4 New Appointments

We have appointed a senior consultant, two associates and a new trainee solicitor to our practice.

Philip Griffiths previously ran his own niche commercial/ IP practice, Alderwick’s Solicitors, for 12 years in Bath. Originally from Llandysul, he has returned to Wales to join Berry Smith’s commercial and intellectual property team.

Employers urged to help older staff stay in work longer

A government minister has urged employers to keep up with changes in society and help older staff to keep working beyond the normal retirement age.


Minister for Pensions Steve Webb said: “How we all look at retirement is changing and the way in which government and business help older workers needs to keep up with the times.”


Court fee increase ‘will hit small businesses chasing debts’

A proposed 5% increase in court fees could deter small businesses pursuing claims for late payments, according to the Bar Council, which represents barristers in England and Wales.


The Ministry of Justice is planning to impose a 5% blanket fee on businesses and individuals bringing a claim for money - such as late payments, debt and compensation - of up to £200,000.


There would also be a minimum fee of £10,000 for larger claims.


Government scheme helps create 60,000 new businesses

A government scheme is helping to create 450 new businesses every week, according to the latest figures.


The New Enterprise Allowance has so far led to the creation of 60,000 firms across the UK. The scheme is targeted mainly at jobseekers, lone parents and people on sickness benefit. Budding entrepreneurs with a good business idea can apply for financial support up to a total of £1,274, payable through a weekly allowance over 26 weeks.


Landlords and letting agents ‘liable for noisy tenants’

A court has ruled that landlords and letting agents can be held liable for disturbances caused by their tenants and could face fines of up to £20,000.


The case involved home owners at the Sandbanks development at Poole Harbour in Dorset. They complained about noise from a three-storey property which was rented out for stag and hen parties. The parties and the noise often lasted long into the night.


TV chef Ramsey loses dispute over restaurant purchase

The television celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey has lost a legal dispute after admitting that his staff often gave business guarantees in his name and used his signature without him knowing.


The issue arose after Mr Ramsey’s company leased premises from businessman Gary Love. Mr Love had bought the premises in poor condition and started to convert them into a restaurant and hotel.


Dementia sufferer wins damages and ‘freedom’ from council

The Court of Protection exists to safeguard the interests of people who may be unable to look after themselves fully or make decisions on their own behalf.


Sometimes the court may defend them against individuals seeking to exploit them, but it can also protect them against the heavy handed actions of official bodies, as illustrated in a recent case.


Wife loses appeal against ‘equal split’ divorce settlement

A woman has lost her appeal against a judge’s decision that she and her husband should share their assets equally as part of their divorce settlement.


The case involved a couple who had been married for four years and had a three-year-old daughter. They were both professionals but the wife had more earning power than her husband. However, she was the primary carer for her daughter and only worked part-time.


Number of first-time home buyers reaches 7-year high

The number of first-time home buyers in 2014 was at its highest level for seven years, according to the Halifax bank.


This was in spite of the fact that house prices rose by an average of 8.5% last year.


The Halifax says that 326,500 people bought their first home last year – a 22% increase on 2013 and the highest number since 2007.