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Are you looking for high quality legal advice? You have come to the right place.

We regularly write about different legal topics and welcome your comments on our posts. If you would like more information on our services, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Latest Posts

Straight couples will be allowed to enter civil partnerships

Sally Ward
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Before the introduction of civil partnerships and same sex marriages, it used to be the case that same sex couples were discriminated against by not being able to obtain legal recognition of their relationship their relationship in any way. Since legislation...

Watching me watching you

Elizabeth Bradshaw
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How much authority do the police have when it comes to prediction algorithms? The film Minority Report raised a number of serious social issues, not least of which was – is it morally and ethically right for someone to be arrested and charged just...

Can't afford to get on the property ladder?

Bakshi Dhanda
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The price of properties, including ‘first-time homes’ can, at time, be out of proportion to the average income. To save for a deposit on your first home is now  taking a considerable length of time compared to previous years (especially...

Who is responsible when you get scammed: you or the bank?

Justin Emerson
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In the first six months of 2018, online scammers had a bit of a field day with UK customers’ bank accounts. In fact, they drained over £500million from British customers from January to June. So despite the advent of better firewalls, higher...

Are divorces on the decline?

Steven Payne
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Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the divorce rate for heterosexual couples in England and Wales has hit a 45-year low. During 2017 for every 1,000 married men and women there were 8.4 divorces, representing the lowest...

Justice Secretary confirms plans to reduce conflict in divorce

Sally Ward
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What proposals is the government's consultation on divorce law reform likely to include? A new process to remove need for couples to have been separated or to allege ‘fault’ in order to obtain divorce Spouses would no longer be able to...

Superstar David Beckham escapes possible driving ban.

Connor Williams
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The former England captain has escaped conviction of speeding after being accused of driving at 59mph in a 40mph limit. The 43 year-old former footballer avoided points on his license that could have caused a disqualification from driving and a fine of up...

What checks and searches are needed when buying a house?

Bakshi Dhanda
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If you buy a toaster or a coat from a retailer and it doesn't quite feel right, you can usually go back to the place you bought them and ask for a refund. Unfortunately, the same principle does not apply to purchasing a property.   When you buy a...

Changes to income tax rules in the administration period

Marc Dorsett
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Back in February 2017 I considered the impact of the income tax changes on a deceased person's estate following Budget 2015.  It was a rollercoaster ride of the thrills and spills surrounding the income tax position for the administration period....

Are they the best choice?

Georgia Gann
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One question I often encounter when dealing with clients is "what will happen to my money in the event that I am unable to look after it myself?" The importance of ensuring that this question is not only considered, but that you have put...

A quick guide for first time buyers

Bakshi Dhanda
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Buying a home is stressful, especially for first-time buyers, so it's wise to do some research to ensure that you familiarise yourself with the process. Conveyancing is the term that refers to the legal process of transferring one person's property...

When a parent wants to move away and take the children?

Steven Payne
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These days more and more people are spending time abroad, whether they’re overseas on business, trying to build a new life in a different country, or just taking a long trip. There are plenty of reasons a parent might want to take their child abroad...

Finders Keepers?

Justin Emerson
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What’s the Law Regarding Things You Find? This issue is a common one. What does the law require you to do when you come across something that isn’t yours? For example, a £20 note on the street? Let’s look at the specifics. ...

Review launched into Victim compensation rules

Emilio Disco
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As a result of a review into the Criminal Injuries Compensations Scheme (CICS) reports in the media suggest that the government are going to improve the access a Victim has to compensation. The "same roof rule" is one which may be abandoned which...

When do you have to postpone a disciplinary hearing?

Laura West
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The law All employees are entitled to be accompanied by a trade union official or a colleague at any disciplinary or grievance hearing. You do not have to recognise a union and your employee doesn't need to be a member of it either. You also do...

Divorce Law Reforms

Sally Ward
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In my blog of 26 July 2018, I reported on calls for a reform of divorce law after Mrs Owens was forced to remain in a marriage that was not working because the grounds, that  she was unhappy, were insufficient for a divorce in England and Wales.  ...

Ten out of ten isn't bad?

Charlotte Strutt
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Well it probably is when it means you came tenth out of ten, but if you're going to lose then why not do it well?! The imaginatively named 'Team Gepp' made its dodgeball debut last week at Jump Street Chelmsford's corporate event in...

When the end of summer spells the end of marriage

Steven Payne
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September is traditionally a time of new beginnings, with children off to school or university and parents back to work, but for many couples, the end of summer can spell the end of marriage. Lawyers often talk about ‘divorce day’ in January and...

David Beckham fighting a speeding charge

Elizabeth Bradshaw
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It has been reported today that a lawyer on behalf of David Beckham is fighting his speeding charge in a scenario where it is accepted that he was driving the vehicle and going over the speed limit. The defence is said to be put forward is that there was a...

School exclusion policies in the dock...

Spencer Davis
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Pupil exclusions by schools have been hitting the headlines in the run up to the start of the new academic year and parents are being encouraged to find out where they stand if their children are the focus of disciplinary action at school. Figures1...

Can you read a number plate from 20m (65ft)?

Roger Brice
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In a report published by the BBC three police forces in England (Thames Valley, Hampshire and West Midlands) are planning to test every motorist they stop in a bid to clamp down on drivers with defective eyesight. Officers can request an urgent revocation...

Farming in the long hot summer

Edward Worthy
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Many of us have enjoyed a blissful summer of warm days and balmy nights. Even those of us who dislike the heat have appreciated brighter skies and sunny weekends with the family. For farmers, though, the story is altogether different and the consequences of...

Constructive Dismissal: a guide

Laura West
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If you think you’re the victim of constructive dismissal, then you’re in the right place. We’ve put together a guide to tell you exactly what constructive dismissal is, and how you can deal with the consequences of what can be a very...

Are times changing?

Gregory John
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One thing I have noticed in my years of practice, especially when advising long term unmarried couples, is that you become increasingly aware of the flaws in the law we currently have when "marriage" becomes tax advice. However, is all this...

Price wars: How not to become a casualty

Justin Emerson
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Competition in retail is at an all-time high, with even the big names on the high street struggling under the endless weight of overhead-free online retail. Combine that with a consumer base that has a more discerning eye for a bargain and an ever-tightening...

Illegal Eviction: what is it and what are the consequences?

Justin Emerson
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Illegal eviction is a criminal offence. The law is very specific and solid in its procedures for eviction of any tenant who has an assured shorthold tenancy agreement, and tenants are covered by the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 to ensure the processes...

Rise in self-harm amongst children

Sally Ward
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A survey of 11,000 children found 22% of the girls and 9% of the boys said they had hurt themselves on purpose in the year prior to the questionnaire. The self-harm statistics are included in The Children's Society's annual Good Childhood Report,...

Parking: Your Questions Answered

Elizabeth Bradshaw
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Knowing where you can and can’t park can be a little tricky. Get it right and you shouldn’t have any problems. Get it wrong and you face the dreaded ticket or, even worse, getting towed. To make things a little easier we've highlighted...

Bump in the night for Airbnb landlords

Justin Emerson
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Rule changes on short term lets could see part-time landlords hit by a new tax bill from next year if they let out their whole property. Homeowners can earn up to £7,500 per year tax free by renting a room to a lodger, but the rise of the sharing...

Getting sacked is no laughing matter...

Alexandra Dean
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Liverpudlian comedian Adam Rowe won the recent ‘Dave’s funniest joke of the fringe’ at the Edinburgh Festival with… "Working at the Jobcentre has to be a tense job - knowing that if you get fired, you still have to come in the...

Throwing a Christmas Fair? When do you need a Temporary Licence?

Gemma Lee
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You’ll be pleased to hear you can host a ton of activities without needing an official licence. However, for your peace of mind, we've broken down exactly what you need to know so even if you are doing a ‘one-off’ event, you won’t...

Worst case scenario?

Katie Hayden
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I was lucky enough to get tickets to see Beyoncé and Jay Z at their On The Run Part II tour in June. As incredible as it was to see such a power couple take to the stage together, having the legal knowledge that I do had me thinking (albeit painfully)...

How to choose an Executor

Hollie Allcorn
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An Executor's role is to ascertain the assets you own, account to HMRC in respect of inheritance tax, income tax and capital gains tax, obtain a Grant of Probate, transfer or sell any property and then distribute your estate in accordance with your Will....

''How to avoid contractual disputes''

Michael Callaghan
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Parties often find themselves in contractual disputes with customers or third parties. Whilst to some degree this is unavoidable, there are a number of tips that can be used to either minimise the possibility of a contractual dispute arising or to ensure...

NFU and the new Rural Crime Reporting Line

Edward Worthy
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This week has seen some welcome news for farmers and rural businesses that continue to suffer at the hands of rural crime. As of today The NFU are spearheading a new service for farmers and the public to report rural crime to the national charity,...

Can you be dismissed when coming up to your two years' service?

Laura West
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Background Under UK employment law, the two year service requirement is a key milestone in an employment relationship. With some well-known exceptions, known as “automatic unfair dismissal”, it is only at this point that employees can bring...

IHT paid increases again in 2017/18

Marc Dorsett
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The Office of Statistics has recently released figures that show that the amount of inheritance tax paid by estates increased by a whopping 8% in 2017/18 over the previous year. This equates to £388m, which is not an inconsequential amount, and full...

Wills: Are you part of the majority?

