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Welcome to Our Blog

Are you looking for high quality legal advice? You have come to the right place.

We regularly write about different legal topics and welcome your comments on our posts. If you would like more information on our services, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Latest Posts

Essex Dog Day

Spencer Davis
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What are you doing on the 27 th August? If you have nothing planned then why not treat yourself to a great day out at the Essex Dog Day . Gepp and Sons have been actively involved with this fantastic event since its conception and are delighted to...

Employment tribunal rules that cycle courier is a worker

David Farrugia
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In Gascoigne v Addison Lee Ltd, the employment tribunal has ruled that a cycle courier working for Addison Lee was a worker under the Working Time Regulations 1998 and the Employment Rights Act 1996, not a self-employed contractor. This decision follows...

Current data protection laws to be overhauled and replaced with new Data Protection Bill

David Farrugia
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Government proposals are looking to provide Britons with greater control over personal information that is currently held by companies and organisations. The bill, which the government is hoping to introduce, will make it easier to request the removal of...

A little known inheritance tax relief?

Bronwyn Prior
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When undertaking inheritance tax planning, most people are aware of the opportunity to gift money. If the donor survives 7 years from the date of the gift, the gift is not included in the inheritance tax calculation for the estate.  As we age, the...

What are the restrictions of employing young people?

Alexandra Dean
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The legal minimum age a child can work is 13 years old as a part-time worker, however there are exceptions to when a child can work below this age. For children who are between  13 and not more than 16 years of age, there are restrictions to where and...

Online Trust Registration now available - for some

Marc Dorsett
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Most people have heard of "trusts". Often they are assumed to be extremely complex and derived by lawyers who like to over complicate matters. The truth is that a trust can be one of the most useful tools available to individuals and can be used to...

Mental Capacity: Are you leaving it too late?

Lisa Carter
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We live in a society where health and wellness are “on trend”. People of all ages are doing more to look after their bodies; they are heading down to the gym and they are eating whatever “superfood” the media is suggesting. In...

Governments bid to end the leasehold housing crisis

David Farrugia
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Leasehold agreements date back to the 11th century but in more recent years, due to lack of space for houses and therefore need for flats, they have become increasingly popular. According to a BBC news report, 21% of private housing in England are owned via...

The end of Wills as we know them?

Lisa Carter
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The Law Commission for England and Wales has released a consultation about possible reforms regarding the making of Wills claiming it should be brought into the ‘modern world’. The current law governing the drafting of a Will dates back to the...

Who acts as executor if there is no will?

Lisa Carter
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Around two-thirds of British adults do not have a Will and as many as a third of us die without leaving one. This is known as dying “intestate” and can leave the family, friends and other potential beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate in...

Who decides?

Sally Ward
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Few of us could have failed to share the pain of Charlie Gard's parents who recently made the difficult decision to allow their son to die. But this decision came following a series of court hearings when they challenged the hospitals recommendation to...

Supreme Court rules that employment tribunal fees are unlawful

David Farrugia
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Following the introduction of the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunals Fees Order 2013 ("the Order"), the number of employment tribunal cases have been said to have decreased by 70%. Why? It is likely due to potential...

Hard decisions for businesses in the wake of BBC earnings report

Jessica Byrne
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Under the Equal Pay Act 1970, men and women who do the same or broadly similar work, or work that is found to be of equal value in terms of effort or skill, are entitled to the same employment contract terms, including pay. The provisions under this law as...

A warning to all employees - seek legal advice from the start

David Farrugia
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It is imperative that employees complete both the ACAS Conciliation Form and Claim Form correctly when pursuing a claim against a former employer. Any error can become a major issue when applying to the employment tribunal, as demonstrated in a recent case...

Cooking up a Storm with the Children of Columbus School

Spencer Davis
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Over the last few months, staff at Gepp & Sons have been raising money for their chosen charity of the year, Columbus School and College , a local school which caters for children and young people aged between 3 and 19 with profound and multiple...

Well they are a colourful bunch!

Robyn Reid
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A number of Gepp and Sons staff lead by Partner, David Springett  took part in the 5k colour run on Saturday in Colchester. The event was to raise money for Headway  a fantastic charity who provides expert care and support for...

The Essex Schools Showcase for the Arts

Spencer Davis
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The Essex Schools Showcase for the Arts launched this week in and around the High Chelmer shopping precinct in Chelmsford. The showcase is a celebration of visual and performance arts exhibited and displayed by students from fourteen local schools with...

New Lord Chief Justice Appointed

David Farrugia
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Gepp & Sons are delighted that the Rt Hon Sir Ian Burnett has been appointed as the new Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, the most senior judicial position in the Country. Sir Ian Burnett has been a regular supporter and Chairman of the panel of...

Conveyancing work remains busy post-Brexit

Jessica Byrne
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Despite reports of a slowing economy post-Brexit, house selling and buying remains busy, according to a survey conducted by the Law Consultancy Network. In an article posted earlier this month the Halifax had reported 1% drop in house prices. However one...

Managing Your Financial Affairs Following A Divorce

Steven Payne
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Going through a divorce can be earth-shattering to your emotional and financial stability.  One way to feel in control of your own destiny again is to organise a strategy for managing your finances as soon as possible.  Whether you are on your own...

The rise of elderly divorcees

Jessica Byrne
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Retired divorcees - also known as "silver splitters" - are fast becoming Britain's biggest growing demographic. Though traditionally more likely to own their own homes, this growing demographic are renting in record numbers. According to...

Taylor Report review into workers' rights published today

Jessica Byrne
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The Taylor Report has today been published and calls for an end to the "cash-in-hand economy" - reportedly worth £6 billion - most of which goes untaxed. The review looked at modern working practices, particularly the so-called 'gig...

Buy Cheap, Pay Twice - Why It Is Crucial To Invest In A Quality Conveyancing Solicitor

Spencer Davis
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If you were spending over £250,000 on a car, would you employ an unqualified or junior mechanic to inspect the engine?  If you were buying a business that may require you to take out a loan for £300,000, would you fail to hire an accountant...

School's out... The 31st July is almost here...

Marc Dorsett
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Do you make payments on account towards your tax bill?  If so, before packing your suitcase and heading to the airport, remember the deadline for paying the second instalment towards a 2016/17 tax bill is rapidly approaching. If you think that the...

A guide to cohabitation agreements

Steven Payne
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English law does not afford cohabiting couples the same legal protection and rights as married couples.  A cohabitation agreement is accordingly an essential consideration for unmarried couples. Cohabiting couple families are, according to the Office...

House prices in the UK fall by 1%

Spencer Davis
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According to the Halifax, the UK’s largest mortgage lender, property prices fell by 1% in June, the largest monthly fall since January of this year.   In the report published by the BBC they comment “there is still good activity but many...

If you are required to self-assess for 2016/17, be aware, you may need to file a paper return...

Oliver Barker
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All tax software is based on HMRC software standards that currently contain glitches that affect two specific groups of people, resulting in overpayments of tax up to £1,000. The groups affected are: 1. taxpayers with non-savings income between...

And Wimbledon begins

Alexandra Dean
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As Wimbledon begins there is no doubt that the tournament will be full of surprises. However, as an employer have you considered what surprises your business could face during times of sporting events? As an employer, are your employees allowed to have time...

Hinkley Point serves as a lesson in the importance of construction contracts

Jessica Byrne
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The construction of two new reactors at Hinkley Point nuclear plant is now estimated to cost up to £19.6 billion, an increase of 10% on what was originally estimated, according to a BBC article published today. Not only has the costs budget for the...

£143,000 goes up in smoke!

Roger Brice
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The BBC have reported that a McLaren supercar with a new value of around £143,000 was reduced to a twisted, burned-out wreck after it struck a building and burst into flames. Thankfully both the driver and passenger of the 570S escaped with...

Who will look after my children if I have not appointed guardians?

Herman Cheung
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If you have children under the age of eighteen you can appoint guardians to look after your children in the event that on your death there is no surviving parent with Parental Responsibility. Many people believe that their children will automatically be...

Dairy farmer fined and ordered to pay more than £19,000 in costs for polluting river

David Farrugia
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In May 2016, slurry held in a lagoon on a dairy farm overflowed into a ditch chamber that had not been correctly sealed off. The slurry killed approximately 1,700 fish in the River Frome and prevented water leisure activities taking place in the river. The...

When do you apply for a deputyship application?

Georgia Gann
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If a friend, loved one or yourself lost the capacity to manage financial affairs and either an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) or a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) has not been put in place, a deputyship application is the next step. A Deputyship...

A lovely evening for a 9K, all in the name of Charity...

Spencer Davis
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With the sun beating down and the temperature reaching a not so cool 27°, Gepp & Sons teamed up with a number of other local firms and business to walk for Charity. The Chelmsford Legal Walk is a 9km sponsored walk that sets off from New London...

Just what they needed in this heat, a cool pint or two!

Spencer Davis
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Pictured below are the lucky winners of the Gepp & Sons Young Farmers Show prize draw being presented with their Poly pin of locally brewed golden ale from Round Tower Brewery. Mr & Mrs Beckett received their prize just in time for a sunny weekend...

Life Interest Trust

Lisa Carter
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A Life Interest Trust should be considered if, for example: you want to protect your assets against care fees; you have children from a previous relationship and want to provide for your new spouse but also want to ensure your children inherit your...

What's mine is yours?

Jessica Byrne
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A City trader has successfully challenged a divorce judgment of the High Court in 2015 which awarded her ex-husband of four years £2.7 million - half of the total matrimonial assets. Yesterday the Court of Appeal reduced Mr Sharp's award to...

Rain, Rain Everywhere!

Spencer Davis
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Whilst everybody in Essex enjoyed the spectacular weather on Saturday, a team of 12 members of Gepp & Sons were stocking up on bacon sandwiches and hot tea before setting off to climb the hills of the stunning 950-metre high Helvellyn mountain range in...

Good intentions not enough in wage calculations

Alexandra Dean
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Accurate calculations of the National Minimum Wage continue to cause headaches for employers, with an employment tribunal acknowledging the complexity, saying there is no single key to unlock every case. Recently, unintentional underpayments in staff pay...

Food & Farming Day - what a success...

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Thousands of primary school children from across the county were out in full force at yesterday’s Essex Food and Farming day held at Writtle College. The event, now in it’s 10th year, is organised by the Essex Agricultural Society with whom Gepp...

Trust Registration

Marc Dorsett
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Individuals often create Trusts for a variety of reasons. Each time a new Trust is created it must be registered with HMRC who will then issue the Trustees with a Unique Taxpayer Reference. This will be needed when dealing with HMRC, including any required...

Nestle fails to trademark shape of KitKat bar

David Farrugia
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In a long lasting dispute between Nestle and Cadbury, Court of Appeal judges have ruled that Nestle fail in their attempt to trademark a four fingered bar. Nestle claimed that the shape of the bar was unique and thus should be protected by trademark laws. ...

What are Lasting Powers of Attorney and why are they important?

Lisa Carter
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Studies show that only 5% of the population are prepared for mental capacity issues in the future. It is important to prepare for our future and as we get older the risk of developing dementia increases.  Currently an estimated 850,000 people have been...

Landlords' tax increases from April 2017

Marc Dorsett
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Landlords who are higher rate or additional rate taxpayers are likely to see a dramatic increase in tax liabilities over the next few years due to the changes to tax relief on loan interest payments which kicked in from April 2017. After a phased in four...

Corporate Governance Code: Changes Imminent?

Alexandra Dean
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In February 2017, the Financial Reporting Council ('FRC') announced a fundamental review of the UK Corporate Governance Code.  It will then ask for consultation on the proposed changes later in the year. Following the disastrous corporate...

Our Best Year Ever!

Spencer Davis
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We are just about finished with the clearing up from Sundays Essex Young Farmers Show. According to the Young Farmers website it was their busiest show ever... At some stages throughout the day it was standing room only in our marquee - all seats taken by...

Workforce wellbeing must include mental health awareness

Alexandra Dean
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Understanding of mental health issues is high on the agenda, thanks to the involvement of the younger members of the Royal family in the Heads Together awareness campaign which has seen the # oktosay hashtag trending. Their activity gave an extra boost to...

Are you making the most of the new Residence Nil-Rate Band?

Lisa Carter
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Introduced in April this year, the new Residence Nil-Rate Band (RNRB) could save your estate as much as £140,000 in inheritance tax (IHT) if you pass your family home to your children on your death.

The 2017 Gepp Lecture: The Medieval Parish Churches of Essex

Spencer Davis
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Gepp & Sons are proud to have supported the Friends of Essex Churches Trust’s Annual General Meeting for many years. This year’s AGM will be held at St Mary’s Church, Saffron Walden on Wednesday 17 th May, and followed by the fifth...

Who's coming to the Essex Young Farmers Show?

Spencer Davis
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Gepp & Sons are very pleased to announce that we will once again be attending the Essex Country Show on Sunday 21 st May 2017 at Boyton Hall, and it’s safe to say we’re excited. As a home-grown Essex law firm, we are proud to have worked...

White-collar crime agencies stepping up their efforts

Alexandra Dean
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Public awareness of white-collar crime has come to the fore in recent years and the Government is under ever-greater pressure to put a stop to corrupt practices. This year, the biggest crime agencies are being audited to determine their effectiveness and...

Small suppliers set to get intel on big company payment performance

Alexandra Dean
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New regulations designed to help small businesses get paid on time came into force this month, with a requirement for larger companies to publish information about how long they take to pay suppliers.  The requirement affects companies and LLPs who...

CLA AGM: Farmers Invade WW1 Airfield

Edward Worthy
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Yesterday 70 of the county’s farmers and land owners braved a very blustery ‘ Dengie Peninsula’ to attend the CLA’s annual AGM. Gepp and Sons were delighted to sponsor the event which was held at the Stow Maries Aerodrome ,...

Probate fees change update

Bronwyn Prior
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The proposed changes to probate fees which were to take effect in May 2017, have been delayed indefinitely as there is insufficient time for the legislation to pass through Parliament before the general election.

 

Residential property stock hit a record low...

Bakshi Dhanda
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According to the RICS the UK housing market continues to lack impetus, with some surveyors reducing their expectations for housing market performance this year. New property coming to the market fell noticeably with some agents reporting a 13% fall in...

Parking fines and penalty charge notices - do you know the difference? - April 2017

Jessica Byrne
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The case is a cautionary tale - the Defendant who was ordered to pay £24,500 in parking tickets when she was taken to court by a private parking company for failure to pay. Would you know the difference between a parking charge notice and a penalty charge notice? Do you know when you have to pay, and when you might be able to appeal?

What will happen to my inheritance if I divorce?

Sarah Overy
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Going through a divorce is often a time of significant financial upheaval, and the division of assets is a cause of worry for many couples considering a split. Past inheritances and anticipated future inheritances are commonly relied on as an essential...

Parents Beware

David Farrugia
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The Supreme Court has today ruled unanimously in favour of Isle of Wight Council for issuing a fine of £120.00 to a father who took his child away on holiday during school term.

Woman ordered to pay £24,500 in private parking charges

Michael Callaghan
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A woman in Scotland had refused to pay a private car parking company £18,500-worth in private parking notices issued to her for parking at Dundee's Waterfront. She argued that they were unenforceable.

Well that's blown the diet!

Spencer Davis
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Last Friday staff and clients at Gepp & Sons found the time to pile on the pounds in aid of Red Nose Day. Helping to keep everyone’s sugar levels up, cakes large and small were baked and donated by staff on what is always the busiest day of the...

