Forbes Blog

Is no-fault divorce the way forward?

Britain’s top family judge, Sir James Munby has suggested that no blame divorce should be introduced for those people “trapped in a loveless marriage”. According to the current law, those wishing to apply for a divorce must show that their marriage has broken down irretrievably on one of the following grounds – adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, 2 years’ separation with consent and five years’ separation.

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Register of Beneficial Owners of Overseas Entities

In May 2016, the Government announced its intention to introduce a register of beneficial owners of overseas companies owning property in the UK. Following a consultation on proposals, the Government has responded on how it intends to implement the register in light of the responses received. Read more

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“No property in a corpse”: body and funeral disputes on death

Recent figures released by a provider of funeral plans in the UK suggest that a quarter of deaths lead to family disputes, and over 20% of these disputes relate to the disposal of a body. In line with these figures, it is my experience that funeral and burial disputes and disputes over the ownership of a corpse are surprisingly common and I have seen a surge in these instructions over recent months. This includes: Read more

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Wrongful Birth

Such cases are different to wrongful conception cases as here the Claimant did not seek to avoid conception itself but instead the negligence has caused them to lose the opportunity to terminate a pregnancy ( for example through negligent pre-natal screening).

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Landlords Beware – The Changes to Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) are here!

As of 1 April 2018, the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 have brought into force Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) in the commercial and private rented sector.

Landlords of buildings within the scope of the MEES regulations must not renew existing tenancies or grant new tenancies if the building has less than the minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of “E” unless they fall into one of the exempted categories. Landlords with properties with an EPC rating of less than “E” will have to carry out works to improve the energy performance of the building.

From 1 April 2023, MEES will be extended to cover all leases, including existing leases but only if the property is legally required to have an EPC on the relevant date. An EPC commissioned voluntarily (i.e. at any time other than when the property was to be sold or let) will not, in itself, require the landlord to comply with MEES. Read more

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Pre Action Protocol – How has it affected you?

On 1st October 2017 the new “Debt Pre Action Protocol” came into force, changing the way in which formal demands for debts are made from individuals and sole traders.

Instead of the usual 14 days to respond, both types of entities now have 30 days to respond to the demand for payment, building in yet more delay in getting paid.  In addition, the protocol requires other information and documentation to be provided in all cases, including: Read more

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Domestic Abuse Reforms

Today Theresa May has launched a consultation on the Government’s new domestic abuse Bill. This much anticipated draft Bill will provide for the first time a statutory definition of domestic abuse that includes economic abuse, alongside other forms of non-physical abuse.

Family, Civil or Criminal Courts will be able to grant the new Orders on a “freestanding application” from a victim, a member of their family or a support service.

Other proposed reforms to protect vulnerable victims include domestic abuse suspects being banned from drinking alcohol or taking drugs. The reform would give the Court powers to electronically tag domestic abuse perpetrators to monitor their movements and also the powers to impose that perpetrators must notify the police if they enter into a new relationship. Read more

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Could you identify a ‘never event’?

In 2018 the Government published the Revised Never Events Policy and framework.   A never event, should as the words suggest, not happen. It is a serious and entirely preventable event because at National level there are safety recommendations and guidance providing a strong protective barrier which should have been adopted by all health care providers. Read more

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GDPR update: No longer a requirement to notify with the ICO…but a fee hike above the rate of inflation

As of 25 May 2018, the fees that data controllers pay to the ICO are changing.

A data controller is the legal person or body which determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data.

Essentially this means that they are the person responsible for making decisions about why personal data is processed and how it is done in an organisation.

The ICO published its guidance on the data protection fee on 21 February 2018.

How much will I be required to pay under the new regime?

There will now be three tiers of fee which will be determined principally on your number of employees and annual turnover.

Turnover Numbers of Staff Fee
Tier 1 – Micro Organisation £632,000 10 £40
Tier 2 – Small and Medium Organisations £36 million 250 £60
Tier 3 – Large Organisations Above Tier 2 Above Tier 2 £2,900

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Winner Winner (No) Chicken Dinner – KFC and Supply Contracts

KFC has recently hit the news for all the wrong reasons, due to a huge amount of stores running out of fresh chicken. Out of 900 restaurants only a reported 254 of these remained open, the majority of which could only offer a limited menu and reduced their opening hours. This major issue allegedly stemmed from KFC’s partnership with its new supplier DHL. Read more

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