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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

The Agricultural Bill

Paul Burkinshaw
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It was announced that the Agricultural Bill was not scheduled to be debated during the final session of Parliament which had commenced on 9th September 2019. As everybody is now aware Parliament is currently prorogued until 14th October 2019....

Why wait for your decree absolute if there is a pension sharing order?

Amy Foweather
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Whilst most people are keen to seek the final decree in their divorce after what can be a long process, it is important to take legal advice and check your timing. If not, you risk financial detriment, despite all the effort and time which goes into your...

Divorcing after long term separation

Emma Walker
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We are often approached by people who have been separated from their spouse for many years. If there are no children arising from the relationship, the parties often do not know where the other party lives. There are various options. If you have a current...

What happens to my inheritance if I divorce?

Lucy Phipps
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Depending upon the length of the marriage, and whether there is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement or not,  all assets of the marriage are pooled and treated as joint assets. Money or property that you’ve inherited are not automatically excluded from the...

Enforcement Orders - Child Arrangement Orders

Amy Foweather
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A Child Arrangements Order is an order made by the court stating where children will live and how and when they will spend time with each parent. If the terms of the Order are not being met, by one party or the other, there is...

The Remarriage Trap

Lucy Phipps
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Can I get remarried before my financial settlement is concluded? When going through divorce proceedings , it is vital to ensure that all financial matters have been fully resolved before considering remarriage. A great number of people are unaware that...

What are the grounds for divorce?

Lucy Phipps
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As many wait for Divorce Reform to come into play, we take a look at the current system, where there is in fact only one ground for divorce. This being the irretrievable breakdown of marriage . However, in order to demonstrate that your...

How long does a divorce take?

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At the outset of divorce proceedings this is often one of the first questions asked. The divorce itself should be relatively straightforward if you have instructed a family solicitor to manage the process for you. The divorce process itself usually takes 6...

How buying rural land can throw up legal complexities for the unwary

Stephen Proctor
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One of my recent cases threw up a multitude of legal issues in a single project. A long-standing farming client was buying 40 acres of ancient woodland dating from the 17th century and wanted to set up a shoot. This sounds straightforward, how complicated...

How do I budget after divorce?

Lucy Phipps
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When you meet with your family solicitor , part of the process will be for you and your ex-partner to provide disclosure of all your financial affairs. As part of that process, you will also be asked to prepare a budget of your current outgoings and, based...

More divorce 'urban myths' busted

Emma Walker
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Myth:  Can I divorce my spouse if they have committed adultery with a person of the same sex? Busted! It is not possible to issue a divorce petition citing adultery as the reason for the marriage breakdown if your spouse is having an affair with a...

Think about changing or making a Will during divorce

Lucy Phipps
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If you are in the process of getting a divorce , it is vital that you think about changing or making a Will even during divorce proceedings This is because any existing Will you may have is unlikely to reflect your wishes during and after separation. ...

What is a separation agreement?

Amy Foweather
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A separation agreement can be entered into by couples who are separating but who do not want to divorce or dissolve their civil partnership at that time. This can be for various reasons, including not being ready to take that step or for religious reasons....

What is the difference between Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute?

Lucy Phipps
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During the divorce process , two Decrees will be received but they have very different meanings and effects.  Decree Nisi is the first Decree that will be received, a few weeks after your Application for divorce has been issued by the Court....

Conveyancing - cutting corners can backfire

Janet Rhodes-Blangsted
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Budgets can be tight when buying or selling residential property , so it can tempting to go for the cheapest quote when selecting your conveyancing service. However, as with so much in life, cutting corners can result in unexpected expense and hassle. In...

Farming partnership agreements

Ed Ryder
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Partnerships are still by far the most popular business structure for farming businesses. Across North and East Yorkshire there are four times more farms operating as partnerships or sole traders than are incorporated as limited companies. However, as...

How is child maintenance calculated?

Emma Walker
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A parent who does not live with their child may be liable to pay child maintenance to the parent with primary care for the child until the child turns 18 or ceases full time secondary education.  Child maintenance may,...

Do I have to pay maintenance to my ex?

Emma Walker
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There are two types of maintenance. A parent who does not live with their child may be liable to pay child maintenance ; we explain that in more detail in our blog on  how is child maintenance calculated? In this blog we focus on the other...