Sanctions for landlords and employers in relation to illegal immigrants

Spencer Davis
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Government plans will be revealed this summer that will impose sanctions on both landlords and employers who knowingly house or employ those who do not have permission to live and work in the UK. A Migration white paper will be prepared over the next few...

Farming company fined £50,000 for Health & Safety breach

Spencer Davis
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On 10 March 2017, a farming company pleaded guilty for breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £50,000 at Norwich Crown Court. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the farm company had failed to...

Estate agent employees offered up to £100,000 to whistleblow on cartels

Spencer Davis
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Estate agents are among those being offered up to £100,000 to blow the whistle on illegal cartels. The Competition and Markets Authority announced early this morning that it would be launching its first advertising campaign to crack down on...

The dangers of failing to perform health and safety checks on your farm

Edward Worthy
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On 10 March 2017, a farming company pleaded guilty for breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £50,000 at Norwich Crown Court. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the farm company had failed to...

Top 5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Buying a Property

Spencer Davis
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Buying a house is exciting. However, with this excitement can often come stress – after all, there are a lot of vital considerations to be made.  If you’re just starting out on the property ladder, there’s even more to get your head...

Probate Fees Update

Bronwyn Prior
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Guidance has now been provided by the Probate Registries relating to the practical implementation of the increase in probate fees announced by the Ministry of Justice on the 24th February 2017.

Spring Budget Watch

Lisa Carter
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The first steps towards preparing the UK for a post-Brexit future were announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in his Spring Budget, which avoided headline-grabbing shake-ups and tax breaks in favour of economic stability.  

Resolving disputes for small businesses

Michael Callaghan
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The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has reported that legal disputes cost small business enterprises in England and Wales at least £11.6 billion each year, with at least 70% of small businesses having faced at least one dispute in recent years. ...

New Registry fees for Grants of Probate

Bronwyn Prior
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The Ministry of Justice announced on Friday, 24th February that the proposed changes to Registry fees for Grants of Probate will go ahead in May 2017. The additional fees are intended to contribute to the operating costs of Her Majesty's Courts and...

Whistleblowers safety fears in the digital age

Spencer Davis
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A report by media lawyers has concluded that whistleblowers need better legal protection because they are far easier to identify in the modern digital age. Successive laws brought into force in recent years have also been responsible for undermining their...

The art of revising

Spencer Davis
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Yesterday I attended Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford to address visiting students from Beauchamps High School on the art of revising for that all important job interview. They spend weeks if not months revising for their exams but so little time...

New website launched this week

Spencer Davis
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Gepp & Sons are proud to have taken a modern approach to law since 1768. While our website (and the Internet, for that matter) has only existed for a tiny fraction of that time, we always make sure we roll with the times. That’s why we decided it...

Extending Your Lease.

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If you own a leasehold property on a long lease and are thinking of selling or mortgaging it, you need to check how long is left to run on the lease as it can affect the value of your property. Long leases are usually for 99 years or more. As the length of...

ACAS reports on the impact of the Agency Workers Regulations

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ACAS have reported that the Employment Trends Survey, which covers 319 businesses and a total workforce of 1.9 million people, found that almost half of firms (46%) report that their business has been affected as a direct result of the regulations. ...

Squatting becomes a criminal offence

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New legislation has been introduced to offer better protection for home owners and allows the Court to punish such offences by imposing up to 6 months imprisonment or a £5,000 fine or both.  Ministers said that it...

Period of Administration - how the new dividend and interest rules work

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The Issue Following Budget 2015, the rules for the taxation of dividends and interest were changed fairly dramatically. Here we look at the effect the changes have on a deceased's estate for income tax purposes but, first, let's review the changes...

Leniency introduced in TV licence fee evasion?

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The least serious cases of TV licence fee evasion will no longer result in a fine. Guidance issued by the Government allows magistrates to impose non-financial penalties on those who have failed to pay their TV licence fees, as long as they do not commit...

He said he shouldn't have to pay her maintenance!

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A Cambridge don has won a divorce battle with her Macedonian minister ex-husband who claimed he shouldn't have to pay her maintenance now she is working full-time. Despite having children to care for, Kathleen Liddell moved from part time to full time...

Supporting our local community

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As a homegrown firm, supporting the local community is at the heart of what we do. Having been based in Essex since 1768, we have established a deep connection with the community and we believe it’s important for businesses to do their bit. The Gepp & Sons team are committed to Corporate Social Responsibility, and we are very proud of the team’s efforts to do their bit for charity. In this weeks blog, we run through some of the CSR and charity activities we’ve been getting up to and the important causes behind them.

NO FAULT DIVORCE REMAINS AN URBAN MYTH

Spencer Davis
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The Court of Appeal has ruled that a "desperately unhappy" marriage is not in itself a ground for divorce. Tini Owens Petitioned for Divorce last year alleging her husband had behaved unreasonably. Hugh Owens disagreed and said that the couple...

Unmarried couples need to protect themselves

Steven Payne
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A landmark victory in the Supreme Court has seen a Northern Ireland woman win a share of her former partner’s pension, with commentators saying it’s likely to add impetus to the drive for greater rights for unmarried couples. But, in the...

Tractors prohibited on motorways

Spencer Davis
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On the 9th February, a farmer was stopped by police for driving his tractor on the M54 motorway. The police then escorted the farmer off the motorway. A spokesman of Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG) said “for any aspiring farmers out there,...

Legal battle won to improve pension rights

Spencer Davis
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A Woman who lost her long term partner has won a legal battle which is likely to improve pension rights for unmarried couples in the public sector Denise Brewster, following a legal fight, has won her case at the UK's highest court. Ms Brewster has been...

Court Order increases maintenance payments after 15 years

Spencer Davis
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Court orders husband to increase payments to wife who lost the bulk of her divorce settlement with 'poor financial decisions' Maria Mills received a £230,000 lump sum from ex-husband Graham alongside maintenance payments of £1,100 a...

Mother's petition to Downing Street

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THE MOTHER OF TWO BOYS KILLED IN A HOUSE FIRE STARTED BY THEIR FATHER HAS HANDED IN A PETITION AT DOWNING STREET CALLING FOR A CHANGE IN THE LAW GOVERNING ACCESS TO CHILDREN. Jack and Paul Sykes, aged 12 and nine, died when their father Darren, 44, set fire...

40% of farmland left unsold

Edward Worthy
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In a recent article published by  Farmers Weekly  four in every 10 acres of farmland marketed in 2016 remained unsold or were withdrawn by the end of last year, according to data from  Strutt & Parker . This was the highest proportion of...

Tractor drivers could face voluntary roadworthiness test

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Two Years ago, the legislation regarding Tractor Weights and speeds was reviewed, extending weights to 31 t and maximum speeds to 25mph. In a recent article by  Farmers Weekly  they reported that at the New Holland's Basildon Headquarters, the...

Speeding fines set to rise

Spencer Davis
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Speeding fines are set to rise after a review of the sentencing guidelines for magistrates courts.   For the most serious offences, a driver could be fined 150% of their weekly income.  In 2015, 166,216 people were fined and 166,695...

TV personality victim of 'road rage'

Spencer Davis
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A 22 year old female driver has been convicted of using threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour. She was filmed screaming obscenities at  BBC presenter Jeremy Vine  as he cycled on a narrow road in Kensington, west London.  She was found...

Courts hit high and hard with new health and safety fines

Alexandra Dean
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One year after the introduction of tough new health and safety sentencing guidelines, a series of high profile cases show that courts are not holding back when it comes to imposing the higher fines, which can be directly linked to a corporate...

Complex challenges for employers in the year ahead

Alexandra Dean
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Constant changes and increasing complexity have helped make employment law a frontline challenge for business and this year looks set to continue the trend. The first weeks of January saw Maggie Dewhurst, a bike courier with City Sprint, winning her case to...

Making sure you get what you are entitled to from the financial order in your divorce

Spencer Davis
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It is tempting to think that your divorce is finally over once you have a final order for financial settlement but there are still likely to be further steps to be taken to implement the order. In most cases this is not a problem. But what happens if your ex...

Is your business protected?

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A divorce is tough to go through especially when you have children but even tougher if there is a business to consider. When you are happily married, having a document outlining what happens if the business were to end is not attractive, however divorces do...

Legal right to avoid work emails...

Alexandra Dean
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In a recent news article it was reported that French employees will have the right to avoid emails outside their usual working hours. The new law, which has been dubbed the "right to disconnect", came into force on 1 January. Companies with more...

Farmers call for tougher laws on drones

Edward Worthy
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In a recent article by  Farmers Weekly  farm leaders are demanding stricter rules on the use of drones in the wake of booming Christmas sales and the launch of a government consultation. While on-farm use has many potential benefits and...

The most expensive place to live...

Spencer Davis
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In a report by the  BBC  London’s Eaton Square is officially the UK most expensive place to live, with an average house price of £17m It is one of three squares developed by the Grosvenor family following the end of the Napoleonic wars...

Divorcees could face travel bans!!

Steven Payne
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Ex-husbands and wives who refuse to pay their former spouses' divorce settlements could be banned from driving or travelling abroad under  new proposals  from the Law Commission. Tough penalties are needed to tackle divorcees who avoid paying,...

Getting rocky relationships through tinsel-time

Steven Payne
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The family-focus of Christmas is often followed in January with news of unhappy couples who decide to call it quits, leading to so-called Divorce Day, as family lawyers receive a surge of enquiries when they re-open after the break.  And as the...

Christmas Jumper Day

Spencer Davis
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When I say everyone... Those of us who do not have the luxury of such a glamorous wardrobe were fined for being all 'bah-humbug'  - helping to push the funds raised to a fantastic £186.00!!!   So far across...

What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

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A cohabitation agreement records arrangements between two or more people who have agreed to live together, as a couple or otherwise. The agreement usually sets out the following criteria • Each party's rights and responsibilities in relation to...

25TH ANNIVERSARY OF IMPLEMENTATION OF CHILDREN ACT 1989

Spencer Davis
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14th October 2016 marked the 25th anniversary of the substantive implementation of the Children Act 1989 which was introduced on 14 October 1991. The Association of Lawyers for Children (the ALC) has noted the anniversary, stating: "The introductory...

"find your happy"

Spencer Davis
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  • Author

In a recent article by  Design Week  it was reported that property search giant Rightmove are in the process of re-branding in an effort to humanise their brand.  Started in 1999, Rightmove claim they now advertise around 90% of all homes...

When Time Forgets

Lisa Carter
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It is often said that ‘things are never lost – only misplaced’. So what happens if no one knows where a loved one's Will is stored, or more to the point whether they ever made a Will. At Gepp & Sons once we have advised our clients...

How employers can say no, without saying a word

Alexandra Dean
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  • Author

As the countdown to the festive season gets underway, employers juggling the pre-Christmas workload need to ensure workers are enabled to take their rest breaks. The warning comes after an employer was found to have failed to take the necessary steps to...

Are 'Power Naps' the answer?

Alexandra Dean
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According to a new study report on by the  BBC , sleep-deprived workers are costing the UK economy £40bn a year. The calculation is based on tired employees being less productive or absent from work altogether. Research firm Rand Europe, which...

Resolution survey - impact on children of divorce

Sally Ward
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Around 230,000.00 people are going through a divorce every year in England and Wales and almost half of the break ups have at least one child under 16 in the relationship. This therefore meant that tens of thousands of children see their parents separate and...

Assault at the Christmas Party

Alexandra Dean
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The High Court held in the case of Bellman v Northampton Recruitment that a company would not be vicariously liable for injuries caused by an employee after a work Christmas party had ended. The case involved an assault of a manager by a director after a...

Dangerous drivers who kill could face life in prison

Spencer Davis
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Drivers who cause death by dangerous or careless driving could get life in prison under new government proposals.  In a recent article the  BBC  reported that Ministers want to bring the offence, which has a maximum sentence of 14 years, in...

Helping you stay on the road...

Spencer Davis
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It is that time of year when the 'Road Safety' adverts start to hit the screens. This year alone a man was caught filming himself doing 192 mph in Northamptonshire and another speeder caught in a BMW 5 Series doing 152 in Linconshire. This...

New Woodland Carbon Fund

Edward Worthy
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In a recent article by  Lockhart-Garratt  millions more trees will be planted across the country thanks to grants from the Woodland Carbon Fund, which has opened for applications today. More than £19million has been made available by...

Mediation - the preferred choice...

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The news that the Court of Appeal is to stop hearing all challenges made in local family courts serves another reminder of the pressure our family court system is under. The quarterly Family Court Statistics, for example, showed some stark trends: a 10%...

Jammy and dodgers focus of Hammond's first and last autumn budget

Spencer Davis
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The first steps towards preparing the UK for a post-Brexit future were announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in his Autumn Budget statement, with a focus on lower income households and business tax avoidance. The new Chancellor announced a reduced growth...

A gaggle of geese gone!

Edward Worthy
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Rustlers have stolen a gaggle of Christmas geese worth up to £100,000 in an overnight raid on a farm. A police spokesman said: “Officers would like to speak to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the Bawburgh area near...

Good Divorce Week

Steven Payne
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There can never be a good time to get divorced but this week marks Resolution's campaign to improve the process for dealing with divorce and relationship breakdowns. Resolution is a community of family justice professionals who work with families and...

Christmas Contact

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Over the Christmas period we know that every parent's top priority is to spend time with children and this can be difficult for parents who are separating When parents initially split each family is very different. One parent often moves out and many...

The last person still living born in the 1800s.

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When Emma Morano was born, Umberto I was still reigning over Italy, Fiat had only just been established and Milan Football Club was still a few weeks off creation. On her 117th birthday, Emma will have celebrated life over three centuries. The oldest of...

Financial needs on divorce

Steven Payne
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The Family Justice Council published Guidance on ‘Financial Needs’ on Divorce. Define ‘financial needs’ on divorce and. Covers two areas: What are needs and how are they measured? The main needs in most cases are for housing...

Hot air and bra sizes all add to the discrimination mix

Alexandra Dean
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The news that Airbnb has adopted a new anti-discrimination code, following accusations of racism by hosts on the home-sharing site, highlights the growing challenge in managing this increasingly sensitive issue. Other recent headlines have ranged from...

Police crackdown for those using mobile phones when driving

Spencer Davis
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Police are conducting another week-long crackdown on drivers who use their mobile phones whilst driving. Measures include dedicated patrols and messages on road signs.  This move follows the government's plan to double fines and points to those...

Wednesday 2nd November - not a good day for many motorists...

Spencer Davis
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On Wednesday November 2 Essex Police ran a Surround a Town Operation designed to detect offenders using the roads and increase road safety. Officers used Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to identify suspect vehicles which were then intercepted and...

Just 48 hours to go...

Spencer Davis
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‘This House would abolish the doctrine of Joint Enterprise’ This is the motion for this year's Gepp & Sons Schools Legal Debate 2016, which will be held at Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford from 6:30pm on Wednesday 9th November 2016. ...

Sales of £1m+ houses rise by 12%.

Spencer Davis
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According to a recent report by  Lloyds Bank  the number of £1M+ house sales rose by 12% in the first half of 2016 compared with the previous year, a report has suggested. Lloyds  found the average price of a home sold above £1m...

Biggest challenge to Brexit yet

Spencer Davis
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The High Court has today rejected Theresa May's statement that the government can use its own prerogative powers to invoke Article 50 without Parliamentary approval. In the biggest challenge to Brexit yet, the Court found that the government does not...

