Berry Smith appoints partner to growing firm

Commercial law firm Berry Smith has appointed Emma Borrington as its latest partner.

The 34-year-old from Cardiff joined Berry Smith in 2002 and is an experienced corporate lawyer who advises on the legal and commercial aspects of all forms of transactions for public and private companies.

The newly appointed partner works with the firm’s large number of owner managed businesses throughout the UK and has built up experience of acting for companies operating in the financial services and manufacturing sectors.

Limitation, Commencing a Claim and Costs

The High Court has recently decided that it can order costs against a party who issues, but does not serve, a claim in order to “stop the clock” for the purposes of limitation.  This is important because it exposes Claimants who are investigating potential claims to the risk of having to pay a Defendant its costs of considering the claim when, historically, it was thought they were not payable.

Court rules a mother’s will was forged by her son

A woman’s will has been declared invalid after a court ruled that it had been forged by her son.

The woman originally made a will in 1999, stating that she intended to split her estate equally between her two children.

The son claimed the mother made a new will while she was dying from cancer in hospital. He said that the new will was witnessed by his mother’s sister and a nurse at the hospital. It excluded the woman’s daughter and left everything to the son.

Children will be ‘better protected’ in family disputes

Ministers say children will be better protected and family disputes will be less stressful following changes to legislation relating to divorce and separation.

The main changes are that separating couples will be obliged to attend mediation sessions to try to reach agreements regarding childcare and finances, before they can take their disputes to court.

Home buy schemes help 100,000 families on to property ladder

More than 100,000 people have used various government schemes to buy a home over the last four years.

Households have taken advantage of schemes such as Right to Buy and Help to Buy. The Right to Buy scheme gives people who have lived in a council property for at least five years the right to buy at a discount.

With the Help to Buy schemes, the government provides loans or guarantees to make it easier for buyers to get a mortgage.

Man wins victimisation claim over bad employment reference

A man who said his former employers gave him a bad reference because he had brought a discrimination case against them has won his victimisation claim.

The man worked for a car sales and repair company but was dismissed because he was over 65 years old. He began proceedings for unfair dismissal and age discrimination. He then went to an employment agency to find a new job.

Divorcee ordered to pay ex-husband £1.2m despite pre-nup

A woman has been ordered to pay her ex-husband £1.2m, even though the couple had a pre-nuptial agreement that her wealth would be protected in the event of a separation.

The case involved the daughter of one of Britain’s wealthiest men. She received an annual allowance of £81,000 from her father and lived in a large house in central London which he gave her as a gift.

The husband had no assets of note and debts of more than £250,000. The couple had three children and had separated in 2012 after seven years of marriage because of disagreements about money.

Late payments lead to more insurance claims than insolvency

Late payments now lead to more credit insurance claims than insolvency, according to a recent survey.

In the first three quarters of 2013, 60% of claims were made because of a customer’s protracted default, with 40% because of customer insolvency.

That is in contrast to 33% for protracted default and 67% for insolvency the previous year.

Andrew Share of Coface UK, which carried out the survey, said: “Our findings reflect the national trend, in that the number of company insolvencies continues to decline since its peak in 2009.

Coach firm wins competition claim against airport

A coach firm has won a competition claim against an airport which abused its dominant position in the market for its own financial gain. 

The coach firm had operated a transport service between the airport and London Victoria for 30 years. When the contract ran out the airport operator conducted a ‘tender’ process.

The firm claimed that in a meeting four months earlier, the airport operator hadn’t mentioned the intention to hold a tender. However, it did give the impression that the firm was no longer part of its plans.

Insurers win dispute with union over commission payments

An insurance company has won a legal dispute with a trade union over commission payments on the sale of its services to new customers.

The case involved Unite the Union and Liverpool Victoria Banking Services.

They had an agreement whereby Unite allowed Victoria access to its members in order to market and sell services to them. In return, Victoria would pay Unite a commission on the sales it made to those union members.