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18 June 2024 Wills and estates

 More and more farmers are making Wills to ensure their farming business can be passed on to the next generation following their death with as little disruption as possible. However, given research shows that agriculture is the UK’s most dangerous industry to work in, that the average age of UK farmers is nearing 60, and that farmers have higher levels of mental health issues than non-farmers, shrewd farmers should also draw up contingency plans in case they lose mental capacity, as Laura Carter, Solicitor and agricultural specialist at Ware & Kay & Pearsons & Ward Solicitors in Malton explains. You may lose mental capacity and become unable to make decisions for yourself due to an accident involving one of the many hazards that farmers come into daily contact with, through stress, or because of a…
17 June 2024 Litigation

Disputes between shareholders and company directors are not uncommon. Parties can fall out because they are worried about the future of the business and how the company is being run particularly if there is a concern that decisions are being made that are not in the company’s best interests. The most common issues that cause dispute include: where it is felt that company directors are not acting in the best interests of the company, are exceeding their powers, have a conflict of interest or where shareholders do not agree with decisions being taken by the company’s directors or feel they are being unfairly treated or kept in the dark about decisions and having their rights ignored. If the concerns cannot be resolved amicably by the parties then they should seek legal advice at an early…
05 June 2024 Residential property

Many of us dream about having our own pool, especially as summer approaches. What better way to beat a heatwave? And, on a more practical note, swimming is great exercise, suitable for all ages and fitness levels. So, if you are searching for your next home, a house with a pool may be high on your wish list. ‘With rising temperatures and longer summers, it is easy to see the appeal of a house with a swimming pool,’ agrees Holly Stevens, Director in the residential property team with Ware & Kay incorporating Pearsons & Ward. ‘However, this amenity can raise issues, both practical and legal. So, it is important to do your homework first.’ Here she offers some advice before taking the plunge. Ask yourself how often you will use the pool In the heat…
05 June 2024 Employment advice

Returning to work from family leave can be a significant adjustment for some employees. As well as the practical considerations of childcare and family logistics, there may have been significant changes in the workplace, such as new colleagues, new technology or new products and services. If used properly, keeping-in-touch (KIT) days can help an employee to feel included and can support their transition back to work. ‘Employees and employers can agree that an employee participates in up to ten KIT days during their family leave,’ explains Kalpesh Nakeshree, Head of Employment with Ware & Kay incorporating Pearsons & Ward in York, Wetherby & Malton. ‘However, you should not be tempted to use KIT days to force an employee to work during their family leave, as these arrangements are entirely voluntary.’ Kalpesh explains what KIT days…
05 June 2024 Litigation

Japanese knotweed is an invasive non-native plant that can lead to significant problems because it can cause physical damage to buildings and land and is expensive to eradicate and dispose of. Although there is no legal obligation to remove Japanese knotweed or to report it if you find it on your land, the spread of knotweed can result in civil and criminal liability and adversely affect the value of a property and its insurability. This means that you may be liable to compensate a neighbour if the knotweed spreads from your land to theirs even if the knotweed has not caused physical damage: the mere presence of its roots or rhizomes is sufficient. The Supreme Court recently considered the issue of knotweed and liability in the case of Davies v Bridgend County Council. This case…
29 May 2024 Firm updates

Leading law firm Ware & Kay incorporating Pearsons & Ward Solicitors is delighted to announce that Paralegal Lucy Wardle has passed her Solicitors Qualifying Exams (SQE). The SQE exam is a rigorous assessment designed to ensure that aspiring solicitors possess the necessary knowledge and skills to provide legal services effectively. By passing the SQE, which tests both functional legal knowledge and practical legal skills, Lucy has demonstrated her competence in various areas of law. Passing the SQE opens up opportunities for career progression in the legal profession. Lucy started her legal education in 2012 at the University of Sheffield studying Law with Criminology. She completed her degree after 3 years and graduated in 2015 with honours. Lucy then joined Ware & Kay in 2019 and went on to study the SQE Course in 2023 and completed…
10 May 2024 Employment advice

Calculating holiday allowances can be tricky for any staff who work irregular hours. In an effort to simplify things, this year the government has introduced changes to the rules on holiday rights as part of reforms to some employment rights that developed from years of European and UK case law. ‘These changes were made following consultation, with the stated aim of simplifying the rules on holiday entitlement and pay,’ says Kalpesh Nakeshree, Head of Employment with Ware & Kay incorporating Pearsons & Ward. ‘They also address the potential unfairness of a Supreme Court decision that gave a term-time worker more holiday when compared to a someone who worked all year round for the same number of hours each year.’ Kalpesh highlights the changes and the importance of complying with the new rules, as well as…
03 May 2024 Litigation

Inheritance disputes can arise for people in all walks of life, but are particularly prevalent among farming families – often due to the complex ways farms are held and run, or poor succession planning. Julie Bradwell, Litigation Solicitor and agricultural specialist at Ware & Kay incorporating Pearsons & Ward Solicitors in Malton, York & Wetherby, explains how farming inheritance wrangles commonly arise, and outlines your options if you feel you have not received your fair share in a Will. A farming Will could be challenged for a range of reasons including claims for: Proprietary estoppel A common cause of farming inheritance disputes is where the testator promised to leave you something in the Will, and you relied on this pledge to your detriment, but the promise was broken. This might arise, for example, if…
03 May 2024 Employment advice

Flexible working refers to arrangements that allow employees to have greater control over when, where, and how they work. This can include options such as flexitime, remote working, compressed workweeks, job sharing, and part-time work. The aim of flexible working is to support employees in achieving a better work-life balance, increase job satisfaction, and improve productivity. In the case of Wilson v Financial Conduct Authority an employment tribunal considered an employer's rejection of a flexible working request to work entirely from home. The employer's policy was that employees should work in the office 40% of the time.  Currently, an employer must notify an employee of their decision, including the decision on any appeal, within three months from the date of the employee's request (or a longer period if the parties agree). From April 2024, this decision…
01 May 2024 Residential property

 If you are selling a leasehold property, as part of the standard conveyancing process, your buyers will expect you to provide certain information about your property. There are set forms for this, including one which relates specifically to leases that asks if you are aware of any problems regarding the service charge or any complaints about your landlord, the management company, or any neighbour. Unfortunately, occasionally disputes occur and usually these can be resolved over time. But what if you are keen to move, can you still put your home on the market and hope to find a buyer at the right price? ‘It is important to be realistic in your expectations if there is a problem with a leasehold property,’ cautions Louise Davis, Associate in the Residential Property Department with Ware & Kay incorporating Pearsons…
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