Services
People
News and Events
Other
Blogs

Welcome to our Blogs

We regularly write about different legal topics including:

Company and Commercial
Conveyancing
Crime
Employment
Family
Immigration
Litigation
Wills, Trusts & Probate

If you would like more information on our services, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Distributing the gifts in an estate after probate

Hardeep Gill
  • Posted
  • Author

When dealing with the administration of an estate, distributing the gifts is one of the final stages. It is important that executors do not make distributions too soon, to protect themselves and the estate against debts or claims. Executors are advised not...

Updated Acas guidance on sickness absence management

Kenneth Amakye
  • Posted
  • Author

On average, each employee in the UK took off 5.7 days due to sickness in 2022, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics. The estimate of working days lost to UK employers due to sickness or injury reached a new high of 185.6...

Top tips for negotiating a successful MBO sale

Selwan Yousif
  • Posted
  • Author

If you are planning to sell your business to your management team, agreeing the terms of the deal is just the beginning. It is vital that you manage the management buyout (MBO) process from start to finish as you would any major project. At each stage there...

Sticks and stones: what can you do if you have been a victim of defamation?

Jalal Mirza-Baig
  • Posted
  • Author

Social media has become a breeding ground for all manner of trolls who throw about wild accusations on Twitter, Facebook, review sites and more. Sometimes comments are completely untrue and can be extremely damaging to the target of their ire. But what can...

Top tips for preparing to sell your commercial property

Abraham Khan
  • Posted
  • Author

In a bumpy market, it pays to be well-prepared before you put your commercial property on the market. Your solicitor will help you to be ready for the kinds of questions you should expect from prospective buyers as they and their solicitors carry out due...

How do we deal with our mortgage during a divorce?

Avril Croud
  • Posted
  • Author

With interest rates and the cost-of-living crisis in the headlines on a daily basis, mortgage affordability is a key concern for many homeowners, not least for couples who are separating and wondering how this will affect their mortgage arrangements. Most...

Preparing your business for sale to an MBO team

Selwan Yousif
  • Posted
  • Author

If you are planning to sell your business, one option might be a management buyout (MBO) if you think the current management team could be interested in buying you out. Planning well ahead will help to ensure that the MBO team is right for the deal, that...

Access arrangements for children - indirect access

Avril Croud
  • Posted
  • Author

Along with the welfare issues to be considered when thinking how to meet your child’s needs, parents who are separating will need to decide on practical issues around access. There are a number of different types of access arrangements, which vary in...

Contact arrangements for children - indirect contact

Avril Croud
  • Posted
  • Author

Along with the welfare issues to be considered when thinking how to meet your child’s needs, parents who are separating will need to decide on practical issues around contact. There are a number of different types of contact arrangements, which vary...

Do medical staff have to respect a power of attorney?

Hardeep Gill
  • Posted
  • Author

If you are an attorney for health and welfare decisions (as opposed to financial decisions), it is important to make sure that you are clear about exactly what decision making powers have been granted to you. This will ensure you can work with medical staff...

Crypto assets and a divorce settlement

Avril Croud
  • Posted
  • Author

Crypto assets and a divorce settlement According to a report by Forbes Magazine in September 2022 there are now more than 20,000 crypto currencies worth a collective $982 billion, and NFT artworks (non-fungible tokens) are changing hands for huge sums....

Due diligence - ensuring a business acquisition benefits from the contracts

Selwan Yousif
  • Posted
  • Author

If you have spotted a great business acquisition opportunity and the headline figures look superb, how do you know that you will be getting the value and benefits in the deal that you had hoped for? The key lies in the quality and depth of the due diligence...

Spring employment law round up

Kenneth Amakye
  • Posted
  • Author

‘Other than the usual April updates to statutory rates, it looks deceptively quiet on the regulatory front for employers. But the end of the year could see the biggest shake-up in employment law for years as a consequence of Brexit,’...

Property, planning and paying for care

Rebecca Tuffrey
  • Posted
  • Author

A common concern for our clients and their families is the prospect of having to sell the family home in order to meet care costs,’ explains Rebecca Tuffrey , a  Wills, Trusts & Probate  specialist in the team with Stephens &...

The advantages of mediation to resolve a family dispute

Deborah Nicholson
  • Posted
  • Author

‘All conflicts are capable of peaceful resolution,’ said Nelson Mandela, although it may be hard to envisage this when you are in the middle of a family dispute arising from a relationship breakdown.  It is important to remember that family...

When does a power of attorney take effect?