What is maintenance?

Emma Walker
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Quite understandably, when people visit a solicitor for the first time following the breakdown of their marriage, the issue of their income is often at the forefront of their mind. Maintenance is the term that is used when one spouse pays to...

Do I need a 'Clean Break' Order?

Lucy Phipps
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When you get divorced you should also consider the financial claims that exist between you and your spouse. A divorce doesn’t mean that financial claims come to an end. Until a Court Order has been made, either providing for a financial settlement...

Life as an Apprentice Jockey

Paul Burkinshaw
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Apprentice jockeys are licenced riders aged between 16 and 25, working their way up to professional jockey status by riding with and competing against professional jockeys. They are employed by UK racehorse trainers throughout their apprenticeship. ...

Fundraiser at The Knavesmire Pub in aid of charity skydive

Peter Mills
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Having previously only ever exited an airplane via the covered gangway at an airport, Jo Chesher is doing a very brave and bold thing this month; she is undertaking a sky dive from 10,000 feet in aid of the Alzheimer's Society. As part of her...

Poppy Bridgwater 2019 sponsored apprentice jockey

Paul Burkinshaw
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We are specialists in horse racing law , offering advice to owners, trainers, breeders, jockeys and to racecourses – in Yorkshire and other centres of horse racing across the country. Over the past four years we have run an innovative programme...

How do I change my name after divorce

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When going through a divorce , people often want to change their surname from their husband’s surname back to their maiden name. The Decree Absolute of your divorce should be sufficient evidence of the change of name to enable you legally to adopt...

Can I adopt my stepchild?

Amy Foweather
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In some circumstances it is possible to adopt stepchildren. However, it is always advisable that you seek legal advice on the circumstances of your case and to consider if adoption is a necessary and most favourable option for your family. It is sometimes...

How do I end my civil partnership?

Amy Foweather
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If your relationship has broken down irretrievably, then you can take steps to dissolve your civil partnership .  To apply for a dissolution, you must have been in a civil partnership for at least one year. The partner wanting to dissolve the civil...

What is the court process to get divorced?

Lucy Phipps
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There are three stages to get divorced and which are: issuing a divorce petition, obtaining decree nisi; and obtaining decree absolute.  What is a divorce petition? A divorce petition is an application for the legal dissolution of a marriage....

Pre- and post-nuptials and the Bank of Mum and Dad

Lucy Phipps
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If you are considering gifting property , land or money to your family, or if you are about to receive a gift, then you should read this article first. Agreements between couples, regulating how they own and share assets, are becoming far more common. This...

York Fashion Week: making the city an attractive destination for locals and visitors

Peter Mills
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We are long term supporters of Fashion City York, an initiative to co-ordinate the promotion of York’s fashion retailers to locals and visitors alike. The centrepiece of that promotion is York Fashion Week with a series of workshops, runway shows and...

What is judicial separation

Lucy Phipps
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Judicial separation is where you and your spouse formally separate and this separation is recognised by the Court. Judicial separation is rare and is usually used due to religious reasons. As with divorce , a petition for judicial separation will need to...

Preparing to sell your leasehold property

Liam Faulkner
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Selling your leasehold property may seem like a daunting task. You will have been aware of the issues involved when you first purchased your leasehold property. Being adequately prepared prior to instructing a solicitor will help ease any added stress...

Can you still live together during a divorce?

Lucy Phipps
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Quite simply, yes. You are able to divorce even if you and your spouse remain living with each other, though it must be proven that you have maintained separate lives whilst divorcing and perhaps even prior to separation. However, bear in mind that living...

Itemising hours worked on payslips

Marie Horner
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What’s on your payslip? If you pay members of staff a variable amount based on the time they work, you need to know that the way you draft your payslips is changing from April this year.  As we have mentioned at recent seminars, from April you...

5 reasons for having a Will

Monika Bone
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We often find people can be unclear about the specific benefits of having a Will . As a result, they procrastinate and put off thinking about it. Here are five very good reasons for putting a Will in place that reflects your circumstances and wishes: If...

