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Welcome to our Blog

We regularly write about about issues, campaigns and local events that are important to our clients.

Latest Posts

Concerns about the care of an elderly relative

Kim Daniells
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Improved standards of living and healthcare means that the over 80s are now the fastest growing section of the UK population. As a result, more people are receiving residential and nursing care in old age. In most cases, they are comfortable and looked after...

What to do if a will is challenged

Alex Walsh
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Rising affluence has given increased opportunity for individuals to pass on wealth to chosen members of their family. Unfortunately, in our experience, this has also led to a rising number of wills that are being challenged by those either not included in a...

Farming: Developing resilient businesses

Stephen Proctor
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Individually and collectively, farmers are obviously thinking about Brexit and the likely transition and ultimate outcome. Will many farming businesses need to reconfigure radically? Will there be major consolidation? How will supply chains and markets...

Shortlisted for LFS National Conveyancing Awards

Janet Rhodes-Blangsted
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Every September, the prestigious LFS National Conveyancing Conference brings together law firms, mortgage lenders and related specialist IT and data providers from across the UK. The highlight is the presentation of coveted national and regional awards. In...

Acquiring legal parental responsibility

Sarah Conroy
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Becoming a parent is momentous and, with all the life changes, brings the rights and responsibilities every parent needs to care for their child properly. The legal term for these rights and duties is 'parental responsibility'. This term is...

Male post-natal depression

Emma Hudson
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Post-natal depression is an issue which is usually associated with women for obvious reasons - after all men don’t go through pregnancy and childbirth. The birth of a child can, however, be emotionally challenging for both parents.  A 2017 study...

Do you have a checklist alongside your Will or LPA?

Hudda Morgan
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In light of billions of pounds left unclaimed with UK financial institutions, we offer a checklist to help people record their assets before they become too ill to do so. The checklist is offered to all those who contact us for advice on drawing up a Will,...

Shortlisted for marketing excellence

Peter Mills
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Harrowells has been shortlisted for the ‘Best Marketing, Website and Social Media’ category in this year’s Law Firm Services annual conveyancing awards. To be shortlisted, law firms have had to demonstrate to judges a coherent approach to...

Care in old age: Avoiding panic measures

Sally Edwards
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In life, there is nothing like a deadline to force decisions to be made and action to be taken. Unfortunately we often see situations where families scramble to put in place last minute care arrangements for an elderly relative following unexpected admission...

Still births: a special report

Kim Daniells
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Few incidents are as distressing as a stillbirth. The numbers of stillbirths in England and Wales has fallen gradually during the last 20 years and most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show a 1.1 per cent decline to 3,112 in...

Getting your ducks in a row

Stephen Proctor
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Whether they are buying, leasing or selling commercial property, our job is to help our clients strike the right deal for their business and to deal with any issues that might threaten to delay or compromise a successful conclusion. Where transactions rely...

Bank of Mum and Dad 'feels the pinch'

Pascale Adam
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You may have seen recent coverage of Legal and General's research into 'Bank of Mum and Dad' which reveals the average parental contribution for home buyers this year is around £18,000; this is some 17% lower than last year’s figure...

Summer holiday arrangements

Lucy Phipps
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It is around this time of year that families start to plan their summer holidays but, if you are separated from the mother or father of your children, what do you need to do legally before you book your holidays? If you have a Residence Order or a Child...

Avoid Bank Holiday complications

Marie Horner
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With a positive flurry of Bank Holidays in May, we thought it topical to remind employers how best to avoid some unwitting complications in relation to Bank Holiday allowances. Employees do not have a statutory right to take time off at Bank Holidays, nor is...

Action For Brain Injury Week

Kim Daniells
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Our experience at working with, and for, individuals who have suffered a serious brain injury has made it clear that it is not just the individual that is impacted. Brain injuries change the lives of those who have suffered injury and impact upon the futures...

Why you get asked for ID and bank statements

Janet Rhodes-Blangsted
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We sometimes get asked why documents like driving licences, utility bills and bank statements need to be shown to our solicitors when buying or selling residential property. The short answer is: to defend you against cybercrime and identity fraud. In a...