Charlotte Strutt
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In an annually published report by Kings Court Trust, it has been confirmed that only approximately 45% of the adult population in the UK have a Will. While this is an increase of 6% compared to last year's figures, it still means that over half of...

How are businesses coping?

Alexandra Dean
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Now that GDPR has been in force for a number of months, we thought it was time to take a look at how it’s affecting businesses. Are companies struggling to keep up? What impact have the regulations had on digital services? Are we likely to see...

Maternity leave - your rights

Laura West
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Maternity leave is an important period for all working mums. It gives women an opportunity to prepare for the birth, then bond with and care for the child during the first days, weeks, and months of its life. Here, we take a look at what rights you have when...

How businesses are using Company Voluntary Agreements

Justin Emerson
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In recent months, there has been a growing interest in the way businesses are using a particular type of insolvency prevention procedure – known as a Company Voluntary Agreement – to reduce the amount they’re paying to landlords. Here, we...

Will a criminal conviction affect my employability?

Alexandra Dean
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If you have received a criminal conviction or caution in the past, you may be concerned about your future career prospects. You may be concerned as to whether employers have the right to retract a job offer if they find out about your past conviction or...

Shareholder Disputes

Justin Emerson
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Disputes between Directors are commonplace.  However, those disputes can lead to real difficulties where the Directors are also Shareholders.  A stalemate can occur which prevents the company from running day to day.  That scenario can be...

Court rules woman "must stay married"

Sally Ward
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Tini Owens (66) petitioned for divorce from her husband on the grounds that her husband had behaved unreasonable and the 40-year marriage had broken down irretrievably. Unusually, the petition was defended by her husband Hugh (78) and the divorce was denied....

Finding solutions for children should be the new focus

Sally Ward
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The Family Court judges have a new leader from 18th July 2018. Sir Andrew McFarlane is  the new President, ie the leading judge for all family courts. When Sir Andrew was a barrister, his specialism was the law relating to children. For more than 7...

Working temperatures - when is it too hot to work?

Laura West
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The summer of 2018 is already being compared with the long, hot scorcher of 1976. Records have been broken across the UK, the words ‘hose-pipe ban’ are being whispered, and we’re all suffering from sleep deprivation due to night-time...

Civil partnership or cohabit - which is better?

Steven Payne
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Not everyone wants to get married in a church or registry office. For many cohabiting couples, a civil partnership is far more attractive – it moves away from the idea of women being the ‘property’ of their husbands and is infinitely more...

Landlords - what's your legal status when dealing with rent arrears?

Justin Emerson
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It’s every landlord’s nightmare. For whatever reason, your tenants have stopped paying the rent and are now in arrears. If you rely on their rent to cover the mortgage costs of the property, this can be a worrying time. Even if the property is...

Vicarious Liability

Laura West
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In a case against Barclays Bank PLC brought by 126 Claimants (who were either applicants for employment or employees of the Bank) it was alleged that they had been sexually assaulted by a doctor who was carrying out a medical assessment and examination on...

Pass me the invisible ink James...

Alexandra Dean
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Mention spies and you may think of James Bond scaling a building in the dead of night, but when it comes to commercial espionage it’s more likely to be Jim in product development, who has a new job with a competitor, or a cyber specialist sitting a...

The Yorkshire 3-Peaks Challenge - Harder than a walk in the park!

Mike Cubbin
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On Saturday 14th July a team from Gepp Solicitors undertook the Yorkshire 3-Peaks Challenge to raise money for Columbus School and College in Chelmsford, Essex.  They help children and young people aged from 3-19 with profound and multiple learning...

Do you have a problem with Japanese Knotweed?

Justin Emerson
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In the recent landmark cases of Waistell v Network Rail Infrastructure Limited and Williams v Network Rail Infrastructure Limited, it was decided by the Court that an individual can bring a claim for actionable private nuisance if they have Japanese Knotweed...

'Incapacity crisis'

Charlotte Strutt
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A recent study has indicated that as a country, the number of people likely to lose capacity is dramatically more than the number of people who are prepared for such a situation. Figures have demonstrated that in the 11 years between 2005/6...

Court Ruling Means All's Fair in Love and Civil Partnerships

Marc Dorsett
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A heterosexual couple have recently been successful in their appeal to the Supreme Court to allow civil partnerships for mixed-sex couples.  Currently in the UK, only same-sex couples have a choice between marriage and entering into a civil...

Forgive us our trespassers

Michael Callaghan
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It is the time of year when land owners will particularly experience problems with groups of travellers who will turn up on agricultural land and involve the land owner in considering its options as to how to regain possession of the land as quickly as...

Try to avoid penalties this July

Marc Dorsett
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Even if you are not a sports fan, to many, the World Cup with the excitement of penalty shootouts  and the  thrill of Centre Court at Wimbledon, are likely considered to be more enjoyable events of July than thinking about your income tax! Once...

Challenging staff to make a difference to others

Mike Cubbin
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Gepp Solicitors is taking part in the LawNet Challenge this year on 14 July 2018 which will see 6 of us attempting the Yorkshire 3-Peaks Challenge.  The Yorkshire Three Peaks route is 24 miles (38.6km), and includes 1585m (5200ft) of ascent.  It...

A Paralegal's survival guide

Katie Hayden
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What is a Paralegal? This is a question that I am often asked and one that until recently, I found quite difficult to answer. In short, a Paralegal is what I would describe as a cross between a Legal Secretary and a Trainee Solicitor. Being a Paralegal at...

Contempt of Court

Emilio Disco
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A person is in contempt of Court if that individual makes a publication and as a result of their publication there is a substantial risk of prejudice to the administration of justice in those proceedings. The legislation for this offence is contained within...

NHS windfall = higher taxes for everyone = problem?

Marc Dorsett
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I've been enjoying the football in the World Cup, as have a lot of other people (although not seemingly those I work with..) and Theresa May took the opportunity off the back of the England team's opening victory (this may not actually be true!) to...

Just in time for the World Cup!

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Pictured on their doorstep are Mr & Mrs Bentley, the lucky winners of a polypin of award winning 'Ridley's Rite' ale from Bishops Nick Brewery.   Each year at the Essex Young Farmers Show, Gepp Solicitors have a free prize draw to win...

What happens when family is cut out of the will

Steven Payne
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High profile inheritance disputes follow celebrities and the super-rich as surely as night follows day, but such challenges are becoming increasingly common, whatever the values involved.  Some of the names to have made headlines include the artist...

Commercial Dispute - Litigation of Settle?

Justin Emerson
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In any litigation particularly that of a commercial nature the parties always need to be mindful of the potential for settlement. Settlement gives the parties control over the outcome.  At trial the outcome is in the hands of the Judge. Settlement will...

32 Miles East launch their first event

Filomena  Sterkaj
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This professional group was created with junior professionals in mind, with the aim of providing opportunities for networking and socialising within the local business community. Named because of Chelmsford's geographical distance from London, this brand...

Why not use a law firm for tax advice?

Marc Dorsett
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Growing up my parents used to tell me all sorts of things to assist in my development through to adulthood, and beyond.  "Never go out without clean underwear on, in case you get hit by a bus", "it's not the winning, it's the...

Extra cash for summer?

Marc Dorsett
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If you file self-assessment tax returns there's a chance that you are subject to making payments on account twice a year, 31 January during the estimated tax year and 31 July after the tax year end. They are advance payments of an estimated tax liability...

Landmark Ruling: Supreme Court upholds workers' rights

Laura West
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The Supreme Court has handed down its eagerly anticipated Judgment on the employment status of plumber, Gary Smith. In a unanimous verdict, the Supreme Court has dismissed Pimlico Plumbers' appeal and has upheld previous rulings that Mr Smith was in fact...

Dreamvar (UK) Ltd - Court of Appeal (May 2018)

Michael Callaghan
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The Court of Appeal issued in mid-May 2018 an important Judgment in the case of Dreamvar. This provides that Solicitors representing a fraudulent party acting for a vender of a property should share some responsibility along with those representing the duped...

What is the future for heterosexual and civil partnerships?

Steven Payne
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Rebecca Steinfield and Charles Keidan made national headlines recently as they took to the courts their case for a civil partnership, despite being in a heterosexual relationship. As the law currently stands, only same-sex couples are allowed to enter into...

Essex Food and Farming Day - for me the best year ever!

Spencer Davis
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Each year a small team from Gepp Solicitors put on their walking shoes and volunteer as stewards at the annual Essex Food and Farming Day. This fantastic event is organised by the Essex Agricultural Society and attracts around 3,000 school children from...

Are house prices starting to slow?

Spencer Davis
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According to a BBC report The Halifax have stated the cost of a typical home is now £224,439. Between 2013 and 2018 detached and semi-detached homes increased in value by an average 39% whereas flats saw a bigger price gain with an average increase...

A Historical brand that is fit for the 21st century

Mike Cubbin
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When we decided to look at how we might rebrand our firm of solicitors to both celebrate our 250th anniversary and bring our current brand up to date, we invited a number of East Anglian firms to talk to us.  The team from Yellobelly stood out from the...

Probate? What's that?

Gregory John
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When I tell friends I'm a solicitor and they ask what I specialise in, I often find that the answer I give is often followed by another question. I deal with Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Estate Planning, Trusts and…Probate. "What is...

Employers must tackle their game plan before kick-off

Alexandra Dean
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With the 2018 World Cup about to kick-off in Moscow, football fans will have their eye on the ball, whether for England or their home country and following England’s 2-1 win in its warm-up friendly with Nigeria, the tactics for the team are likely to...

