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Apr
2020
Covid -19 Resources

We continue to be available to support you during these challenging times. Please find below our latest posts and articles relating to the Coronavirus and business and personal issues.  Resources for Individuals Family Courts and Covid-19 Separated Parents and Covid-19 Writing a Will During the Coronavirus Outbreak Moving House During COVID-19 Outbreak – Government Guidance How Could Covid-19 Affect my Sale and Purchase? Covid-19 and Litigation Covid-19 Mediation as an Alternative to Court Proceedings Resources for Businesses The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Furlough: An Update Working with Coronavirus – Update for Employers What to do if you are Experiencing Business Interruption due to the Coronavirus  Personal Guarantee Advice Do I need to Close My Business or Premises? COVID-19 – Company Accounts Filing Extension Covid-19 and Contractual Obligations Changes to Insolvency Law due to the Coronavirus Crisis Covid-19 – Issues for Landlords and Tenants of Commercial Property Covid-19 and Litigation Covid-19 Mediation as an Alternative to Court Proceedings Covid-19 A Guide for Dental Practices Covid-19 Suspension of voluntary strike-off process by Companies Proceed with caution: some issues for businesses returning to work The Continuing Impact of Covid-19 on Possession Proceedings Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have
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Dec
2021
Christmas and New Year

The Directors and Staff of Thompson Smith and Puxon wish all our clients and contacts the very best for Christmas and the New Year. Our offices will be closed from 5.00pm on Friday 24 December 2021 until 9.00am on Tuesday 4 January 2022. This year our Christmas Charities are the Colchester food bank , the Clacton food bank and Colchester Samaritans. Staff at both offices organised food collections and in place of sending Christmas cards, we have made a cash donation to Colchester Samaritans. Covid-19 continues to have a huge impact on people needing support in a wide variety of ways and we are pleased to be able to support these charities and all the wonderful work they do over the festive period. Pictured is Director Laura Finnigan presenting the Colchester donation to Colchester food bank.

Dec
2021
Vulnerable face timebomb by not appointing others to act

Professionals working with the elderly and vulnerable are raising concerns over future safeguarding following a dramatic fall in the number of lasting powers of attorneys registered during the coronavirus pandemic. Figures from the Office of the Public Guardian, the government body responsible for registering lasting powers of attorney, reveal that the number of applications dropped by 25 percent over the last year. In 2020/21, just 691,746 were made, compared with 917,550 in 2019/20. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document by which someone can give another person legal authority to make decisions and act on their behalf. It can be used when someone has become mentally incapable of handling matters themselves.      As a legally binding document, recognised by banks and other financial institutions, an LPA for property and finance allows the person appointed to make financial decisions on behalf of the individual, running bank accounts and paying bills as well as managing property, pension, taxes and investments.  For those who are self-employed or a company director, an attorney can be appointed under a separate LPA  limited to business matters. “It’s worrying to see the drop in numbers over the last year, as without an LPA in place it
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Dec
2021
Mistakes to avoid when negotiating a separation agreement

If you have decided to separate from your partner, there are certain practicalities that you will need to work out together. Even if you are unsure if you will divorce or dissolve your civil partnership, in the interim, you will need certainty about matters such as: Where each partner will live Arrangements for any children you have together How your money and assets will be divided Whether both parties can afford to pay their bills if they live separately A separation agreement is a document that sets out the terms of your separation, addressing matters such as those listed above. However, negotiating a separation agreement can be challenging, particularly at a highly emotional time for you and your family. In this article, we take a look at some of the most common mistakes to avoid when going through the process of negotiating a separation agreement. Feeling pressured into an agreement In many cases, parties can feel pressured into agreeing to terms they are unsure of for the sake of ‘getting it done’. In family relationships, people can often put their emotions before their practical and financial needs, which can cause problems later on. In this situation, having a lawyer to
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Nov
2021
Alternative Dispute Resolution…….or Dispute Resolution

Earlier this year, Sir Geoffrey Vos, Master of the Rolls, said “Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) should really be renamed as “Dispute Resolution” since it is not alternative at all.” Following the case of Halsey v Milton Keynes General NMS Trust[2004] EWCA Civ 576 the court has become ever more bullish in seeking to force parties down the ADR route, but this has, until now fallen short of compulsory mediation. ADR has over a number of years found favour by the court, not least because of the growing pressure on our court system, compounded by the pandemic and cutbacks. Cost sanctions have long been imposed on parties who have unreasonably refused to mediate and a successful party at trial could be denied part or all of their costs if they had unreasonably refused an invitation to mediate. The Court of Appeal extended the concept of refusing to mediate to encompass not replying to an invitation to mediate. After this speech, the Civil Mediation Council (CMC) published its response to the Civil Justice Council’s (CJC) report on the lawfulness of compulsory ADR. The CJC’s report had concluded that compulsory ADR is compatible with Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights,
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Nov
2021
What does COP 26 mean for small and medium Essex businesses and climate change?

The world converged on Glasgow recently to discuss climate change and the various pledges being made in order to protect the planet. Whilst the environment clearly affects us all, what do any of these discussions mean for climate change for small and medium businesses (SMEs) here in Essex? Decisions made at COP26 will have an impact on SMEs, even though they are barely represented in the discussions. What is expected of SMEs? The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has been encouraging SMEs to look at their environmental impact. Essex businesses could do some of the following to help with climate change: Pledge to reduce their environmental impact Increase sustainability Cut carbon emissions BEIS has asked businesses of up to 250 employees to join the UK Business Climate Hub to commit to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and to reach “net-zero” by 2050. The UK is in fact the first major economy to legislate that this target will be attained. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has published a report on climate change and SMEs. It is estimated that UK SMEs account for almost a third of all UK greenhouse gas emissions. What is clear is
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