Haxby and Wigginton Scarecrow Festival

Peter Mills
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Fine Bank Holiday weather drew the crowds for this year’s Haxby and Wigginton Scarecrow Festival, with record numbers attending and helping to raise funds, through the sale of trail maps and other activities, for a range of local and national...

The Split: the drama vs the reality

Lucy Phipps
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Like most family lawyers, I have felt compelled to watch the BBC1 drama ‘The Split’ to see how my day job is represented -  albeit I watched most of it distracted by some pretty significant inaccuracies! The drama centres around a high...

Harrowells sponsors apprentice jockey Georgia Cox

Paul Burkinshaw
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As part of their commitment to supporting young talent in horse racing, Yorkshire-based solicitors Harrowells are delighted to announce that they are sponsoring leading apprentice jockey Georgia Cox ahead of the 2018 Flat season. Cox, who has ridden over 50...

More rental properties will be caught by HMO licensing rules

Alex Walsh
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Government rules concerning what types of property need HMO licences are changing this autumn. Make sure you are not caught out. The current rules cover properties that are three or more storeys high, have 5 or more people in more than 1 household and share...

Does all property have to be divided up when divorcing?

Pascale Adam
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There is a common assumption that all property assets, such as the family home and investment properties, are shared by spouses and so subject to sale or sharing out on divorce. This is not necessarily the case. If you acquired or inherited a property...

Keeping on top of recent changes to employment rights

Marie Horner
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In addition to increases in the National Minimum Wage, employers need to remember that April brought in a number of other important changes, including those relating to termination payments, statutory family-related pay, sick pay and redundancy pay. To...

Fashion City York. Another aspect of York's appeal

Peter Mills
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York is a city in an enviable position - it is a visitor destination with an international reputation. However, it also means it has to work hard to demonstrate that its tourist ‘draw’ runs beyond major attractions like the Minster, the Yorvik...

Helping abuse victims - each and every day

Kim Daniells
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Legal professionals dealing with cases for sexual abuse or assault are, quite rightly, focussed on their role in achieving either a criminal conviction or an award of compensation. In pursuing these matters they are righting historic injustices,...

Helping an elderly relative remain independent at home

Michelle Cruddas
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Perfectly naturally, people want to live independently in their own home for as long as they can manage. In our experience, being willing to think through some of the practical questions and do some pre-planning can really help. An important point to make...

Your Farm - Your Future: Getting on the front foot

Paul Burkinshaw
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Whatever form Brexit ultimately takes, opportunities and threats will be thrown up along the way. To ensure a viable business post-Brexit, farmers need to ensure their business is fit for purpose now. In our experience, those farmers who ‘get on the...

What happens to pensions on divorce?

Sarah Conroy
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A pension can be a very valuable asset in a marriage and dealing with it on the breakdown of a relationship can be complex. There are three main ways the pension can be treated: Pension Sharing – the court has power to order a pension share,...

Promoting business in market towns

Peter Mills
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In an environment dominated by a shift from physical to online contact and where many private and public services are being progressively centralised, how do market towns maintain their role as economic ‘kingpin’ in their locality? The key may...

Real Life Dramas

Emma Walker
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Some of you reading this may have watched Eastenders recently, whereby there was a delay in Martin returning the children to Stacey following contact.  The programme showed Stacey calling at Martin’s home address with the Police to collect the...

The Grandparent Trap

Lucy Phipps
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There is no automatic right in England & Wales for grandparents to see their grandchildren or to have any involvement in their upbringing. However, the Courts are beginning to recognise the often invaluable role that grandparents can play both in...

Can someone really steal a house?

Janet Rhodes-Blangsted
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Property fraud – where someone mortgages or sells a property you own without you being aware and pockets the proceeds – is still relatively rare but is on the rise. You are at potential risk if the property is rented out or not mortgaged or...

5 reasons to consider mediation when facing relationship breakdown

Sarah Conroy
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When thinking about how to settle the issues that arise from a separation, the benefits of mediation are well worth considering. Mediation won’t suit everyone, but for some couples it can be a valuable way to reduce the stress involved in relationship...

Occupational stress - it is time to talk

Emma Hudson
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Mental health illness has barely been out of the news in recent months. From the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry talking about childhood bereavement to Rio Ferdinand discussing his own struggles following the death of his wife, it seems that...

Can I get divorced online?

