Insolvency decision is a ‘£480m bonanza for rogue directors’

The government decision to end the special arrangement that helped to fund insolvency litigation has met with widespread criticism from business and legal professionals.


The trade body R3 said it would amount to a “half-billion-pound pay day for rogue directors”.


The controversy arose when the government confirmed that from April this year, insolvency litigation will no longer be exempted from the costs regime imposed by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO).


Children want more say when their parents get divorced

Children want more say in what happens to them when their parents get divorced, according to research carried out for the family law group, Resolution.


The survey also revealed that 82% said they would prefer that their parents separated if they were unhappy rather than stay together. Resolution quotes one young person as saying: “Don’t stay together for a child’s sake, better to divorce than stay together for another few years and divorce on bad terms.”


Sole trader wins back £700,000 from fraudulent accountant

A sole trader has won his claim for repayment of more than £700,000 that had fraudulently been taken from his bank account by his accountant.


The court heard that the trader had retained the accountant's services in 2007 and trusted the financial side of the business to him, including control of the bank account and the bookkeeping.


In 2011, the trader got divorced and so his finances came under close scrutiny. It became apparent that his business accounts were inaccurate, with missing sums of money that the accountant failed to explain.


Charities benefit as woman’s second will declared invalid

A woman’s second will in which she declared that she wanted to leave most of her estate to a close friend has been declared invalid because it wasn’t properly executed.


It means that a number of charities will now inherit even though it’s unlikely that she wanted her money to pass to them.


The case involved a woman who first made a will in 1982 in which most of her estate was to pass to various charities.


She then made a second will in 1999 leaving most of her assets to a lifelong friend.


Employers urged to prepare for paying the National Living Wage

Ministers have urged employers to start preparing now for the National Living Wage (NLW), which comes into effect on 1 April this year.


Research carried out on behalf of the government suggests that 93% of businesses support the move but many haven’t yet started to prepare. They’re being urged to follow four simple steps.


Divorce settlements may have to be recalculated due to error

Thousands of divorce settlements may have to be recalculated due to an error on a form on the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) website.


The error involves Form E, which is shown on the website and is used to record the financial details of divorcing couples including their assets and liabilities. It’s been discovered that the software running the form has not been taking all liabilities into account and so may produce misleading results in some circumstances.


Marks & Spencer loses appeal over refund on prepaid rent

Marks & Spencer has lost its appeal against a court decision that it was not entitled to a refund after exercising a release clause in a commercial property lease.


The case involved four floors of office space at The Point in London.


M&S had a commercial lease which was due to expire in 2018. The terms included a break clause that offered it the option of terminating the lease in either January 2012 or January 2016.


M&S exercised the clause at the first opportunity and paid the basic rent for the whole quarter.


Daughter appointed as mother’s deputy despite living abroad

A woman has been appointed as her mother’s deputy in a power of attorney arrangement despite living more than 3,000 miles away in the United States.


The judge held that the arrangement could work perfectly well because of the advances in modern technology including online banking.


The case involved a woman who had been admitted to hospital in the UK suffering with dementia. Her daughter applied to become her deputy so she could manage her property and financial affairs. The woman’s two brothers objected because the daughter lived too far away in the US.

Investors bring £27m negligence claim against property valuers

A group of investors have brought a £27m professional negligence claim against a firm of property valuers following the collapse of a major development project.


A judge at a preliminary hearing said they have a good chance of success but a full trial was necessary to assess the full extent of the loss and to what extent the valuers were to blame.


Teacher wins claim over dismissal caused by salary increase

A teacher who claimed she was forced out of her job because she had reached the top of her salary scale and become too expensive has won her claim of unfair dismissal.


The teacher told the Employment Tribunal that after she had entered a high salary band due to her length of service, she was subjected to capability assessments. She believed the assessments were merely a ploy to pressurise her into resigning.