations

James Hodgson
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Employers need to be aware of the  Employment Rights (Amendment, Revocation and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2023 , which came into effect on the 1 st  January 2024. Intended to make employment legislation less onerous for businesses...

Understanding Lasting Powers of Attorney

Max Fenton
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Losing your mental capacity and being unable to make decisions for yourself can be daunting. A Lasting Power of Attorney is a document executed by a person before they lose capacity, and, when registered, allows those appointed to make those important life...

Understanding probate and how a solicitor can help

James Hodgson
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Managing a loved one’s affairs when they die is never easy. During what is an already difficult and emotional time, probate – the process of administering a deceased person’s estate – is one of the many things bereaved families must...

The life of a Trainee Solicitor at Wilkinson Woodward

Insha Khan
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I am Insha Khan, a Trainee Solicitor at Wilkinson Woodward. The aim of this blog is to give you an insight into the life of a Trainee Solicitor here at Wilkinson Woodward. I started my first seat in the Conveyancing team which is the same department that I...

What is the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975?

James Hodgson
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When it comes to estate planning and making a Will, you must carefully consider the potential implications of excluding certain family members. The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (the Act) grants the court the power to make...

No-fault evictions reform: What it's all about

James Hodgson
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In 2019 the government said it would ban no-fault evictions. Since then, more than 60,000 households in England have contacted councils for help to avoid homelessness after receiving a Section 21 notice. This is set to change with the introduction of the...

Energy Bills Discount Scheme: What businesses need to know

Laura Kurowski
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With volatile energy prices experienced in the last year and the energy markets looking uncertain for the foreseeable future, we welcome the government’s announcement that they will continue to provide support for businesses with their energy bills...

Transparency Order

Max Fenton
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In an unprecedented and ground-breaking development, Mr Justice Poole made what is the first ‘Transparency Order’ under the Transparency Pilot scheme which was launched on a trial basis in Courts in Leeds, Carlisle and Cardiff on 30 th January...

Growing our family to support yours

Clive Masters
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After having bounced back strongly following Covid-19, Wilkinson Woodward is well placed for continued growth in 2023, having already strengthened the Family Law team with the appointment of two new solicitors. Our Family Law team, which deals with all...

Using settlement agreements to resolve employment issues

James Hodgson
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Employment relationships can come to an end for many reasons, including redundancy, dismissal and personality clashes. Increasingly, employers are using settlements to end an employment relationship. Settlement agreements offer an alternative to wading...

Clares Law - The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme

Clive Masters
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What can you do if you suspect your partner - or the partner of a friend or loved one - has a history of violence? Your right to ask the police about a partner's history Under the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (commonly known as Clare’s...

Is your business ready for this year's extra bank holiday?

James Hodgson
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On Friday 3rd June 2022 there will be an additional bank holiday to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. This will result in a 4-day bank holiday weekend, as the date of the usual Spring bank holiday has moved to Thursday 2nd June. The additional...

No fault divorce: everything you need to know

Clive Masters
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After a lengthy consultation period, the so-called ‘no-fault’ divorce is due to come into effect in England and Wales on 6 April 2022. From this date, separating couples will be able to get a divorce, civil partnership dissolution or legal...

Are social services involved in your family circumstances?

Kate Machon
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Having social workers involved in family matters can be confusing and distressing so it’s important to get expert legal advice from the get-go. Our experienced solicitors will be able to guide you through the process and ensure you have the best...

What is a Special Guardianship Order: everything you need to know

Kate Machon
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Special Guardianship Orders were introduced to bridge the legal gap between long-term fostering and adoption. Wherever possible, the courts have always sought permanence for “looked after children”. However, fostering and adoption did not...

Post-holiday quarantine: your rights at work

Maureen Cawthorn
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Are you returning from Portugal and facing the prospect of quarantining? Perhaps you're mulling over the implications of jetting off on a foreign holiday? Make sure you understand the implications of post-holiday quarantining on your employment and...

Uber loses Supreme Court case in gig economy test case

James Hodgson
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In a landmark ruling that has implication for millions working in the gig economy, Uber has lost its Supreme Court  fight over drivers' rights. After a 4-year legal battle, the Supreme Court ruled against the taxi app company, concluding their...

Guide for employers: the pitfalls to avoid when using settlement agreements

James Hodgson
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If you're an employer and need to use a settlement agreement to end a long standing dispute, here is my guide to avoiding the most common pitfalls. Understand the fundamental purpose of settlement agreements Under the terms of...

2021 employment law changes: an overview for employers

James Hodgson
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Give yourself a head start in 2021 by planning ahead for these forthcoming changes to employment law. Coronavirus The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is open until the end of April 2021. As an employer, you only need to contribute National Insurance and...

2021: what next for house prices?

Laura Kurowski
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  According to building society Nationwide, house prices climbed 7.5% last year, the highest growth in UK house prices for six years. Why was demand for property so high in 2020? Buoyed by a range of Government policy measures, demand for housing...

