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Debt Can Impact Your Business

Asa Cocker
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Get your business working smarter at the start of this financial year by making sure late payment does not affect your bottom line. Late payment of business debts can have an adverse effect on companies and with almost 115,000 businesses waiting up to...

Can I Pursue a Legal Claim for Negligent Financial Advice?

Aaron Marshall
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When managing wealth, employing a qualified financial adviser is key - however, despite their professional status they are not immune from making mistakes. If you've been given incorrect financial advice you should be prepared to seek out...

Solicitor Negligence: What You Need to Know

Aaron Marshall
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Every professional must operate to a reasonable industry standard; solicitors are no exception. If you have entered into a contract with a solicitor or if a solicitor has simply assumed responsibility for providing you with advice which you have chosen to...

Clear the frost to help avoid a Road Traffic Accident

Lisa Anderson
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As the cold weather drops and frost and snow are forecasted this week here’s a timely reminder to be safe on the roads. Driving in the winter is different to other times of the year – with icy windscreens, adverse weather and longer periods of...

Been burnt by a Fraudulent Property Transaction?

Aaron Marshall
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Identity Fraud has been in the headlines recently and can be a real problem.  A recent case is exemplified below. On 15 May 2018, the Court of Appeal handed down its decision in a case called (1) P&P Property Ltd v Owen White & Catlin LLP and...

No oral modification clauses - the implications

Aaron Marshall
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“No oral modification” clauses (hereafter, NOM clauses) are oftentimes employed in commercial contracts to prevent parties from varying terms of a contract via means which are other than the agreed upon form, e.g. varying the contract in writing...

Contractual Damages - What you are able to claim after proving your claim in contract

Aaron Marshall
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Before pursuing a claim for a breach of contract, you should be clear on what damages you may be able to pursue if your claim is successful. What are damages? ‘Damages’ refers to the amount of compensation you are able to pursue if your claim...

Persons with Significant Control

Niki Polymeridou
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One of the main objectives of Companies House’s ( CH ) business plan for 2018-2019 is corporate transparency. At the heart of CH’s business plan is the proper identification and accurate presentation of information relating to Persons with...

The Court of Appeal confirms that you cannot imply a contractual term just because in hindsight it seems fair to do so

Aaron Marshall
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In the recent ruling of Robert Bou-Simon v BGC Brokers LP [2018] EWCA 1525 (Civ) the Court of Appeal was tasked with ruling over whether the initial trial judge had been correct to imply a contractual term into a loan agreement between the Appellant, Mr...

Pearson welcome young members of the NCS

Dave Meredith
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Pearson were delighted to welcome young members of the National Citizens Service to our offices, and support them in their charitable endeavours last week. The National Citizens Service provides a 3-4 week experience for 15 to 17 year-olds, aiming to...

No interest loans? The case of Al Jaber v Al Ibrahim

Aaron Marshall
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What happens if you agreed to loan money to someone, but didn’t discuss whether they should pay you added interest? If the person to whom you loaned money lives abroad, would you be able to claim your money back in the UK, or would proceedings have to...

When can I access my neighbour's land?

Aaron Marshall
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When you wish to access your neighbours land there are usually three paths open to you: easements, covenants, and the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 (ANLA). Easements are rights one person can have over another's land, for example, the right to...

How useful are "good faith" clauses?

Aaron Marshall
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When a contract is drafted, it may be difficult to legislate for every possible scenario, and so a “good faith” clause is often included to compensate for this, and to ensure that the “spirit” of the contract is adhered to –...

When is an "agreement" a legally binding contract?

Christopher Burke
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The question of whether or not your contract is legally binding can be straightforward when considering conventional contracts, however, there are circumstances in which greater scrutiny may be required in order to determine the (potentially) binding nature...

Is your business ready for the GDPR changes?

Keith Kennedy
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The General Data Protection Regulation is now in force as of 25 May 2018 and has introduced sweeping changes to the way that businesses and organisations can hold data and information, strengthening protection for individuals. Non-compliance with the new...

