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Hugh Elder explains how to help clients seeking rectification of voluntary settlements



The news that the Office of the Public Guardian (‘OPG’) is to go ahead with its plans to put its processes for Lasting Powers of Attorney online this April has prompted a review of this essential, yet often overlooked, tool.



In the 2012 budget (with minimum changes made in the 2013 budget) the Chancellor announced substantial tax changes for owners of high value properties (over £2m). Changes proposed to Stamp Duty Land Tax (‘SDLT’), Capital Gains Tax (‘CGT’) and the introduction of a new Annual Residential Property Tax (‘ARPT’) (now re-named Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (‘ATED’) in the 2013 budget) produced a ripple of concern amongst property professionals, particularly in the prime central London market.



Few people realise the differences between the English and Scottish legal systems and, when it comes to relationship breakdown, those differences can be striking.

in the press

The Employment (Industrial) Tribunals were originally designed to be informal forums (i.e. you didn’t need lawyers) for resolving disputes. However, with increasingly complex legal principles in the employment arena, many of them emanating from Brussels, it has over the years become more and more difficult to navigate through Tribunals. In October 1999, the maximum award that Employment Tribunals could make for loss of earnings and other losses in respect of unfair dismissal claims rose from £12,000 to £50,000. This made unfair dismissal claims much more serious and indeed numerous. With the cap currently set at £72,300, the Government (which sees such a high figure as a barrier to growth and the creation of new jobs) is now consulting on proposed legislation to reduce this cap.

Firm News


In this year of sporting excellence, on Monday 21 May, a team from Gordon Dadds took part in the eighth London Legal Support Trust (LLST) Legal Walk. ‘Team GD’ raised £5,500 by walking 10 kilometres along the River Thames with some six thousand other members of the legal profession.


There has been a gradual global movement towards legalising same-sex marriage and the debate is increasingly on this country’s public agenda. Under the current law, same-sex couples cannot get married in this country. Marriage, whether it is civil or religious, must take place between a man and a woman.


The Inheritance Tax (IHT) nil rate band is set at £325,000 until 5 April 2015. With certain exceptions the value of an estate above this will be taxed at 40%. Given this tax rate and the fact that most of us would prefer that our worldly goods pass to our loved ones rather than the Chancellor, it is important to plan for IHT in good time.



Legal arrangements before marriage are increasingly important as splitting the pot after divorce becomes more complex.



Christmas may be a time for fun, but perhaps Scrooge was just being a “careful employer”.

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