If you own your current property and are over 55 years old (some schemes may apply different age requirements), you can release equity in order to buy a second property, or it may be more appropriate to consider re-mortgaging or a buy-to-let mortgage. Zoe Fellows, Equity Release specialist in our Fareham office, explains how you can do this and the factors you need to consider in order to proceed with the right decision for your own circumstances.
Many people consider transferring their property to their children during their lifetime, with one of the main reasons being that it is perceived as a way to avoid care home fees in the future. It is very rarely this straightforward, and there are many...
The case of Walker v Arco Environmental Limited is a good example of what can happen if, as an employer, you react inappropriately when an employees informs you they are pregnant. It also shows what can happen if you create a hostile environment in the work place due to news that you perceive as inconvenient to the business.
Non-disclosure agreements have been featured heavily in the news recently due to their controversial nature, and the legality of them is currently being questioned. Whilst NDAs are predominantly used by employers to protect confidential business information, there are certain things in which you cannot be prevented from disclosing, such as information that is already publicly available. Here, our Employment team discuss what else you may be able to disclose, some potential incoming changes to NDAs and why the use of them can be controversial.
Secondary exposure to asbestos is when someone who does not typically come in to contact with the substance is exposed through the transference of the asbestos fibres. Catriona Ralls, mesothelioma specialist within our Personal Injury, here explains more about secondary exposure to asbestos and whether you can bring a claim for compensation if you develop this life threatening illness.
Probate and administration of the estate ordinarily takes between nine to 12 months, but as there are so many factors that can delay or impact the length of time, it is hard to give a definitive answer. Jane Cox, Partner in our Private Client department, explains the steps involved in probate and estate administration and provides more information on those factors that can impact the timescales.
There are currently no prescribed time limits as to when a pre-nuptial agreement should be completed. It is best practice that the agreement should be entered into at least twenty eight days before you celebrate your marriage, but you can also enter into post-nuptial agreements shortly after marriage and these should not be treated differently by the Courts should your marriage end. Sarah Pennicott, Associate Solicitor in our Family team in Portsmouth, explains the facts you need to consider regarding pre-nuptial agreements, and whether it may be right for you.
When dealing with an employee who you believe is guilty of gross misconduct, it is imperative that an objective and thorough investigation is conducted. In the case of McKay v Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd, the dismissal of Mr McKay was upheld in tribunal due to the investigation carried out by Network Rail.
As an employer, you can carry out covert surveillance on workers, provided you follow certain guidelines. You will also need to consider two potential issues; whether there are any conflicting principles with their rights in Data Protection their right to privacy through the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Our Employment team explain more about these considerations here, as well as the guidelines you need to follow as an employer.
Staff parties and team building exercises are a great way to create a strong bond between colleagues and reward employees for work well done. Whether it's an out-door activity or a meal out, it's important to conduct a thorough risk assessment to make sure anyone attending is being put at any risk.
This is a tricky area of employment law and will be determined by your employee’s employment contract as this will state the notice pay they are entitled to if you have chosen to go over and above the statutory entitlement. Our Employment team explain your position and how you can calculate the amount that your employee is entitled to.
All birth mothers automatically have parental responsibility as do fathers who are married to the mother at the time a child was born. The rules regarding parental responsibility do alter for children whose parents are not married; Stephanie Preston, Paralegal in our Southampton based Family team explains more about parental responsibility in these situations and what this means for the input you have in your child’s life.
Depending on your business, how you use social media and why you use social media, a social media policy should specify the appropriate language to be used on both personal and company profiles, who should be posting on behalf of the company, when employees can and cannot be accessing social media, as well as the sanctions if the social media policy is not adhered to. Here, our Employment team explain more about the detail that should be included within a social media policy.
In the case of Juul Labs Inc v Quick Juul Ltd (formerly Quick Xuul Ltd and Quick Juul Ltd)  EWHC 1281 (Ch) (21 May 2019) the High Court has found an individual to be in contempt of Court having intentionally breached the terms of a court order by failing to sign two documents to transfer a domain name to the claimants in passing off proceedings. The sentence handed down was two months' imprisonment.
During their lifetime all companies, businesses, partnerships and sole traders will have to react to personal, economic or financial change as certain factors become more salient at any given point in time. Organisations that refuse to change with the times face the risk of becoming obsolete, or at the very least, miss opportunities.
In the case of Bates v Post Office Ltd (No.3)  EWHC 606 (QB) (15 March 2019), sub-postmasters' contracts with the Post Office have been held to be "relational contracts" and in turn benefited from an implied obligation of good faith. As a result of the implied obligation neither party could exercise its express contractual rights in a way that reasonable and honest people would consider commercially unacceptable.