The importance of a Shareholders' Agreement- Can a majority shareholder force out a minority shareholder by amending company articles?

Keith Kennedy
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Minority shareholders may find themselves in the precarious position of being forced out of a company against their will. This can happen during disputes between a minority and majority shareholder, and in a recent case, it was ruled that a majority...

First successful prosecution for falsifying information on the company register

Christopher Burke
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A Warwickshire businessman has had to pay over £12,000 for falsifying information on the company register. The facts of the case In 2013, Kevin Brewer incorporated John Vincent Cable Services Ltd, and appointed former business secretary and current...

What to do if you have been issued a County Court Judgment (CCJ)

Aaron Marshall
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If you have been served a County Court Judgment (CCJ), it may have occurred without your knowledge due to unfair practices. There are actions you can take to defend yourself from such sharp practices ahead of potential governmental changes to how CCJs...

The mental and physical health issues caused by debt

Aaron Marshall
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A recent report, “ Life on Debt Row ”, acknowledges what many people know all too well: debts are bad for a debtor’s physical and mental health. Debts also have a negative effect on a debtor’s family and friends. The RSPH report,...

International Women's Day - doing something positive to promote equality in the workplace

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It’s 100 years since some women first got the vote and 48 years since the Equal Pay Act came into force.  Nevertheless, many women in the workplace are still discriminated against in the workplace. It’s estimated that it will be a long time...

Dispute Resolution: the Benefit of Early Legal Advice

Aaron Marshall
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Parties with a dispute often regard seeking advice from a solicitor as a last resort – an uncomfortable and expensive step that could complicate the dispute. But those who put off speaking to a solicitor could be affecting their chance of an...

Government Addresses Unfairness in County Court Judgment Process (Plus some Tips on CCJs and Credit Ratings)

Christopher Burke
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The Government is looking into the current process for issuing money claims in the County Court. In particular, it wants to review the circumstances in which County Court Judgments (CCJs) are made against people without their knowledge. What is the process...

New Protocol to Help Resolve Boundary Disputes more quickly and efficiently

Aaron Marshall
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Boundary disputes between neighbours are surprisingly common. Long-running spats between neighbours can become quite acrimonious over time and be hard to resolve without taking the matter to court. In an attempt to simplify the dispute resolution process...

10 New Year's Resolutions for Directors and Business Owners

Christopher Burke
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Most people are back at work after the Christmas break and many have returned with a clutch of new year’s resolutions. Popular choices include healthy eating, getting fitter or spending more time with your family. Or maybe you’ve focused on work...

Start January on a Positive Note: Deal with Those Debts

Aaron Marshall
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As Christmas memories start to fade, the burden of debt becomes a harsh reality for many. For individuals, over enthusiastic splurges with the credit card mean January will be a tight month. For some, the cost of Christmas might even have tipped household...

Debt Problems? Break the Ice: Talk and Sort

Aaron Marshall
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As we reach December, many will be hoping for a good rest at Christmas and a fresh start in 2018. But for some, it’s been a difficult trading year - and the looming Brexit, a stagnating economy and the annual costs of celebrating Christmas all place a...

Why Aren't Disputing Parties Mediating?

Christopher Burke
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Disputing parties are not using alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures (like mediation), as much as was expected. The Civil Justice Council (CJC) appointed a working body to investigate this lack of take up to try and understand the reasons for...

Recovering Debts From Consumers is About to Get Harder

Aaron Marshall
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New debt recovery rules that come into force in October will make debt recovery more challenging for businesses. If you've been putting off collection, there's less than 2 weeks to start the process to take advantage of the current rules. New Debt...

Court Deadlines Are Strict - Comply With Them or Risk Judgment Being Entered Against You

Aaron Marshall
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If a formal court claim is made against you, you must take prompt action by acknowledging service and serving your defence. If you don’t do this within the strict court deadlines, you might lose your chance to defend the claim. A recent case has given...

Pay Back Time From MoJ

Joanne Jones
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Clients could be due cash back from the Ministry of Justice after it announced that charges for registering LPAs have been too high in recent years. The Office of the Public Guardian (the OPG) has admitted to previously charging too much when registering...