Help solve the problems we face, not the ones you'd like to think we face

Peter Mills
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Decision makers in business constantly warn suppliers and advisers against pushing offerings solutions without reference to the actual needs and priorities of their business. This point was well made at the launch of the York Rail Innovation Community (with...

Equine Flu - why it matters

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So, equine flu has reared its ugly head once more. You may be wondering, however, what it is and why it called a halt to horseracing in the UK for 6 days and why a total of 174 racing stables have been in lockdown. Equine flu is much like human flu and it...

Do I need permission to take my child abroad?

Lucy Phipps
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Particularly if you are separated or divorced, in order to take your child abroad, you will need written permission from everyone with parental responsibility. The child’s mother automatically has parental responsibility, but this is not always the...

The right way to change a Child Arrangement Order

Amy Foweather
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A Child Arrangement Order is a court order regulating arrangements concerning with whom a child should live, spend time or otherwise have contact. We often come across situations where the children themselves voice that they no longer wish to visit...

Brexit and Family Law

Lucy Phipps
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As the political debate around Brexit continues, we take a look at the impact it could have in Family Law . EU Regulation assists in determining the appropriate legal jurisdiction for divorce proceedings. Currently, within the EU, the country where...

New Family Law Partner for Harrowells

Amy Foweather
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A new partner, Amy Foweather, has been appointed to  Harrowells' Family Law Department . Joining from a national family law practice, where she was also a partner, Amy will advise clients across the practice’s six-office network, together...

Pigtail docking: Farmers must keep ahead of regulatory curve

Paul Burkinshaw
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This article appeared in the January 2019 edition of Northern Farmer Regulation in the pig industry is not insignificant. The industry is, however, rightly proud of its welfare standards which lead the world with more than 90 per cent being parties to the...

When can you annul a marriage?

Lucy Phipps
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A marriage can be annulled if it is a void or voidable marriage and an annulment can take place at any time after the wedding, unlike a divorce where you have to wait a year. What is a void marriage? A void marriage is where your marriage is not legally...

Adopting the right negotiating style for your situation

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There are family lawyers and family law teams who promote themselves as always adopting a particular negotiating style: for example very consensual or very hard-edged. This might appeal when you are deciding who to instruct, particularly in the often...

Information for victims of domestic abuse

Emma Walker
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Regrettably, the festive period often strains already difficult relationships and as a result, reports of domestic abuse and violence invariably increase during this period. Domestic abuse can be perpetrated by men and women.  Whilst there is...

Draft Brexit legislation for farming and equine sectors

Paul Burkinshaw
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Despite, or should I say in spite, of the Brexit issues that have been dominating the media the draft Common Agricultural Policy (Direct Payments to Farmers) and (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 was laid in draft for sifting on 29th November 2018 and...

New Year. New home.

Janet Rhodes-Blangsted
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The Christmas and New Year break often gives a chance to pause and reflect. For some, it means thinking about moving to their ‘perfect place’, perhaps a type of property or a particular location they have always had in their sights. The extended...

Christmas: Taking the pressure off already strained relationships

Lucy Phipps
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It is well known that the most busy time for divorce lawyers is January.  This is because already strained personal and family relationships can come under particular pressure over the Christmas and New Year period. Having seen many January...

Christmas and New Year opening times

Peter Mills
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Our opening times for our offices over the Christmas and New Year periods will be as follows: Friday 21 December - open  until 4pm (except Pocklington which will close at 5pm) Monday 24 December - all offices closed Tuesday 25 December - all...

Fathers' rights in light of the convicted Rotherham rapist story

Lucy Phipps
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You will all be aware of the recent headlines regarding the ‘Rotherham Rapist’ and the steps taken by Rotherham Council when they contacted Mr Hussain about care proceedings regarding the son he fathered through the rape of his mother. What...

Divorce 'Urban Myths' Busted

Emma Walker
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As we have cautioned previously, you need to be careful not to be misled by urban myths that frequently circulate online. To help you, we call out and bust four urban myths concerning divorce law . Myth: If you live together for two years you acquire the...

Template Terms and Conditions

Matt Rowley
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If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you are searching for a template set of terms and conditions to use for your fledgling business. The reluctance to spend money on legal advice that is not immediately going to bring you a return and help...