A Country Landowners' Guide to Brexit

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The UK’s decision to withdraw from the European Union will have far reaching consequences for those who own and farm agricultural land. Few other sectors will be as heavily affected by the forthcoming changes. Edward Worthy, Partner and Head of Rural...

Life lessons from headline breakdowns

Steven Payne
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Watching others acting out the ending of a marriage on a public stage can provide a valuable lesson on how to ‘uncouple’ with least pain Whether fiction or fact, marriage breakdown issues have been stealing more than their fair share of...

Considering renting out your flat? Check the lease first!

Spencer Davis
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A ruling of the Upper Tribunal's Lands Chamber means that thousands of flat owners who rent out their homes are probably breaking the law. The issue is due to 'private residence only' clauses, a common feature of such leases. With an estimated...

A ruling of the Upper Tribunal's Lands Chamber means that thousands of flat owners who rent out their homes are probably breaking the law. The issue is due to 'private residence only' clauses, a common feature of such leases. With an estimated four milli

Spencer Davis
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The short answer is no, the law does not punish a party for committing adultery(other than costs for the divorce suit). Adultery will not have any influence on how the court divides the financial assets. However, if your ex-partner moves in with a new...

How do you know I'm choosing the right solicitor?

Spencer Davis
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It is important to find the right solicitor to suit your individual case. If you have young children, it is essential you choose a solicitor who is a family specialist, familiar with the family courts and with dealing with child arrangements applications. If...

Gender pay gap may remain until 2069

Alexandra Dean
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Research from Deloitte has said the gender pay gap in the UK may not close until 2069 based on current salary progression. Deloitte has said that the current hourly pay gap between men and women of 9.4% was narrowing by just two-and-a-half pence a year. It...

It's a sad day...

Spencer Davis
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Angelina Jolie has filed for divorce from Brad Pitt on Monday 19 August 2016, citing irreconcilable differences. The couple met in 2005 on the film set of Mr & Mrs Smith and married in 2014. The alleged reason Angelina has decided to initiate divorce...

Employers warned that they could be missing out on top staff

Alexandra Dean
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The employer advice group ACAS, has suggested that negative attitudes towards visible tattoos are outdated and could be causing employers to miss out on top staff by rejecting candidates with tattoos. A Yougov poll in 2015 suggested that nearly a fifth of...

Company bosses to be aware of proposed new laws for failure to prevent fraud

Spencer Davis
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Under proposed new laws, company bosses could be prosecuted for failing to stop their employees committing fraud. Prime Minister Theresa May has vowed to tackle corporate crime. The government propose to extend the existing legislation by making employers...

Rail Operators will soon be subject to the Consumer Rights

Spencer Davis
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The government has announced that from the 1 October 2016, the CRA 2015 will apply in full to all transport services. This will include mainline passenger rail services. Therefore, all rail operators (including those with the EU Rail Licence) will be...

UK housing market settles after post-Brexit uncertainty

Spencer Davis
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The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) says that house sales and prices are expected to rise in the coming months, despite fears of stagnation as a result of the vote to leave the European Union. The immediate aftermath of Brexit saw a sharp...

Felsted School hosts Lord's Taverners Cricket Festival for disadvantaged youngsters

Spencer Davis
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Pakistan international bowler Saeed Ajmal passed on his top tips to youngsters on the  Lord’s Taverners  Wicketz Programme which was hosted at  Felsted School  near Great Dunmow last week. Off-spinner Ajmal, who played 35 tests and...

​Government incentive to boost apprenticeships

Alexandra Dean
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The Government is to offer a £2,000 levy to businesses that take on teenagers, care leavers and those with special educational needs as apprentices. Under the plans, small businesses will be subsidised with 90% of the costs of providing...

Sexual Harrassment at Work

Alexandra Dean
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A survey undertaken by the BBC suggests that more than half of women say that they have been sexually harassed at work. To some extremes, parcels containing sex toys left at a work desk by a male colleague, a senior boss telling an employee that he wanted...

The UK housing market paused?

Spencer Davis
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In a recent Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) survey they reported house price rises slowed significantly in the three months to the end of July. The surveyors said new buyer inquiries, home sales and new instructions all fell over the period....

Your own private island hideaway...

Spencer Davis
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On September 27th you will have the opportunity to bid for a ‘hideaway retreat’ on your very own private island! Osier Island is only accessible by boat, but once there you will be immersed into a wonderful wildlife haven.  Osier...

Mother of 3 awarded property as the price her ex has to pay for refusing to marry her.

Steven Payne
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An article in the Daily Mail on line on 19 July 2016 reports on how a judge ruled that an un-married father of 3 should let the mother of his children keep the house that he bought in her name as the price he had to pay for denying her the financial security...

UK Unemployment rate has fallen to 4.9%

Alexandra Dean
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According to the  Office for National Statistics  (ONS), the UK’s unemployment rate has fallen to 1.65 million in the March-to-May period. This is down 54,000 from the previous quarter. The number of people in work rose by 176,000, with the...

Solar rooftop threatened with massive business rates hike

Edward Worthy
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In a recent  Farmers Weekly  article by Suzie Horne it is reported farm rooftop solar installations could be hit by a six-to-eight-fold hike in business rates from next April if government plans go ahead. Most at risk are projects where the...

Why everyone should make a Will and consider funeral arrangements

Lisa Carter
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One of the few certainties in life is death. None of us like to think about our own passing, but failure to do so can create difficulties for those we leave behind.Despite the uncomfortable reality that death comes to us all, of the 51 million adults living...

Not such a dozy idea after all...

Alexandra Dean
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The company that pays its staff to sleep Numerous studies have shown a correlation between sleep deprivation and poor employee performance in the office, with businesses facing the consequences that a lack of sleep has on productivity and...

Preventing common health problems in the workplace

Alexandra Dean
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British workers take, on average, more than four times as many sick days as in other Western European countries. This equates to nine days sick leave each year, resulting in an annual cost to UK employers of about £29 billion in lost...

Short-term slump in house prices predicted

Spencer Davis
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The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) predicts a drop in house prices over the next three months, which will be the first decline in the UK property market in over six years. It cites the upcoming EU referendum and the uncertainty that that...

The '40-year mortgage': a blessing or a curse?

Spencer Davis
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Traditionally, first-time buyers have bought mortgages carrying a term of 25 years, but with the ever-increasing difficulty to get onto the property ladder, sales of 30 to 40-year mortgages have shot up. Many see these longer-term mortgages as the only way...

House price growth continues to slow

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The rate of house price growth has slowed since March where we saw a 5.7% rise, with April seeing a rise of 4.9%, and May just 4.7%. Nationwide Building Society suggests that this is due to the stamp duty changes that came into force in March, leading to a...

Deepcut army barracks 'failed in duty of care' to recruits

Spencer Davis
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The coroner looking into the death of a young soldier at Deepcut army barracks has said that the barracks failed in its duty of care to young recruits. However, Coroner Brian Barker QC said there was no evidence Pte Cheryl James, 18, was unlawfully killed. ...

Acas urges firms to be more flexible during Euro 2016

Alexandra Dean
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The conciliation service Acas has said that firms should be flexible with staff during the Euro 2016 football tournament. A number of games in the tournament, which begins on 10 June, will be played in the daytime.  Acas has...

Former Commander of The Field Army is guest speaker at The Gepp Lecture

Spencer Davis
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This evening will see the fourth annual Gepp Lecture organised by  The Friends of Essex Churches Trus t. The lecture will be given by Lieutenant General Sir Barney White-Spunner KCB, CBE, former Commander of The Field Army and former...

Interest in buying houses in April at its lowest level for eight years

Spencer Davis
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Across the UK in April surveyors saw the lowest number of new enquiries into purchases since August 2008.  The number of new enquiries fell most dramatically in London, with nine other regions in the UK following suit. Enquiries did, however, rise in...

Parent wins term time holiday case at High Court

Spencer Davis
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A father who refused to pay a £120 fine for taking his daughter on an unauthorised term-time holiday, has today won his case at the High Court. The court's decision is likely to redefine the way the law is applied in England. When the case...

How companies get caught in the slave trade

Alexandra Dean
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The recent conviction of a UK business owner for a human trafficking offence has been a wake-up call to big businesses to carefully monitor their supply chain, if they are to avoid being connected to slave labour unwittingly. But with the requirements of...

Business Secretary to put forward proposals to ensure restaurant tips go to individual staff members

Spencer Davis
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Sajid Javid, the Business Secretary, has said that restaurant tips should go to the individual workers, and not be deducted by their employers to make up pay. Proposals have been announced that attempt to limit these employer deductions, with a consultation...

How to fly drones safely and legally

Edward Worthy
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Technology has become an increasingly important part of modern farming. The latest innovation comes in the form of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), known as drones. Drones are enabling farmers to fine-tune chemical and fertiliser application plans, and the...

The impact of Brexit on agriculture and the rural economy

Edward Worthy
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On Wednesday, the  Essex Agricultural Society  hosted an important rural question time at  Writtle College  on the facts behind the 'Brexit' debate and the impact on agriculture and the rural economy. The high profile panel...

Cuts to staff benefits

Spencer Davis
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Risk of cuts to staff benefits on the back of the National Living Wage In April 2015 the new National Living Wage came into force, increasing the national minimum hourly wage to £7.20 for all over-25s.  In the wake of this employers have been...

​SDLT changes from 1 April 2016

Marc Dorsett
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The chancellor's 2016 Budget was a concerted attack on the buy-to-let market. Whilst most of the headline news was already announced in 2015 the actual legislation wasn't available until Budget day. The first change will be noticed when purchasing a...

Employer held to dismiss employee by constructive unfair dismissal by writing to employee with concerns while on sick leave

Alexandra Dean
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In Private Medicine Intermediaries Ltd and others v Hodkinson UKEAT/0134/15, the Employment Appeal Tribunal ("EAT") considered whether an employee was constructively unfairly dismissed when her employer raised written concerns with her...

Changes to termination payments over £30,000

Spencer Davis
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"Chancellor George Osbourne has announced that from 2018, termination payments over £30,000 will be subject to employer's National Insurance contributions (under £30,000.00 is currently free of tax and National Insurance contributions...

Beware of new tax offences!

Lisa Carter
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The Finance Bill 2016 ("FB 2016") introduces three new criminal offences tackling tax evasion and avoidance Part 10 of the FB 2016 contains provisions for tackling tax avoidance and evasion, including three new criminal offences seeking to tackle...

Tribunal success declines with the increased fees

Spencer Davis
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Since the introduction in 2013 of fees of up to £1,200, tribunals saw an immediate decline in successful claims heard at tribunal. The Ministry of Justice published figures which show that only 6% of around 21,500 cases were successful at the end of...

Essex farmers frustrated by councils' planning stance on barn conversions

Edward Worthy
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  • Author

Farmers and landowners in Essex are being frustrated in their attempts to convert old agricultural buildings to much-needed homes in the countryside. Recently published figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) reveal that...

Bungalows maybe a thing of the past

Spencer Davis
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The amount of bungalows being built in the England has reduced, despite the need for properties to accommodate the elderly. Bungalows appeal to those approaching retirement, and for those who struggle to climb stairs. Therefore they are a perfect choice for...

Eastern region's farmers facing an uncertain future without EU Referendum commitments

Edward Worthy
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The eastern region’s farm businesses and rural communities face an uncertain future if Ministers fail to instigate carefully considered, long-term plans upon the result of the European Union (EU) referendum, the CLA says. The organisation, which...

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 - The Effect on Commercial Organisations

Alexandra Dean
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Some commercial organisations may not be aware of the effect which the  new Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the 'Act')  will have on them. Section 54 of the Act now requires large organisations in the UK to produce a statement setting out what...

Companies countdown to new transparency regulations

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Companies are on a countdown to comply with new regulations around transparency of ownership. As part of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, unlisted UK companies and LLPs will have to identify those people with significant control over...

Probate fees to rise "astronomically" for those with the biggest estates

Lisa Carter
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Obtaining a Grant of Probate from the court to deal with a deceased's affairs has long been fixed at either £155 or £215, for any estate worth more than £5,000. The Ministry of Justice now wants to increase these fees to as much as...

The Supreme Court Has Sent Employers A Wake-Up Call on Vicarious Liability

Alexandra Dean
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The Supreme Court has ruled that Morrisons supermarket was vicariously liable for actions of a staff member who physically attacked a customer. According to court documents, Amjid Khan was working at a Morrisons petrol station in Birmingham in 2008 when he...

Concerns over roll-out of Coast Path

Edward Worthy
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  • Author

The concerns of Suffolk and Essex farmers and landowners regarding the impact of the England Coast Path on their property and businesses were discussed at a CLA forum held today (26 February) at the Burness Parish Rooms in Melton, Suffolk. The event...

Bosses receive frost alert to manage bad weather risks

Alexandra Dean
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Employers are on frost alert, following the news that a home care worker has won her claim for damages after slipping on ice and breaking her wrist when visiting a client.  The ruling by the Supreme Court means that employers who expect staff to work...

A Partridge 'clocked' doing 54mph

Spencer Davis
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Actor and comedian Steve Coogan (AKA Alan Partridge) has been banned from driving for 28 days after he was clocked doing 54mph driving a Mazda MX-5 SE sports car in a 30mph zone. Mr Cogan who was not at the hearing had pleaded guilty to the...

JURORS BEWARE - YOU COULD FACE A PRISON SENTENCE FOR BEING FOUND IN CONTEMPT OF COURT

Spencer Davis
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Jurors should be aware of the new European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruling on the 11th February 2016. It was held that there was no violation of a person's Article 7 human right (no punishment without law) in respect of a conviction for contempt of...

The law on Joint Enterprise has been 'wrongly interpreted' for over 30 years

Spencer Davis
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The Supreme Court has today ruled that a key test imposed by judges in assessing guilt in joint enterprise cases has been wrongly interpreted since a 1984 judgment by the judicial committee of the Privy Council. Under the doctrine of joint enterprise, an...

What price divorce in the Workplace?

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There have been some interesting facts that have emerged recently from research about the impact of divorce and separation in the workplace. The impact of divorce or separation is painful for couples, their children, families and friends. It is often...

Employers face stricter controls on private internet monitoring

Alexandra Dean
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  • Author

Recent news headlines have warned employees that social media chat and email conversations at work are open to being read by the boss, following a recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights. But experts say that the headline writers have missed the...

CLA calls on Ministers to complete Compulsory Purchase reform as HS2 law reaches milestone

Edward Worthy
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Ministers must complete reforms to make the compulsory purchase system fairer for rural businesses affected by the HS2 scheme says the CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses. This week the HS2 Select Committee, which has been hearing...

Finally presumed dead after 42 years!

Lisa Carter
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Lord Lucan is now presumed to be dead, a High Court judge has ruled. 42 years after the peer vanished a death certificate has finally been issues.  He was declared dead in 1999, despite hundreds of unverified sightings, but the new ruling gives...

Warning to private Landlords - new "right to rent checks" introduced

Michael Callaghan
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From the 1st February 2016, private landlords in England will need to ascertain whether prospective tenants or other authorised occupiers have the right to be in the UK when granting a tenancy. The procedure is known as "right to rent checks"....

Significant increase in buy-to-let loans ahead of tax changes

Marc Dorsett
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  • Author

The first buy-to-let mortgages appeared on the market in the mid-1990s. Since then the sector has boomed. A shortage of housing and rising demand has pushed up house prices and rents, making the buy-to-let market, with its high potential returns, an...

