Berry Smith Property Litigation Team successful in £1m claim for damages


The Property Litigation Team has successfully represented a commercial property owner in a High Court claim for damages against its former tenant. The tenant was a local authority that had occupied our client’s property (a substantial Georgian property with extensive grounds) under a series of leases stretching back over 40 years. The leases contained repairing and reinstatement obligations, some of which varied between the various leases.

Cohabiting couples 'at risk if their relationship breaks down'


Widespread belief in the myth of common law marriage is putting millions of cohabiting couples at risk of financial hardship if their relationship breaks down.

The warning comes from the family law group, Resolution, after it commissioned a survey showing that most cohabitants don’t realise that they don’t have the same automatic rights as married couples.

The survey revealed that:

·       two-thirds of people in cohabiting relationships are unaware that there is no such as thing as ‘common-law marriage’ in this country

Shareholder Disputes


Nick Parker, a dispute resolution partner at Berry Smith Lawyers and a civil and commercial mediator, considers disputes that can arise between shareholders and the options of resolving them.

People engaged in business together sometimes disagree with each other. While most disagreements are resolved quickly by the parties themselves, some are more serious and end up in a formal dispute. Disputes between shareholders in SMEs, who often also hold roles as directors, can be distracting for the participants and for the business itself.

UK Government responds to the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices


In July 2017, Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts, published a report which set out 53 recommendations for reforming employment Law.   

The government has finally published its response, and it has accepted nearly all of the proposals, while setting out its ‘Good Work’ plan.

In its response, the government makes it clear that all work in the UK labour market should be fair and should allow workers a realistic opportunity for development.  In doing so, it hopes to promote good work across the UK.

Survey discovers people’s most common “will blunders”

Nearly two out of three adults in Britain do not have a valid will, according to a survey carried out by MacMillan Cancer Support.

The charity surveyed more than 2,000 people and found that 63% had not made a will, including 42% of people over the age of 55.

The survey also uncovered various “will blunders” that people make. Under British law, a person’s will become invalid once they marry, and a new one needs to be written. Despite this, the survey suggested that 1.5 million people had failed to update their will following their marriage.