Horse Racing and Freedom of Movement

Lucy Steven
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Horses need to be moved internationally to further their racing or breeding career. Without the ability to transport horses and their handlers between major racing countries with ease, the future is uncertain. Meanwhile, the clock ticks on towards Brexit Day...

Choice of school

Lucy Phipps
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In many cases, the choice of school is straightforward but what happens when parents who are divorced can’t agree on a choice of school? Where parents both have parental responsibility for their child, major decisions relating to the child,...

Googling divorce questions

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It is so easy - a quick Google search and, bingo, you have answers to questions you may have about divorce proceedings , separation or what should happen with the family home. However, proceed with caution, the answer you find may not apply to your...

Brexit - Regulations and Licensing

Matt Rowley
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The possibility of a ‘No Deal Brexit’ still looms which would clearly impact those directly importing from or exporting to the EU. However, any business that relies on a supply chain involving the EU in some way should consider and assess the...

Parental Alienation

Lucy Phipps
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For separated parents there can often be a worry that as a result of living apart from your child , your parent-child relationship may start to suffer. In extreme cases, children can become estranged from one parent as a consequence of the other...

Property backed finance and second order effects

Stephen Proctor
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Think you would not be affected by a ‘No deal’ Brexit because your business is not directly reliant on exports or imports or heavily dependent on staff from other EU countries? If you are in this situation, be careful to think about what are...

Court of Protection applications

Michelle Cruddas
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Lasting Powers of Attorney allow you to choose individuals to looking after your affairs if, at some point in the future, you are unable to do so. One of the key misunderstandings is that if you leave it too late and your mental capacity is already...

Legal 500 recognition

Peter Mills
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Every year Legal 500 assess the reputation and quality of client service of the top 10% of UK law firms using a mix of primary research and feedback from a sample of law firms’ clients. The latest report has just been published and I am pleased to...

What happens to my pet on divorce

Lucy Phipps
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A pet is often seen as an integral part of a family – but, in the eyes of the law, household pets are treated only as property. What happens if there is a dispute? If there is dispute about ‘who should have the pet’ upon divorce , it...

Morrisons Data Leak Appeal

Matt Rowley
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A court acknowledges that you have done nothing wrong in the way that you have protected data. You have been the victim of a crime for which someone went to prison. Yet you are liable for the distress and suffering caused by that crime. That is the position...

Health and safety - essential for saving lives

Kim Daniells
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An inquest into the death of an engineer killed by an ammonia leak at a brewery has concluded.  David Chandler, from Bridgnorth, Shropshire, died at the Carlsberg plant in Northampton on 9 November 2016. The 45-year-old died after inhaling ammonia,...

GDPR six months on

Matt Rowley
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Six months on from the GDPR deadline of 25 May 2018, I still come across many business owners and senior managers who remain confused and bemused about what data protection compliance means in practice. In part, this is because a lot of activity and...

Rural land access rights for horse riders

Lucy Steven
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Nothing beats a hack in the countryside but it’s easy for the fun to be spoiled by an angry landowner complaining that they have horse riders disturbing their livestock and damaging their land. In this part of Yorkshire we are lucky enough to have...

Farming and potential Brexit turbulence

Stephen Proctor
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In an earlier blog , Paul Burkinshaw summarised the Government’s current position in relation to a No Deal Brexit and farm payments, rural development funding and organic food production and labelling. The general thrust is that the government is...

No Deal Brexit - Digesting the DEFRA papers

Paul Burkinshaw
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We have all become a little Brexit weary during the course of the last 12 months. The newspapers provide us with a seemingly shifting commentary on a daily basis. At present we appear to be  bound for the Chequers Brexit or nothing. In response to the...

The importance of a shareholders' agreement

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People go into business together to create something positive, not to fall out. Nevertheless, misunderstandings and differences of views can and do arise as businesses evolve. If you are a shareholder in a company, a shareholders’ agreement will help...

Brexit - Making your business resilient

Matt Rowley
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We are all aware that the process of ‘Brexit’ is likely to involve considerable change whatever the short term and longer term outcomes. The challenge for business owners and senior managers is deciding how to prioritise and plan. Trying to...

National Conveyancing Firm of the Year

Kevin Millar
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We won 'Overall Conveyancing Firm of the Year - Gold Award' at the Law Firm Services National Conveyancing Awards at The Vox Conference Centre, NEC Birmingham on Wednesday 19th September. This follows on from winning the silver category at last...