Lucy Phipps
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The answer is yes, but do so with extreme caution as dealing with your divorce incorrectly can result in missed financial claims or a failure to stop your ex from coming back and claiming against you in the future. There are at least two strands to every...

Useful GDPR summary aimed at smaller businesses

Gillian Markland
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If you are responsible for HR in your organisation, you will hopefully have locked onto the fact that new data protection rules (GDPR), coming into force on 25 May, have an impact on how you store and use employee and other personal data.  There is a...

The Importance of Contact Centres

Sarah Conroy
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Recent news that another Supported Child Contact Centre is closing its doors should give us all cause for concern. When parents separate, the relationships between adults can be difficult and the months following a separation can be enormously painful....

The scope of the 'without prejudice' rule and when to use it

Gillian Markland
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A recent case will serve as a warning to employers when having 'without prejudice' conversations that they cannot select which parts of such conversations they rely on whilst, at the same time, argue that other parts cannot be relied upon. In the...

I'm a celebrity divorcee, get me out of here!

Lucy Phipps
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He already shares half of his wealth with double-act best friend Dec, so will Ant McPartlin now be required (or agree) to share that half again with estranged wife Lisa Armstrong? The announcement that one of TV's best loved presenters is separating...

How can you divorce quickly without creating acrimony?

Lucy Phipps
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During a recent ITV 'Tonight' documentary, the subject of divorce was discussed and the issue of whether England & Wales should allow parties to separate on a no-fault basis (as you can in Scotland or the US) was debated with valid arguments made...

GDPR: Marks for showing your 'workings out'

Matt Rowley
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GDPR comes into force on 25 May 2018 and will impact on every organisation to some extent. Everyone has some work to do!  How much will depend on how compliant you are now with the existing requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 and how much...

"Divorce Day"

Lucy Phipps
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It is a recent phenomenon that the first Monday in January has become known as ‘divorce day’.  In 2018 that day in fact falls on Tuesday 2nd January as the first Monday is of course New Year’s Day. We are often asked whether or not...

Practical information for those at risk of domestic abuse

Emma Walker
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It’s that time of year again when the festive period is upon us. Sadly, instances of domestic abuse and violence increase significantly over this period. If you are concerned about a family member or loved one who you believe is at risk of domestic...

Harrowells helps women prisoners learn about employment rights as part of rehabilitation

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Women prisoners had a chance to learn about their employment rights when they return to work, thanks to voluntary community work led by Harrowells employment law partner, Marie Horner. Around 17 inmates at HM Prison Askham Grange, Askham Richard, attended a...

End the blame game - time for reform of divorce law?

Emily Moss
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Some 118,000 divorces are granted in England and Wales each year; that’s more than 300 couples every day. Divorce in itself is difficult enough, but when the outdated laws surrounding divorce are largely fault-based, it makes it even harder and often...

Guide to the first meeting with your divorce lawyer

Lucy Phipps
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Going in to meet a divorce lawyer can be a daunting prospect.  So, what do you need to know from them and what are they likely to ask you? You need to trust your divorce lawyer You need to know that you can be open and honest with them - both about...

Specialist team recognised as best in region based on peer feedback

Richard Wood
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Our specialist clinical negligence and catastrophic injury (CNCI) team has been identified as the best in our region, based on feedback from fellow legal professionals, and shortlisted for a nationwide award to be judged early next year by Legal 500, the...

No such thing as a common law spouse

Pascale Adam
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Buying your first house is exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. Couples who are buying together for the first time are making a huge financial and emotional investment, often funded by one or both of their respective parents. An important factor...

Minimising care costs: false hopes v proper planning

Dawn Moore
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We often come across situations where families have sought to minimise future care costs for an elderly relative either by passing ownership of their home to other family members or by participating in poorly conceived ‘asset protection trusts’....

Divorce myths explained

Lucy Phipps
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In a generation of celebrity and social media, it comes as no surprise that ‘split rumours’ and ‘custody battles’ amongst the rich and famous are filling up the columns of our daily news feed. This reporting means that divorce is now...

Podcast on what GDPR means for employers

Marie Horner
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More and more business owners and managers are becoming aware that new data protection rules (known as 'GDPR') come into force in May next year. What is not always appreciated is that the rules cover all aspects of personal data and that...

