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May
2024
Trainee Talks: Looking Beyond the Job Description

In our latest ‘Trainee Talks’ Kurtis Symons-Peck discusses the importance of being supported in your workplace; don’t forget to look beyond the work!

Apr
2024
Partnerships: Retiring Partners and Avoiding the Pitfalls

A recent decision by the Court of Appeal in relation to a long-running family farming dispute has shone a spotlight on the importance for partnerships to have clear and appropriate rules governing a partner’s retirement from its business. The dispute (Proctor v Proctor) The case centred on the voluntary retirement by notice, in 2010, of a partner in a family farming and property partnership business, which was accepted by the remaining partners, who then continued to carry on the partnership business themselves. However, the outgoing partner and the continuing partners did not agree any terms in respect of the outgoing partner’s interest in the partnership, and neither the partnership agreement between the partners, nor the Partnership Act 1890 (PA), made any allowance for this. The outgoing partner subsequently made claim to a proportionate share of the partnership’s assets and income. The continuing partners resisted, arguing that, as there was no express provision in the partnership agreement or the PA, nor had any other agreement been reached between them relating to the outgoing partner’s entitlement to any share in the partnership business on retirement, the outgoing partner had no right to any share in the partnership’s assets. The Court’s decision The
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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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