The soaring costs of funerals

Katie Hayden
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According to recent reports, The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and The Treasury are to review funeral costs 'to ensure that people are not getting a bad deal.' A consultation is due to be launched to investigate the possibility of...

DIY may mean increased costs?

Gregory John
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I am not a handy man. If I try to undertake DIY it is most likely that I am going to hurt myself, damage something, hurt someone else or all of the above. I have learnt from experience that, in the long term, it is cheaper for me to pay someone who knows...

Legal Eagles -v- Finches (Chelmsford)

Georgia Gann
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From the office to the court and not the Court you are thinking of! On Wednesday the firm’s netball team, Legal Eagles, played Finches in their second friendly netball match. Legal Eagles put in 100% effort throughout the whole game by working as a...

Gepp Solicitors launch rebrand at Essex Young Farmers Show

Spencer Davis
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That’s it for another year, the marquee has been taken down and the flags packed away until the next event. Gepp Solicitors are proud to host a marquee with the Country Landowners and Business Association (CLA) at the annual Essex Young Farmers Show...

Divorce goes virtual

Steven Payne
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A new online service should cut the stress of applying for a divorce according to the Ministry of Justice, but family law professionals say it’s likely to benefit only those with simple finances who are pursuing the DIY route.   The Ministry...

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Filomena  Sterkaj
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Everyone is talking about the Royal Wedding; Meghan did look amazingly beautiful and we were all filled with joy for the new couple as they tied the knot. Some of us may have also learned that the Los Angeles-born Suits star is actually called Rachel Meghan...

The Windrush immigration scandal

Alexandra Dean
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The Windrush immigration scandal has highlighted many stories of individual suffering from people who believed they were legitimately living and working in the UK. Many have lost their jobs and while it may seem employers have been unduly harsh, under the...

Does Equality Really Exist in the Armed Forces?

Alexandra Dean
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It took nearly 100 years, but in July 2017 women were afforded the right to fight on the frontline.   It is a glaring reality that men still make up a significant proportion of those serving in the British Armed Forces, with women making up only...

The 2018 Gepp Lecture

Spencer Davis
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The Friends of Essex Churches Trusts annual Gepp Lecture will take place at St Christopher’s Church , Willingale, CM5 0SJ on Wednesday 16th May 2018. We are delighted that this years lecture will be given by Lord Petre. 18th Barron Petre will be...

Grandparents - Recognition at last?

Susan Le-Sage
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Until now grandparents have often been the unacknowledged victims of divorce, struggling to maintain contact with much loved grandchildren in the midst of circumstances beyond their control. In recent years this has caused ever increasing numbers of...

Heir Hunters - how the state could get your estate

Hollie Allcorn
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Every year, thousands of people die intestate - without leaving a Will. In rare circumstances where a person dies without at least one living relative, the estate will, after a period of 12 years, go to the Crown. However, there are companies of professional...

New tax year, new you

Marc Dorsett
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It is now roughly a month after the end of the 2017/18 tax year and HMRC have issued their notices to file a tax return to many individuals, trustees and partnerships. Most people habitually file these away for a rainy day and remember around Christmas time...

What to do if someone fly-tips on your property

Edward Worthy
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Fly tipping is becoming a blight on the UK’s landscape. At a time when correctly disposing of waste (especially industrial waste) is becoming more expensive, many unscrupulous traders (and individuals) are choosing to fly tip, rather than take their...

Wine and Chocolates - what more do you need?

Spencer Davis
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The Essex Agricultural Society held a rather special ‘wine and chocolate’ evening last Friday at New Hall Vineyard, Purleigh, just south east of Chelmsford. The evening started with the sampling of a rather lovely med/dry white called...

What happens when you get caught speeding without car insurance?

Peter Butterfield
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Driving without insurance in the UK can be a serious offence, and being caught speeding whilst driving without insurance can lead to detrimental consequences. It is imperative that your vehicle is insured if you use it in roads or in public places. The only...

Relationship break down during the surrogacy journey?

Steven Payne
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When a couple decides to opt for surrogacy when trying to conceive this can be a very exciting time. However, years of fertility struggles can take a toll on a couple and if the couple decide to break up before the child is born, this can lead to confusion...

Britain's biggest ever divorce battle

Steven Payne
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A London court has ordered Russian billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov to hand over his £350 million-pound superyacht to his ex-wife as part of a divorce settlement. The 115 metre superyacht known as ‘Luna’ is the second largest expedition yacht...

Pension and assets, who gets them?

Lisa Carter
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Your pension fund passes to who you want but what about the rest of your assets? Most people are aware that their pension pots will pass to a certain person on their death due to the administrative process of opening the fund - usually an individual will...

TV star Ant McPartlin sentenced for drink driving

Roger Brice
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TV presenter Ant McPartlin has been sentenced yesterday in relation to an allegation of drink driving for which he pleaded guilty to at Wimbledon Magistrates Court. District Judge Barbra Barnes carefully considered the Television star's sentence and...

Corrosive Liquid Crimes on the rise

Roger Brice
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Reports in the media have stated that there is an ongoing investigation into an incident that occurred behind The Three Jays Public House, Clacton On Sea, Essex at approximately 7pm on 26th March 2018. The victim alleged that he suffered injuries to his leg...

High Easter Point to Point goes from strength to strength...

Edward Worthy
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After all the rain we had last week there was still an unbelievable turnout for the annual High Easter Point to Point at the weekend. Thousands donned their wellies and had a flutter or two on the day's races as well as watching a live feed of the...

To make your home your castle, be sure who owns the drawbridge...

Bakshi Dhanda
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The Government has announced plans to tackle unfair leaseholder arrangements on new build properties, but in the meantime, as the Spring housing market gets into full swing, it’s worth understanding the difference between freehold and leasehold...

Contesting a Will

Justin Emerson
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There are increasing numbers of people dissatisfied with the provision made for them by family members within their wills. More and more people are looking to challenge wills. But the vast majority of wills still pass through the probate process without...

After the divorce comes the big clear out

Sarah Overy
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On Russell Crowe’s 54th birthday and what would have been his 15th wedding anniversary the New Zealand actor decided to have a bit of a clear out. In a recent article published by the BBC Russell Crowe held his "Art of Divorce" auction - a...

Avoiding Construction Disputes

Justin Emerson
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Construction disputes can be very complex, time consuming and expensive. Whilst it will never be possible to completely eradicate the risk of a dispute arising some simple steps can be taken to minimise the risk. Get the contract in writing Joint...

73 year old nose-dives a Porsche

Connor Williams
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Elderly man to face hefty fine after ploughing sports car through a brick wall near Police Station A 73-year-old man ploughed his Porsche through a wall and fence before nose-diving onto a foothpath. Sgt Shead of Essex police commented on social media...

Drink Drive Chase on Mersea Island

Emilio Disco
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  • Author

It has been reported that on Tuesday 3rd April 2018 the Police were engaged in a Police chase at East Road, East Mersea, Essex at approximately 9pm. Media reports have stated that the drivers attempt to escape was short-lived as the vehicle struck a tree at...

Divorce mediation is often the best way forward.

Steven Payne
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  • Author

I am delighted announce that Sarah Overy has now completed her accreditation as a Family Mediator and she is now certified as a scheme member recognised by the Law Society. Sarah has been able to undertake mediation for some time, and has considerably...

The MEES - Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards

Charlotte Strutt
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As we have now entered into April, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards ('the Mees') have been brought into force by way of The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/962). The broad effect of...

And the winner is

Spencer Davis
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St Michaels Church Of England Junior School Win Rotary Club Choir Competition Gepp & Sons were recently proud sponsors of the first Chelmsford and District Primary Schools Choir Competition presented by the Chelmsford Phoenix Rotary Club....

Gender Pay Gap Deadline

Laura West
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Tonight is the cut off point for companies to publish their gender pay gap figures. The government has issued a final warning to businesses to report their gender pay gap by midnight tonight or could face legal action. To date over 6,000 companies have...

What does intestate mean for you?

Lisa Carter
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October 2014 saw the biggest changes in probate law’s history come into effect. While the overhaul meant no real difference to those with minimal assets, for the partners of those who died without making a will and who have more assets, it meant...

Splitting up with a joint account? Beware the debt trap

Sally Ward
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When couples break up either one can be 100% liable for money owed on a joint account After Jennifer Davis ( not her real name ) tried to shut down the joint account she shared with her former partner, she got a nasty surprise. Her other half had taken out...

Unfair treatment by creditors.....your rights

Justin Emerson
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Being in debt can place significant stress on a debtor’s personal relationships, professional life and even their health. However, the situation can be exacerbated if the debtor feels they are being unfairly treated by the people they owe money to. ...

The Housing Crisis in London

Samantha Gilmore
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The National Housing Federation has issued a new report that has shown that unaffordable housing is one of London's biggest problems which has resulted in house prices being unreachable for many local people. The Home Truths 2017/2018 report for London...

Homeowners are moving half as often as they used to.

Bakshi Dhanda
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Figures produced for the BBC reveals homeowners are moving half as many times as they did before the credit crunch. Those looking to expand their living space are often finding it cheaper to improve rather than move. However finding good quality builders...

Divorce and Grandparents Rights

Steven Payne
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How do I maintain my relationship with my grandchildren when their parents' divorce? When a marriage breaks down, it is usual for the parents to discuss the arrangements for their children. Grandparents however, are often overlooked, leaving them...