Planning and prioritising ahead of the GDPR deadline

Matt Rowley
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Implementation of the General Data Protection Regulations (or ‘GDPR’) and the Data Protection Bill 2017 mean new rules concerning the storage, handling and use of data come into force in May next year. With a focus on giving individuals more...

Start planning now for new data protection rules

Marie Horner
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New Data Protection Rules. They impact on every aspect of your business, from HR to marketing, so start planning now New rules concerning the storage, handling and use of data by organisations come into force in May next year – by virtue of the...

Harrowells wins Legal 500 recognition

Peter Mills
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Each year Legal 500 undertakes a research-based assessment of the reputation and quality of work of leading law firms in the UK. The 2017 results were announced in October and we have received formal recognition in a number of practice areas. These...

Can an employer monitor content of employee personal messages?

Gillian Markland
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Can an employer monitor the content of an employee’s personal messages sent from a work email account? Probably not. A recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case of Barbulescu v Romania has overturned an earlier...

Harrowells funds new scoreboard at Woodhouse Grange CC

Peter Mills
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Players at one of Yorkshire’s most successful village cricket clubs will be able to see their scores more clearly, thanks to funding from Harrowells. A brand new digital computerised scoreboard has been installed at Woodhouse Grange Cricket...

Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims

Richard Hugill
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From 1st October 2017, businesses seeking to recover debts from individuals are subject to the new ‘Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims’. Failing to follow the Protocol, or getting it wrong, may prove to be an expensive mistake. The Protocol...

Specialist estates planning lawyer joins Harrowells

Ed Ryder
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We have expanded our Private Client Department with the appointment of a new partner. Philip Nelson (pictured left with Head of Department Ed Ryder) lives near York and joins from specialist national private client law firm, Wrigleys, Leeds....

Harrowells scoops two top home conveyancing awards

Janet Rhodes-Blangsted
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We have scooped two major home conveyancing awards, one for the second year in succession. We have become Yorkshire and North East Regional Firm of The Year in the Law Firm Services National Conveyancing Awards, an accolade we previously...

Narrative, people and innovation

Peter Mills
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Advice from successful local business owners and key national and international players teased out three big ingredients to business success at the 2017 York Food and Drink Festival. Have a narrative about your business and products that customers,...

Powers of attorney for your business

Ed Ryder
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More and more people are familiar with the idea of Lasting Powers of Attorney – a document that appoints attorneys to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself in the future because of mental or physical incapacity. Often these...

Sensible planning can minimise LPA risks

Michelle Cruddas
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Any risks of abuse with Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) could be reduced with greater accountability, a lawyer specialising in services to the elderly says. People appoint attorneys through an LPA, a legal document, to manage their finances when they...

Take full advantage of Companies House online filing

Susie Mortonson
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I’m surprised that more businesses do not take full advantage of Companies House online filing service. Whilst many accountants file accounts online on their clients’ behalf, organisations need to file an additional Confirmation Statement each...

Social media and your business

Susie Mortonson
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Social media can be a really powerful tool for promoting your business and, as with many other things, it pays to understand your legal obligations when posting content online. Many businesses assume that online activity is not really...

Ask all job candidates the same questions about care responsibilities

Gillian Markland
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A recent successful compensation claim against the Japanese Consulate in Edinburgh highlights why it is important to ask all job candidates, male and female, the same questions about care responsibilities and how such responsibilities might affect...

Broaching the subject of future care arrangements

Michelle Cruddas
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Broaching the subject of future care arrangements with an elderly parent can be a sensitive issue. However, sensible planning can give peace of mind to loved ones and reduce potential worry and complexity for you and others who might be involved in...

Church turned international recording studio

Peter Mills
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2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the York Early Music Festival, which draws international artists and audiences - as well as a strong local following - to a series of performances of baroque and pre-baroque music across the city each summer. The...

Celebrating local food producers in the Dales

Peter Mills
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The Dales Festival of Food and Drink (Leyburn 17-18th June) is a fantastic celebration of the vitality of food production in the Yorkshire Dales. Always an important feature of the Dales' economy, the range and quality of local food and drink...

Rural secondary schools are vital local hubs

Peter Mills
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The state secondary schools in Thirsk, Easingwold and Pocklington (Woldgate) act as vital 'hubs' for their respective areas. In recognition of this, we have forged links with each school by...

