Property fraud: fake ID scams on the rise

Property fraud comes in many forms and is a growing trend which is so prolific in the East Midlands this year that it prompted the regional fraud team to issue a specific warning about fraudsters using fake ID to get mortgage-free properties transferred into their names. The scammers use fake ID, such as a passport or driving licence or change their name to the true owner’s name through deed poll to obtain genuine identification documents, to remortgage the targeted properties or sell them onto unsuspecting third parties and pocket the proceeds. Edward Sharpe (Partner and Head of Residential Property), explains how such property scams work and outlines what can be…

A day in the life of a Solicitor who specialises in Contentious Probate work

Karen Bower-Brown is a partner at Sills & Betteridge who specialises in contentious probate work which includes advising clients on contesting, challenging and disputing a will. What is contentious probate work and what sort of work does Karen deal with in a typical day? Karen is a member of the Association of Contentious Trust & Probate Specialists (“ACTAPS”) and is therefore entitled to call herself a specialist in contentious probate work. Contentious probate work includes: • Claims where no or insufficient financial provision is made for certain classes of family or dependants • Disputes over the validity of wills • Claims against personal representatives (“PRs”) who are failing to progress…

Sepsis and Medical Negligence

Sepsis (a form of blood poisoning) is a potentially life-threatening condition which occurs when the body’s immune system overreacts to an infection. Although in most cases our immune system can fight infection by releasing chemicals into the bloodstream, if our body’s response to these chemicals is out of balance, our response can trigger changes which then causes damage to tissues and organs instead. Once the infection is in the bloodstream it can affect the entire body and can lead to organ failure. If not treated urgently it can become a life-threatening condition where our response causes a sudden and dangerous drop in blood pressure and the Sepsis progresses to Septic…

Euan McLaughlin - Sills & Betteridge Solicitors

GDPR – What you need to know (12 months on)

I am sure you have all seen countless GDPR guidance articles, with varying degrees of accuracy and scare-mongering, over the last 12 months. There have been a few very high profile fines issued in the last 12 months, including a recent fine for the “Vote Leave” organisation. For the most part, these still relate to actions taking place before GDPR came into force, as it usually takes around 12 months for the ICO to complete a substantial investigation. We should therefore be seeing the first “batch” of GDPR-based decisions and fines soon. The purpose of this article is to recap the fundamentals of GDPR, as I know that a lot…

Euan McLaughlin - Sills & Betteridge Solicitors

Terms & Conditions Part 3 – What Do I Do With My Shiny New Terms & Conditions?

Euan McLaughlin, (pictured) a partner at Sills & Betteridge and a member of our Corporate & Commercial Team, has written a series of three articles telling you everything you need to know about Terms & Conditions. In this, the third and final of this three articles, Euan explains what to do with them once you have them. There is a temptation when a set of terms & conditions are completed to take a contented sigh, pop them in a drawer, and then forget all about them. I know of a number of businesses who have spent the time and money required to produce high-quality terms & conditions, only to then…

Euan McLaughlin - Sills & Betteridge Solicitors

Terms & Conditions Part 2 – What Do I Need In My Terms & Conditions?

Euan McLaughlin, (pictured) a partner at Sills & Betteridge and a member of our Corporate & Commercial Team, has written a series of three articles telling you everything you need to know about Terms & Conditions. In this second of this three articles, Euan explains what you need in them. There is no “one size fits all” solution to what goes in your terms & conditions. As I mentioned in my previous article, one of the key first steps in creating your terms & conditions is for the business and the solicitor to have a discussion about your products and needs. The following is therefore a general guide of the…

Euan McLaughlin - Sills & Betteridge Solicitors

Terms & Conditions Part 1 – Why Do I Need Terms & Conditions?

Euan McLaughlin, (pictured) a partner at Sills & Betteridge and a member of our Corporate & Commercial Team, has written a series of three articles telling you everything you need to know about Terms & Conditions. In this first article, Euan explains why you need them. I have two aims – to de-mystify the topic, and explain the importance of getting it right. This article will focus on the outline of why you need high-quality terms & conditions, and the initial areas you should be considering. This will be followed by further articles looking at (i) typical content, and (ii) how to use terms & conditions. Terms & conditions are…

Maximum Penalties and Awards Update, More Rights for Workers – by Stephen Britton, Head of Employment Law

On 6th April 2019 there were a host of Employment Law changes made due to new regulations being introduced. Increased Maximum Penalty First, regulations have been introduced to increase the maximum penalty to employers who have committed an aggravated breach of employment law. In the past, any breach carried the risk of a tribunal ordering a penalty of £5,000 as a maximum. As of April 2019, this has been increased to £20,000. Aggravating features are not specifically defined in the Act and depend on the size of the employer, the length of the breach and the actions of the employer. Bearing in mind the risk of receiving a sizeable penalty,…

Is this the end of no-fault eviction notices? – by Robert Pearson

Successive governments have tried to grapple with the issue of trying to find the right balance between the interests of residential landlords versus the rights of their tenants. The government announced on 15 April 2019 that they intend to abolish so called “no-fault” evictions under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. Currently, Section 21 allows landlords to terminate tenancies after the fixed term of the tenancy has expired by giving the tenants two months’ notice. This led to concern that landlords were terminating tenancies too readily, and leaving tenants having to find alternative accommodation in a relatively short space of time, with all of the attendant costs and inconvenience…

Prenuptial Agreements – by Dominic Lee, Solicitor – Nottingham

A ‘Prenup’ is a legal agreement entered into between a couple before they get married; it sets out what their rights in relation to property, business, debts and other assets are and it stipulates what will happen to their ‘financial relationship’ should the marriage breakdown. It is far more common for couples in the US to enter into these types of agreements then it is in the UK. Is a prenuptial agreement worth thinking about? Prenuptial agreements can be a good mechanism to help protect a business interest you have, inherited property you may have received, property that you would like to pass on to your children or assets acquired…