Planning Opportunities for Farm Buildings

Edward Worthy
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In a recent article published by Whirledge & Nott they reported that The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has announced changes to permitted development rights for agricultural buildings which will come into force on 6 April...

Income tax must be paid in lieu of notice

Alexandra Dean
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Income tax and national insurance contributions (“NICs”) must be paid on all payments in lieu of notice (“PILONs”) with effect from 6 April 2018   From 6 April 2018 all payments in lieu of notice (only where employment...

A Landmark Decision -

Michael Callaghan
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Adrian Howard Munday v The Trustees of the Sloane Stanley Estate On 24th January 2018 the Court of Appeal made a landmark ruling in the case of Adrian Howard Munday v The Trustees of the Sloane Stanley Estate.  In spite of sustained legal arguments...

Ireland international footballer charged with Drink Driving

Connor Williams
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Ireland international footballer Darron Gibson was spotted being arrested near Sunderland AFC's 'Academy of Light' Sunderland AFC has suspended Darron Gibson, after the player was charged with driving with excess alcohol on Saturday 17 March....

Dairy farm ordered to pay £19,000 after bull attacked worker

Roger Brice
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In a recent article published by Farmers Weekl y they reported that a young farm worker had been seriously injured having been struck by a dairy bull. The 28 year old  entered an enclosure housing cows and a mature dairy bull to carrying out...

Chelmsford Best Place to live in the East

Spencer Davis
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At Gepp and Son we know more than most that the City of Chelmsford is a great place to live and work. We have been looking after our clients in the Chelmsford area for 250 years.  In a recent article published by The Sunday Times they reported that...

TV star Ant McPartlin questioned on suspicion of drink driving

Emilio Disco
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On Sunday, 18th March 2018 it was reported that police officers were called to a road traffic accident at lower Richmond Road in Mortlake at approximately 4pm. The TV celebrity Mr Ant McPartlin who hosts many popular television shows on ITV was said to have...

Sir Ken Dodd has the last Laugh!

Georgia Gann
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Whether you were a fan of his or not, it would have been hard to miss the news that comedy legend Sir Ken Dodd sadly passed away on Sunday at the age of 90. It has been widely reported that Sir Ken's fortune is estimated to be within the region of...

The new driving legislation affecting you in 2018

Emilio Disco
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New MoT legislation On May 20th new MoT changes will come into force. These changes are strict and will affect your success of passing your next MoT. Any diesel car that has had its DPF (diesel particulate filters) removed or tampered with will instantly...

The importance of having a survey

Bakshi Dhanda
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When you think you have found the perfect new home, it is strongly recommended to have a property survey to make sure you know exactly what you are getting into. A survey can give you a clear picture of the condition of the property as well as identifying...

New statutory pay rates for 2018

Alexandra Dean
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The Department for Work and Pensions has published statutory rates for maternity pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay, adoption pay, sick pay and national living wage for 2018-19. The new figures will come into force in...

Are you due a refund for Power of Attorney fees?

Georgia Gann
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From April 2017 the Registration Fee was reduced to £82 as The Ministry of Justice admitted that  between 2013 and 2017 people had been charged more that the cost of processing the applications. Individuals, or their attorneys, who made either a...

The end is nigh! almost...

Marc Dorsett
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Following months of hard work and the reading of countless missives and documents from HMRC and various professional bodies, not to mention the many blogs such as this, the deadline for registering an existing trust on the Trust Registration Service (TRS)...

Patently unfair

Justin Emerson
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What are your legal rights if somebody has stolen your idea or product? The definition of intellectual property is: ‘any type of intangible property that is a result of creativity’. This covers designs, logos, and artistic or literary, works as...

Environmental Impact Assessment Reports.

David Springett
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Will Brexit change things? The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 outline the requirement for developers to gather an assessment of potential significant effects on the environment relating to a proposed...

Increase in UK unfair dismissal claims

Alexandra Dean
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The Government has announced new limits on the maximum compensation that the Employment Tribunal can award for unfair dismissal claims. The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2018 will change the calculation of statutory redundancy payments and the...

Tesco to face UK's largest ever equal pay claim

Alexandra Dean
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In a recent news article published by the BBC they reported that Tesco is facing Britain's largest ever equal pay claim and a possible bill running to £4bn. Many thousands of women who work in Tesco stores could be entitled to receive back pay...

Making a case study of an enforceable contract

Alexandra Dean
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The judgment in the case of Blue v Ashley The basic requirements of a contract are that both sides have reached an agreement, which is intended to be legally binding, is supported by consideration, and is sufficiently certain and complete to be...

English Speaking Union Churchill Public Speaking Competition

Mike Cubbin
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In early December we were approached to see whether we would be able to provide judges for the English Speaking Union Churchill Public Speaking Competition first round events that were to be held at King Edward VII Grammar School and New Hall School in...

Biggest marriage shake up in 200 years

Sally Ward
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Plans are afoot for heterosexual couples to be given the right to enter into civil partnerships after the biggest shakeup of marriage laws since the 1800s. The home office said it would review the operation of civil partnerships – which are currently...

February 14th approaches

Gregory John
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Chocolates, roses, romantic meals for two spring to mind, or perhaps even diamonds so Happy Valentine's Day! Whilst it's not something any of us tends to dwell on, sadly it is a fact that not all couples will enjoy a long term relationship...

Can pre-nups agreements help to save your marriage?

Steven Payne
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Wedding season is just around the corner, and has an extra buzz thanks to the brace of royal weddings planned for 2018. If you’re tying the knot this year, it’s likely you’ve spent time carefully planning everything from bouquets to...

Will housing market slow-down effect landlords and their tenants?

Justin Emerson
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For years, homeowners have come to expect that their property value will increase. But headlines predicting a housing slump are backed by figures that show a sustained slow-down of activity in the housing market and a dip in the rate of growth for house...

Borrowers time bomb waiting to go off!

Samantha Gilmore
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Hundreds of thousands of homeowners could be at risk of losing their homes by ignoring how they will pay off their mortgage, a regulator has warned. In a recent article published by the BBC they reported nearly one in five mortgage-holders has an...

Pre-Nuptial Agreements & Cohabitation Agreements

Steven Payne
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Historically pre-nuptial agreements were reserved for the rich and famous, but in recent years the Courts have shown a much greater willingness to uphold such agreements, provided some basic rules are followed in their preparation. There are a number of...

"Death, the elephant in the corner?"

Gregory John
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When I start these blogs, I often make the generic comment that "death" is a topic that we do not enjoy talking about; that it is not a dinner table conversation starter. However, the upcoming Pixar film Coco appears to be seeking to buck that...

What happens with a cross-border divorce?

Steven Payne
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Moving abroad is a huge decision, and should not be taken lightly. If one of the reasons you are moving abroad is to join a spouse, it is highly recommended that you get an understanding of the legal implications that moving abroad will have on your...

The financial implications of divorce

Sally Ward
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In any separation or divorce the emotional upheaval can be stressful to deal with, but so too can the financial implications. If couples are unable to agree to an amicable separation or divorce and the process goes all the way to a contested court hearing,...

Don't demonise trusts!

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For those whose only contact with trusts is through the media, it is easy to paint trusts in a negative light. Often when we think of them at all, it is in the context of such events as the Panama Papers and the words ‘offshore’ and ‘tax...

How can I protect my interest in a jointly purchased property?

Gregory John
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The majority of houses are no longer bought by married couples. As exciting (and often stressful!) as buying a new home is, it is of great importance to document how a property is to be held in the event the property ever needs to be sold. It is often the...

Down on the farm - a Health and Safety update

Edward Worthy
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In a recent bulletin published by Strutt & Parker they reported that 85% of deaths in agriculture in 2016/17 were people aged over 45 and the over 60s accounted for 50% of the total deaths. As with any business, those involved in farming and agriculture...

Divorce Day

Sarah Overy
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The first working Monday after the Christmas and New Year festivities have passed sees more people feeling disillusioned about their relationship. Here at Gepp and Sons we are used to seeing an increase in enquiries about divorce and separation in...

Was your redundancy unfair?

Alexandra Dean
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There are certain criteria that need to be met in order for a redundancy to be considered a fair dismissal. Areas to consider when being made redundant include: redundancy pay, notice period, consultation with your employer and time off to find a new job. If...

Cannabis and the internal Policing Conflict

Emilio Disco
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Whilst being caught with cannabis can carry a five year prison sentence as well as a fine equating to between 75% to 125% of someone's weekly income, new guidance is advising Officers on the ground not to execute a Stop & Search when picking up on...

UK housing shortage - with more than 216,000 empty homes?

Spencer Davis
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In a report published by the BBC , 276 local councils stated there are more than 216,000 homes across the country that have been empty for six months or more. The report also revealed 11,000 have been empty for 10 years or more. Durham had the most empty...

The fundraising comes to a close (till next year!)

Spencer Davis
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During December the partners and staff of Gepp & Sons completed a series of fundraising activities, in aid of the Columbus School and College. Everything from baking and quizzes, raffles and singing helped raise what is looking like our biggest monthly...

Trust Registration Service - No penalty for late registration!

Marc Dorsett
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" 'Curiouser and curiouser!' cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English);"  Ok, so the movement of another Trust Registration Service deadline may not actually be that...

Keep Christmas for the children

Steven Payne
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Christmas celebrations for children are too often marked by family divisions when relationships break down.    According to statistics from the ONS around 100,000 children per year see their parents divorcing, with many of those families breaking...

Marriage and Civil Partnerships: What's the difference?