Employers' new ability to snoop your personal messages during working hours.

Alexandra Dean
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Employers can now legally snoop through your private messages that you send via webmail accounts and online chat software, including Facebook Messenger, iMessage and WhatsApp if the device used is owned by your employer, EU judges this week ruled. The...

Why we recommend a full structural survey in residential purchases

Spencer Davis
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  • Author

A full structural survey is the most comprehensive type of building survey. A qualified surveyor will carry out a detailed structural survey of the property, examining all aspects of the building structure. Yet many people consider purchasing a property...

Floods push up agricultural insurance claims

Edward Worthy
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  • Author

This winter's heavy flooding in parts of Scotland, northern England and north-west Wales is thought to be the worst for several years. The disruption has hit the farming community particularly hard, with farmers expected to make insurance claims for more...

A major reform of the legal aid system in England and Wales has been scrapped, the justice secretary Michael Gove has announced.

Spencer Davis
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  • Author

Plans to slash the number of law firms allowed to do criminal legal aid work at police stations and magistrates' courts has been scrapped, following repeated protest from Lawyers claiming the reforms could damage quality and access to justice. Labour...

Divorce down as pre nups rise

Steven Payne
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  • Author

The first working day in January is commonly known as Divorce Day, when family lawyers receive more enquiries than at any other time of the year, but they are more likely to be faced with ‘silver splitters’ than young couples these days.  ...

Talking about droughts whilst many are underwater!

Edward Worthy
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  • Author

After struggling to cope with the heaviest rainfall on record,  Farmers Weekly  report that water companies are being urged to examine how they would cope with the worst drought for a century. The recommendation is contained in  Environment...

Don't trust the label - or better still DON'T drink and driving!

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

A  recent study  has found that wine actually contains more alcohol than manufacturers are putting on the label. The findings are not only worrying for health reasons but could be unwittingly putting drinkers over the drink-driving limit. ...

Don't trust the label - or better still DON'T drink and drive!

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

A  recent study  has found that wine actually contains more alcohol than manufacturers are putting on the label. The findings are not only worrying for health reasons but could be unwittingly putting drinkers over the drink-driving limit. ...

December Sees a Hike in House Prices

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House prices saw a 0.8% rise in December 2015, in contrast to a 0.1% rise in November of the same year.  Nationwide claims the rise in house prices matched average salary growth in 2015, and that similar predictions are being made for this year. Chief...

Record investment in UK commercial property markets

David Springett
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According to a recent article in  Property Wire  the next 12 months is set to be another year of strong returns for investors in the UK’s commercial property sector with investment volumes expected to be as strong as 2015 which was a record...

Lush threaten Amazon with release of revenge toiletries

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Mark Constantine, founder of cosmetics company Lush, has employed a rather novel tactic in order to give the online retail giant, Amazon, a taste of its own medicine.   Not satisfied with recently winning a High Court battle against Amazon over its...

Domestic abuse legislation tightened

Elizabeth Bradshaw
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A new law targeting domestic abusers, brought into force in England and Wales, follows a Home Office consultation in which 85% of participants said the existing law did not provide sufficient protection. Citizens Advice said it has supported more than 5,400...

Penalty clauses in Commercial Contracts now valid and enforceable

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

The Supreme Court recently considered a joint appealin the cases of Cavendish Square Holding BV v El Makdessi and ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67. Both cases involved commercial clauses which the claimants argued were penalty clauses....

5 of the most shocking farm crime stories of 2015

Edward Worthy
  • Posted
  • Author

According to a recent article by  Farmers Weekly  farm crime has continued to dog the agriculture industry during 2015 with the National Rural Crime Network estimating the cost of such incidents could be as much as £800m. Topping the list...

Christmas often a tough time for children following divorce

Steven Payne
  • Posted
  • Author

Child experts are clear that the most important factor in a child’s healthy development is the stable and healthy relationship of their parents. Yet the sad fact is that half of all children in Britain are no longer living with both parents by the time...

House sales down By 16,000

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

The number of homes sold in the UK fell sharply in November, according to the latest figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). This relates to completed sales dropping from 122,000 in October to 106,000 last month. However, in November the figures were...

Ten Year Anniversary!

Steven Payne
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  • Author

This December sees the ten year anniversary of the first Civil Partnership for gay people take place in the UK.  Since 2005 almost 140,000 people have entered into a civil partnership. The law has moved on since 2005 giving same sex couples the choice...

Tenants could see a 25% increase in their rent, surveyors have warne

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) the cost of renting could rise faster than house prices over the next five years. Simon Rubinsohn, Rics chief economist, blamed government moves to discourage buy-to-let landlords. "In...

Christmas caution on sharing personal information

Justin Emerson
  • Posted
  • Author

Christmas Day has been the biggest day of the year for online and app downloads in recent years, as users set up the new devices they’ve received as presents, and 2015 is expected to maintain the tradition. Apple announced the billionth download from...

Safer roads this Christmas

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

According to Essex Police a total of 940 drivers have been breathalysed since the launch of their Christmas crackdown on drink and drug driving. Fifty two of those tested were found to be over the limit or refused or failed to provide a sample. A total of...

Penalty fines may increase for those using mobile phones whilst driving

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
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The government is considering proposals to increase fixed penalty fines from £100 to £150, as well as increasing the number of penalty points drivers receive from three to four. The last increase occurred in 2013, when the fixed penalty for using...

Ministry of Justice error leads to divorce deals being threatened

Sarah Overy
  • Posted
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When dealing with divorce settlements, couples have been filling out faulty Ministry of Justice forms since April 2014, it has been discovered. Debts were not included in the calculations, potentially producing inflated and inaccurate figures.  Though...

The rising cost of "paupers' funerals"

Lisa Carter
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  • Author

The number of 'public health funerals' has risen by 11% in the past four years, according to a Freedom of Information request by the BBC. This 11% hike has by consequence seen a 30% increase in cost to local councils in holding these funerals,...

Company Law Reform - SBEEA 2015 will affect all companies regardless of size

Spencer Davis
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The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 ('SBEEA') received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015. The name of the act is very misleading as most Directors and Shareholders may assume that they will not be affected as they are not part of a...

Why does England have so many empty homes?

Spencer Davis
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  • Author

Despite ongoing coverage of the shortage in available housing stock,  there are reported to be 610,123 empty homes in England . Of these, 205,821 have been unoccupied for six months or more. Although it sounds counterintuitive, investors who leave...

MPs call for a 20% tax on sugary drinks

Spencer Davis
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The Commons' Health Select Committee has said there is "compelling evidence" a tax would reduce sugar consumption and help in the battle against child obesity in England. The  Committee's report , which acknowledges that no single...

Equal Pay Day

Alexandra Dean
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  • Author

Although from the title of this article you may believe that 'Equal Pay Day' sounds like a day to be celebrated, it is actually the day on which men (on average) have already earned what a woman will earn (on average) in a year. From the 9th November...

'Most Active Law Firm' award goes to...

Steven Payne
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With a gathering of almost 70 prestigious law firms the competition was high at this year’s  LawNet  awards. A very pleased  Steven Payne , Managing Partner of Gepp & Sons collected the coveted award for the ‘Most Active Law...

Landlords lose and whiplash gets cracked in Osborne's autumn budget

Marc Dorsett
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  • Author

Backtracking on the contentious cuts to Working Tax Credits caught the headlines when Chancellor George Osborne delivered his Autumn Budget statement, alongside a boost to building and good news for first time buyers. The Chancellor announced the allocation...

Mandatory payments imposed on convicted defendants should be abolished, say MPs

Elizabeth Bradshaw
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  • Author

MPs on the parliamentary justice select committee have raised concerns about the criminal courts charge, calling for its abolition 'as soon as possible'. Since April 2015, convicted criminals in England and Wales have had to pay a charge, which is...

Another highly successful legal debate sees KEGS retain the silverware.

Spencer Davis
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This year's debate took place at Anglia Ruskin University.  Gepp & Sons were delighted to welcome a host of distinguished members of our community including the Deputy Mayor of Chelmsford, the Lord Lieutenant Lord Petre, the High Sheriff...

This House would raise the legal age of criminal intent from 10 to 14.

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
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There are only seven more days to go before the annual ‘ Gepp & Sons Schools Legal Debate ’. On Wednesday the 18th eight schools from across the county of Essex will be going head to head at  Anglia Ruskin University ,...

England coast path rolled out in the East

Edward Worthy
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  • Author

In a recent article published by the CLA, Natural England is currently working on a number of stretches of the England Coast Path in the eastern region. In Essex, Natural England has begun to investigate coastal access around Mersea Island, and between...

Women in the Boardroom

Alexandra Dean
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The end of October saw the publication of the Davies report of 'Women on Boards.' Though the number of women on boards has almost doubled since the beginning of 2010, the report recommends that now a third of all boardroom positions should be given...

New thresholds for bankruptcy petitions

Justin Emerson
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On 1 October 2015, the threshold debt needed for creditors' bankruptcy petitions was raised. On the above date the Insolvency Act 1986 (Amendment) Order 2015 amends section 267(4) of the Insolvency Act 1986. The effect of this is that the threshold debt...

Longer farm tenancies?

Edward Worthy
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  • Author

DEFRA minister  George Eustice  has called for longer farmland tenancies, stating that in doing so would encourage more people into the industry. Landowners should be encouraged to let out more of their land for longer periods (for farming)...

Growth in UK house prices sped up in the year to October

Spencer Davis
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According to the  BBC  the country's largest lender, the Halifax announced house prices rose in October by 1.1%, this follows a decline of 0.9% in the previous month. This increase has brought the average price for a flat or house...

Working time for mobile workers with no fixed workplace

Alexandra Dean
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Companies wanting to exploit the current trend of moving from office-based businesses to more mobile ones will need to take a recent ECJ decision into consideration before changing their approach. The ECJ held that the time spent by workers, who do not have...

HR involvement in disciplinary investigations

Alexandra Dean
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Businesses will welcome helpful guidelines provided by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) on how much involvement and influence HR should have in disciplinary investigations. What is crucial is that HR limits advice to questions of law, procedure and...

Assured shorthold tenancies: changes to section 21 notices

Justin Emerson
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  • Author

Landlords should be made aware of changes to the section 21 notice procedure that came into force on 1 October 2015. They place further restrictions on when a landlord can serve and enforce a section 21 notice in relation to residential properties let on...

Data protection and direct marketing

Justin Emerson
  • Posted
  • Author

Businesses that use and rely on third party marketing lists should take note of a First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) decision relating to breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003. The tribunal upheld the Information...

Sanctions for copyright infringement

Justin Emerson
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Two recent cases provide warnings to businesses on the sanctions that can be imposed for copyright infringement: In the first case, the High Court passed a 28-day custodial sentence suspended for 12 months on a nightclub owner for copyright infringement....

Property prices help fuel family inheritance court battles

Spencer Davis
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Rising property prices are helping to fuel increased numbers of inheritance disputes reaching the courts, with second marriages another major contributory factor. Such challenges are no longer the preserve of the wealthy, although they continue to feature...

Doctrine of Joint Enterprise comes under scrutiny

Elizabeth Bradshaw
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The Supreme Court is hearing two appeals in cases where convictions were gained under the doctrine of Joint Enterprise, which allows several people to be charged with the same offence, even though they may have played very different roles. Ameen Jogee and...

Health and Safety: The CDM Regulations 2015

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

Changes to the CDM Regulations are likely to affect the work of any person who is involved in the supervision of contractors in construction work. The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015  (SI 2015/51) came into force on 6th April...

Gang jailed for series of power tool raids on farms

Spencer Davis
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  • Author

Four men who targeted farm outbuildings in Wales, stealing thousands of pounds have been caught and put behind bars. Speaking after sentencing, detective chief inspector Neil Harrison, of North Wales Police, told the Daily Post that the group was...

Farmers must display EU billboards under new Stewardship rules

Edward Worthy
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Under the Government's new Countryside Stewardship scheme, which comes into force on 1 January 2016, farmers will be expected to erect EU billboards on their land. The new rule is contained in  section 8.4 of the Government’s latest...

Sunday Trading Laws

Spencer Davis
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  • Author

David Cameron has stated that the current Sunday trading hours do not work and has backed changes to the rules, despite opposition from many of is own MPs. Sunday trading laws currently do not allow large shops to open longer than six hours. The Prime...

Three families - one King

Spencer Davis
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‘The Only Way Is Tudors’ As promised, David Starkey most certainly did take us all on a white knuckle ride through Tudor Essex last Friday evening. Focussing on three dynasties, the De Vere, Petre and Marney families, David spoke with passion...

Parent wins term time fine victory

Spencer Davis
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A father who refused to pay a fine for taking his daughter to Disney World in Florida during term time has had the punishment overturned.   Jon Platt, from the Isle of Wight, was taken to court after refusing to pay the £120 fine for taking his...

The north-south divide returns

Spencer Davis
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  • Author

Latest figures from the Land Registry support the north-south house price divide, suggesting the gap to be widening aggressively. From January to August this year, house prices in Wales, the North East and North West of England rose by less than 1%. This...

Courts move towards higher tariffs on health and safety breaches

Spencer Davis
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Two high profile health and safety court rulings have caught the headlines this month, but the penalties imposed reflect the expected shift towards higher tariffs and businesses need to sit up and take notice say experts. First, fashion retailer Hugo Boss...

MP says couples should be allowed to apply for 'no fault divorce'

Steven Payne
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On Tuesday 13th October a controversial amendment to Family Law was proposed in the House of Commons by Richard Bacon, the South Norfolk MP. Speaking in the Commons, he said: "I propose one simple amendment to the law - the option of divorce without...

The high cost of rural crime

Edward Worthy
  • Posted
  • Author

Rural crime in England and Wales costs more than £800 million a year, according to a survey carried out by the  National Rural Crime Network  (NRCN). This is twenty-one times more than previous estimates suggest. The figure is calculated by...

Economic recovery gives rise to surge in wages

Spencer Davis
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  • Author

Low unemployment and competition for best workers means companies are being forced to pay higher wages. Salaries are up this year by 2.9% nationally. For professionals such as accountants, IT staff and marketing executives it is even higher at 5.7%, and for...

Crack down on cold-calling

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

Last year more than 180,000 complaints were received by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) regarding “cold calls.” The most common cold calls regard payment protection insurance (PPI) and accident claims, but the scope of such...

Junior doctors could strike over proposed contracts

Spencer Davis
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  • Author

Junior doctors in England have voted to ballot for strike action over new contracts which they say could see their pay cut by 30 per cent. The British Medical Association (BMA) junior doctors committee said the ballot is being held because the Government...

Consumer Rights Act 2015: Remedies

Justin Emerson
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  • Author

This article seeks to explore the remedies available to consumers under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which came into force in October this year. The CRA sets out the remedies to consumers in a tiered approach. It is expected that this simplified procedure...

All sorts of denim...

Spencer Davis
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Staff at Gepp & Sons relaxed their usual smart image last week to help raise money for Jeans for Genes day. All monies raised by the many thousands of participating businesses around the country help fund a range of initiatives that...

160 alleged crimes reported at schools per day

Spencer Davis
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According to a report published by the  BBC  more than 30,000 alleged crimes linked to schools were reported to police in 2014. This is equivalent to 160 allegations per school day. Theft, burglary or robbery were the most common offence, with...

