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.


Berry Smith sponsors creative industries award

BERRY SMITH LLP were delighted to sponsor the Creative Industries Award at the Bridgend Business Forum event on Friday 18 September. The Award was won by Customised Sheet Metal Limited.


Alison Hoy, Chief Executive, who presented the Award says “Berry Smith were delighted to sponsor the creative industries category.  The entrants were all innovative and the winners CSM highlighted what is dynamic in creative industry by being able to produce bespoke one off products to clients nationally."


Disinherited son fails to overturn mother’s will despite her dementia

A son who was once very close to his mother but was then disinherited has failed to overturn her will, even though she had suffered from dementia towards the end of her life.


The court heard that the woman had originally made a will leaving her estate equally to her two sons, Timothy and Stephen.


Woman hit by tax bill allowed to set aside trust made in error

The High Court has set aside a trust settlement that was drawn up in error and would have resulted in a woman having to pay a large, unexpected tax bill.


The case involved a woman who made a settlement on the advice of her father to protect her assets from her former boyfriend. Most of the woman’s assets came in the form of gifts from the father.


He bought her a property to live in with her son. She had very little money or earning power so her father loaned her the money to buy a second property, without selling the first, to provide some income.

Company protects its business from poaching by former director

A businessman has failed in his attempt to overturn an injunction preventing him from competing with his former company and trying to poach its customers.


The court heard that the businessman had been both a director and a shareholder of the company until 2013 when his employment was terminated. He sold back his shares and entered into a post-termination agreement that prevented him from soliciting the company’s clients for a period of 12 months.


Rising number of cohabiting couples still lack legal protection

The number of unmarried couples in the UK has more than doubled in the last 20 years, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics.


Many cohabitants believe that they have the same legal protection as married couples but, unfortunately for them, this is not the case. They have few automatic legal rights, which can leave them vulnerable if their relationship with their partner breaks down.


New Commissioner ‘to help small firms tackle late payment issues’

The government is planning to appoint a Small Business Commissioner to help firms tackle late payment problems and unfair practices carried out by larger companies.


The move comes after research by Bacs showed that small and medium-sized businesses are owed a total of £26.8 billion in overdue payments and that £10.8 billion is spent per year in attempts to recover overdue payments.


A survey by the Federation of Small Businesses in 2014 revealed that 51% had experienced late payment within the previous 12 months.


New £26m fund to boost provision of homes for first-time buyers

The government is setting up a £26m fund to help developers speed up the process of providing starter homes for first-time buyers.


The homes will be offered exclusively to buyers aged under 40 with a discount of 20% on market values.


The £26m will be used to identify and purchase sites and prepare them over the next 18 months.

This will enable more of the properties to be started between 2016 and 2018. The majority of the sites will be underused brownfield land, currently not allocated for housing.


Dismissing employee over abusive Facebook post was ‘not unfair’

A company that sacked an employee who made abusive comments on Facebook and claimed he’d been drinking on duty had not acted unfairly.


That was the decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal in the case of Scottish Canals and one of its employees.


The issue arose after the employee posted comments that he had been drinking while on standby for flood alerts. He also posted abusive remarks about his supervisors. When questioned by the company, he said the comments were jokes and part of everyday banter.