Steven Payne
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In 2005 Civil Partnerships were introduced for same-sex couples. Fast forward to 2014, and same-sex marriage was also made legal, meaning same-sex couples now have the choice between the two. But what are the differences? Rights for both married couples and...

Cohabitation - have you thought about the risks?

Filomena  Sterkaj
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With Christmas fast approaching you might be thinking about the next stage of your relationship and asking your partner to move in. What rights do cohabiting couples have with respect to the property they live in and other assets? Couples who are unmarried...

Health & Safety Breaches

Connor Williams
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Since February 2016, farming companies with a turnover of up to £2m who are found to have breached the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 can expect to pay fines of up to £450,000. Larger businesses – with turnovers in excess of £50m...

Fathers' rights for contact with children over Christmas

Filomena  Sterkaj
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Unfortunately, being a father with or without Parental Responsibility for your children does not automatically give you the right to spend time with them over the Christmas holidays, unless you have an agreement or a Court Order. We recommend trying to work...

Christmas gifts that keep on giving

Lisa Carter
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Christmas shopping usually means a visit to the high street or browsing online retailers, but the season of giving can be a good time to make sure you’re maximising your opportunities for inheritance tax reliefs, whether to family, friends or charity,...

Carols for Columbus

Mike Cubbin
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The staff at Gepp & Sons Solicitors in Chelmsford are going to be dishing out some Festive Cheer on Wednesday 20 th December as their Christmas Choir performs carols and well known Christmas jingles in High Chelmer Shopping Centre all in the name of...

House building in England hits 12 month high

Spencer Davis
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In a recent publication by John Mclarty, Head of Planning at Stutt & Parker it was reported that just over 217,000 homes were built or converted in England in the 12 months to April 2017, the highest number since 2007/08. However, the growth was patchy...

Lasting Powers of Attorney - a better alternative to living wills?

Gregory John
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Although I do not make a habit of thinking about my own demise, one thing I do know is that, when my time comes, I want it to be as quick and painless as possible. Whether "death" is a hot discussion topic for you or not I'd imagine most...

LEI Registration: Legal Entity Identifier - Trusts

Marc Dorsett
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What is an LEI? The LEI (Legal Entity Identifier) is an initiative which was started in August 2013 giving every legal entity a 20-charater alphanumeric reference code. The purpose of creating the LEI is to generate a global referenced data system to...

Unmarried woman wins legal fight!

Gregory John
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The topic of marriage can often be a difficult subject for couples in today's society. If you are in a long term relationship you could often be met with a steady stream of "When's?" and "Why not's?" from both friends and...

What is Released Under Investigation?

Connor Williams
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In relation to the offence for which you have been arrested, a review of your case has been conducted and it has been deemed that you shall be released from Police custody without bail. This effectively means that the police have further work to do on your...

Can your boss make you work at Christmas?

Alexandra Dean
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With just one month to go before Christmas, we’re all looking forward to a few days off with family, friends, or just curled up with a good film and a loved one for the day. However, life still goes on (even on Christmas Day) and there are plenty of...

Hundreds of new drivers given automatic driving bans

Roger Brice
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In a report published by the BBC, hundreds of new drivers have been given automatic driving bans for using their mobile phones whilst at the wheel of their car. The punishment for this offence was doubled in March of this year from three to six points -...

Can grandparents charge you for babysitting?

Alexandra Dean
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Childcare is, after your mortgage or rent payments, one of the biggest family expenditures. For working parents, finding someone they can trust to look after young children while they work can be incredibly difficult, and very expensive. While the government...

6 tips for separated parents at Christmas

Sally Ward
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How to make your children's Christmas special Start the conversation about Christmas with your children's other parent as early as possible so that you have plenty of time to agree arrangements and tell the children, and they know what to...

How rural employers are having to rethink their employment strategies

Alexandra Dean
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We haven’t even shut the door on Europe yet, and already farms are finding it difficult to hire foreign seasonal workers for next year’s harvests. Since Brexit was announced, there have been plenty of divisive headlines about crops potentially...

5 Top Tips for co-parenting

Sally Ward
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It’s no secret that divorce can be one of the most stressful events a person goes through in life. Unfortunately when children are involved things can be doubly challenging. The co-parenting process can be tricky to master at first, but here are 5 top...

Chancellor announces get-fit regime

Marc Dorsett
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An extra £3 billion to prepare for Brexit over the next two years and a vision of an economy that is ‘fit for the future’ were at the heart of the Chancellor’s Autumn statement. And despite downgrading growth and productivity...

How to avoid dementia tax!

Gregory John
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Chancellor Philip Hammond is coming under increasing pressure to raise more money to fund long-term social care. Dispatches released a programme on Channel 4 that aired on Monday night at 8.00pm on the so-called 'Dementia Tax'.  The programme...

Good news for First Time Buyers

Spencer Davis
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In today’s Budget, the Chancellor announced a welcomed Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) break for first time buyers, abolishing this tax for residential property purchase up to the value of £300,000. It is worth noting that officially a First Time...

DEVELOPING OPPORTUNITIES

Richard Jackson
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Did you know that national planning policy is changing ? The Department for Communities and Local Government has recently undertaken consultation on a proposed number of changes to planning policy and legislation designed to increase the availability of new...

Gepp & Sons Solicitors Win National Legal Award

Mike Cubbin
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This year has been a particularly rewarding one for Gepp & Sons Solicitors LLP because we were nominated in two categories in the LawNet Awards 2017.  Our New Business Team was nominated for the Team of the Year award for their salesmanship,...

Lessons for business from the #metoo headlines

Alexandra Dean
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Following the allegations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein and other leading figures, businesses need to make sure they have clear policies to inspire the right culture in their workplace. The initial revelations about the Hollywood mogul...

Trust Registration Deadline extended again!

Marc Dorsett
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  • Author

HMRC have announced yet another extension to the Trust Registration Service (TRS) deadline in relation to trusts which incur a first time income tax or capital gains tax liability in 2016/17. Originally the deadline was 5 October 2017 and this was extended...

What is a Consent Order on divorce, judicial separation or dissolution of civil partnership?

Filomena  Sterkaj
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  • Author

A Consent Order is a legally binding document which sets out the financial agreement between divorcing couples. Each Consent Order is different and is drafted according to each party's unique circumstances. The Consent Order will deal with all the...

Be sure to find your Will

Georgia Gann
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In recent years TV programmes such as Heir Hunters have highlighted how many Estates end up with the Government's Bona Vacantia Division or being distributed incorrectly as the Deceased's last Will cannot be found. To avoid your Estate being...

Do you have to go to court to get a divorce?

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Many people imagine that to get divorced they will have to go to court and that this will be a long, stressful and expensive process. In fact, most divorcing couples do not need to go to court, either for the divorce process itself, or to resolve issues...

Do I still need a Will if I don't have any assets?

Hollie Allcorn
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One of the common misconceptions preventing people from putting a Will in place is the view that they don't have anything to leave, for example a property or savings. However, regardless of age or personal circumstances very few people have nothing to...

Edward Worthy - The name to note for Agriculture & Estates

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We are very pleased to announce the firm has been recognised for its excellent knowledge and expertise in the area of agriculture and estates law in this year’s Legal 500.  Each year The Legal 500 analyses law firms around the globe to bring...

Seller vs Buyer - the importance of drafting relating to overage agreements

Keri Constantatou
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The recent decision by the High Court in the case of Sparks v Biden [2017] EWHC 1994 (Ch) goes to show the importance of thorough drafting particularly when it comes to overage agreements. The basis for the case was that the parties entered into an...

Can an employer take into account previous incidents during an investigation for gross misconduct?

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Law Under s.98 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996), a dismissal for misconduct will be unfair unless: •        The employer believed the employee to be guilty of misconduct. ...

Is it costing you to not talk about money?

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While we might be happy to talk about politics and a vast array of personal matters, when it comes to finances, we are unlikely to what to share the details of our life. Indeed a Fidelity Investments study among retiring couples showed that 43% couldn't...

Are you one of the 60%?

Gregory John
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  • Author

It will not come as a surprise to you that whether I'm speaking with my clients or spending time with friends, people do not like talking about death. No one likes to consider their own mortality and the subject of death isn't one we want to discuss...

How to prove you have been the victim

Justin Emerson
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  • Author

According to the Office for National Statistics most recent report on crime in the UK, there has been an unprecedented rise in the number of computer crime and identity theft incidences. The 2017 crime statistics survey estimates that there were 3.4 million...

Can't pay - Can they really take it away?

Justin Emerson
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  • Author

The popularity of programmes showing the daily workings of high court enforcement officers has thrown into sharp relief the sheer amount of personal debt in the UK today. According to figures released by the Money Charity, it’s estimated that the...

Your 'digital assets' - what are they and what will happen to them when you die?

Lily Measures
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So much of our lives are tied up in social media nowadays, but the idea of leaving a ‘digital legacy’ on Facebook or Twitter is hardly ever discussed. What is a digital asset? A digital asset, in simple terms, is content owned by an individual...

The rights of Grandparents

Sarah Overy
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  • Author

In a divorce, nobody really comes out of the process a ‘winner’. Hostilities between battling former spouses can sour relationships not just between them, but throughout the wider family group too. Courts do their very best to protect the...

Married couples potentially missing out on £230

Marc Dorsett
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  • Author

On the 6th April 2015, the Government introduced the Marriage Allowance for the benefit of husbands, wives and civil partners by allowing the lower earning spouse to transfer up to 10% of their unused personal allowance to their partner for that year. In...