Broken engagements - your rights

Lucy Phipps
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If your engagement breaks down, do you have any rights? A broken engagement might be devastating to one party or might be a mutual decision but either way it’s likely to cause upset and sadness. Once the initial shock has eased, it will be necessary...

Pension splitting on divorce

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Divorcing couples often focus on dividing their ‘visible’ capital in the family home and in bank accounts, overlooking assets accumulated in occupational or private pensions. The financial value of such pension rights can, in many cases, be...

Buying a purpose built home for your retirement

Janet Rhodes-Blangsted
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Earlier this year property agents Knight Frank published a report on ‘retirement housing’, covering everything from age-restricted over-55 housing to ‘housing with care’. Their key finding was that homes purpose built for retirement...

The 'bean pole' family

Peter Mills
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We are long term and active supporters of the ‘Ageing Without Children’ (AWOC) initiative and would encourage those with an interest in this to visit www.awoc.org where there is lots of helpful information about the number and diversity of...

Trainee solicitors: 2019 intake

Peter Mills
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We take up to four trainee solicitors each year in January and July and the closing date for the 2019 intake will be 24th September 2018. Please note that we cannot consider applications received after that date. For more information visit our recruitment...

Divorce and severing joint tenancy

Lucy Phipps
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Decisions regarding the family home are usually those which can cause the most conflict and need to be considered in detail during divorce and financial proceedings, but what else do you need to think about? When you purchase a family home purchased jointly...

Landlords terminating a commercial property tenancy

Richard Hugill
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If you are the landlord of commercial premises, there are situations where you will want to terminate a current tenancy at or following the end of a contractual term, even if your tenant is reliable and is not defaulting on rent or other obligations. For...

Memory Walks in York and Easingwold

Peter Mills
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In recent years the Alzheimer’s Society has organised a number of successful ‘Memory Walks’. These allow families and friends to show their support for relatives living with dementia and to raise funds for the vital work undertaken by the...

Buying property in the 'best place to live'

Janet Rhodes-Blangsted
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York was acclaimed Britain’s ‘best place to live’ in a Sunday Times league table earlier this year because of its ‘perfect mix of heritage and hi-tech’. Inevitably this has further boosted the city’s popularity with...

Shortlisted for Yorkshire Legal Awards

Peter Mills
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We are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for this year's Yorkshire Legal Awards in two categories: Private Client and Residential Property . Organised by Barker Brooks Communications, publishers of Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer ...

Buying a leasehold shop

Matthew Hayward
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Buying an existing retail business can be a sound commercial move as it often means you have immediate access to customers familiar with the shop’s brand and location. However, in these situations you will often be taking over a leasehold premise and...

The proactive conveyancer

Janet Rhodes-Blangsted
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In our experience, the single biggest threat to a property transaction completing successfully is the sudden revelation of a ‘last minute’ problem elsewhere in the property ‘chain’. These can revolve around mortgage finance, other...

Ageing without immediate family to assist

Michelle Cruddas
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Much of the guidance available these days about planning for the future assumes you have immediate family who are able and willing to assist. As legal advisers, we know this is not always the case – for a variety of reasons. This is why we make a...

Why was Mrs Owens denied the right to divorce?

Lucy Phipps
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It might surprise many people to discover that ‘no fault divorces’ do not exist under English law – though they do in other jurisdictions like Scotland and the USA. The current position is that divorce can only be granted within the first...

Potential benefits of 'Lifetime Trusts'

Ed Ryder
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There are many misconceptions about trusts – about who typically uses them and about their intended purpose. Many think trusts are primarily about saving tax and only for the seriously wealthy. In fact, there is a long history of trusts being used in...

Why 'evidence of effort' matters

Matt Rowley
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We all tend to think of ‘regulated industries’ as those where safety or financial stability is critical – for example airlines and banks. The reality is that all businesses are exposed to regulation, ‘red tape’, bureaucracy,...

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

Lucy Phipps
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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

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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'

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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?

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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?

Lucy Phipps
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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

Lucy Phipps
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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

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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

Lucy Phipps
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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

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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...

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...

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...