Many employers have enjoyed the benefits of hiring apprentices, particularly since the Government introduced the Apprenticeship Levy in 2017. Ensuring your apprentice is employed under the right documentation is essential to protect your business against possible claims in the Employment Tribunal.
Where a party enters in to a contract because of duress, the contract is voidable by the party who suffered the duress. Economic duress is one aspect of the duress doctrine with the party seeking to prove economic duress having to show the existence of an illegitimate pressure applied by the defendant without which it would not have entered into the contract. Common examples of the illegitimate pressure involve a crime or tort or breach of contract. On occasion, however, unethical but lawful acts have also been held to constitute economic duress.
It was recently World International Property Day (26 April), a day on which the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) seeks to raise awareness about how various intellectual property (IP) rights impact on our daily lives. This year’s event celebrated the positive role that IP plays in encouraging sports amongst the masses, centring around how developments in technology and IP have seen sporting events grow to a global scale over the years.
The High Court has held in the case of Stavrinides and others v Bank of Cyprus Plc  EWHC 1328 (Ch) (24 May 2019) that a bank's local relationship manager (the agent) had no actual or ostensible authority to write off its borrowers' substantial debts. As a consequence, the bank (the principal) was not bound by the letter purporting to do so, which had been initialled by the agent. In turn, the borrower was not entitled to rely on the terms of the letter.
Depending on the equity release plan you choose, it usually takes between 6 to 8 weeks to release equity in your home, assuming there are no complications along the way. With this route of raising funds becoming more popular, Paula Bryan, Equity Release specialist in our Waterlooville office, explains the various stages to equity release and the timescales involved.
The Tenant Fees Act sets out the Government's approach to banning letting fees paid by tenants in the private rented sector and capping tenancy deposits in England. The aim of the Act is to reduce the costs that some tenants have to pay, and...
The High Court has recently announced their decision in a pinnacle case regarding whether Brexit could frustrate a commercial property lease. Molly Siggs, Commercial Property Solicitor in our Portsmouth office, reviews the outcome of the case. ...
Carers who are also in full time or part time employment have certain rights and protections, such as the right to time off for dependants and protection from associative discrimination. There are currently 6.5 million carers across the UK who are looking after the country’s most vulnerable people while also working.
You do not have to wait two years to divorce if you can show the Court that your marriage has irretrievably broken down due to adultery or unreasonable behaviour, in which case you can divorce after one year. Stephanie Preston, Family Paralegal in our Southampton office, explains your position further if you find yourself in this situation, and advises what your next steps are.
After moving away 9 years ago, Warner Goodman LLP are delighted to announce they are back in Waterlooville, with the opening of their new office at Basepoint Business Centre Waterlooville on Waterberry Drive, near the Leisure Centre. The new team...
It is often said that your private life should not mix with your professional life. It can be difficult as the two so often run a very close parallel, but it can become a source of conflict when the two worlds collide. This is evident in the case of Aplin v The Governing Body of Tywyn Primary.
This is a complicated area and one that will be dependent on various factors, including the details of your employment contract, when the contact was made and whether they were made due to your own individual efforts. When you leave your employment, LinkedIn could be a potential threat to your former employer as you can notify all of your contacts at the same time of your new position just by updating your profile, which could be a risk if your new employer is a competitor to your previous one.
Keeping your family safe in today’s modern world is the theme this year for Child Safety Week; an annual campaign organised by the Child Accident Prevention Trust to raise awareness of how we can keep our children safe. Deborah Foundling, Associate Solicitor in our Personal Injury team, explains the theme and highlights some key safety tips from the charity.
Asking our employees to work overtime is occasionally a requirement, but do your employment contracts stipulate whether that time will be paid or unpaid?
If you are faced with having to make redundancies in your business, you will need to consider your redundancy pool and your selection criteria. Our Employment team explains here who should form your redundancy pool, what factors should form your selection criteria, and how to ensure it is a fair procedure for all concerned.
Releasing equity in your home is an effective, and increasingly popular, way of raising funds to help your children onto the property ladder, make renovations, go on that once in a lifetime holiday or have a more solid financial foundation for your retirement.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was implemented a year ago, requiring businesses to adapt to the most revolutionary change in data protection seen in years. Even though 12 months have now passed, businesses are still working towards compliance with the regulations.
Our Southampton Residential Conveyancing team are celebrating the promotion of Lucy Smith to Team Leader of the department.
