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17 September 2020 Farming & Agriculture

Diversification is a hot topic in this current climate. From glamping and tea rooms to experience days and selling Christmas trees, farmers are finding new ways to make ends meet.  Johanne Spittle agricultural and commercial specialist at Ware & Kay Solicitors says ‘Diversification can help to transform an agricultural business, but only if it is properly thought through, with the benefit of professional advice and a strong underlying business plan.’ 1.Type of diversification The type of diversification that will work best for you depends on your circumstances, and, if you are a tenant farmer, the type of diversified activity will depend upon what is allowed under your tenancy or permitted by your landlord. Some of the most successful diversifications are those that utilise existing farm resources and infrastructure, or which tap into a gap in the local…
11 September 2020 COVID-19

During this period of uncertainty we have seen an increase in the number of enquiries from people who want to ensure that their affairs are in order should their health fail. One of the most important ways to do this is to put a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place. People can become unable to manage their affairs at any stage of life but our more vulnerable clients have naturally been prompted to think about this more than they usually would. A serious illness, accident or the onset of mental illness may make everyday tasks such as paying bills, managing a budget and making financial and welfare decisions difficult, stressful and, in some cases, impossible. An LPA gives a person control over who will help them manage their affairs and allows you to appoint someone you…
11 September 2020 Employment advice

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations, there is increased momentum in addressing racial inequalities at work. But this is against a backdrop of significant and long-standing barriers for workers of black and minority ethnic heritage.  For example, recent research by Business in the Community shows that only one and a half per cent of senior professional roles in the private sector are held by black people, despite making up three per cent of the UK population. ‘In any programme of change management involving employees, then it is important to take account of employment law,’ says Gillian Reid, Head of Employment with Ware & Kay in York & Wetherby. ‘Although positive discrimination is prohibited, positive action is lawful and there is plenty of employers can do to tackle inequality of all kinds and particularly…
11 September 2020 Family Matters

Farming is usually a family affair. Many farms are passed down through the generations with family members devoting years of their lives to working hard to ensure that the farming business is there for future generations. Relationship breakdowns can be traumatic for any family but when there is a divorce or separation in a farming family it is particularly difficult as the farm is invariably not only the family business but also the family home and a division of assets can be devastating for the wider family. Ownership of the family is often an added complicating factor in any divorce; the family farm may be owned by the older generation or ownership may have been transferred to a family company or partnership or to a son or daughter but with parents still depending on an income…
04 September 2020 COVID-19

The key priority for a landlord of commercial property is to secure a reliable and predictable rental income, which can be reviewed at regular intervals so that it keeps pace with other properties in the market.  Traditionally, commercial tenants have paid rent in advance in four quarterly instalments, with rent reviews every three to five years. Covid-19 has placed increasing financial pressure on business tenants, and many are asking landlords to help cash flow by considering alternative ways to structure the rent. ‘The way businesses occupy property is having to change, so the way landlords charge rent needs to change as well’ says Andrew Little, Commercial Property Solicitor with Pearsons & Ward in Malton,  ‘Landlords need tenants in their properties, paying rent, so it is in everyone’s interest to structure the rent in a way that…
02 September 2020 COVID-19

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme changed again from 1 September 2020 in line with previous government announcements.From 1 September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a maximum cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% (up to £2,500). The caps are proportional to the hours not worked.Further reductions to the government contribution will come into effect from 1 October 2020 with the Scheme coming to an end on 31 October 2020.If you are an Employer or Employee and you would like further guidance or advice on your rights and responsibilities under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, returning to work or reorganisation, please do not hesitate to our experienced Employment team on 01904 716000 or email  who will be happy to assist.
02 September 2020 Family Matters

A separation will inevitably mean a change in the family dynamic, and you may be concerned about what this will mean for your relationship with your children.  New arrangements will have to be put in place in relation to where the children will reside, and what time they will spend with each parent. ‘There are no hard and fast rules about what time the children should spend with each parent,’ explains Juliet Walker family law expert at Pearsons & Ward in Malton. ‘Our laws are alive to the fact that each family is unique, and a number of factors need to be taken into account when deciding a child’s future living arrangements.  The starting point is to look at the welfare checklist’. The welfare checklist If a dispute over arrangements for children goes to court, the…
21 August 2020 COVID-19

Since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, we have been contacted by many people wanting to ensure they have Wills in place or to update existing Wills. This has no doubt been prompted partly by the natural fear of serious illness in the current climate, but also many people have found they have had the time to think about what they would like to happen in the event of their death. For many people making a Will in normal circumstances is a task that is easily put off. In the past few weeks, we have seen a significant increase in people seeking our advice on Wills.  We would like to assure you that our offices are open for business and we can meet people in a COVID safe environment. However, for some older or vulnerable people…
12 August 2020 Wills and estates

“Keep Safe” is a phrase we have heard frequently in the past few months – whilst we all need to take heed – don’t forget the importance of keeping your farm or property safe too. It is not unusual to have more than one generation of a family working on a farm and if the owner has not left clear instructions about who is to inherit the estate there is huge potential for dispute.   ‘With the increase in land prices over the years, farm assets may be worth literally millions of pounds and the consequences of a family member dying intestate without a Will can be disastrous’ says Laura Carter, Wills & Probate Solicitor at Pearsons & Ward in Malton. Making a Will is particularly important in farming families where some members want to farm…
10 August 2020 Family Matters

If you are considering divorce and have ties to more than one country, then where you issue your proceedings can impact the outcome.  These types of divorce are commonly known as cross-border, and typically we think of countries outside the United Kingdom. But a recent judgment in the Supreme Court has highlighted that even the borders within our shores can affect the outcome in the agreement of maintenance after divorce. ‘Local differences in divorce law mean that there may be benefits to issuing divorce and maintenance proceedings in one area of the UK over another, as highlighted in the case of Villiers v Villiers [2020]’ says Robert Bellhouse, a Family Solicitor in the family team with Pearsons & Ward. ‘This case showed that, provided certain thresholds are met, the courts will permit choice in which country…
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