The RSPCA could lose its power to prosecute

Elizabeth Bradshaw
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The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee is due to launch a parliamentary inquiry into whether the RSPCA should be allowed to both investigate and prosecute cases of animal cruelty. Founded in 1824, the RSPCA is thought to be the first...

Is there a shortage of jobs or a shortage of people to do them?

Alexandra Dean
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A record number of people in the UK are in employment, and immigration from the EU is also at a record level. There would appear to be little evidence to suggest that there is currently a shortage of jobs. The latest  Labour Market Statistics...

Dairy farmers asked to engage with migrant labour survey

Edward Worthy
  • Posted
  • Author

Dairy farmers are being asked to take part in a survey on their use of migrant workers to help make a focal point their crucial role in the workforce.  The Royal Association for British Dairy Farmers  (RABDF) survey takes five minutes to complete...

'Million' new homes aim

Spencer Davis
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  • Author

The government says it wants a million homes built in England by 2020, as the scale of the housing crisis is revealed in a BBC Inside Out investigation. The National Housing Federation estimated 974,000 homes were needed between 2011 and 2014. However this...

Most buoyant August for eight years

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Property prices in Greater London are now 9.7 per cent more expensive this August compared to this time last year. Usually the holiday month of August shows a slight down turn in activity with many would be buyers and sellers being away....

Police Prejudice Exposed In Stop-and-Search Figures

Peter Butterfield
  • Posted
  • Author

New stop-and-search figures composed by The Independent have revealed the significant issue of ongoing police prejudice, despite concerted efforts to tackle the problem. The Independent collated data from 39 police forces across the country. The result of...

Buy to let loan interest restrictions

Marc Dorsett
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  • Author

During the Chancellor's Summer Budget 2015 he made the announcement for plans to restrict the tax relief given to landlords for their finance costs. The decision was stated to have been made in order to remove the tax benefit available to a landlord but...

Countdown to new consumer laws

Spencer Davis
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  • Author

Businesses have until 1st October to get ready for new consumer rights and dispute resolution procedures Consumers have new rights from October, including a 30-day period to claim a full refund on faulty goods and, for the first time, protections on...

Travel time pay ruling will have significant implications

Alexandra Dean
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  • Author

The European Court of Justice has ruled that time spent travelling to and from first and last appointments by workers without a fixed office should be regarded as working time. The ruling is the latest in a series through European and UK courts reinforcing...

A law firm with a true pedigree...

Steven Payne
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  • Author

Managing Partner  Steven Payne  was on duty this Bank Holiday as he judged ‘Best in Show’ at the  Essex Dog Day . The event set in the glorious grounds of Crix the Georgian mansion at Hatfield Peverel hosted thousands of...

Landlords must act to avoid ending up in hot water over heating supplies

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

Landlords must comply with the introduction of individual metering and charging on communal heating and other forms of heat networks Landlords operating a communal heat supply have until December 31st to comply with regulations which introduce new...

Agricultural tax relief?

Spencer Davis
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  • Author

Prior to April 2011, Agricultural Building Allowances were available on the cost of an agricultural building, allowing a tax deduction for the cost of the building over a number of years.  Following the abolition of the scheme, however, there is no...

Could the living wage be the 'death' of the care industry?

Alexandra Dean
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  • Author

Under plans announced in the recent Budget, workers aged over 25 in the UK will be paid a minimum of £7.20 an hour from April 2016, rising to £9 by 2020. Four major care home providers have commented this could cost the care sector £1bn by...

Holiday pay sums are hot spot for employers

Alexandra Dean
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  • Author

With the summer holiday season at its peak, employers have a hot-spot to watch out for back home, with the news that they must permit holiday entitlement to be carried over for up to 18 months if it has been unused due to sickness. It follows the decision...

It no laughing matter

Spencer Davis
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  • Author

Lambeth Council has become the UK's first council to ban the use of nitrous oxide as a recreational drug. Also known as ‘laughing gas’, nitrous oxide has been linked to 17 fatalities between 2006 and 2012. According to The Global Drug...

Do you, don't you?

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

Recent figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) report a 30% increase in home-owners remortgaging in to new deals ahead of any possible rise in interest rates. During June 31,600 households changed their mortgage deals, compared to 24,300...

Landlords could face up to five years in prison.

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

New proposals to be included in the upcoming Immigration Bill will state Landlords will be required to check a migrant's status in advance of agreeing a lease. Repeat offenders could face up to five years in prison. Again they will be able to end...

Dismissal kicks up a stink at the sewage works

Alexandra Dean
  • Posted
  • Author

A worker who was dismissed after failing to follow new health and safety guidelines has won his claim for unfair dismissal in the Court of Appeal. And the decision is a warning to companies that it is not enough to issue new procedures and risk assessment...

15 quad bikes a week are being stolen from farms.

Spencer Davis
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  • Author

According to a recent NFU survey, the most targeted items over the past 12 months were fuel, tools and quad bikes, which is the same as in 2013. In 2014, the NFU processed claims for 820 quad bikes, which equates to more than 15 being stolen every single...

Hot dates and hot data

Spencer Davis
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  • Author

Reports that an extramarital dating site has been hacked recently may have given its customers more than the usual worry that accompanies news of cyber-crime. Following on the heels of many other high profile hacking cases, such as Sony in the United...

Essex Show Case for the Arts

Spencer Davis
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  • Author

Budding young artists from Schools from across the county displayed ‘the best of the best’ at this week’s Show Case for the Arts. For a number of years Gepp and Sons have been pleased to support this and other art projects helping the youth...

Property owners win and lose in Osborne's first fully Tory budget

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Action towards a new living wage caught the headlines as Chancellor George Osborne delivered his first Budget statement under a Tory majority, alongside good news for families who want to pass on their property wealth to future generations. The Chancellor...

HMRC pays record £605,000 to Informants

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

The amount of money paid to informants who inform on those who avoid tax has increased by 50% to a record high of £605,000. According to an article recently published in the Daily Telegraph 250 people a day are tipping off the authorities,...

No walk in the park...

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A team of six Gepp & Sons employees participated in this year's LawNet Challenge to climb Scafell Pike Mountain in the stunning Lake District National Park. The apparently innocuous hills and peaks were quite deceptive and proved to be a challenge...

Son working for 10p an hour inherits £1m

Lisa Carter
  • Posted
  • Author

James Davies, 54, dedicated his life to the £1million business after father Tom promised him: ‘One day all this will be yours’. But after his death it was revealed his will stated the farm should be split equally between Mr Davies and his...

THE 2015 GEPP LECTURE

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This years lecture will be given by Dr Rowan Williams (Lord Williams of Oystermouth), Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, on ‘HOW BUILDINGS TELL A STORY’. Refreshments will be served from 7.45 pm. All are welcome. No charge is made for...

Disciplinary procedure: business development briefing

Alexandra Dean
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  • Author

Why is it important to follow the Acas Code? It can avoid a finding of unfair dismissal The Acas Code was introduced to help businesses and employees deal effectively with issues of alleged misconduct or poor performance. When deciding whether an employee...

Taking stock of UK and overseas property

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Capital Gains Tax (CGT) has been extended to non-UK residents selling UK residential property and as the tax will be calculated on the gain made after 5th April 2015, owners need to record the value of the property and its general condition now, so they have...

Nailing down agreements on divorce

Steven Payne
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  • Author

Kathleen Wyatt has been granted permission to lodge a belated claim against multi-millionaire Dale Vince, who made his fortune through a green energy company founded in the 1990s, which is said to be worth £57m. The couple met and married in 1981 and...

Gepps lift the trophy!

  • Posted

Partner Michael Callaghan led a team of Gepps finest lawyers beating a number of prestigious barristers chambers as well as many other regional law firms. Will it be third time luck next year?...

Abusive email puts employer on the spot

Alexandra Dean
  • Posted
  • Author

The email was sent to 48 year old James Allen, a former serviceman from Devon, who was described in the letter as ‘an old, aesthetically challenged guy with no teeth’. Written by the company director of a window and conservatory manufacturer,...

Battle of forms highlights a hard truth for company contracts

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The ruling from the High Court has said that neither company made enough efforts to deliver up their terms and conditions to the other side, leaving both without a leg to stand on in a dispute over a supply of rubber gaskets. The dispute arose between...

Osborne puts inheritance tax under the spotlight

Lisa Carter
  • Posted
  • Author

The Chancellor announced that the UK economy grew 2.6% in 2014, faster than any other advanced economy but lower than the 3% that he predicted in December. He also reported record levels of employment and trade deficit figures that are "the best for 15...

A Civil Marriage...

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This can be undertaken by a simple service in a Registry office or in a ceremony conducted by a Registrar. Upon conversion the married couple will receive a back dated marriage certificate similar to a conventional certificate. The date of the civil...

£337 million divorce settlement...

Steven Payne
  • Posted
  • Author

Sir Chris Hohn, 48, and 49-year-old Jamie Cooper-Hohn had fought over who should get what in one of the biggest divorce fights seen in an English court. He said she should get a quarter of his wealth, but she had argued she should get half because the...

Talking it out can save the children

Steven Payne
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  • Author

According to the research, published by the Marriage Foundation, one in three children under the age of 15 woke up with just one parent on Christmas morning.  Alongside, are many more families where couples will have ‘held it together’ for...

More parents can ask for time off from next month

Alexandra Dean
  • Posted
  • Author

And as the deadline looms, businesses are being warned to make sure they’re prepared, or risk claims for discrimination by fathers seeking to share the time with their newborn. Paid Shared Parental Leave is a new right available to parents...

Secrets in Switzerland lead to big penalty bill

Lisa Carter
  • Posted
  • Author

The case, the first to test the position in court, is a warning to anyone who fails to come up with the facts when asked questions by those handling the estate of someone who has died. When Clayton Hutching’s father died, he left an estate of farm...

A seven year high!

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With lower interest rates and purchaser initiatives such as the Help to Buy scheme, first-time buyers found houses and flats more affordable in the last year, despite rising prices An estimated 326,500 people purchased their first home last year - a rise of...

Be careful if you're leaving employees lonely this Christmas

Alexandra Dean
  • Posted
  • Author

It comes after convenience store operator McColl was fined £150,000 for failing to protect its staff during a series of store robberies in Merseyside. The case was brought by Wirral Council, who argued that the company’s “failure to carry...

Relationship Christmas blues

Steven Payne
  • Posted
  • Author

The pace of modern life is such that families spend little time together, one occasion when they do is Christmas. Many couples experience additional stress, be it emotional and/or financial, so much so matters often come to a head and boil over. Before...

£300 per week less for ZERO HOUR workers

Alexandra Dean
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  • Author

Average weekly earnings for zero-hour workers are £188, compared with £479 for permanent. The article based its report on unpublished data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS has estimated there are 1.4 million contracts with...

Osborne headlines on stamp duty but disappoints on inheritance tax

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Highlighting that the UK is currently the fastest growing economy in the G7, the Chancellor announced an improved economic growth forecast for 2014, increased to 3% from the 2.7% predicted in March, and against a backdrop of 500,000 new jobs created this...

Great news for the Schools Food and Farming Day...

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The  Essex Agricultural Society  have been awarded the first prize of £750.00 in the recent Chelmsford Grant Awards. This award will go a long way to help finance the annual Schools Food and Farming Day held at Writtle Agricultural College. ...

A Better Way For Separated Families And Children

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If you are in that situation help is available if you and your partner want to resolve matters. The options available in conjunction with legal advice include  mediation . This is helpful and gives people the time and space to enable them to reach...

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). Budget News!

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As of December 4th 2014 there will be a major shake-up in the way Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is calculated. Further details of the changes hot from the Chancellor's Autumn Statement can be found  here ...

Passions were high as schools battled it out at the annual Gepp and Sons Schools Legal Debate

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Sixth form students from, Anglo European School, Brentwood School, Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School, Felsted School, Great Baddow High School, King Edward VI Grammar School, New Hall School and William De Ferrers School debated on the emotive...

Holiday Pay Ruling

Alexandra Dean
  • Posted
  • Author

Historically, many employers have paid workers holiday pay on 'basic pay' only excluding non-guaranteed overtime payments.  That is overtime payments that workers are not guaranteed, but if requested must work. In  the case of AMEC v Law...

Shift work dulls your brain

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The article went on to report that a decade of shifts could age the brain by more than six years. Apparently there was some recovery after people stopped working antisocial shifts, but it took five years to return to normal. The above is not legal advice;...

Tribunal decision shakes up personal use of office email

Alexandra Dean
  • Posted
  • Author

An employee has failed in an attempt to have the content of personal messages he sent from his work email account excluded from a disciplinary investigation.  The messages were discovered during an investigation into Mr Atkinson, the former director of...

What Businesses need to know under the new Consumer Contracts (Information Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013

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Relevant Contracts With the exception of certain specific contracts, which are either exempt or only partly covered by the CCR; the CCR’s apply to the following contracts for goods and/or services formed between a business and a consumer on or after...

Automatic pension enrolment: business briefing

Alexandra Dean
  • Posted
  • Author

What is auto-enrolment? From a date after October 2012, businesses will be required to automatically enrol eligible “jobholders” in a pension scheme. A “jobholder” will include permanent, fixed-term and temporary employees, as well...

'This house would afford anonymity to defendants of sexual crimes'.

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The event is open to sixth form college students offering them a fun and educational insight into the legal system as well as giving them the opportunity to put their mooting skills to the test.  The event involves 8 teams who debate a specified legal...

Straight talking protects family business

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A businessman is facing a hearing in the Supreme Court to answer claims that he misrepresented the value of his company to cheat his ex-wife out of millions in their divorce settlement. When the Sharlands divorced after 17 years of marriage, Alison...

Consumers get more clout with new laws

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When the changes come into effect, the  Consumer Protection (Amendment) Regulations  will give consumers the right to unwind contracts, claim a discount or raise a claim for damages against businesses who have subjected them to misleading or...

House sellers are facing testing questions

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It’s tempting to throw away old papers when spring cleaning or thinking of moving home, but anything relating to renovation or upgrading on a property should be kept safe and sound, to avoid problems and delays when you come to sell your house. And if...

Be Aware National Minimum Wage to increase as of 1st October 2014

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The increased NMW rates were recommended by the Low Pay Commission (LPC) and accepted in full by the government earlier this year. The LPC said the rises, the first real terms cash increase since 2008, had been set at a manageable level for employers. The...

Best in Show (for the 4th year)

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Over the last three years this event has raised just under £150,000 for PARC a wonderful Braintree based children's charity. PARC (Play and Resource Centre) provides a safe environment for disabled children in which to play. Over 480 Essex families...

Property buyers play it safe with no-nups

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Whether as a cohabiting couple, or two or more friends clubbing together, a cohabitation agreement, or no-nup, as they now becoming known, can help fix the outcome if things go wrong. And that’s particularly important when...

Gepp & Sons welcome new partner

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Gepp & Sons are pleased to welcome new Partner, Darren Goodey, to the firm.  Darren, who joins the firm in September,  previously worked for fifteen years with a large private sector organisation in London as their in-house legal advisor,...

Cohabitation on the Increase

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A high percentage of couples are choosing to cohabit rather than enter into formal marriage or a civil partnerships.  Furthermore, a rising proportion of these couples are also choosing to start their families outside marriage. Unfortunately cohabiting...

Entertainment industry bodies strike deal with UK internet service providers

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A leaked document seen by the BBC has revealed that after four years of negotiation, the entertainment industry bodies have come to an agreement with internet service providers (ISPs) as to how they should tackle illegal downloading of copyrighted material...

