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Do you have a right to read your employees private emails?

Manisha Chauhan
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This is a question that somewhat surprisingly made its way to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the recent case of Barbulescu v Romania. Mr Barbulescu was employed as an engineer in charge of sales. As part of his duties, Mr Barbulescu was asked...

Am I a common law husband or wife?

Sally Clark
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The very short answer to this question is “no”. Legally there is no such thing as a common law husband or wife. It is a very common misconception that if you live with another person for a period of time that you acquire rights in relation to...

Ken Norman of Brethertons named charity fundraiser of the year

Deborah Atkins
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We are delighted to announce that Ken Norman , Key Client Manager, has been named ‘ Charity Fundraiser of the Year ’ in the Oxfordshire Employee of the Year Awards , organised by Plus One Personnel .       The...

Chocolate Wars highlight the importance of brand protection

Katherine Cereghino
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You may not have realised but a war is going on and the battleground is the chocolate stands in your local shop. Nestle and Cadbury have been engaged in a trademark registration law over the shape of the KitKat for over 5 years and, in the latest twist...

Can I contest a Will?

Alistair Spencer
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If you have significant doubts as to the validity of a Will you may be able to contest the Will. Clearly before doing so you need to consider a wide range of factors including if the existing Will is declared invalid whether you would benefit to any greater...

Finalist in the Oxfordshire Employee of the Year Awards

Deborah Atkins
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We are delighted to announce that one of our Key Client Manager’s, Ken Norman has been named as a finalist in the Oxfordshire Employee of the Year Awards , in the Charity Fundraiser of the Year category, sponsored by White Springs.  A...

Whistleblower paid £137,000 after being "bullied" out of his job

Manisha Chauhan
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Hot off the press! Just over a week ago – news spread in the construction industry of Balfour Beatty paying out a six figure sum to a whistleblower who accused the company of under-estimating potential profits. Nigel McArthur, from Devon, worked as a...

Divorce - what you need to know

Georgina Nelson
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With Newspapers and gossip magazines printing that Celebrities are getting “quickie” divorces based on “irreconcilable differences”, it can be difficult to understand the real process of a divorce and how it works. To set the record...

EU Succession Regulations - do you have a holiday home in Europe?

Emma Stewart
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In August 2015, most of the EU member states incorporated into law the EU Succession Regulations which change the way your property can be dealt with when you die.  The UK has not incorporated the Regulations; however, if you own property in a EU member...

Do you or shareholders of your company still hold bearer shares?

Ben Hancox
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We previously wrote an article on this subject (Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015) when the 9 month period for surrendering bearer shares was implemented.  We are now 8 months into the 9 month surrender period for cancelling or...

Brethertons bags a bargain!

Shaun Jardine
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Bicester-based Zeta Specialist Lighting has sold its one-of-a-kind Lexus GS300 to Brethertons for the princely sum of 99p.  We have pledged to take part in the 2016 Twin Town Challenge to raise money for SpecialEffect , an Oxfordshire-based...

New Year, New Start, New Resolutions

Manisha Chauhan
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Let us start by first off wishing you a very Happy New Year! As with every New Year, it starts with the normal New Year resolutions of “ I must lose weight,” “ I must exercise more…etc.” …but what about New Years...

Cheryl Fernandez Versini divorces JB!

Liz Headley
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Well speaking of January divorces none would appear to be quite as public as Cheryl Fernandez Versini’s! The decision to divorce from short term husband Jean-Bernard has obviously grabbed the attention of the tableaux newspapers and social media, all...

Help to Buy ISA - the Key Points

Tom Ansell
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The Government has recently extended its Help to Buy scheme with the introduction of the Help to Buy ISA. The scheme is designed to assist first time buyers with the purchase of a property up to the value of £450,000.00 in London and £250,000.00...

Right to rent checks - are you ready for 1st February 2016?

Debra Wetters
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From 1 February 2016 all private landlords in England, including those subletting or taking in lodgers, will need to check the immigration status of all of their tenants, before entering into a new tenancy. These new rules are set out in the Immigration Act...

Avoiding snap decisions

Lindsay Gutteridge
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It was announced that NICE , the health watchdog, has advised that patients must be treated with respect and compassion and doctors should avoid making "snap decisions" about whether someone was dying. This has been in response to concerns...

