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Apr
2024
Incorporating and Restructuring Community Amateur Sports Clubs

Many of us have some sort of affiliation with an amateur sports club, whether as a member, player, parent, helper or supporter. Some may even be even further committed and be directly involved in the management of the club itself as committee member. If you fall into the latter category, there are some key considerations you need to be alive to. For example, you may not be aware that depending on the structure of your amateur sports club, you may be putting your personal assets at risk. This is because many community amateur sports clubs are structured as unincorporated associations whereby those in the management committee, are potentially exposed to personal liability if the club is unable to meet its financial obligations. There are various options available to mitigate against this, for example through extensive risk management and expensive insurance policies. Whilst this would of course, minimise exposure to the risk, it would not eliminate all contractual and third party risk. It is also important to consider that a club which is highly geared towards minimising risk, may not benefit its long term interests, for example with regards to expanding the club or building new clubhouses and other facilities. The
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Apr
2024
Keeping Legacies in the Family and Out of Court

Inheritance challenges and disputed wills are soaring, but it’s not just the high profile, mega wealthy that are fuelling the action. Figures from the Ministry of Justice come against a backdrop of headline-catching disputes such as the case of Russian tycoon Vladimir Alekseyevich Scherbakov, who died in 2017, leaving his entire estate to his Swiss-born partner Brigita Morina and the children they had together.  A challenge by children from his previous marriage saw Morina pitched into battle over his £100 million estate, before winning the case in the High Court. Rising Numbers of Inheritance Disputes And it seems everyone is fighting for a greater cut of the inheritance pie.  The number of disputes reaching the court has more than doubled in the past decade, according to data released by the Ministry of Justice.  In the latest figures, 195 disputes went in front of judges in 2021/22, up from 145 in 2017, and from just 80 in 2012.  According to specialists, this is only the tip of the iceberg with most disputes settled out of court.  “The soaring number of disputes is being driven by a combination of factors,” explained trusts expert Katie Latham of Thompson Smith and Puxon Legal in Colchester:
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Apr
2024
Green Lease Drafting and Unlocking the MEES Benefits

As the UK continues to focus on environmental sustainability, one such regulation is reshaping the landscape for owners of commercial property. The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) brings compliance implications and increased investment, but it also offers an opportunity for property owners to enhance their asset portfolio. Climate change risks impacting UK property MEES isn’t something new but there are numerous additional risks that might affect the use, occupancy costs and value of a property during the term of a lease as the UK’s regulatory and legislative agenda shifts to support the transition to a net zero economy in 2050.  From April 2027 (which will come around soon than you think!) all rented commercial buildings must meet an EPC of ‘C’ or above. There are some limited exemptions available. Then, by 2030, the government have a target for the rating of all leased commercial buildings to be rated ‘B’ or above. Failure to comply can lead to significant financial penalties and restrictions on your property transactions. Owners must ensure that their buildings meet the required EPC rating to avoid fines and loss of income from being unable to let their premises. Unlock the hidden benefits There’s no escaping MEES compliance,
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Mar
2024
To B Corp or not to B Corp? What you need to know about Certified B Corporations

Many of us will have seen some of the brands we use advertising their Certified B Corporation (B Corp) status, from large multinationals such as Ben & Jerrys and Danone right through to more local companies for example, Stourgarden Ltd, Climbing Trees Ltd and HG & Co Ltd, all based here in Essex.   In this “B Corp Month”, this short article highlights some of the key facets of a B Corps and the difference it makes to corporate governance.  What is a B Corp? A B Corp is a company which has been certified by B Lab, a non profit organisation, that it meets “high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability” (B Lab UK website). The “B” stands for beneficial and so the corporations are assessed on their abilities to create value for society, not just for their shareholders. B Corps have been in existence since 2007 and there are currently 1700 UK Businesses with B Corp status.  The majority are currently located in London and the South East and South West and B Lab are aiming to encourage companies across the UK to seek B Corp certification. What does a company have to do to
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Mar
2024
Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

March is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. This article explores some of the key aspects of cerebral palsy and what you can do if your child has cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy (CP) is a complex neurological condition that affects a person’s ability to move or maintain balance or posture. Cerebral means relating to the brain or cerebrum; palsy refers to complete or partial muscle paralysis, often accompanied by loss of sensation and uncontrollable body movements or tremors. It is the most common motor disability in children with an estimated 1 in 400 babies in the UK having a type of cerebral palsy. Whilst some people’s cognitive abilities may remain intact, many also suffer intellectual disability, seizures, sensory losses, speech and language impairments or joint problems as well as struggling with movement and posture. When a child is diagnosed with CP, it affects the entire family. Signs of Cerebral Palsy The signs of CP vary greatly because there are many different types of and levels of disability. The main sign that a child might have CP is a delay reaching motor or movement milestones such as rolling over, sitting, standing or walking. Following are some other signs of possible CP. It
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