Latest Employment Tribunal news

Alexandra Dean
  • Posted
  • Author

An Employment Tribunal has recently decided that an individual can be deemed an 'employee' even where they have declined to be paid for their services. In Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills v Knight, Mrs Knight was the...

Statutory holiday pay should take account of commission payments

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In this case, Lock v British Gas Trading Ltd, Mr Lock was an energy sales consultant whose commission accounted for approximately 60% of his salary.  He decided to bring a claim to the Employment Tribunal on discovering that, following a period of...

Employers need to tackle team approach before the ref blows the whistle

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But for UK business, many employers may be secretly hoping for an early knock-out for the home team, when faced with the potential of lost working hours due to employees staying home to watch the games.  It’s not too late to tackle the challenge,...

Mind Your Mouth, warning to business as revelations go public

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US billionaire Donald Sterling looks set to lose his Los Angeles Clippers basketball team over racist remarks recorded by his ex-mistress and Richard Scudamore has been hauled over the carpet by the Premier League for sexist banter in emails that were...

2014 Gepp Lecture

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Thursday the 15th of May saw the second 'Gepp Lecture' at the  Friends of Essex Churches  Trusts Annual General Meeting. Held in the C12  St Andrews Church , Hatfield Peverel, The lecture was in remembrance of the late Thomas Gepp -...

Employers must gear up for April living wage deadline

Alexandra Dean
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The  National Living Wage  has been catching headlines since Chancellor George Osborne announced it last summer, but the Government’s target of £9 per hour by 2020 has overshadowed the detail, and many businesses remain unaware of the...

Probate registry speeds up process

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The UK’s probate sector has enhanced its performance over the last year, turning around thousands of client applications in just seven working days. Latest reports suggest the Probate Service has significantly improved its efficiency, issuing 161,000...

The 2014 Gepp Lecture

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This year's lecture will be held this evening (Thursday 15th May) and presented by the Rt Revd Graeme Knowles CVO, formerly Bishop of Sodor and Man and Dean of St Paul's. The annual General Meeting will commence at 7.15pm followed by refreshments at...

Lifelong campaigner leads the way for dementia sufferers

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In a case that has emphasised the importance of making one’s wishes known before illness strikes, a challenge to Westminster Council over residential care has successfully been fought on behalf of dementia campaigner and former politician Manuela...

Harsher sentences for banned drivers who kill

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The changes, he says, are designed to reflect the impact of such crimes on victims and their families. Grayling said "I want to make our roads safer and ensure people who cause harm face tough penalties.  Disqualified drivers should not be on our...

Housing Market - Boom or Bust

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Britain’s booming housing market is in dangerous territory according to the Bank of England, who warns of the danger of ignoring the momentum apparent across the country. On the same day that it emerged that one in fifteen London homes are selling for...

Top judge suggests moving simple divorce cases out of the courtroom

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The result could be that childless couples who consent to divorce could in future obtain their decree by a simple visit to the registrar. Judge Munby describes the current system as 'essentially bureaucratic and administrative' requiring judges to...

Family law judge calls for 'no-fault' divorce

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As the law stands, couples wishing to be granted a divorce within a two year period from separation must cite reasons of adultery or unreasonable behaviour in their divorce petition.  In the absence of any such reasons, the couple must be separated for...

Supreme Court reassesses remedies in nuisance cases

Justin Emerson
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The move which will be greeted with relief by developers, who have long been nervous about the potential for injunctions to be granted against them preventing the progress of their project or requiring them to demolish their work.  This particular case...

High Court considers restrictive covenants in employment contracts

Alexandra Dean
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The facts of this case led the court to consider the dichotomy between two legal principles: the principle that an agreement in resolution of a dispute should be upheld against the principle of restraint of trade.  In such scenarios, the onus is on the...

High Court rules on a suitable care arrangement in catastrophic injury case

Alexandra Dean
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In this case (Farrugia v Burtenshaw and others [2014]), liability had been admitted by the defendant road traffic insurer and most quantum issues agreed, however, the parties remained in dispute over the provision of future care and case management. The...

Essex Farmers to profit from Tour de France

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With the third stage of the world-famous cycle race passing through Cambridgeshire and Essex on 7 July 2014, the  Country Land and Business Association  (CLA) are encouraging Farmers to use some of their land for car parking and campsites. ...

Accelerating House Prices turn UK into a nation of Renters

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The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has announced that prices across the UK rose from the annual rate of 6.8% in January to a considerable 9.1% in February 2014. The ONS stated that house prices were 3.6% higher than the pre-recession peak in 2008. ...

Supermarket Test Case for Equal Pay

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If the claim is successful, the staff may be eligible to claim back six years' worth of pay from Asda. The proceedings will establish if pay discrepancies exist within Asda's equal value jobs. The case is due to be heard within the next two months...

Personal injury at work: 85% of injuries are not compensated

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Commonly, work place injuries relate to musculoskeletal disorders such as ligament and back injuries, skin diseases, hearing problems and injuries from slips and falls.  The figures for the year 2012-2013 show that of the 610,000 people who were...

£40,000 salary needed for first mortgage

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A first-time buyer needs a salary of almost £40,000 to afford an average mortgage acrossBritain, new figures suggest. First time buyers on average took out a mortgage loan of £119,000 in February, out of reach to those earning the national...

Good news for landlords where tenant companies enter administration

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Until the decision in this case, administrators had typically waited until an advance payment of rent was due before formally entering into administration, as this tactic almost certainly provided a rent free period.  In many cases the administrator...

Administration: business briefing

Alexandra Dean
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What is administration? Administration is the procedure by which a company that is, or is likely to become, insolvent can be reorganised or have its assets sold for the benefit of creditors. When a company goes into administration, an insolvency...

Foreign purchasers dominate Central London exclusive property market

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International estate agents Knight Frank has issued figures demonstrating that during the two years to June 2013, 69% of such new build homes were bought by non-British buyers.  Further, almost half of the buyers were not resident in the UK and thus...

Penalties for breaching environmental legislation

Alexandra Dean
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Understanding the regulator’s approach to the enforcement and prosecution of environmental offences should enable businesses to minimise their risk of being prosecuted. It should also help: Reduce the level of any penalties if the business is...

Dismissing an employee: business briefing

Alexandra Dean
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Why is it important to follow the law when dismissing an employee? Dismissing an employee for a reason other than one allowed by law, without following the correct procedure or giving adequate notice, may lead to a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal...

Better support for children whose parents are separating

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The act includes a number of specific measures with the Family Justice and Civil Liberties Minister Simon Hughes stating: “We are making sure the welfare of children is at the heart of the family justice system. We want to keep families away from the...

2014 Budget - Highlights

Alexandra Dean
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Tax free childcare The government has confirmed that the new tax-free childcare scheme will be launched in autumn 2015. Under the scheme, working families (all parents in the household must be "in work" earning on average £50 a week,...

Criminal Gangs target low value tractors

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Rural Insurer, NFU Mutual, warn that criminal gangs have been targeting low to mid value tractors for export to Africa in particular. A typical trend is emerging where Tractors are stolen from Farms, loaded onto Lorries then shipped abroad to developing...

EU vetoes maternity leave in surrogate cases

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The European Court of Justice has ruled against claims for maternity benefits by mothers whose babies were born through surrogacy in two cases just announced, with the decisions coming weeks after the UK has agreed legislation that will put both intending...

Supreme Court rules on Will signature error case

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The Supreme Court has ruled that an intended heir should not be disinherited based on an incorrectly signed Will.  The ruling is based on the premise that Wills should be treated in the same way as commercial contracts and that obvious oversights should...

Liam Gallagher and Nicole Appleton Divorce will now just 'Roll With It'

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The words 'quickie divorce' seem to suggest that there has been some departure from what otherwise would have been the ordinary route to take.  Many people will be curious as to what is so 'quick' about it. It is actually the case that...

Terms of prenuptial agreement overruled by High Court

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The High Court however ruled that to protect the "reasonable requirements" of their three children, the husband should not live in "relative penury", whilst his wife lives in "relative luxury". This is the case of...

How much higher can they go?

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According to Rightmove, property asking prices have reached an all-time high of nearly £256,000. The average asking price increased by £16,251, a 7% increase over the previous year. London saw the average price increase by 11.3% to a massive...

Changes to Employment Law

Alexandra Dean
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Acas conciliation The Acas early conciliation procedure will be introduced. Discrimination questionnaires Section 138 of the Equality Act 2010 (which deals with discrimination questionnaires) will be repealed. Employment tribunals Employment tribunals...

Tea room without tea!

Edward Worthy
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With the need for diversification more and more farmers are looking for creative ways to subsidise their income. In a recent ' Farmers Weekly ' article Mark Saich, a beef farmer from Sussex is putting the finishing touches to his £150,000...

Last Straw for Employees

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Historically, the ‘last straw’ doctrine has been used by employees to assert that an apparently trivial event has resulted in a serious erosion of the employer/employee relationship when viewed in light of the previous behaviour of that...

More talk time is priority for splitting couples

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The multi-million pound divorce case of  Young v Young  was, according to the judge, “extraordinary even by the standards of the most bitter of matrimonial breakdowns”.  The seven-year court battle between the couple has cost...

Dilapidations - Case Law Update

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In Sunlife the Court of Appeal ruled that they were satisfied with the trial judge’s method of valuing the demised premises for dilapidations purposes. The case centred on a dispute over leases of a 1970s Soho office block, which were...

Change to Agricultural Workers Legislation

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However, the coalition government have abolished the legislation that provides for such benefits (Agricultural Wages Order) to allow for the simplification of employment practices and to remove unnecessary regulatory burden. The abolition of the AWO...

Tractor Speed & Weight Restrictions

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The current legislation states that a tractor is not supposed to exceed 32kph (20mph) and the legal weight limit for agricultural vehicles is 24.39t for the tractor, trailer and the trailer’s contents (known as the Gross Train Weight or GTW).  ...

New Year, New Libel Laws

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From 1st January 2014 new libel laws will protect people expressing opinions from being sued. The law will be brought up to date as the law of defamation was considered to be old fashioned and out of touch. The Defamation Act 2013 will reverse the...

House prices are still on the up!

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Whilst prices rose across all regions the annual lows were in the North of England with 1.9%, whereas London increased by 14.9% in the last quarter alone. This takes the average UK house price to £175,826. The full report from the Nationwide can be...

Clare's Law to be expanded nation-wide

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The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has announced that a law enabling people to ascertain whether their partner has a history of domestic violence, will be expanded across all of England and Wales from March 2014. The initiative is affectionately named by the...

Alternative way of paying tax boosts national collections

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What is the connection between these items of cultural heritage? Sculptures by Barbara Hepworth in Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens Works by Corot and Degas at the National Gallery and the Courtauld Gallery Handwritten lyrics by John Lennon at the...

New media guidelines for Family Courts

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The president of the family division, Sir James Munby, informed newspaper editors recently that later this year practice guidance will be introduced that covers the publication of judgments from family courts and the Court of Protection. He said that many...

The smartphone war continues as Apple and Samsung return to court

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Last year saw the conclusion of one of the most high profile patent battles of recent times, as Apple claimed victory in one of several ongoing IP disputes that are presently being fought out between these two smartphone heavyweights in courtrooms across the...

Dyson files claim against Bosch

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Recently Dyson, the UK appliance company famous for its bagless vacuum cleaners, started legal proceedings against one of its competitors, Bosch, alleging that Bosch has unlawfully obtained secret technology and intellectual property from it. A high court...

British Music Industry successfully sink online pirates

Justin Emerson
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The Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) were asked to take this action in accordance with a court order successfully obtained by the BPI which represents the British music industry.  This follows similar orders made against high profile sites such...

Out of Court settlements on the increase

Justin Emerson
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This could be a result of costs budgeting as parties see the potential overall cost of litigation at an early stage. Judges and litigators have found that many cases have settled after the parties see the costs budgets. The fact that open and early costs...

Overage Payments

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This article seeks to give a brief explanation of Overage Agreements and their potential benefits when selling on land. An Overage Agreement is generally used to describe a situation whereby the seller is to share in any increase in value in a property that...

Government's Clampdown on Term-Time Holidays

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The regulations, which came into force on 1st September 2013, have come under sharp opposition from parents. A campaign started by Craig Langman (a parent himself) urges the Government to overturn the new regulations. The campaign has so far gained more than...

The Colour Purple

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A recent court decision that has received a lot of press attention is the ruling that the Kraft-owned branded Cadbury has won a trademark battle with Nestlé and has been allowed to trademark Pantone 2685C (the creamy purple used with Cadburys Dairy...

English Countryside of the Future

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The consultation has opened up a debate as to who should benefit from the subsidies. Many other EU countries are looking to use their grant to directly aid their farmers. The UK government, however, is of the opinion that their farmers will have to work for...

Sainsbury's v Tesco: price comparison feud may go to court

Justin Emerson
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The dispute originated when Sainsbury’s took umbrage to Tesco’s Price Promise Campaign whereby customers are encouraged to compare product prices with rival supermarkets.  In the event that a comparable product is found to be cheaper...

High Court decides on high conflict child contact case

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The case concerned a father’s application for contact with his 13 year old daughter. He had limited contact in accordance with the terms of a Court Order made in 2006.  The father sought an increase in contact to include overnight staying...

Is the Ministry of Justice of any use?

Peter Butterfield
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A recent submission to the Justice Select Committee has questioned whether the Ministry of Justice has ever done anything that has had any impact on the commission of any crimes in the UK since its inception in 2007. The company providing the submission,...

Dangers of a farm tenancy agreement

Edward Worthy
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A farm tenancy agreement is vitally important when a farmer is to use a landowners land for agricultural purposes. However, farmers have been urged to seek professional help when signing, as such agreements can often contain onerous terms that the tenant had...

New Victim's Code published

Peter Butterfield
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Damian Green, the victims’ minister, announced that judges will take into account victims’ personal statements when determining sentences from December. He believes this will stop the issue of victims feeling as though they are an...

Former Director of Public Prosecutions calls for criminal sanctions for failure to report child abuse

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In the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, much attention has been focused on how we can avoid the occurrence of any future situation in which abusive behaviour against children remains seemingly unnoticed and unchallenged. Keir Starmer, former Director of...

Forensic evidence finds £700m worth of assets

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Ms Young has argued that forensic evidence establishes that her former husband had assets of £700m two years after declaring himself bankrupt. Her barrister informed the court that Mr. Young had access to large sums that were “secreted in...

The Court of Appeal has recently found that a party's failure to respond to an invitation to mediation amounts to unreasonable conduct.

Justin Emerson
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The above case settled with the claimant accepting at the last minute the defendant’s part 36 offer. However, the defendant had previously failed to respond entirely to an invitation to attend mediation leading the court to impose a costs sanction that...

TV cameras enter Court of Appeal

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Other than in the Supreme Court, cameras in court have been prohibited since the commencement of the Criminal Justice Act 1925.   James Harding, BBC director of news and current affairs hailed the move as a “…landmark moment for...

Totting up the points !

Peter Butterfield
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Penalty points were first introduced as a means for the Courts to punish drivers for various driving offences rather than giving them a fine and/or a driving disqualification. Each offence will carry a fixed number or a range of points that can be applied to...

The SRA publishes a Training for Tomorrow policy document.

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Proposals include a possible expansion of the apprenticeship style route, that some employers now offer, which allows A-level students to be employed and qualify as lawyers without obtaining a university degree. With law school fees still...