Zero Hour Contracts...what next

Manisha Chauhan
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Zero hour contracts have been the talk of the town since the Conservatives came into power….but what’s the latest on them now? With effect from 11th January 2016, the Government introduced The Exclusivity Terms in Zero Hour Contracts...

The pitfalls of buybacks out of capital

Leanne Lawrence
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If your company wants to buy back it’s own shares from an existing shareholder of the company and more particularly, out of the capital of the company, rather than out of distributable profits, then you need to ensure that you follow the statutory...

New appointment strengthens the Brain Injury team at Brethertons

Jon Rees
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We have appointed Katherine Lennon as Head of our  Brain Injury team. We have an excellent track record of securing multi-million pound settlements for clients who have sustained catastrophic injuries. Katherine Lennon too has many-million...

A January tale

Liz Headley
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Well, it’s all over now, the sparkle and gloss have disappeared, any manufactured energy and enthusiasm have visibly waned and the inevitable recognition that it’s finally finished has been accepted.   No I’m not talking about...

New Years resolutions for business people

Katherine Cereghino
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Every year without fail millions of people make New Year's resolutions, most of which will be broken by the end of January. An easy way to keep a New Year resolution is to make one that will benefit your business. During the course of last year,...

Do I have to move out?

Josh Russell
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When any relationship breaks down, whether it is a marriage, civil partnership or cohabiting relationship, there are often a few questions which are at the forefront of everyone’s mind. “Do I have to move out?” is one of the most common....

New data protection law agreed by EU

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Guest blog by Robert Wassall The EU has reached agreement on the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will replace the UK’s Data Protection Act 1998. The details of the new regulation will be clarified in early in...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at Brethertons!

Shaun Jardine
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This year, in the season of goodwill, instead of sending out ubiquitous cards, bottles of wine or boxes of chocolates we’ve decided to put our energy to a different use – both near to home and much further away!  Each year, our staff at...

An early Christmas present from Team Commercial...

Katherine Cereghino
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The Commercial Team have come up with six tips to share with you for the New Year following our experiences over the past year. Follow them to help your business run smoothly.   Firstly is my tip :   - Successful collection of long term debts...

'Tis the season to be jolly...the festive frolics of Christmas

Manisha Chauhan
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With the countdown to Christmas drawing near, most of us are busy worrying about critical matters such as who we can drop from the Christmas card list this year (have you seen the price of stamps?!).  However, for employers, this is also the time of...

What happens if you die without a Will?

Anji Arkell
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If a person dies without leaving a Will then they die intestate. This means their estate will be dealt with under the intestacy rules which dictates who inherits the deceased’s estate. In October 2014 changes to the rules that determine what...

The darker side of Christmas

Liz Headley
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The media announced today that reports of ‘Domestic Violence and Anti Social behaviour’ (DVA) have risen by over 30% in the last 12 months in the UK. This could be perceived as encouraging, with possibly victims finding the courage to disclose...

All you need to know about mediation

Simon Craddock
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Over the last year as Legal Aid has been cut for many people, the Government and the Court have emphasised the route of mediation instead of costly Court proceedings. There are very limited circumstances where someone will now be eligible for Legal Aid and...

Retaliatory eviction - striking out!

James Attew
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One of the more controversial provisions of the Deregulation Act 2015 that came into force in October 2015 may set a trap for unaware private landlords, and will potentially allow a tenant at least a further six months in the property without the landlord...

Tips to avoid bad debts - Tip 4

Karen Adams
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In my last blog as part of a series of hints and tips   on how to minimise bad debts and improve your cash flow,  I discuss  ‘Unpaid Invoices’.  If a customer fails to pay and fails to keep you informed then...

What I meant to say...

Katherine Cereghino
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Anyone who is in business creates contracts on a daily basis and, if in writing, those contracts will often contain a clause along the lines of ‘this agreement contains the whole agreement between the parties’ But what happens if it...

3rd December! A night to remember!

Mark North
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As a football fan there is no better place to go than your home country’s national stadium. The experience of going to Wembley is exciting enough but the prospect of bringing away a trophy is way beyond that. As a West Ham fan the closest we tend to...

