Insights: Legal Updates - May 2016

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What is the Inheritance Tax Residence Nil Rate Band?

Helena Luckhurst |

Does UK Inheritance Tax (IHT) affect me? IHT can pose a serious threat to family wealth. With careful planning, married couples (including civil partners for these purposes) can usually defer IHT until the death of the surviving spouse.  Then, however, IHT applies at a flat rate of 40%, although often only if the surviving spouse’s […]

Post Panama


Once the initial furore over the “Panama papers” has died down, a sober analysis will undoubtedly reveal that, whilst there will have been many examples of undisclosed or illegal arrangements, there will equally have been many clients of Mossack Fonseca whose affairs were perfectly compliant and who had valid reasons for setting up offshore companies […]

IP Update – EU Trade marks

Eddie Powell |

At the start of 2016 we highlighted the impending changes to IP law in the European Union (EU) and what to expect over the coming months when the new legislation is introduced.  This article focuses on two of the amendments governing the use of a European Union trade mark (EUTM) and how the new laws […]

Lease extensions of flats on a sale – what to tell your clients


When tenants first acquired the right to extend their flat leases under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (Act), there was a perception that this was not as attractive as the other right created by the Act, to collectively acquire the freehold title to the building in which the flats are situated.  […]

The Eclairs v JKX case and “proper purpose” – the impact for directors


The Companies Act 2006 requires directors to use their powers only for the purposes for which they have been conferred, also known as for the “proper purpose”. The statute does not give any guidance as to what this duty requires of directors in practice, but a recent Supreme Court case, Eclairs Group Limited v JKX […]

Collateral warranties: getting the best support!

Oliver Tobin |

Many occupiers still fail to sufficiently protect their interests by ensuring that the appropriate paperwork is in place when construction works are carried out in or adjacent to their premises.  Whilst many defects continue to be identified and remedied when a contractor is on site, significant problems can and do arise with latent or hidden […]

LMA insurance broker’s letter: a step in the right direction


This quarter has seen the Loan Market Association (LMA) publish a template insurance broker’s letter in an attempt to streamline and improve the process of agreeing broker letters in LMA real estate finance transactions. Anyone who has had the pleasure of negotiating and agreeing these letters will know that at times the process can be […]

Termination and construction contracts

Christian Charles, Digby Hebbard |

Within the construction industry there appears to be uncertainty as to the circumstances in which a party can terminate a contract and the consequences of a wrongful termination. There would also seem to be a general lack of understanding of the concept of a “repudiatory breach” of contract, and how this is relevant to termination. […]

Pension death benefits and spousal bypass trusts: time to review

Helena Luckhurst |

April 2015 saw another radical overhaul of the taxation of UK pensions on death. Gone is the 55% tax charge on payment of a lump sum death benefit after death, if the pension member either died after their 75th birthday or died pre-75 having already entered into drawdown.  Instead, pension payments from a money purchase […]

Group claims and the future of claimant litigation

Leigh Callaway |

The ability of a group or groups of multiple claimants to bring joint claims – a class action – has long existed in a number of legal jurisdictions. The best known jurisdiction is perhaps, the United States, which is renowned, perhaps unfairly, for big ticket group claims, involving many dozens if not hundreds of claimants, […]