Bets on divorce date at the wedding?

Steven Payne
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  • Author

Have you ever been to a wedding where bets were being made on when the couple would divorce? Well believe it or not it does happen, and the most recent incredible example, reported in a well-known newspaper, being the groom's mother taking bets on when...

What is 'unreasonable behaviour' in divorce?

Steven Payne
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  • Author

Earlier this year, a divorce case made the headlines when Tini Owens was not granted a divorce from her husband, Hugh Owens on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour. This was a highly unusual case: the vast majority of divorces go undefended, but in this...

Can your employer monitor your private communications?

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In the workplace, we use many forms of technology to communicate and the issue of privacy has been at the centre of discussions for many years. Technology in the past two decades has advanced considerably and sending emails is now the predominant source of...

Trust Registration Service - Deadline extension

Marc Dorsett
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  • Author

HMRC have announced that the deadline for registering a Trust on the new Trust Registration Service (TRS) is to be extended for this year. Ordinarily, HMRC should be notified of a new Trust by 5 October following the end of the tax year in which there is a...

What's mine is mine!

Steven Payne
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  • Author

The Court of Appeal has upheld the High Court's decision on a financial remedy order in favour of the husband after a 23 year marriage, on the grounds that most of the property was owned by him before the marriage began.   In August this year in...

What are the grounds for divorce?

Steven Payne
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  • Author

To be legally granted a divorce in the UK, you must be able to prove one of the ‘grounds for divorce’. This means giving one of a certain set of reasons that demonstrate that your marriage has irretrievably broken down, and being able to show...

Subsidies after Brexit: will the green pound start to wither?

Edward Worthy
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  • Author

This green and pleasant land is facing some major changes. While the news has been focused on the impact of Brexit on urban industry and businesses like banking and finance, it is the UK’s farmers who are preparing themselves for some of the biggest...

Who has the right to decide on the welfare of a sick child?

Sarah Overy
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  • Author

The distressing case of Charlie Gard recently put the spotlight on a question that all parents want the answer to, but hope they never have to face. In a situation where a child is seriously ill, who has the right to decide what course of treatment is...

How your Will is affected by your marriage or divorce

Steven Payne
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  • Author

In an ideal world, all adults at whatever age and stage of their lives should make a Will. If the worst happens this means that your loved ones would be able to deal with your estate in accordance with your wishes and feelings.    You may have...

What is the additional permitted subscription allowance?

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The Additional Permitted Subscription (APS) allowance, also known as the Inherited ISA allowance, lets you make contributions to an Individual Savings Account (ISA) on top of your normal annual ISA allowance based on the ISA investments held by your spouse or partner on their death.

Autumn heralds a resurgent eagle

Mike Cubbin
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  • Author

Spring is normally the time for taking stock and giving everything a good clean but we thought that we would break the mould a little.  As part of ongoing work to spruce up things at Gepp & Sons Solicitors, our new CEO , Mike Cubbin, asked for the...

Trust Registration Service - for agents

Marc Dorsett
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  • Author

The Trust Registration Service ("TRS") has been online for a little over a month now. So far, only Trustees themselves can actually register a Trust. This is fine if the Trustees (well, at least one anyway) are au fait with completing online...

Where there's a will, there's a way

Lisa Carter
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  • Author

When thinking of making a will, the idea of a Victorian lawyer taking down the last instructions at the bedside still springs to mind for many people.  And the 19th century lawyer would find things pretty much as they were if they time travelled to...

Employment Tribunal ("ET") allows claim presented out of time

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The ET has allowed a claim to be presented out of time despite the claim initially being rejected to pay the issue fee. This decision follows the Supreme Court's judgment handed down on 26 July 2017 which ruled that the Employment Tribunals and...

Essex Dog Day

Spencer Davis
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What are you doing on the 27 th August? If you have nothing planned then why not treat yourself to a great day out at the Essex Dog Day . Gepp and Sons have been actively involved with this fantastic event since its conception and are delighted to...

Employment tribunal rules that cycle courier is a worker

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In Gascoigne v Addison Lee Ltd, the employment tribunal has ruled that a cycle courier working for Addison Lee was a worker under the Working Time Regulations 1998 and the Employment Rights Act 1996, not a self-employed contractor. This decision follows...

Current data protection laws to be overhauled and replaced with new Data Protection Bill

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Government proposals are looking to provide Britons with greater control over personal information that is currently held by companies and organisations. The bill, which the government is hoping to introduce, will make it easier to request the removal of...

A little known inheritance tax relief?

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When undertaking inheritance tax planning, most people are aware of the opportunity to gift money. If the donor survives 7 years from the date of the gift, the gift is not included in the inheritance tax calculation for the estate.  As we age, the...

What are the restrictions of employing young people?

Alexandra Dean
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The legal minimum age a child can work is 13 years old as a part-time worker, however there are exceptions to when a child can work below this age. For children who are between  13 and not more than 16 years of age, there are restrictions to where and...

Online Trust Registration now available - for some

Marc Dorsett
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Most people have heard of "trusts". Often they are assumed to be extremely complex and derived by lawyers who like to over complicate matters. The truth is that a trust can be one of the most useful tools available to individuals and can be used to...

Mental Capacity: Are you leaving it too late?

Lisa Carter
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We live in a society where health and wellness are “on trend”. People of all ages are doing more to look after their bodies; they are heading down to the gym and they are eating whatever “superfood” the media is suggesting. In...

Governments bid to end the leasehold housing crisis

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Leasehold agreements date back to the 11th century but in more recent years, due to lack of space for houses and therefore need for flats, they have become increasingly popular. According to a BBC news report, 21% of private housing in England are owned via...

The end of Wills as we know them?

Lisa Carter
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The Law Commission for England and Wales has released a consultation about possible reforms regarding the making of Wills claiming it should be brought into the ‘modern world’. The current law governing the drafting of a Will dates back to the...

Who acts as executor if there is no will?

Lisa Carter
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Around two-thirds of British adults do not have a Will and as many as a third of us die without leaving one. This is known as dying “intestate” and can leave the family, friends and other potential beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate in...

Who decides?

Sally Ward
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Few of us could have failed to share the pain of Charlie Gard's parents who recently made the difficult decision to allow their son to die. But this decision came following a series of court hearings when they challenged the hospitals recommendation to...

Supreme Court rules that employment tribunal fees are unlawful

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Following the introduction of the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunals Fees Order 2013 ("the Order"), the number of employment tribunal cases have been said to have decreased by 70%. Why? It is likely due to potential...

Hard decisions for businesses in the wake of BBC earnings report

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Under the Equal Pay Act 1970, men and women who do the same or broadly similar work, or work that is found to be of equal value in terms of effort or skill, are entitled to the same employment contract terms, including pay. The provisions under this law as...

A warning to all employees - seek legal advice from the start

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It is imperative that employees complete both the ACAS Conciliation Form and Claim Form correctly when pursuing a claim against a former employer. Any error can become a major issue when applying to the employment tribunal, as demonstrated in a recent case...

Cooking up a Storm with the Children of Columbus School

Spencer Davis
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Over the last few months, staff at Gepp & Sons have been raising money for their chosen charity of the year, Columbus School and College , a local school which caters for children and young people aged between 3 and 19 with profound and multiple...

Well they are a colourful bunch!

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A number of Gepp and Sons staff lead by Partner, David Springett  took part in the 5k colour run on Saturday in Colchester. The event was to raise money for Headway  a fantastic charity who provides expert care and support for...

The Essex Schools Showcase for the Arts

Spencer Davis
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The Essex Schools Showcase for the Arts launched this week in and around the High Chelmer shopping precinct in Chelmsford. The showcase is a celebration of visual and performance arts exhibited and displayed by students from fourteen local schools with...

New Lord Chief Justice Appointed

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Gepp & Sons are delighted that the Rt Hon Sir Ian Burnett has been appointed as the new Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, the most senior judicial position in the Country. Sir Ian Burnett has been a regular supporter and Chairman of the panel of...

Conveyancing work remains busy post-Brexit

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Despite reports of a slowing economy post-Brexit, house selling and buying remains busy, according to a survey conducted by the Law Consultancy Network. In an article posted earlier this month the Halifax had reported 1% drop in house prices. However one...

Managing Your Financial Affairs Following A Divorce

Steven Payne
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Going through a divorce can be earth-shattering to your emotional and financial stability.  One way to feel in control of your own destiny again is to organise a strategy for managing your finances as soon as possible.  Whether you are on your own...

The rise of elderly divorcees

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Retired divorcees - also known as "silver splitters" - are fast becoming Britain's biggest growing demographic. Though traditionally more likely to own their own homes, this growing demographic are renting in record numbers. According to...

Taylor Report review into workers' rights published today

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The Taylor Report has today been published and calls for an end to the "cash-in-hand economy" - reportedly worth £6 billion - most of which goes untaxed. The review looked at modern working practices, particularly the so-called 'gig...

Buy Cheap, Pay Twice - Why It Is Crucial To Invest In A Quality Conveyancing Solicitor

Spencer Davis
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If you were spending over £250,000 on a car, would you employ an unqualified or junior mechanic to inspect the engine?  If you were buying a business that may require you to take out a loan for £300,000, would you fail to hire an accountant...

School's out... The 31st July is almost here...

Marc Dorsett
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Do you make payments on account towards your tax bill?  If so, before packing your suitcase and heading to the airport, remember the deadline for paying the second instalment towards a 2016/17 tax bill is rapidly approaching. If you think that the...