Rebecca Tuffrey
  • Posted
  • Author

If you have been asked to act as an attorney for someone you may wonder when it will come into effect, especially if the power of attorney was made some time ago when your friend or relative was in good health. ‘There was an important change in 2007,...

Adoption rights; what employers need to know

Kenneth Amakye
  • Posted
  • Author

According to the charity Adoption UK there are nearly 3,000 children in care waiting to be adopted, and as charities seek to raise awareness of this during National Adoption Week (17-23 October 2022), employers may get questions about employment rights...

Understanding crowdfunding as a business financing option

Selwan Yousif
  • Posted
  • Author

Early-stage businesses often struggle to secure cost-effective funding and sometimes it may be tempting to look to alternative solutions, such as crowdfunding. It can serve different purposes all at the same time: raising capital, marketing, engaging...

Could your business benefit from a business angel?

Selwan Yousif
  • Posted
  • Author

Early-stage businesses often struggle to secure cost-effective funding, but sometimes funding alone is not enough to help them thrive, especially when expertise is critical to success. A business angel can provide both, and this could be a good solution to...

Reporting an estate's value for inheritance tax

Rebecca Tuffrey
  • Posted
  • Author

Acting as an executor means that you are responsible for reporting the value of the estate and declaring any inheritance tax due, so it is important to make sure you follow correct procedures. ‘Since January 2022, new rules apply in respect of...

Employers - let's talk about pay

Kenneth Amakye
  • Posted
  • Author

The subject of pay is always a hot topic and requires sensitive handling. Employees feel they need more, due to the rising costs of living, or believe they deserve more due to increased responsibilities or experience.  Meanwhile, employers are under...

Planning your legacy through charitable giving in your will

Rebecca Tuffrey
  • Posted
  • Author

There are many reasons why someone might choose to leave money to charity in their will. Tax planning may be a key incentive, or it could be due to a lack of close family members. Some may simply wish to create a longer lasting personal legacy or they might...

A smoother path to divorce from April 2022

Deborah Nicholson
  • Posted
  • Author

Once you have decided that your marriage is over and you have taken the first step towards divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership, most people would like to be able to complete the formalities as quickly and smoothly as possible.  However, the...

Intestacy lessons from the rich and famous

Rebecca Tuffrey
  • Posted
  • Author

While celebrities often have many professional advisors who look after their business affairs, like many ordinary people they sometimes do not get around to making a will and setting out their particular wishes. ‘When you die without a will,...

Return to the workplace: be aware of an employee's disabilities

Kenneth Amakye
  • Posted
  • Author

Now is a time of transition as employees return to the workplace either on a hybrid basis or for all their working time. ‘Employers need to keep in mind the impact of this shift on any employees’ disabilities,’ says Kenneth Amakye , ...

Claiming compensation after the unlawful death of a loved one

Selwan Yousif
  • Posted
  • Author

If you have suffered the devastating loss of a relative which was caused by the reckless or criminal behaviour of someone else, then you may be entitled to claim compensation. While no amount of money can ever make up for their presence in your life, it may...

Shining a light on secret and half secret trusts

Silviya Maclean
  • Posted
  • Author

A secret trust can be a useful way of leaving a gift in your will if you do not wish the details of that gift to become public knowledge.  Historically, secret trusts were used by those wishing to pass assets to extra-marital partners or illegitimate...

Is your workplace sympathetic to the menopause?

Kenneth Amakye
  • Posted
  • Author

In an episode of the Netflix series House of Cards , the American First Lady Claire Underwood opens the door of her huge refrigerator and stands there cooling off from a hot flush. The scene generated plenty of debate online, as it was a rare case of the...

Dusting off disciplinary procedures post Covid

Kenneth Amakye
  • Posted
  • Author

The last 18 months have seen employers turn on a dime to keep their business on track, while guarding the health and wellbeing of staff and customers.  While flexibility has been key, it has also been important to update and comply with frequently...

Valuing a private company or family business in a divorce settlement

  • Posted

Running your own business can be the fulfilment of a lifelong dream, but it also brings stresses and strains which sometimes contribute to relationship breakdown. It certainly adds complexity when trying to agree a financial settlement after divorce. ...

Options for dealing with a problem landlord

Kenneth Amakye
  • Posted
  • Author

According to the Hamptons Letting Index there has been an increase in first-time landlords entering the buy-to-let sector, with many enticed by the stamp duty holiday and low interest rates. Unfortunately, some property investors think being a landlord is a...

The future of the workplace and hybrid working

Kenneth Amakye
  • Posted
  • Author

The official government message encouraging people to work from home is expected to end with the final step out of lockdown. For many employees though, homeworking is here to stay. According to a recent BBC survey , 43 of 50 big UK employers will not bring...