Race for Life Champions

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The evening started with a mass warm up run by Heart FM, followed by two very pink energetic laps of Central Park. Amongst the Gepp & Sons contingent Karen Fresle and Rowena Butler took the lead, followed by Bakshi's...

Gepps & Sons Legal Debate goes from strength to strength

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This year the event took place at Anglia Ruskin University, which is itself celebrating 50 years of delivering undergraduate law degrees.  BBC Essex’s Dave Monk compered proceedings and provided some lighter moments which no doubt assisted in...

Landmark judgment made by The Supreme Court

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In 2000 Annie Woodland, aged 10 at the time, nearly drowned during a swimming lesson being given by an outsourcing company that had been hired by the local authority, Essex County Council. Her case included a claim that the swimming teacher and lifeguard,...

Transport links and Schools prove to be significant factors influencing house prices

Spencer Davis
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A recent report shows that the demand for higher end properties throughout the UK has had positive growth; however, the positive trend has not applied to the same extent equally throughout the country. It appears that the following key factors have...

Chris Grayling strongly rejects European proposals

Peter Butterfield
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After pursuing what many believe are unsustainable and damaging cuts to the UK legal aid system many will welcome Grayling’s defence of the UK justice system. Among the measures the UK will opt out of are: The European probation measure - Grayling...

Company refused Charity status

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The Charity Commission released their final decision on 3rd October 2013 to uphold its earlier decision not to register the Human Dignity Trust as a charity. Although the Commission acknowledges that the Human Dignity Trust carries out...

Criminal Legal Aid sustainability

Peter Butterfield
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A leading criminal lawyer, Franklin Sinclair, has recently argued in a speech to the Legal Aid Practitioners’ Group that the current legal aid system can only sustain a maximum of 300 criminal solicitors firms rather the 1,600 there are currently in...

Landowners can stop the clock on public usage rights

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Public use of privately owned open spaces is on the line following the introduction of legislation that allows landowners to bring to an end recreational use of land as a village or town green. Areas of open space used by local residents for recreation and...

Internet Goliaths give a lesson for smaller business

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Microsoft are being forced to change the name of their SkyDrive online storage after Sky issued proceedings alleging trade mark infringement and passing off, arguing that the average consumer would make a link to the Sky brand.  Sky’s claim -...

Crossing the line between Rural and Urban

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Since the introduction of the Land Registration Act 2002, certain transactions have automatically triggered the first registration of a property or area of land.  Such transactions trigger registration where the land/property has been sold, a lease has...

Town and Village Greens: new law on registration

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The new Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 will be a welcome amendment to the law on the registration of town and village greens from the point of view of landowners and developers.  The Commons Act 2006 permits applications from anybody for...

Changes to pre-termination negotiations

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This can cause great difficulties in employment situations, because often conversations regarding possible exit packages take place at an early stage and before a dispute is actually in existence.  As a result the without prejudice protection is...

Victory for Sky over Microsoft trademark infringement

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On August 1st 2007, Microsoft launched its SkyDrive hosting service which allows users to upload and sync files to a Cloud storage and then access them remotely via the Web. In 2011 BSkyB brought an action for passing off and infringement against...

Not quite in the 'Gareth Bale' league... but still a fantastic result.

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Last years event raised just under £49,000 for the wonderful children’s charity ‘PARC’. Based in Great Notley, the ‘Play and Resource Centre’ (PARC) provides much needed support to around 480 families with children...

New unfair dismissal compensation limit introduced

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The Basic Award The Basic Award is calculated in the same way as a statutory redundancy payment and takes into account an individual’s length of service, gross weekly pay (subject to a statutory cap of £450 per week) and age.  The...

Introduction of fees in Employment Tribunals

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Depending on an individual’s financial circumstance, an individual may be able to claim a remission of all or part of any fee for which they are responsible; we suggest you contact us further if you require specific advice in relation to this. A...

Essex Dog Day - 25th August 2013

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Gepp and Sons are delighted to support the third annual  Essex Dogs Day  being held on Sunday 25th August. Last years support contributed to a massive fundraising total of £49,000 for PARC, a wonderful charity supporting families...

House Prices still on the up!

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Whist this time last year the summer was a little slow, this year has seen no sign of the usual holiday siesta! The average house price is now estimated at a little over £170,000. Much of the increase has come from the relentless London market which...

Pre-nups like Nigella's can take the pain out of divorce settlements

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High-speed divorce is back on the discussion boards following the breakdown of the marriage between art collector Charles Saatchi and celebrity chef Nigella Lawson, with the news that their divorce is expected within the month. Whilst the pre-nup between...

Compromise to settlement - Is the real power in the name?

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A contract/common-law claim, that is where there has been a breach of the employee’s contract i.e. a wrongful dismissal claim or for a personal injury claim can be resolved by means of a contractual waiver. A statutory claim, however, and that is one...

Digital Courts to improve speed and efficiency.

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The Government are planning to have all court rooms in England and Wales fully digital by 2016, to end what the Government deems as an outdated reliance on paper in the justice system. This proposal is part of a £160 million plan to improve the speed...

Government to introduce lie detector tests for sex offenders

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The proposed scheme follows the system that has long been in place in theUnited Stateswhere polygraph tests are mandatory for serious sex offenders. It is understood the proposal will mean that tests for sex offenders who are categorised as 'serious'...

England and Wales to say "I do" on same-sex marriage after US Ruling?

Steven Payne
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The recent ruling in the US Supreme Court focused primarily around the issue of certain federal benefits not being available to people in a same-sex union, compared with those who are married.  The Supreme Court found such laws discriminated against...

Ongoing custody battle

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On 2nd July a High Court judge, Mr Justice Roderic Wood, ruled that a father who refuses to reveal the whereabouts of his six year old daughter will be returning to jail for being in contempt of court. The father, Tamar Salama, married Naomi Button in...

Landmark ruling opens way to change in workplace pay policies

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Small businesses are feeling the shockwaves of an equal pay ruling following a recent Supreme Court ruling. The landmark judgment in the case of North and others v Dumfries and Galloway Council has opened the way to women employees raising a case for equal...

No more hiding behind corporate structures

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The Supreme Court decision in the case of Prest v Petrodel Resources and Others [2013] UKSC 34 is an interesting one. Not only did the court clarify the circumstances in which the corporate veil can be pierced in family cases, but through trust law...

New fraud sentencing guidelines to focus on harm.

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Under new guidelines being considered by the Sentencing Council, consideration is being given to a new system to take more account oF the impact on the victims of the offences and whether they were vulnerable. The proposals would apply to offences ranging...

Keep on running

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Six brave members of staff turned out on a rather warm evening to represent “Team Gepps” in the 15th annual Race for Business aroundChelmsford.   Pictured before the race (looking rather confident) is Jon Brown, Steven Payne, Alison...

Friends of Essex Churches Trust hosts the first annual 'Gepp Lecture'

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James Bettley Chairman of the  Friends of Essex Churches Trust  opened proceedings at this years AGM held at  All Saints Church, Writtle . Gepp & Sons Solicitors sponsored this year's meeting and were proud...

Another successful talk with Mencap

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Danny Carter of Gepp & Sons Solicitors delivered another successful talk at  Mencap , this time on providing for the future. The talk took place at Colchester’s First Site Visual Arts Centre to provide advice to a group of approximately 50...

Michael Jordan in Chinese Trademark Dispute

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Michael Jordan was one of the most famous sport stars in the world and is certainly one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He is not only popular in his native USA but became enormously famous in China, known not only under the name...

New fixed penalties for careless driving offences.

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Many of us treat ourselves to moments of reverie, thinking who would be 'for the chop' if we were in charge. One of the subjects that causes a large number of people to become particularly agitated is bad driving and in that category, the top of a...

Think carefully before using restrictive covenants to secure overage payments!

Edward Worthy
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The High Court's decision in Cosmichome Ltd v Southampton City Council [2013] EWHC 1378 (Ch) which was issued on 23rd May serves as a warning to those relying on restrictive covenants to secure development clawback payments. The...

Banking on a lesson in promised bonus payments

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Banker bonuses may seem a world away from small business, but there is a lesson to learn following a recent ruling on a promised bonus payout at Dresdner Kleinwort, which the bank subsequently tried to cut back.  An award of more than €50 million...

Successful Young Farmers Show!

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People from all over Essex and beyond flocked to Boyton Cross to enjoy everything that is rural at this year’s  Essex Young Farmers Show . Once again our marquee was packed with farming families and rural business owners taking the opportunity of...

Landowners intending to diversify the use of their agricultural buildings take note!

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On 30th May the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013 (SI 2013/1101) comes into force. The order allows English landowners greater flexibility in the use of their agricultural buildings. A new permitted...

Wildlife Management, Landowner Liability And The Law Commission Review

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This article explores the implications of an affirmative response to the following consultation question. “Question 9-9: Do consultees think that there should be a wildlife offence extending liability to a principal, such that an employer or someone...

Legal disputes between parents living in different countries on the rise

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Lord Justice Thorpe, Head of International Family Justice forEnglandandWales, has released his annual report, calling for better co-operation between countries on all aspects of family law. Last year alone the courts inEnglandandWalesdealt with more than 250...

Should squatting in commercial premises be criminalised?

Michael Callaghan
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With the introduction of s.144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 however, squatting in a residential property became a criminal offence punishable by up to 6 months imprisonment and a fine of up to £5,000.  The...

Police must treat 17-year-olds in custody as children

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During the time he was in custody he was not allowed contact with his mother, who only found out about his arrest four hours after he was detained. On arrival at Battersea Police Station having learned of her son's arrest she was denied access to him....

Courts rule on rent deposits

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The brief facts of the case are that the Tenant paid funds by way of rent in advance to the Landlord at the start of the term.  The Tenant paid a total of 6 months rent in advance as a consequence of the Tenancy Agreement agreed by the parties.  It...

Why baring all may be best for the kids.

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Elderly parents wanting to benefit children or friends before they die need to consider the consequences, and be clear and open about their intentions if they want to avoid family fights and court battles. A recent case highlighting this problem revolved...

Possible repeal of new squatting laws

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It is understood that the police have not arrested anyone for displacing residents from their homes under the new laws, and only 3 people have been sentenced to terms of imprisonment since the new laws were introduced in September 2012.  A total of...

Giving to the homeless of Chelmsford during the cold spell.

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This is just what the partners and staff of Gepp & Sons Solicitors have been doing over Christmas and the start of the this year. Churches Homeless Emergency Support Scheme (CHESS)  works tirelessly catering for the needs of Chelmsford...

Business gets a boost in Osborne's Spring budget

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The Spring budget was delivered against the gloomy backdrop provided by the Office for Budget Responsibility, which downgraded the 2013 growth prediction it had issued last December, down from 1.2% to 0.6%. The headline-grabbing measures of the Budget...

Business gets a boost on bringing in debts

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Changes in the statutory protection for late payment of commercial debts sees a tightening up on how quickly commercial debts should be settled and the opportunity to recover costs, but businesses wanting to use the legislation need to make sure their...

Whose email is it anyway?

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Who owns an email?  That was the question facing the High Court recently when an employer challenged a former MD to hand over emails he had exchanged whilst in the role. But the judgement in  Fairstar Heavy Transport NV v Adkins and another...

Jackson Reform - changes to costs management

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The majority of The Jackson Reforms in relation to litigation costs in England are set to be implemented on 1st April 2013. Under The Jackson Reforms there will be some crucial changes to the elements of costs management.  From April, parties in...

Launch of Summer Work Experience

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We are pleased to announce that our Work Experience Scheme is now open for applications.  The work placements are one week long and will take place in our Chelmsford Office and will run from 22nd July to 30th August.  Last year the scheme was very...

Homeowners warned over new care home fees rules

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Following the long awaited announcement on the changes to residential care fee contributions, homeowners with higher value property are being drawn to routes to protect their assets, but experts are warning them to watch out for expensive schemes that will...

Social networking sites - be careful what you say

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Swansea University have urged its students to avoid posting tales of their nights out on social networking sites, for fear that this information could be unearthed by potential employers. The university said that they “…have received complaints...

Parents should read the small print when it comes to mobile phones for children

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In a recent case, the father of a young man with learning difficulties turned to a newspaper to highlight the problems he faced in challenging a £5,500 mobile phone bill, run up by his autistic son making calls and texts to sex lines.  The son is...

Stringfellow performer dances herself out of employee status

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In Stringfellow Restaurants Ltd v Quashie [2012] EWCA Civ 1735 the Court of Appeal overturned the Employment Appeal Tribunal and ruled that despite there being contractual obligations, no contract of employment existed between a lapdancer and...

Pickles unveils 'beds in shops' plan

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The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, has announced proposals to relax planning rules to allow for office spaces, shops and warehouses to be converted into residential properties without the need to acquire planning...

More mortgage approvals, more house sales.

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According to the latest announcement from the Bank of England, the number of mortgages agreed by lenders to home buyers has risen for the 5th month in a row. One suggestion for the increase is the government’s Funding for Lending scheme (FLS). ...

Green shoots of recovery

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Following a gain of £67 billion in the total value of all homes in 2010, Britain then suffered sharp falls in value amounting to £124 billion in 2011. However, figures calculated by Zoopla.co.uk, combining the estimated current market value of...

Virtual farming in East Anglia

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With many people becoming more interested in where their food comes from and the increase of home grown food, the National Trust with the support of the NFU set up a “virtual farm” experiment called MyFarm in Cambridgeshire.  The project...

Call for criminal sanctions against care home owners.

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Former Health Minister, Paul Burstow's plans are set out in a report on care and corporate neglect calling for unlimited fines and criminal sanction for companies owning care homes.  Following the Government Report on the abuse at...

Divorce down, but family business in lockdown when it comes to settlements

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Official figures released in December 2012 show that the number of divorces dropped by 1.7%* in the previous year, but divorce statistics continue to peak in the period following Christmas, with the second week in January notoriously the busiest month for...

Employment Law update

Alexandra Dean
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Announcements have been made by the Government in relation to its ongoing reform program for  employment law .  The key developments are; Unfair dismissal compensatory awards will be capped at the lower of one years pay and the existing limit...

Report shows significant decline in number of Tenant's in rental arrears

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The fourth quarter of 2012 showed a 15.6% drop in the number of tenants in arrears of more than two months according to Templeton's LPA's Tenant Arrears Tracker. This is the first time this figure has dropped in over a year, as the preceding four...

Gepp & Sons achieve Lexcel accreditation

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Gepp & Sons in Chelmsford have secured the national Law Society's law management quality mark, Lexcel.  Lexcel is developed specifically for the legal profession. It is an optional, recognised accreditation scheme for law firms and in-house...

Contract guarantees get a 21st century makeover

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The Court of Appeal’s Judgement opens the way to email exchanges being used instead of a hard copy signed document for the purposes of the 1677 Act of Parliament known as the Statute of Frauds, which sets out that certain contracts – such as a...

Seaside Attracts Singles !

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On the 2nd January the BBC News Website carried a story entitled “alone at the seaside” which revealed that an analysis of the 2011 census showed a 20% increase in the number of people in England and Wales who were either separated or...

Landmark ruling opens way to change in workplace policies on religion

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A flood of workplace reviews is expected following a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling which has said that a Christian employee of British Airways had her human rights breached when she was not allowed to wear a crucifix with her BA uniform....