Waffle free Hambleton Business Conference

Peter Mills
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Last Friday's Hambleton Business Conference was waffle-free, for all the right reasons - and I'm not talking about the catering. This year's conference, at The Hawkhills, near Easingwold, was particularly strong on useful data and...

Baby Boomers are setting a challenge for the divorce courts

Sarah Conroy
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Baby boomers who grew up in the social changes of the 1960s with Carnaby Street, Bob Dylan and The Beatles, are setting a new trend by posing new challenges for the divorce courts. According to think tank, the International Longevity Centre - UK, the total...

Protecting gifts to children in the event of their divorce

Emma Walker
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If your son or daughter is married and you make a financial gift, such as helping towards a house deposit, it may well be shared between them and their partner if they later divorce.The position is more complicated in the case of unmarried couples, but it...

Holiday Pay - the final decision on commission...for now!

Marie Horner
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The decision is in. The Supreme Court has refused permission for British Gas to appeal the holiday pay case brought by Mr Lock. What does that mean for employers? Essentially it means that any employees who earn results-based commission must have that...

Issues to consider before you buy that dream rural property

Janet Rhodes-Blangsted
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Larger than average gardens, existing outbuildings and land can be very attractive features of many rural properties for sale. If you are looking for residential/commercial development or conversion potential though, have an early discussion with the...

Blurred lines - employee, self-employed or worker?

Marie Horner
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In light of the 'Uber' and 'Citysprint' Employment Tribunal decisions and the very recent 'Pimlico Plumbers' Court of Appeal decision, it is clear that 'Worker' status is highly topical, evolving and a potential pitfall for...

Landmark judgment set to trigger more clean breaks

Pascale Adam
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A landmark case where the Court of Appeal ordered a father to give his former wife extra money 15 years after they divorced, is set to trigger more ‘clean break’ settlements. The Court of Appeal was able to order surveyor, Graham Mills, 50, to...

If I make an LPA do I instantly lose control over my affairs?

Pamela Precious
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A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can have immediate effect if you specifically want this to be the case but otherwise, no - making an LPA will not mean you lose control over your affairs straight away. LPAs allow you to choose and appoint one or more...

Adam McNamara jockeying for position

Paul Burkinshaw
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As part of its commitment to supporting young talent in horse racing, Harrowells crafted an innovative sponsorship arrangement in early 2016 with apprentice jockey Adam McNamara, apprentice jockey. In this post we catch up with Adam at the end of the 2016...

Tribunal rules council guilty of constructive dismissal of trainee solicitor

Marie Horner
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A trainee solicitor, who was bullied by his training principal and legal manager at a district authority in North Yorkshire, secretly taped review meetings where he was intimidated, an employment tribunal heard.  David Bowes, 27, discreetly taped...

Online divorces are no faster and often create problems later

Pascale Adam
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Although divorce rates have fallen from their peak and more marriages last beyond the traditional ‘seven-year-itch’, a greater proportion of couples are ending their relationships by opting for supposedly ‘quickie’, low-cost online...

Is your shared parental leave policy discriminatory for men?

Abbas Khan
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In the recent case of Snell v Network Rail, Mr Snell was awarded £28,321.03 by a Scottish Employment Tribunal as a result of the discriminatory shared parental leave policy put in place by his employer, Network Rail. Mr Snell argued that Network...

Meet the experts and learn how to plan for later life

Robert Dallinson
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A special information day to help North Yorkshire people understand how best to plan for later life is being held in Thirsk next month. The free information day, comprising a drop-in session and two presentations, is being held at Meadowfields Extra...

Salutary reminder to employers on the rights of breastfeeding mothers

Marie Horner
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Marie Horner, partner and Head of Employment Law at Harrowells, highlights the implications to employers of the recent tribunal ruling involving easyJet. Any suggestion that new mothers will have to give up breast-feeding their child to fit in with their...

Harrowells supports Allerton Park Horse Trials

Paul Burkinshaw
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The firm sponsored this year's Allerton Park Horse Trials, held on 17th and 18th September, as part of our wider support of equine pursuits in our region and in recognition of our specialist equine law unit and its work in advising...