Veyo scheme scrapped

Michael Dibben
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Following on from my first blog  about Veyo, the Law Society has announced on 3rd December that it will no longer be investing in the proposed online conveyancing Portal known as Veyo. Veyo was to be an online tool facilitating communication between...

Stamp duty blow for landlords

Michael Dibben
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George Osborne has announced significantly increased rates of stamp duty land tax for people buying second homes and buy to let property. In his Autumn Statement on 25th November the Chancellor announced that from April 2016 people buying an additional home...

Gearing Up for a Challenge...

Ken Norman
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…the SpecialEffect Twin Town 2016 Challenge that is. This event will see 100 cars costing less than £500 drive from Blenheim Palace to Witney’s twin town of Le Touquet and back via Silverstone and Croix en Ternois. It is not a race but...

Film star for a day!

Alison Goldney
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I have recently overseen the production of a video featuring one of our clients, Ify Nwokoro. Although Ify’s case settled shortly before I joined the firm in 2014 I have come to know him well. On our first meeting, at this year’s Spinal Injuries...

Tips to avoid bad debts - Tip 3

Karen Adams
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Following the first two tips , here is tip number 3 about the importance of invoices.  3     Invoices Particularly in small businesses invoicing is often seen as an administrative job frequently put off until the end of the month or...

Legal services firm of the year

Mark North
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We are delighted to announce that we have been judged as the top legal services firm in the country for the property management industry. We fought off tough competition to be shortlisted, and were announced as the winner of the ‘Legal...

Should I stay or should I go?

Liz Headley
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As divorce rates rise in the Britain to make them some of the highest in Europe, individuals ask themselves this question more and more frequently. There is no easy answer, no set of tick box questions that will come up with the ‘right’ decision...

Are employees on long term sick "assigned" for TUPE transfer?

Manisha Chauhan
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This question was discussed in the case of BT Managed Services v Edwards where it was held by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) that an employee on long term sick will not be assigned to the grouping given that their absence is permanent and there is no...

Peace and goodwill to all men... and women

Liz Headley
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Christmas, a time of peace and goodwill to all men (and women), or is it? For some separating or separated parents it can be a time that invites animosity and negative feelings toward each other, leaving their children in the middle of their conflict. There...

Property Managers plan to use technology to increase efficiency

Mark North
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Read the State of the Nation report now •    7-fold increase in home-working •    Just under half of all companies (45%) use separate accounts software in addition to their property management systems ...

Tips to avoid bad debts - Tip 2

Karen Adams
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The second tip I discuss as part of a series of hints and tips on how to minimise bad debts and improve your cash flow is ‘Terms and Conditions’: 2. Terms and conditions Make sure you have a set of terms and conditions that accurately...

Consent Orders & financial remedy cases

Josh Russell
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In previous blogs , I have touched on different aspects of financial cases such as maintenance or the importance of obtaining a clean break . In these blogs, I stressed the importance, within any divorce, of obtaining a Consent Order dealing with all the...

Service charges: following the contractual process for recovery

Roger Hardwick
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My colleagues, my clients, and possibly even my family are, I expect, tired of me repeating the phrase “read the lease”.  That does not make it any less correct. In a very recent decision: Clacy v Sanchez [2015] UKUT 0387 (LC), the Upper...

Can your Facebook status haunt you for years to come?

Manisha Chauhan
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We’ve all seen that time when you go to check your news feed on Facebook and see someone making a derogatory comment about their manager or fellow colleagues. The question is, can this have any affect on their future employment with the company? This...

Claims against untraced drivers

Richard Hopkin
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If you are unlucky enough to be involved in a road traffic accident and the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident is untraceable, it is still possible for you to seek compensation by making an application under Untraced Driver’s Agreement to...

Tips to avoid bad debts - Tip 1

Karen Adams
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Imagine a world where your invoices were paid immediately they became due and you never had to spend time chasing payment. A world where no customers had to be put on “stop” because their account was overdue. And where you never had to deal with...

A paralysed system?

Alison Goldney
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The NHS is often criticised in the press for bed blocking and at MASCIP’s recent conference Continuing Healthcare: Does it? we heard about the real cost of the lack of continuing healthcare for patients with a spinal cord injury when their...

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