Unlawful infringement on trademark rights

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Burger King Corporation has filed a claim against Moscow resident Alexei Makoveyev after he registered website domains, that Burger King claim unlawfully infringe on its trademark rights. Mr Makoveyev registered the burgerking.su and burger-king.su domains...

Divorcing couples struggling with holiday properties

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Many couples with a variety of levels of income take the decision to buy a property abroad at some point during their marriage. However, an increasing number of these couples who are now facing divorce are finding that falling property prices in countries...

Slow growth for mortgage lending

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According to an article published by Warren Lewis of propertyreporter.co.uk, any growth in the UK 2013 mainstream mortgage will be eclipsed by growth in lending from alternative sources of finance. A survey of 400 mortgage brokers forecasts the bridging...

Britain : the expanding playground of property millionaires

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According to research carried out by Zoopla.co.uk, high demand for prime residential property resulted in a steep increase in prices at the exclusive end of the property market compared to the rest of the market, where house prices grew by just 1% overall....

Nestle wins latest trademark battle against Cadbury

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In 2006 Nestle successfully registered the shape of a four bar of Kit Kat chocolate. However, Cadbury had applied to invalidate the trademark registration on the basis that the shape of a chocolate bar was a generic item that could not be protected by a...

RAIN - The cost to farmers...

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Ed Bailey, president of NFU Cymru told the BBC that feed for livestock has been particularly affected. Wheat crops were hit by the summer rain with yield in England down by almost 15% on the five year average, with productivity down to 1980's levels....

Divorce rate on the decline!

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In 2010 approximately 42% of marriages were expected to end in divorce, compared to 45% in 2005. Furthermore, there was a drop in the number of divorces of 1.7% from 2010 to 2011. In Scotland the number of divorces dropped by 2.8% in the same period. ...

First-time buyer numbers at highest since 2007

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This represents around 216,000 first-time buyers (FTBs) up from 193,000 in 2011. But this is almost 50% lower than in 2006. Affordability not availability of stock seems to be the stumbling block for many who are forces to take up the rental option. Again...

Wheel clamp ban on private land

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 As from 1 October 2012, s.54 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 makes it a criminal offence to attach an ‘immobilising device’ to restrict the movement of a vehicle in order to prevent the driver from removing it.  This will...

Tackling the pitfalls of Christmas cheer at work

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On the first day of Christmas, my employees said to me, let’s hold an office party, On the second day of Christmas, my clients sent to me two bottles of sherry, and an office party On the third day of Christmas, my secretary said to me, I’m...

Government plans to introduce prison mentors

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Under these plans every prisoner released in England and Wales would have their own mentor to help them rebuild their lives.  The plan would be coordinated by private and voluntary groups who would be paid if reoffending was reduced. The...

Wife awarded £2.2million

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This followed a trial where the husband argued that his wife had acted solely as a receptionist at the hotel and had not been employed on a permanent basis throughout the period of their cohabitation and short subsequent marriage.  The husband also...

Website Editor facing legal action

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The letter, which has now been removed from the website, is said to defame the principal and two other members of the senior management staff of St Mary’s University College, Twickenham. Lawyers acting for the principal are now pressing for the editor...

New 'stalking' offences introduced

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On 25th November 2012 a law was brought into force to create new offences of 'stalking'.  The new law creates three new offences of 'stalking', 'stalking involving fear of violence' and 'stalking involving serious alarm or...

Offenders to meet their victims

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The proposals are part of a new scheme to try and cut high reoffending rates.  How the encounters will operate will be set out in a new clause of the Crime and Courts Bill being debated in the House of Lords. Currently the practice of...

Treatment for 'club drugs' rising

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The National Treatment Agency have issued a report indicating that the number of individuals who sought help for the effects of taking what are commonly known as 'club drugs' has risen over the last 6 years.  The sort of drugs that come...

Drunk driver jailed for 8 years

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Wilfred Museka pleaded guilty at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court to causing death by dangerous driving, along with also admitting offences of fraud by false representation, driving without insurance and driving other than in accordance with a driving...

Contracts for the sale or disposition of land

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A contract for the sale or other disposition of an interest in land can only be made in writing and by incorporating all the terms which the parties have expressly agreed in one document, or where contracts are exchanged, in each. These are the requirements...

Prison outsourcing plans to be revised

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The Government appear to have taken a surprising u-turn on their prison policy after deciding to keep four of the nine prisons under state control that were due to be outsourced as part of it's prison privatisation programme. On the 8th November 2012,...

One million people caught driving using a mobile

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Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information rules show that one million motorists have been caught illegally using a handheld mobile phone while driving since the legislation banning the same was introduced in 2003.  A survey has established that...

Prisons to do more to rehabilitate foreign inmates

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HMP Canterbury, a jail holding only foreign inmates, was found to have no offending behaviour programmes according to a report for the Chief Inspector of Prisons.  It was said that this was due to the belief that there was little benefit in addressing...

Juror jailed for contempt of Court

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A jury member who was found to have disclosed details of a jury's deliberations to a Defendant during their Crown Court criminal trial, has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment. Stephen Pardon, 42, was a serving juror on a case relating to a...

Trader jailed over teeth whitening product

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Barrington Armstrong-Thorpe of Clacton, who is 64 years of age, was sentenced to 16 months in prison following a full trial following which he was found guilty by the jury. The case was brought by Essex Trading Standards on the basis that Mr...

New taskforce takes on tax dodgers

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Monday 19th November 2012 saw HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) launch a taskforce to tackle tax cheats in the rental property sector in the South East of England. The taskforces are essentially specialist teams who target certain high risk trade sectors...

New plans to speed up justice

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The Criminal Justice Minister, Damian Green, has announced the plan and said it will be trialled outside of London including in Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham and it is hoped that the new system will enable conclusion of cases within weeks rather than...

New plans to help recover legal aid contributions

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The proposals have been set out on consultation paper which seeks to make sure that there is full compliance with the requirements of the Crown Court means-testing scheme.  £700 million a year is spent on criminal legal aid and...

Ex-MP falsely claimed expenses

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Ex Labour Luton MP, Margaret Moran, was charged with 15 offences of false accounting and 6 of using a false instrument.  During the Court process, she was deemed unfit to stand trial, but if there is such a finding, rather than the Defendant...

New law proposed to disrupt the use of mobile phones in prisons

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The Prisons (Interference with Wireless Telegraphy) Bill will enable the Government to authorise Governors to use technology to detect and disrupt the use of mobile phones in prisons.  The Bill has the backing of the Ministry of Justice and it is hoped...

Gepp & Sons supporting local MND group

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Danny Carter, Head of Gepp & Sons'  Private Client  Department was delighted to be able to give his time recently to attend the Chelmsford  Motor Neurone  (MND) group meeting. Danny spoke informally to the members and their...

17 year jail sentences for lease fraud

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Amarjit Singh-Mann, Kamlesh Panchel and Jagjeet Chahal appeared before Harrow Crown Court for sentencing in relation to a conspiracy to defraud of which they had been found guilty in early October 2012.  The scheme involved them falsely claiming that...

Justice delayed!

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The Justice Committee has recently heard evidence from various professionals involved in care cases about the Government’s plan to impose a 26 week time limit for courts to conclude care cases.   Most professionals agreed that care cases are...

'Rape tweet' leads to further prosecutions

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The case arises from the prosecution and conviction of former Sheffield United striker Ched Evans who was imprisoned in April for a period of 5 years for raping a 19 year old woman. The new prosecutions relate to seven men and three women from the North...

Tyre fire courts controversy on who pays the bill

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Commercial property owners and tenants are being urged to check their insurance obligations following a Court of Appeal ruling which refused a compensation pay out when fire had spread to neighbouring premises. Last month the Court of Appeal ruled in the...

The Scottish Referendum Question

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The SNP has formally submitted their preferred question for the Scottish referendum on independence: “Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?”. The proposed referendum is due to be put to the Scottish people in autumn 2014. ...

More living alone in middle age

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A few days ago, the Daily Mail ran a headline article entitled “Lonely UK” and gave figures for the number of middle aged people living alone due to divorce or separation. Figures supplied by the Office for National Statistics reveal that over...

Prison sentence for attacking referee

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James Barnett, 25, from West Drayton was sentenced to 1 year in prison for head butting a referee and repeatedly kicking him at a 6 a-side match in Berkshire in July 2012. The Football Association said it was delighted with the sentence and a spokesman said...

Constable sentenced over protected bird eggs

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Michael Upson, 52, appeared before Norwich Magistrates Court and admitted possessing eggs from protected birds including Marsh Harriers, Warblers, and Nightjars.  Mr Upson was arrested after RSPB inspectors and police officers searched his home. ...

Personal Representatives - Tracing Relatives

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Personal Representatives (PRs) have a duty to distribute an Estate to entitled Beneficiaries. They may be personally liable as failure to do so may amount to a breach of Trust (Re: Diplock [1948] Ch 465). It becomes difficult for PRs when beneficiaries...

Tougher laws for workplace injury claims

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New government proposal will mean employee’s face a tougher battle for compensation when injured in the workplace. The clause amends section 47 HSWA to remove the right to bring civil claims for breach of a statutory duty contained in certain health...

Golf trophies - a new trend in scrap metal theft?

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For several years copper has been the target of many thefts due to the relatively high price of the metal sold as scrap.  For a long time lead has also been the subject of numerous thefts from roofs and other publicly accessible places.  ...

ECHR rules on unfair dismissal claim

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The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that an employer, who sacked one of their staff members for being in the BNP, had breached the individual’s human rights. Serco summarily dismissed Mr Arthur Redfearn, a bus driver, after it was reported in...

Trial of Estate Agents must proceed

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The High Court was told that in August 2009, Bycroft & Co were agents for the sale of a property known as Hazeldene at Kings Loake, Hemsby.  In the sale brochure, the property was described as a 'charming period detached family house...

Introduction of a Small Claims Track for Intellectual Property Disputes

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Until very recently, small businesses and individuals faced a significant problem in protecting their intellectual property rights. Bringing a claim of enforcement was prohibitively expensive and taking legal action in respect of intellectual property...

'Cell confession' leads to guilty verdict for murder

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Christopher Docherty-Puncheon was convicted by a majority verdict of the shooting of Lieutenant Colonel Robert 'Riley' Workman, following a 5 week trial at St Albans Crown Court. The Court heard that the 33 year old confessed to the killing of Mr...

Can brain injuries cause youngsters to commit crime?

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The study says that injuries of this nature can lead maturing brains to 'misfire' affecting judgement and the ability to control impulses.  The findings are very similar to a report by the Children's Commissioner for England and calls...

Six jailed over care home abuse

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Eleven care workers in all appeared before Judge Neil Ford QC for sentencing in relation to varying different charges of ill treatment, abuse or wilful neglect.  Five of the eleven were given suspended sentences, however six were made subject to...

Schools Art Festival 2012

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Once Again Gepp & Sons were proud to support the youth of the City of Chelmsford at the recent 'Schools Art Festival' held at Chelmsford Cathedral. Stunning works of art from Hylands, Moulsham, Boswells, Chelmer Valley and Great Baddow High...

Paedophile 'ring' jailed

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The four men were sentenced by Reading Crown Court and received what are referred to as 'indeterminate' sentences.  Simon Wyn-Davies 38 was sentenced after pleading guilty to 22 counts of rape on a child under the age of 13.  He...

Man jailed for Hillsborough assault

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In the recent game between Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United at Hillsborough, Chris Kirkland, Sheffield Wednesday's goalkeeper, was assaulted by Aaron Cawley when Cawley ran onto the pitch and struck Mr Kirkland in the face.  Mr Cawley,...

Supreme Court ruling paves way for equal pay claims through civil courts allowing longer claim period

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A flood of equal pay claims is expected following a Supreme Court ruling allowing workers who miss the six-month deadline for claiming compensation through the employment tribunal to take their claim to the normal courts, where a six-year time limit applies....

Only in Essex?

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You might wonder what the driver had done to deserve the censure of the police.  The cab was one of 194 vehicles pulled over by the police, but we are guessing that it was the only vehicle that was stopped because it's passenger was...

BNP leader's tweet under investigation

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Two men who won a landmark ruling that they had been discriminated against by a B&B owner, due to the fact that they were a gay couple seeking to book a room, were reportedly the subject of Mr Griffin's tweet.  Apparently the home address...

Cameron: "Prisoners are not getting the vote"

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David Cameron has told parliament "no one should be under any doubt - prisoners are not getting the vote under this Government".  He did however offer a further Commons debate to "help put the legal position". It is believed that...

Council foots the bill for 'outrageous fly tipping'

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On the 23rd October 2012, traffic chaos was caused in the area of Lower Nazeing near Harlow, due to Laundry Lane being closed in both directions on Monday evening and Tuesday morning after motorists reported 7 tonnes of rubbish dumped in the middle of the...

Reports recommends decriminalising some drug offences

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The current law is determined by the Misuse of Drug Act 1971 a piece of legislation that the commission say could never have anticipated, and was never designed to deal with such high levels of use as are currently found in England and Wales.  Nor did...

Government keen to pursue "Swift Justice" pilot schemes

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The government are introducing these new measures following the response of the courts in the aftermath of the August 2011 riots.  Courts across England and Wales were open for longer hours, some courts even sitting at night in an attempt to deal with...

Children found after Judge orders a search

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In recent days, a High Court Judge took the unusual step of disclosing the names and identity of four children who had disappeared with their mother following a contact visit to her. The children lived with their father on the Spanish island of...

Prison sentence for offensive facebook posts

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Matthew Woods aged 20 of Chorley appeared at Chorley Magistrates Court where he admitted sending 'a grossly offensive public electronic communication'.  He had made a number of offensive posts on Facebook regarding April Jones and also Madeline...

Builder jailed for gross negligence manslaughter

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George Collier, 49, from Conwy had pleaded not guilty to gross negligence manslaughter atMold Crown Court.  He was charged following the death of 3 year old Meg Burgess in July 2008 who had been walking home with her mother when a wall constructed by Mr...

Man pleads guilty to damaging Rothko painting

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Wlodzimierz Umaniec (also known as Vladimir Umanets) who is 26 years of age was charged with criminal damage having allegedly written 'Vladimir Umanets '12.  A potential piece of yellowism' on Rothko's 'Black on Maroon' whilst at...

Essex men sentenced for manufacture of fake prescription drugs

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Nicholas Boys, Mark Rosson and Eric Rudance, appeared at Southend Crown Court and were sentenced in relation to a number of charges concerning possession and supply of controlled drugs and prescription only medicines online. One also faced a charge of...

Time to get Jaws on your side.....

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Employers worried about losing commercially sensitive information when employees move on are being told to tighten up employment contracts if they want to protect themselves and have the courts on their side.  The outcome of a recent case brought by...

Man charged with rape on inaccurate DNA evidence

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DNA tests in the case were carried out by a private firm which wrongly linked the DNA of Adam Scott from Devon to an allegation of rape made by a woman in Manchester.  Mr Scott was charged on the 23rd October 2011, following the results of DNA tests...

Facebook criticised for encouraging violence

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His Honour Judge Nigel Gilmour was dealing with a case involving 17 year old Daniel Cannon who had got involved in a fight after what was described as 'disgraceful, pathetic and violent' exchanges between his brother and the victim of the offence via...

Chief Constable guilty of gross misconduct

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The disciplinary proceedings were instituted when information was revealed that Sean Price, the Chief Constable of Cleveland Police may have used 'undue influence' when a female civilian employee was appointed to a role within the...