Top tips to Improve Your Business Over Summer

Christopher Burke
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Summer's here - and we have some top tips for you to consider if your business is quiet over the holiday period. If your business is quieter over the summer months, use the time to review your business procedures and do some housekeeping....

Use statutory demands (for debt recovery) with discretion

Christopher Burke
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Making a statutory demand for a debt can prove expensive – this process should be used with discretion. Creditors who deal with multiple debtors will know that making a statutory demand for payment from a debtor may be an effective means of...

The pitfalls of settling a dispute without legal advice

Aaron Marshall
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Court proceedings have a reputation for being expensive and time consuming – and with some justification. Courts and solicitors therefore encourage disputing parties to settle their claims as early as possible to avoid the expense, sheer inconvenience...

New debt recovery rules from October

Christopher Burke
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Businesses need to review their approach to collecting debts. Debt recovery is a fact of life for businesses: most have debt recovery systems in place to ensure prompt payment and make full use of the courts if debtors do not pay. However, court procedures...

Pearson's on-going support for Action Oldham

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Our support for Action Oldham is on a bit of a roll at the moment. As I write, we are just a few pounds away from reaching our £1000 target in our #zipwire challenge. Karen Piontek, Ian Wolstenhulme, Jade Hegarty, Rosie Aldcroft and Marie Pauley are...

Solicitors and Staff Scale Snowdon for Charity

Ian Wolstenhulme
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Our support for Action Oldham is on a bit of a roll at the moment and about to hit its highest peak as we set off to Snowdon. Thanks to the generosity of clients and friends of the firm we have recently reached our £1000 target in our #zipwire...

Landowners must take responsibility for knotweed blight

Christopher Burke
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Japanese knotweed, or  Fallopia Japonica  to use its formal name, was originally brought to Wales from East Asia. Once highly regarded for its beauty, it has spread throughout the UK and is having a devastating effect on plant biodiversity and hard...

Debt recovery need not involve the expense of going to court

Christopher Burke
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If expensive fees are keeping you away from dispute resolution in the courts, consider the alternatives. Court fees have risen but there are other dispute resolution options that businesses can use to recover debts and resolve disputes. Rising court...

Are your business debts getting out of hand? Read our tips on avoiding insolvency

Christopher Burke
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It’s an unfortunate fact that January can be a hard time for struggling businesses. The double whammy of mounting bills and creditors delaying their payments on what’s due can cause huge stress for those involved. But poor cash flow can cause an...

The importance of making a Will

Christopher Burke
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Not making a will can create problems and inhertiance disputes for the family and employees you leave behind. We’re fast approaching Christmas and the New Year and, when we review 2016 in terms of celebrity losses, it's been a...

A checklist: what can businesses do to prepare for a Brexit?

Christopher Burke
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What can you do to prepare for a Brexit? Keep tuned in to what the government is doing to leave the EU – and what effect their decisions might have. Talk to your staff – particularly if they are non-UK residents. Theresa May...

Heading for a Brexit... a Summer of conjecture?

Keith Kennedy
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  This article comments on what is needed to effect the UK’s exit from the European Union – and how the political events of the last month affect that process. It's been over a month since the EU Referendum’s...

INSIGHT: A Brexit it is then! What now?

Christopher Burke
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So there it is! The UK have voted to leave the EU. It’s the end of era – or will be once the government negotiates how the Brexit will actually work. We’ve set out below a few key points for businesses and some basic guidance on what to do...

Dealing with court claims or County Court Judgments (CCJs)

Christopher Burke
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Have you received a court claim form document or a County Court judgment (CCJ)? If yes, take action. Don’t just ignore the documents. Receiving any court document can be a daunting and unnerving experience especially if you are unfamiliar...

INSIGHT: Email exchanges can result in a binding contract

Christopher Burke
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In a recent court decision, the court considered whether two businesses had agreed to a change in their contract terms in email correspondence. The court found that they had - despite the existence of a contract clause stipulating that any changes must be in...