A guide to cohabitation agreements

Steven Payne
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English law does not afford cohabiting couples the same legal protection and rights as married couples.  A cohabitation agreement is accordingly an essential consideration for unmarried couples. Cohabiting couple families are, according to the Office...

House prices in the UK fall by 1%

Spencer Davis
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According to the Halifax, the UK’s largest mortgage lender, property prices fell by 1% in June, the largest monthly fall since January of this year.   In the report published by the BBC they comment “there is still good activity but many...

If you are required to self-assess for 2016/17, be aware, you may need to file a paper return...

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All tax software is based on HMRC software standards that currently contain glitches that affect two specific groups of people, resulting in overpayments of tax up to £1,000. The groups affected are: 1. taxpayers with non-savings income between...

And Wimbledon begins

Alexandra Dean
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As Wimbledon begins there is no doubt that the tournament will be full of surprises. However, as an employer have you considered what surprises your business could face during times of sporting events? As an employer, are your employees allowed to have time...

Hinkley Point serves as a lesson in the importance of construction contracts

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The construction of two new reactors at Hinkley Point nuclear plant is now estimated to cost up to £19.6 billion, an increase of 10% on what was originally estimated, according to a BBC article published today. Not only has the costs budget for the...

£143,000 goes up in smoke!

Roger Brice
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The BBC have reported that a McLaren supercar with a new value of around £143,000 was reduced to a twisted, burned-out wreck after it struck a building and burst into flames. Thankfully both the driver and passenger of the 570S escaped with...

Who will look after my children if I have not appointed guardians?

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If you have children under the age of eighteen you can appoint guardians to look after your children in the event that on your death there is no surviving parent with Parental Responsibility. Many people believe that their children will automatically be...

Dairy farmer fined and ordered to pay more than £19,000 in costs for polluting river

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In May 2016, slurry held in a lagoon on a dairy farm overflowed into a ditch chamber that had not been correctly sealed off. The slurry killed approximately 1,700 fish in the River Frome and prevented water leisure activities taking place in the river. The...

When do you apply for a deputyship application?

Georgia Gann
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If a friend, loved one or yourself lost the capacity to manage financial affairs and either an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) or a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) has not been put in place, a deputyship application is the next step. A Deputyship...

A lovely evening for a 9K, all in the name of Charity...

Spencer Davis
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With the sun beating down and the temperature reaching a not so cool 27°, Gepp & Sons teamed up with a number of other local firms and business to walk for Charity. The Chelmsford Legal Walk is a 9km sponsored walk that sets off from New London...

Just what they needed in this heat, a cool pint or two!

Spencer Davis
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Pictured below are the lucky winners of the Gepp & Sons Young Farmers Show prize draw being presented with their Poly pin of locally brewed golden ale from Round Tower Brewery. Mr & Mrs Beckett received their prize just in time for a sunny weekend...

Life Interest Trust

Lisa Carter
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A Life Interest Trust should be considered if, for example: you want to protect your assets against care fees; you have children from a previous relationship and want to provide for your new spouse but also want to ensure your children inherit your...

What's mine is yours?

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A City trader has successfully challenged a divorce judgment of the High Court in 2015 which awarded her ex-husband of four years £2.7 million - half of the total matrimonial assets. Yesterday the Court of Appeal reduced Mr Sharp's award to...

Rain, Rain Everywhere!

Spencer Davis
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Whilst everybody in Essex enjoyed the spectacular weather on Saturday, a team of 12 members of Gepp & Sons were stocking up on bacon sandwiches and hot tea before setting off to climb the hills of the stunning 950-metre high Helvellyn mountain range in...

Good intentions not enough in wage calculations

Alexandra Dean
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Accurate calculations of the National Minimum Wage continue to cause headaches for employers, with an employment tribunal acknowledging the complexity, saying there is no single key to unlock every case. Recently, unintentional underpayments in staff pay...

Food & Farming Day - what a success...

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Thousands of primary school children from across the county were out in full force at yesterday’s Essex Food and Farming day held at Writtle College. The event, now in it’s 10th year, is organised by the Essex Agricultural Society with whom Gepp...

Trust Registration

Marc Dorsett
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Individuals often create Trusts for a variety of reasons. Each time a new Trust is created it must be registered with HMRC who will then issue the Trustees with a Unique Taxpayer Reference. This will be needed when dealing with HMRC, including any required...

Nestle fails to trademark shape of KitKat bar

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In a long lasting dispute between Nestle and Cadbury, Court of Appeal judges have ruled that Nestle fail in their attempt to trademark a four fingered bar. Nestle claimed that the shape of the bar was unique and thus should be protected by trademark laws. ...

What are Lasting Powers of Attorney and why are they important?

Lisa Carter
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Studies show that only 5% of the population are prepared for mental capacity issues in the future. It is important to prepare for our future and as we get older the risk of developing dementia increases.  Currently an estimated 850,000 people have been...

Landlords' tax increases from April 2017

Marc Dorsett
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Landlords who are higher rate or additional rate taxpayers are likely to see a dramatic increase in tax liabilities over the next few years due to the changes to tax relief on loan interest payments which kicked in from April 2017. After a phased in four...

Corporate Governance Code: Changes Imminent?

Alexandra Dean
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In February 2017, the Financial Reporting Council ('FRC') announced a fundamental review of the UK Corporate Governance Code.  It will then ask for consultation on the proposed changes later in the year. Following the disastrous corporate...

Our Best Year Ever!

Spencer Davis
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We are just about finished with the clearing up from Sundays Essex Young Farmers Show. According to the Young Farmers website it was their busiest show ever... At some stages throughout the day it was standing room only in our marquee - all seats taken by...

Workforce wellbeing must include mental health awareness

Alexandra Dean
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Understanding of mental health issues is high on the agenda, thanks to the involvement of the younger members of the Royal family in the Heads Together awareness campaign which has seen the # oktosay hashtag trending. Their activity gave an extra boost to...

Are you making the most of the new Residence Nil-Rate Band?

Lisa Carter
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Introduced in April this year, the new Residence Nil-Rate Band (RNRB) could save your estate as much as £140,000 in inheritance tax (IHT) if you pass your family home to your children on your death.

The 2017 Gepp Lecture: The Medieval Parish Churches of Essex

Spencer Davis
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Gepp & Sons are proud to have supported the Friends of Essex Churches Trust’s Annual General Meeting for many years. This year’s AGM will be held at St Mary’s Church, Saffron Walden on Wednesday 17 th May, and followed by the fifth...

Who's coming to the Essex Young Farmers Show?

Spencer Davis
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Gepp & Sons are very pleased to announce that we will once again be attending the Essex Country Show on Sunday 21 st May 2017 at Boyton Hall, and it’s safe to say we’re excited. As a home-grown Essex law firm, we are proud to have worked...

White-collar crime agencies stepping up their efforts

Alexandra Dean
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Public awareness of white-collar crime has come to the fore in recent years and the Government is under ever-greater pressure to put a stop to corrupt practices. This year, the biggest crime agencies are being audited to determine their effectiveness and...

Small suppliers set to get intel on big company payment performance

Alexandra Dean
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New regulations designed to help small businesses get paid on time came into force this month, with a requirement for larger companies to publish information about how long they take to pay suppliers.  The requirement affects companies and LLPs who...

CLA AGM: Farmers Invade WW1 Airfield

Edward Worthy
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Yesterday 70 of the county’s farmers and land owners braved a very blustery ‘ Dengie Peninsula’ to attend the CLA’s annual AGM. Gepp and Sons were delighted to sponsor the event which was held at the Stow Maries Aerodrome ,...

Probate fees change update

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The proposed changes to probate fees which were to take effect in May 2017, have been delayed indefinitely as there is insufficient time for the legislation to pass through Parliament before the general election.

 

Residential property stock hit a record low...

Bakshi Dhanda
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According to the RICS the UK housing market continues to lack impetus, with some surveyors reducing their expectations for housing market performance this year. New property coming to the market fell noticeably with some agents reporting a 13% fall in...

Parking fines and penalty charge notices - do you know the difference? - April 2017

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The case is a cautionary tale - the Defendant who was ordered to pay £24,500 in parking tickets when she was taken to court by a private parking company for failure to pay. Would you know the difference between a parking charge notice and a penalty charge notice? Do you know when you have to pay, and when you might be able to appeal?

What will happen to my inheritance if I divorce?

Sarah Overy
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Going through a divorce is often a time of significant financial upheaval, and the division of assets is a cause of worry for many couples considering a split. Past inheritances and anticipated future inheritances are commonly relied on as an essential...

Parents Beware

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The Supreme Court has today ruled unanimously in favour of Isle of Wight Council for issuing a fine of £120.00 to a father who took his child away on holiday during school term.

Woman ordered to pay £24,500 in private parking charges

Michael Callaghan
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A woman in Scotland had refused to pay a private car parking company £18,500-worth in private parking notices issued to her for parking at Dundee's Waterfront. She argued that they were unenforceable.

Well that's blown the diet!

Spencer Davis
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Last Friday staff and clients at Gepp & Sons found the time to pile on the pounds in aid of Red Nose Day. Helping to keep everyone’s sugar levels up, cakes large and small were baked and donated by staff on what is always the busiest day of the...

Sanctions for landlords and employers in relation to illegal immigrants

Spencer Davis
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Government plans will be revealed this summer that will impose sanctions on both landlords and employers who knowingly house or employ those who do not have permission to live and work in the UK. A Migration white paper will be prepared over the next few...

