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06 January 2021 Employment advice

2020 was a tumultuous year with employers having to respond rapidly to the challenges of the pandemic. Culturally the world has shifted too, with the Black Lives Matter movement bringing momentum to improving equality and diversity at work. The end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020 means an end to free movement and has implications for UK employment law. Gillian Reid, a Solicitor in the employment team with Pearsons & Ward suggests that ‘Now is a good time to review and refresh HR policies and practices after a fast-paced 2020 and to get ready for the challenges of the new year.’ She recommends focusing on the following areas: Working from home Is your working from home policy fit for purpose? Does it adequately deal with homeworking as the norm for staff, rather than…
22 December 2020 Family Matters

When a relationship breaks down, it can be one of the most distressing events many of us will have to endure.  There can be a lot to sort out; family finances, arrangements for children and who stays in the house.  Most people assume that the only way to end their marriage or formalise a separation involves a visit to court to let a judge make those decisions. 
21 December 2020 Family Matters

Sometimes when the family court orders a payment to be made by your former spouse to settle a financial claim in divorce proceedings, the money owed is not always handed over when it should be. Where this happens, it can be difficult to know what to do. Robert Bellhouse, family law expert with Pearsons & Ward in Malton explains your options. ‘If money the court has ordered should be paid to you is not paid when due, it is up to you to take action’, says Robert. ‘The first step is to make contact with your former spouse to try to encourage them to pay you what is owed. If this does not work then you should contact your solicitor who will make a formal demand for payment and, if necessary, refer the matter back to…
18 December 2020 Family Matters

Bringing up the subject of a prenuptial agreement can be as daunting as popping the question, perhaps more so as it raises the issue that the marriage might not last. But how should you react if you have been asked to sign an agreement? What should you look out for in a draft agreement? ‘Prenuptial agreements are not just used by the rich and famous, but by couples and families looking to safeguard certain assets. Much like an insurance policy, everyone hopes they will never have to use the agreement, but it does provide a level of reassurance if a break-up ever happens’ says Robert Bellhouse, a Solicitor in the family law team with Pearsons & Ward. If you have been asked to sign a prenuptial agreement, there are a number of things to consider first…
15 December 2020 Employment advice

While some people are enjoying working from home, this is not the case for everyone and the negative impacts over several months are taking a toll on some employees. ‘Employers are unsure of their responsibilities for mental health and how to deal with performance issues when the boundary between home and work has become blurred,’ says Gillian Reid, Head of Employment with Pearsons & Ward. ‘They want to know how best to support their employees’ wellbeing while keeping the business on track in difficult times. This includes knowing what questions you can ask, how to address mental health issues, and how to be fair in disciplinary procedures.’ Potential problems arising from homeworking Homeworking brings a different set of pressures to those in the workplace; a lack of boundaries between home and work, and difficulties in switching…
09 December 2020 Residential property

As many buyers look to take advantage of the temporary stamp duty holiday, now could be the right time to sell your home. To ensure any sale progresses smoothly, it is important to make sure the title to your property is in order. Last month, we outlined five potential problems with the title to your property. In the second of this two-part series, Philip Taylor, Head of Residential Conveyancing with Pearsons & Ward in Malton looks at five more possible title problems, which could disrupt your plans and offers some solutions. Your property is leasehold Unlike a freehold, a lease is a wasting asset. If you have a term with 80 years or fewer left, then you may find it harder to sell because buyers sometimes struggle to find a suitable lender as many require a…
09 December 2020 COVID-19

On the 2nd December the Government announced a series of measures across England in line with a new “three-tier” lockdown system, in an attempt to control the coronavirus infection rates.
08 December 2020 Litigation

A farm is an eternal hive of activity. There is always something going on, work to be done, developments to be made, and improvements to be completed. With such activities, some noise and disruption is inevitable. However, if your actions impact your neighbours to such an extent that it amounts to a nuisance, this could lead to untold legal headaches. Nuisance is unreasonable interference with another person’s use or enjoyment of land. Nuisance can be public, statutory, or private. Public nuisance Public nuisance can be a criminal offence and arises where a group of people are affected by your actions, for example if you obstruct the highway or pollute water supplies. Statutory nuisance Statutory nuisances are defined by the Environmental Protection Act 1990 as something which is ‘prejudicial to health or a nuisance’. This can include excessive noise…
03 December 2020 Family Matters

If you are contemplating divorce, then you may need to consider whether it would be beneficial to commence proceedings prior to Brexit.  This is particularly important if either you or your spouse are nationals of another EU country, if you last resided in another EU country while married, or if there are marital assets such as property in another EU country. ‘Unhappy couples often try to get through Christmas and put off calling a divorce lawyer until the New Year.’ However, Robert Bellhouse a Family Solicitor in the family law team with Pearsons & Ward in Malton says ‘If there is any international aspect to your relationship, it is a good idea to speak to a solicitor as soon as possible to discuss your particular circumstances and the options available to you prior to Brexit.’ Advantage…
03 December 2020 Wills and estates

We have seen that attempts to contest a Will are on the rise.  In the past, such claims were largely limited to high-value estates but we are now seeing an increase in claims against estates of all sizes. When claims are made, the costs can run into tens of thousands of pounds and they can take many years to settle.  The added stress of dealing with a claim along with the delay in bringing matters to a conclusion can be distressing for your loved ones. Our highly skilled and experienced lawyers can provide you with all the necessary advice and guidance when you make a Will with us.  As part of our Will service, we are happy to prepare comprehensive Statements of Reason as a means of providing the best possible opportunity for claims to be…
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