Do-Not-Attempt-Resuscitate (DNAR) orders were wrongly used

Hayley Meskimmon
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The findings of a recent Quality Care Commission (CQC) report have highlighted that during the early weeks of the Coronavirus pandemic, Do-Not-Attempt-Resuscitate (DNAR) orders were wrongly used.    Widely condemned by the CQC and medical bodies,...

Government Winter Plan for COVID-19

James Hodgson
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Earlier this week the Government announced plans for managing the coronavirus pandemic through winter. The 64-page document contains important information on how businesses and individuals will emerge from the current national lock down on 2 December 2020....

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: What Next

James Hodgson
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The  Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme  (JRS) ends on 31 October 2020, when it will be replaced by the  Job Support Scheme which aims to protect “viable” jobs. What are the main implications for employers and employees? In the...

Changes to the Job Support Scheme - announced on 23 October 2020

James Hodgson
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Today the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an update to the new Job Support Scheme (to be known as the 'Open' Scheme in order to distinguish it from the Scheme provided for businesses legally required to close). The new support includes a...

Job Retention Bonus - Guidance for Employers

James Hodgson
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The Government has recently published guidance for employers about the Job Retention Bonus. This is a one-off £1,000 (taxable) payment for each eligible employee furloughed and kept in continuous employment until 31 January 2021. The bonus can be...

Post-holiday quarantine? Know your rights at work

Maureen Cawthorn
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If you’re planning to jet off for some last minute summer sun, you might be considering the implications of self-isolating when you return to the UK. Before you book that last minute getaway, it’s essential to understand the implications of...

10 June 2020: deadline for new entrants to the furlough scheme

Maureen Cawthorn
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Today -10 June 2020 -  is the last day employers can furlough staff who have not already been furloughed through the coronavirus job retention scheme. From 1 July 2020 employers may only claim for employees they have already claimed for;...

Judge rules Sally Challen can inherit husband's estate

Penny Manock
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A abused woman who won an appeal over her conviction for murdering her controlling husband can now inherit his estate, a judge has ruled. Sally Challen was given a life sentence in 2011 after being convicted of murdering her husband in 2010....

COVID-19 Secure Workplace Guidance

Maureen Cawthorn
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To support businesses and employees in re-opening workspaces and returning to work, the Government has now published a series of guides to making workplaces ‘COVID secure’. Eight sector-specific guides have been produced. These are for: ...

Government Covid-19 Recovery Strategy

Maureen Cawthorn
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The Government has now published its plan to bring England out of the current Coronavirus lockdown. The proposals state: “For the foreseeable future, workers should continue to work from home rather than their normal physical...

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Andrew Crabtree
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Following the launch of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), small and medium-sized businesses can now apply for finance to help deal with operating costs and help to maintain cash flow.  Is my...

Coronavirus and Commercial Rent Payments

Laura Kurowski
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Commercial tenants who are unable to pay their rent due to Coronavirus will be protected from eviction. Most leases contain provisions which permit a landlord to terminate the tenancy if the tenant fails to pay rent for a period after it is due (usually 14...

Government announces further support for the self-employed

Laura Kurowski
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On 27 March 2020, the Government announced their intention to provide further support for the self-employed in the form of a taxable cash grant. The scheme allows individuals to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of...

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - further details announced

Maureen Cawthorn
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The Government has now published additional information about Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the Furlough Scheme). At present the details represent guidance for HMRC; whether legislation follows remains to be seen. We recommend you read the full guidance...

Emergency Legislation for Coronavirus

James Hodgson
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The Government has recently passed all stages of its emergency bill through the House of Commons. The bill has cleared the House of Lords, and is expected to become law later today. The bill provides the Government with wide-ranging powers...

How Coronation Street is shining a light on domestic abuse

Clive Masters
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One of the questions I have started to ask clients when they first come to me for advice about domestic abuse is “Do you watch Coronation Street?” This is because one of the current story lines concerns the character Yasmeen Metcalfe being the...

Coronavirus COVID-19: the latest guidance for businesses and individuals

Andrew Crabtree
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  SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme HMRC will set up a new online portal so that all UK employers will be eligible for assistance where an employee has been designated as a ‘furloughed worker.’ HMRC will reimburse...

Coronavirus COVID-19: guidance for employers

James Hodgson
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All employers have a statutory duty of care for their employee’s health and safety and to provide a safe place to work. If you’re an employer, here’s what you need to know. How can I prevent the spread of infection in my business? The...

How new legislation aims to protect victims from stalkers

Clive Masters
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On 20 th January 2020, Stalking Protection Orders came into effect. These were introduced by the Stalking Protection Act 2019 to protect victims from harassment or intimidation from strangers or non-family members. Under this new legislation, the...

Ruling in ethical veganism case could have implications for employers

James Hodgson
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In the most recent ruling in a high profile ethical veganism case, the judge has decided that ethical veganism is a protected belief. Eariler this month the judge in the case of Jordi Casamitjana v The League Against Cruel Sports ruled that ethical veganism...