Jackson Report proposes changes into recoverability of civil litigation costs


Lord Justice Jackson today published his long-awaited report into the recoverability of costs in civil litigation.

It promises to mark the latest in a line of reforms to the civil justice system as it is likely to lead to potentially significant changes being introduced within the next 12 months.

Employment Tribunal Fees held to be unlawful by the Supreme Court


A monumental Supreme Court decision has just held that Employment Tribunal fees (which were introduced by the Government in July 2013) are unlawful, following a protracted legal challenge by the trade union, Unison, who were supported by the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Surge in number of businesses vulnerable to interest rate rises


More than 79,000 businesses in the UK say they would not be able to repay their debts if interest rates were to rise by even a small amount.

That’s an increase of nearly 60,000 since last September.

The figures are based on a long running survey conducted by the insolvency and restructuring body, R3. Its researchers also found that 96,000 firms were only paying interest on their debts.

Berry Smith advises a family owned aviation business in Bridgend which is now on the world's biggest stock market

AMSS and Berry Smith Lawyers

Berry Smith are delighted to have advised Aircraft Maintenance Support Services Limited (AMSS) on their sale to American company JBT Corporation for approximately £10 million.

The family-owned, Bridgend-based business was founded 40 years ago by Duncan Barber and manufactures and maintains ground support equipment. JBT Corporation, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, is a leading global technology solutions provider, that also sells equipment and services to US and international air transportation customers.

Berry Smith advises on merger of leading wholesale electrical supply businesses

Berry Smith is delighted to have advised on the merger between the wholesale electrical supply businesses of Bridgend based Total Electrical Distributors and Templegate Electrical Supplies, headquartered in Bristol, which was part of the acquisition of Templegate by Morris McLellan Limited, part of the JW Morris Group

Director caught out by having to repay loan ‘on demand’

Directors need to be clear about repayment terms when borrowing money from their company or using their loan account.

Failure to do so could result in being obliged to pay back large sums before they are ready to do so, as happened in a recent case before the High Court.

The issue arose due to a complex arrangement whereby the director borrowed £131,000 from his company so he could buy shares in the company. The agreement was further complicated by his being involved in a second related company.

Company awarded £176,000 damages over leaked information


A company has been awarded £176,000 damages after an employee leaked sensitive information to rival firms. It has also been given permission by the Court of Appeal to pursue further compensation.

The case involved Vanden Recycling Ltd, one of its employees and two rival businesses, Kras and Bolton.

Vanden alleged that the employee had been providing commercially sensitive information to Kras and Bolton, and that all three had conspired to use that information to set up a rival business.

British families pay a record £5 billion inheritance tax

Probate and Wills

Families in the UK have paid more than £5 billion inheritance tax in a single year for the first time ever.

The record figure reflects the increasing value of estates, largely fuelled by rising house prices.

HMRC says that £5.1 billion was collected through inheritance tax receipts in the 12 months to May. That was a rise of 9% over the same period last year.

Figures released by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) show that the number of family estates liable to inheritance tax has risen fourfold since 2010 from 10,000 to more than 40,000.

Husband loses appeal against £4.25m divorce settlement


A judge was not at fault when he exercised his discretion to award a woman a £4.25m divorce settlement based on her “needs”.

That was the decision of the Court of Appeal in a case involving a couple who had been married for two years but had a relationship stretching over nine years. The husband was 65 and the wife was 38.

The husband had assets of £37m and the couple enjoyed a very high standard of living during the marriage. However, the wife had suffered serious psychological harm because of the marriage and its breakdown.