INSIGHT: Some tips for handling contract negotiations

Christopher Burke
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Most businesses enter into contracts on a daily basis without even thinking about the process.  Office supplies, water/gas/electricity supply and coffee machines are supplied under contracts not to mention agreements with employees, consultants and...

INSIGHT: Contracts don't have to be in writing to be binding

Aaron Marshall
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  “You’ve got nothing in writing!” “There’s no contract!” “I didn’t sign a contract!” There is a common misunderstanding that contracts must be in writing and signed by all parties to be legally...

INSIGHT: Protecting And Planning Your Business And Shares Ahead Of Death

Sarah Finnigan
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  How do I protect my business after I die? If you own shares in your family business they may well be your most significant asset and it’s important to understand how they may pass on your death and the most tax efficient way to achieve this,...

INSIGHT: A cautionary tale for professionals who help out friends

Christopher Burke
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Professionals can be held financially liable if ‘freebie work’ goes wrong. Professionals such as solicitors, barristers, architects and engineers have a duty to take care when providing advice and services to their clients. If they do not, and...

Senior judge recommends fixed costs in claims less than £250,000

Christopher Burke
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A senior judge has recommended that a regime of fixed costs be introduced for all civil claims under £250,000, including personal injury claims. If implemented, this would mean that claimants who are successful at trial, would only be able to recover a...

INSIGHT: Shareholders' Agreements - what every business person needs to know

Keith Kennedy
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Do you run a business as a limited company or are you thinking of setting up a company? Have you considered what would happen if you were to fall out with your fellow directors or shareholders? What is a shareholders’ agreement and why do you need...

INSIGHT: Local courts included in the government's closure plans

Aaron Marshall
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The government has announced that nearly a fifth of all courts and tribunals in England and Wales are to close.  The list includes local courts in  Oldham and Tameside. 91 courts and tribunal hearing centres were reviewed as part of an...

Farmer entitled to compensation after land flooded

Christopher Burke
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A farmer has successfully claimed compensation after a local council pumped floodwater onto his land to save a Yorkshire village from flooding. The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) (‘tribunal’) decided that the farmer was entitled to recover...

INSIGHT: So called 'penalty' clauses in commercial contracts

Keith Kennedy
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In the recent case of Cavendish Square Holding BV v El Makdessi , the Supreme Court reset and clarified the rule on penalties, unanimously allowing the appeal from the Court of Appeal. Background Mr Makdessi founded a group of companies (the...

What is expert determination?

Christopher Burke
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What is expert determination? Expert determination is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution ( ADR ). It offers the disputing parties the opportunity to resolve disputes without going to court.  The parties must agree to expert determination and...

New requirements for traders to tell consumers about Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) options

Christopher Burke
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New regulations came into force earlier this year that affect the routine practices of many trading businesses. The aim behind the regulations is to encourage wider participation in Alternative Dispute Resolution ( ADR ) procedures as an alternative to the...

INSIGHT: Shareholders, directors and partnership disputes

Christopher Burke
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Running a business can be difficult and disputes with clients, suppliers and other third parties will occur from time to time. But what about internal disputes?  What happens when directors, partners or work colleagues fall out? Working closely with...

INSIGHT: Bankruptcy petition threshold to rise

Christopher Burke
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From 1 October 2015, creditors will only be able to petition for a debtor’s bankruptcy where the debt is over £5,000. Currently the threshold stands at £750 so the increase represents a huge jump. The increase will provide a measure of...

INSIGHT: Putting Professional Negligence in the Spotlight

Christopher Burke
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Most businesses have a positive experience when seeking the advice of a solicitor, with legal professionals able to offer expert guidance on a wide range of corporate issues. But what happens when the service is negligent and how can businesses spot the...

How to Avoid the Fallout of Boundary Disputes this Summer

Christopher Burke
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As temperatures rise on the approach to summer, the same can be true of tensions between neighbours, especially where boundaries are concerned. Christopher Burke, head of dispute & litigation at Pearson, explains. Tree felling, hedge trimming and...