Your employees are the foundation of your company, so treating them fairly and consistently will lead to a productive, loyal workforce, as well as helping you stay out of the Employment Tribunal. You are not always able to stop an individual from bringing a tribunal claim, but you can mitigate the risk of it happening by treating everyone that comes into contact with your company, whether they are an employee or a prospective employee, fairly and reasonably. Our Employment team explain here the main ways that you can reduce the risk of a tribunal claim being brought against you, and how we can also help.
One of the most commonly experienced effects of brain injury is the focus of this year’s Action for Brain Injury Week, which runs this week from 20th May to 26th May.
This week is Dementia Action Week; a week dedicated to uniting people, workplaces, schools and communities to take action and improve the lives of people living with dementia. Jane Cox, Private Client Partner, became a Dementia Friends Champion in June 2018 and explains here how becoming a Dementia Friend can help those living with dementia feel less lonely and more included in their community.
The number of couples entering into a civil partnership has increased in recent years; the most recent Office of National Statistics from 2017 show an increase of 2% compared to 2016. With the increase in those entering a civil partnership also comes the increase in the number of those coming to an end. Sarah Pennicott, Family Solicitor in our Portsmouth office, here explains how a civil partnership legally comes to an end, and how we can support you through this emotional change in your life.
It’s always a good idea to be sure your employees have heard from you, particularly those on maternity leave. Our Employment team reviews a recent case in which an employer failed to communicate with their employee correctly regarding redundancies at the business, and found themselves in Tribunal as a result.
With Mental Health Awareness Week upon us, we are considering the impact the workplace can have on our mental health. Employers will be aware of employees going off sick when they are unwell, but there is a growing rise in presenteeism. Our Employment team here review what this means, and how businesses can be supporting their employees through any concerns about their mental health.
Statistics show that over half of divorcing couples have at least one child at the time of their divorce but, of course, many more children go through parental separation each year because these statistics do not include parents who have not been married.
Having managers who are fully aware of the risks of discrimination, bullying and harassment is a vital step for any employer to avoid potential Tribunal claims. This was proven in the recent case of Nixon v Royal Mail Group Limited; our Employment team review the case here and advise how employers can take steps to prevent being in the same situation themselves.
On the 15th April 2019, the Government announced proposals to repeal section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, which provides a no fault procedure for a landlord to recover possession of their tenanted property. Were the proposals to proceed, the future of tenant evictions and repossessions would be drastically altered. Helen Porter, Partner in our Litigation and Dispute Resolution team, reviews the proposals and the steps landlords can take to protect their property in the future.
Our Litigation and Dispute Resolution team have previously discussed the progress of the Tenant Fees Act through the Houses of Parliament, but the Act has now received royal assent and shall come into force on 1 June 2019. From this date, landlords and letting agents are only able to charge for the deposit, rent and restricted default fees. Helen Porter, Partner in the team, reviews the changes being introduced and explains the steps landlords should take now to remain compliant.
Redundancies are unfortunately a necessary measure for some businesses, and it is important that if this is the case for your business that you follow the right procedure to reduce the risk of Tribunal claims. If you have employees on maternity leave, there are additional conditions that must be applied; our Employment team discuss these today and explain the next steps if you are considering redundancies.
If you are considering disputing a Will under the Inheritance Act, ordinarily you will be required to do so within six months of the Grant of Representation being issued. The Court can grant permission to pursue a claim out of time but the criteria are strict. So in a recent case where the Court granted a widow permission to pursue a claim 25 years out of time that was highly unusual and unprecedented. Kevin Horn, Disputed Wills expert in our Private Client team, reviews the case and explains how you should proceed if you are considering bringing a claim of this nature.
A midwife has succeeded in claiming she is entitled to 50% of the £1 million home she had shared with her CEO ex-partner after a High Court Judge agreed that he had promised her half the property during a conversation in a pub 13 years ago. Hannah Rogers, Family Solicitor in Portsmouth, reviews the case here and advises how you can possibly avoid the same situation through a Declaration of Trust or Cohabitation Agreement.
As well as two new Partners, the promotions continue for us here at Warner Goodman LLP as five new Associates are announced. The firm’s Residential Conveyancing team are well represented amongst those celebrations, as Lucy Smith, Genni Cooper...
A recent case has highlighted the complicated nature of discrimination claims and protected characteristics; our Employment team review the case here and advise employers on their best course of action.
We are delighted to announce the promotion of Jenny Colvin and Naushad Rahman to Partner status as of 1st May 2019, bringing our total number of Partners to 19.