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Coronavirus and spousal maintenance payments

Across the UK, millions of people have been impacted financially by the coronavirus pandemic. Some lost their jobs, others were furloughed, while many parents were forced to cut their hours to focus on homeschooling and caring for their children. Others still lost money when the stock markets plumm....

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Philanthropy and the legacy of great estates

Back in their heyday, Britain’s great estates were integral to the economies of the local communities in which they were based. Not only were they huge employers for those living in nearby towns and villages, but they were also massive supporters of local businesses, which thrived from supplying ....

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Buying or selling a house during the COVID-19 outbreak

According to government data, nearly 104,000 property transactions completed in the UK in February 2020. For the thousands of people whose properties are due to complete in March, however, the government’s restrictions on movement and social contact to curb the spread of coronavirus have rendered....

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Spike in couples experiencing marital difficulties

We are living in exceptional times; times that are forcing us to stay at home almost around the clock to curb the spread of coronavirus and save lives. During this crisis, the heightened stress and anxiety that many people are feeling, as well as the effects of prolonged self-isolation, have led ce....

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COVID-19: Commercial landlords and tenants

We recently produced a blog on the disputes that could potentially arise between landlords and tenants unable to pay their rent during the coronavirus outbreak. But what of commercial tenants? With businesses across the UK suffering a heavy blow to their finances, particularly those in the leisure,....

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COVID-19 evictions ban promise “watered down” in Coronvirus Act

On 18 March, housing secretary Robert Jenrick announced emergency legislation to protect renters experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. With businesses across the UK forced to close or experiencing plummeting demand, employees are feeling the hit to their finan....

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COVID-19 and child arrangements: co-parenting in troubled times

We’re all hearing how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the stock market, businesses, employees and the property market. But on an individual level, it is also proving hugely disruptive for families – particularly separated ones. With movement now seriously restricted, many co-parents are c....

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Government increases financial support as coronavirus measures intensify

On Thursday 19 March, our Employment Law team published their first blog on the support available to protect businesses and employees financially, and therefore avoid business closures and job losses, as the coronavirus pandemic intensified. Just days later, the situation has already changed beyond....

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Controversial IR35 tax changes confirmed but delayed

The Spring Budget confirmed many self-employed individuals’ worst fear: controversial changes to IR35 ‘off-payroll’ tax rules were to go ahead with effect from April. However, with both employed and self-employed workers experiencing significant financial difficulties amid the coronavirus cri....

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Pre-nuptial agreements – an insurance policy, ‘just in case’

When we move home, we take out contents insurance just in case the worst should happen. Nobody anticipates having to make a claim, but it’s there to protect us – just in case. The same applies to pre-nuptial agreements. Far from the unromantic picture painted by the press, who delight in reveal....

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Call yourself a philanthropist?

It can be hard to pin down exactly what defines philanthropy. In essence, it’s a wish to promote the welfare of others, usually expressed by giving generously to charities or other worthy causes. If popping some loose change into a collection tin now and then or giving two pounds a month by direc....

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Will a tennis court or swimming pool add value to my property?

If you’re looking to buy, or already own, a property with significant acreage, chances are you might be looking for ways to enhance your family’s enjoyment of your land and even to augment your property’s value. Frequently, high-net-worth clients will ask us about the planning implications of....

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Surge in rural home conversions

Data from the Local Government Association (LGA) has revealed a big rise in the number of old farm buildings, particularly barns, being converted into single or multiple homes. A threefold rise since 2015 has brought more much-needed homes to the countryside and a useful long-term future for many h....

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…or does Herts house more stars?

Our last blog on celebrities making Essex their home named several West Ham players, as well as former Amstrad boss and Spurs owner Lord Alan Sugar, but there’s more to life than football, isn’t there? Now it’s Herts’ turn to come under light-hearted scrutiny and perhaps take us into differ....

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Buying a listed property – what do I need to know?

We feel very privileged to have offices located in Hertfordshire and Essex, two counties absolutely packed full of heritage properties with origins often dating back centuries. Many of these properties are ‘listed’, meaning that they “may not be demolished, extended or altered without special....

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Simplifying IHT – mission impossible?

Some 18 months ago the Chancellor as was, Philip Hammond, asked the Office of Tax Simplification to review the Inheritance Tax regime and suggest ways to simplify it. Earlier hopes that he’d completely abolish the unpopular levy on inherited wealth soon faded. It was too much to expect that a tax....

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Can my landlord legally forfeit my commercial lease?

A commercial lease usually includes the right for your landlord to peacefully re-enter the property and change the locks if you, as the tenant, have breached any conditions of the lease. Most usually this is due to failure to pay rent. Once your landlord has secured access, the lease is terminated.....

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Why better screening is needed to help detect Group B streptococcal infections in babies

Group B streptococcus (GBS) is a bacterium that can cause serious illness, particularly in new-borns. It is responsible for many cases of meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, as well as some cases of blood infections (sepsis) and pneumonia.   W....

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Making a claim for paediatric medical negligence on behalf of a child – what you need to know

Paediatrics is the branch of medicine that involves the medical care of new-born babies, infants, children and adolescents. Instances of medical negligence affecting children can be complicated and diverse. But however large or small your child's injury is, if it is the result of negligent or inapp....

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Remortgaging: Transfer of Equity, what it is and how it works

Remortgaging, or taking out a new mortgage on your existing property (either to replace the one you already have or to borrow a sizeable amount against your home) can be appropriate for a variety of reasons. Your current deal may be coming to an end, you might want a better rate, the value of your ....

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