Insights: Legal Updates - February 2014

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Surplus income gifts and Inheritance Tax: are you fit for the fight?

Helena Luckhurst |

UK Inheritance Tax (IHT) is essentially a tax on capital at death but allowing unused income to accumulate over the years, in effect turning itself into chargeable capital, can increase a person’s IHT liability. It is a common misconception that one has to survive all gifts by seven years before the gift will be free […]


Aktuell: Betrugsfälle im internationalen Zahlungsverkehr

Alexander Wildschütz |

Die Betrugsanfälligkeit elektronischer Korrespondenz und insbesondere von Online-Zahlungsverkehr ist allgemein bekannt. Bislang konzentrierten sich Manipulationen auf den direkten Zugriff auf das geschädigte Konto selbst, etwa durch Phising und anschliessende Verwendung der Kontodaten für unberechtigte Abbuchungen. Damit zielen auch die gängigen technischen Schutzmaßnahmen wie Anti-Trojan-Software und Firewalls, auf die Abwehr fremden Zugriffs auf die eigenen Daten. […]


Permitted development rights

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On 30 May 2013, the government introduced changes to the planning system affecting permitted development rights. The reforms aim to boost economic recovery and ease the national housing shortage, by putting into productive use vacant or underused office space. The most controversial aspect of the reforms is a change to permitted development rights to allow […]


Nazi appropriated art

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The Gurlitt story continues to fascinate the art world. My earlier post ‘Nazi looted art’ reflected the view at the time that any stash of Nazi art must have been looted, and that Cornelius Gurlitt and the art seized from his flat would not be reunited. I suppose we should have known that no one […]


"When beggars die…"

Teresa Cullen |

“When beggars die, there are no comets seen; The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes” (1) Continuing the Shakespearean theme of Helena Luckhurst’s article ‘Shall I compare thee to…a trust?’ there are a number of points to take into account when there are changes in your family situation. In the hope that you […]


Incorporation of main contract terms

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Sometimes taking a short cut may lead you up a blind alley. The same may also be true if you attempt a contractual short cut. Sometimes subcontracts (often drafted without legal advice) attempt to incorporate main contract terms by various shorthand means, using provisions which state that the subcontract is “subject to the terms of […]


Shall I compare thee to...a trust?

Helena Luckhurst, Teresa Cullen |

Novelty is usually a quality to be applauded but not necessarily in the law. When drafting documents, the temptation is to follow the tried and tested route. I was reminded of this recently when I was asked to clarify what type of trust had been created by a will containing the phrase ‘To my trustees […]


Scotland - a sterling nation?

Charles Proctor |

Now that 2014 is well and truly with us, it is perhaps unsurprising that the Scottish independence debate is beginning to heat up. The referendum is due to be held on 18 September, and will determine whether Scotland remains a part of the United Kingdom or begins to set its course as the world’s newest […]


The new UK Statutory Residence Test

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A new Statutory Residence Test (SRT) has been introduced with effect from 6 April 2013. HMRC published their long awaited and detailed guidance on the application of the test in December 2013. The purpose of the test is to place on a statutory footing, and therefore clarify, what factors determine an individual’s residency. The question […]


"With 33.5% of my worldly goods I thee endow…"

Teresa Cullen |

Prenuptial agreements (pre-nups) are to become legally binding, according to the report of the Law Commission, advance notice of which was given earlier this week. At the moment such contracts are not legally binding in England and Wales but they are given decisive weight following the case of Katrin Radmacher and her husband in 2010 […]


Beneficial ownership of UK companies

Charles Wander |

In early 2014 we are expecting the government to publish its formal response to the Department for Business Innovation & Skills’ Transparency & Trust” discussion paper published in July 2013. One of the proposals in the discussion paper is to create a central registry of beneficial company owners. The paper followed the UK-chaired G8 summit […]