Extending your commercial property

Graham Beach
  • Posted
  • Author

If your business is expanding, you may have outgrown your current premises. Before you start looking for a new site, it is worth investigating whether you could extend your existing property. Depending on the site and the nature of your building,...

​Can we finalise our divorce before the house is sold?

Deborah Nicholson
  • Posted
  • Author

For the majority of people, their most significant asset is the family home.  So, it is not surprising that when it comes to dealing with the financial consequences surrounding divorce, questions about what will happen to the matrimonial home are...

Legal tips for optimising the sale value of commercial property

Karen Du Rocher
  • Posted
  • Author

If you are reviewing your commercial property portfolio, you may decide that the time is right to sell some of your property.  It goes without saying that you will want to get the best possible value from the sale.  Prices are strongly affected by...

Can employers insist employees get vaccinated?

  • Posted

The rollout of the vaccination programme has been welcomed as the beginning of the end for the Covid-19 pandemic. For many employers, ensuring their workforce is vaccinated is an important step in getting their business back to operating as usual. However,...

Is an MBO or MBI a good move for your business?

Selwan Yousif
  • Posted
  • Author

Is your business ripe for more growth? Do you have the team that can take your business to the next level? Or do you want to take a step back and reap some of the rewards of your efforts? If continuity is important to you, then a management buy-out (MBO) or...

Working from home: wellbeing and mental health of employees

  • Posted

While some people are enjoying working from home, this is not the case for everyone and the negative impacts over several months are taking a toll on some employees. ‘Employers are unsure of their responsibilities for mental health and how to deal...

Keeping your workforce agile and within the law

Selwan Yousif
  • Posted
  • Author

The viability of many businesses is on a knife edge and flexibility in scaling the workforce up or down at short notice has become increasingly important. For many employers, keeping their workforce as flexible as possible will be essential for their...

I think my relatives attorney is abusing their position

Kenneth Amakye
  • Posted
  • Author

With life expectancy in the UK predicted to rise into the late 80s for men and women by 2030, an increasing number of people are choosing to safeguard their interests by making lasting powers of attorney . These enable a relative or friend to assume control...

Covid-19 and changes to payment processing

Selwan Yousif
  • Posted
  • Author

Cash was king, but now it is seen as a potential carrier of Covid-19 and to keep cash transactions to a minimum, cashless payment systems are becoming essential.  For some organisations this will be new territory, while for others online payments have...

Release of lockdown: continuing or ending homeworking

Selwan Yousif
  • Posted
  • Author

Although lockdown is easing, government guidance advises people to continue to work from home if possible.  Meanwhile the media is reporting that some employers are deciding to keep staff working from home. Homeworking has advantages; it eases the...

Problems renting during the coronavirus crisis, your questions answered

  • Posted

Emergency legislation has introduced greater protection to tenants during the coronavirus crisis, at a time when it was important to ensure that people did not find themselves homeless due to financial difficulties. You may have read newspaper stories...

When a spouse or partner is abusive during lockdown

Deborah Nicholson
  • Posted
  • Author

Dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic has caused seismic changes to all of our lives, including our family life.  During the lockdown we are all forced to isolate in our homes, and for some this forced time together and the disruption to our normal...

Guidance for employers regarding the coronavirus from ACAS

  • Posted

With more cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), being reported in the UK each day, employers will be wondering how to handle the issue especially as they may need to react fast if a situation develops in the workplace or if there are concerns about the health of...

Possible impacts of COVID-19 on property transactions

Karen Du Rocher
  • Posted
  • Author

For clients in the midst of trying to buy, sell or rent a property, the coronavirus outbreak is causing particular uncertainty at all stages in the process. We want to reassure you that our property law team will continue to operate as normally as possible...

Garden leave - protecting your business when employees go

  • Posted

When a key employee is about to leave, employers look to minimise damage to their business and may wish to keep the employee away from customers and commercially sensitive information. Often this is done by putting the employee on garden leave during their...

When your partner owns the property and you pay the bills - what rights do you have to your home if you separate?

Deborah Nicholson
  • Posted
  • Author

If your partner owned their home when you moved in together, then it is not uncommon to agree to pay all or most of the bills as a way of sharing living costs without the hassle of changing the mortgage paperwork or the legal title. When a relationship has...

When a promise of land or property is not honoured in a will

  • Posted

If you have put your life plans on hold to help out a family member who has promised to leave you land or property in their will by way of reward, you will understandably feel aggrieved where they fail to make good on this. Whether there is anything you can...