Farming company fined £50,000 for Health & Safety breach

Spencer Davis
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On 10 March 2017, a farming company pleaded guilty for breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £50,000 at Norwich Crown Court. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the farm company had failed to...

Estate agent employees offered up to £100,000 to whistleblow on cartels

Spencer Davis
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Estate agents are among those being offered up to £100,000 to blow the whistle on illegal cartels. The Competition and Markets Authority announced early this morning that it would be launching its first advertising campaign to crack down on...

The dangers of failing to perform health and safety checks on your farm

Edward Worthy
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On 10 March 2017, a farming company pleaded guilty for breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £50,000 at Norwich Crown Court. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the farm company had failed to...

Court rules in favour of charities against daughter excluded from her mother's Will

Spencer Davis
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Three animal charities have won an appeal at the Supreme Court against a daughter cut out of her mother's Will. The Supreme Court is the highest appeal court in the UK.

 

Top 5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Buying a Property

Spencer Davis
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Buying a house is exciting. However, with this excitement can often come stress – after all, there are a lot of vital considerations to be made.  If you’re just starting out on the property ladder, there’s even more to get your head...

Probate Fees Update

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Guidance has now been provided by the Probate Registries relating to the practical implementation of the increase in probate fees announced by the Ministry of Justice on the 24th February 2017.

Spring Budget Watch

Lisa Carter
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The first steps towards preparing the UK for a post-Brexit future were announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in his Spring Budget, which avoided headline-grabbing shake-ups and tax breaks in favour of economic stability.  

Resolving disputes for small businesses

Michael Callaghan
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The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has reported that legal disputes cost small business enterprises in England and Wales at least £11.6 billion each year, with at least 70% of small businesses having faced at least one dispute in recent years. ...

New Registry fees for Grants of Probate

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The Ministry of Justice announced on Friday, 24th February that the proposed changes to Registry fees for Grants of Probate will go ahead in May 2017. The additional fees are intended to contribute to the operating costs of Her Majesty's Courts and...

Whistleblowers safety fears in the digital age

Spencer Davis
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A report by media lawyers has concluded that whistleblowers need better legal protection because they are far easier to identify in the modern digital age. Successive laws brought into force in recent years have also been responsible for undermining their...

The art of revising

Spencer Davis
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Yesterday I attended Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford to address visiting students from Beauchamps High School on the art of revising for that all important job interview. They spend weeks if not months revising for their exams but so little time...

New website launched this week

Spencer Davis
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Gepp & Sons are proud to have taken a modern approach to law since 1768. While our website (and the Internet, for that matter) has only existed for a tiny fraction of that time, we always make sure we roll with the times. That’s why we decided it...

Extending Your Lease.

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If you own a leasehold property on a long lease and are thinking of selling or mortgaging it, you need to check how long is left to run on the lease as it can affect the value of your property. Long leases are usually for 99 years or more. As the length of...

ACAS reports on the impact of the Agency Workers Regulations

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ACAS have reported that the Employment Trends Survey, which covers 319 businesses and a total workforce of 1.9 million people, found that almost half of firms (46%) report that their business has been affected as a direct result of the regulations. ...

Squatting becomes a criminal offence

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New legislation has been introduced to offer better protection for home owners and allows the Court to punish such offences by imposing up to 6 months imprisonment or a £5,000 fine or both.  Ministers said that it...

Period of Administration - how the new dividend and interest rules work

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The Issue Following Budget 2015, the rules for the taxation of dividends and interest were changed fairly dramatically. Here we look at the effect the changes have on a deceased's estate for income tax purposes but, first, let's review the changes...

Leniency introduced in TV licence fee evasion?

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The least serious cases of TV licence fee evasion will no longer result in a fine. Guidance issued by the Government allows magistrates to impose non-financial penalties on those who have failed to pay their TV licence fees, as long as they do not commit...

He said he shouldn't have to pay her maintenance!

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A Cambridge don has won a divorce battle with her Macedonian minister ex-husband who claimed he shouldn't have to pay her maintenance now she is working full-time. Despite having children to care for, Kathleen Liddell moved from part time to full time...

Supporting our local community

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As a homegrown firm, supporting the local community is at the heart of what we do. Having been based in Essex since 1768, we have established a deep connection with the community and we believe it’s important for businesses to do their bit. The Gepp & Sons team are committed to Corporate Social Responsibility, and we are very proud of the team’s efforts to do their bit for charity. In this weeks blog, we run through some of the CSR and charity activities we’ve been getting up to and the important causes behind them.

NO FAULT DIVORCE REMAINS AN URBAN MYTH

Spencer Davis
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The Court of Appeal has ruled that a "desperately unhappy" marriage is not in itself a ground for divorce. Tini Owens Petitioned for Divorce last year alleging her husband had behaved unreasonably. Hugh Owens disagreed and said that the couple...

Unmarried couples need to protect themselves

Steven Payne
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A landmark victory in the Supreme Court has seen a Northern Ireland woman win a share of her former partner’s pension, with commentators saying it’s likely to add impetus to the drive for greater rights for unmarried couples. But, in the...

Tractors prohibited on motorways

Spencer Davis
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On the 9th February, a farmer was stopped by police for driving his tractor on the M54 motorway. The police then escorted the farmer off the motorway. A spokesman of Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG) said “for any aspiring farmers out there,...

Legal battle won to improve pension rights

Spencer Davis
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A Woman who lost her long term partner has won a legal battle which is likely to improve pension rights for unmarried couples in the public sector Denise Brewster, following a legal fight, has won her case at the UK's highest court. Ms Brewster has been...

Court Order increases maintenance payments after 15 years

Spencer Davis
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Court orders husband to increase payments to wife who lost the bulk of her divorce settlement with 'poor financial decisions' Maria Mills received a £230,000 lump sum from ex-husband Graham alongside maintenance payments of £1,100 a...

Mother's petition to Downing Street

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THE MOTHER OF TWO BOYS KILLED IN A HOUSE FIRE STARTED BY THEIR FATHER HAS HANDED IN A PETITION AT DOWNING STREET CALLING FOR A CHANGE IN THE LAW GOVERNING ACCESS TO CHILDREN. Jack and Paul Sykes, aged 12 and nine, died when their father Darren, 44, set fire...

40% of farmland left unsold

Edward Worthy
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In a recent article published by  Farmers Weekly  four in every 10 acres of farmland marketed in 2016 remained unsold or were withdrawn by the end of last year, according to data from  Strutt & Parker . This was the highest proportion of...

Tractor drivers could face voluntary roadworthiness test

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Two Years ago, the legislation regarding Tractor Weights and speeds was reviewed, extending weights to 31 t and maximum speeds to 25mph. In a recent article by  Farmers Weekly  they reported that at the New Holland's Basildon Headquarters, the...

Speeding fines set to rise

Spencer Davis
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Speeding fines are set to rise after a review of the sentencing guidelines for magistrates courts.   For the most serious offences, a driver could be fined 150% of their weekly income.  In 2015, 166,216 people were fined and 166,695...

TV personality victim of 'road rage'

Spencer Davis
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A 22 year old female driver has been convicted of using threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour. She was filmed screaming obscenities at  BBC presenter Jeremy Vine  as he cycled on a narrow road in Kensington, west London.  She was found...

Courts hit high and hard with new health and safety fines

Alexandra Dean
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One year after the introduction of tough new health and safety sentencing guidelines, a series of high profile cases show that courts are not holding back when it comes to imposing the higher fines, which can be directly linked to a corporate...

Complex challenges for employers in the year ahead

Alexandra Dean
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Constant changes and increasing complexity have helped make employment law a frontline challenge for business and this year looks set to continue the trend. The first weeks of January saw Maggie Dewhurst, a bike courier with City Sprint, winning her case to...

Making sure you get what you are entitled to from the financial order in your divorce

Spencer Davis
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It is tempting to think that your divorce is finally over once you have a final order for financial settlement but there are still likely to be further steps to be taken to implement the order. In most cases this is not a problem. But what happens if your ex...

Is your business protected?

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A divorce is tough to go through especially when you have children but even tougher if there is a business to consider. When you are happily married, having a document outlining what happens if the business were to end is not attractive, however divorces do...

Legal right to avoid work emails...

Alexandra Dean
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In a recent news article it was reported that French employees will have the right to avoid emails outside their usual working hours. The new law, which has been dubbed the "right to disconnect", came into force on 1 January. Companies with more...

Farmers call for tougher laws on drones

Edward Worthy
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In a recent article by  Farmers Weekly  farm leaders are demanding stricter rules on the use of drones in the wake of booming Christmas sales and the launch of a government consultation. While on-farm use has many potential benefits and...

The most expensive place to live...

Spencer Davis
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In a report by the  BBC  London’s Eaton Square is officially the UK most expensive place to live, with an average house price of £17m It is one of three squares developed by the Grosvenor family following the end of the Napoleonic wars...

Divorcees could face travel bans!!

Steven Payne
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Ex-husbands and wives who refuse to pay their former spouses' divorce settlements could be banned from driving or travelling abroad under  new proposals  from the Law Commission. Tough penalties are needed to tackle divorcees who avoid paying,...

Getting rocky relationships through tinsel-time

Steven Payne
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The family-focus of Christmas is often followed in January with news of unhappy couples who decide to call it quits, leading to so-called Divorce Day, as family lawyers receive a surge of enquiries when they re-open after the break.  And as the...

Christmas Jumper Day

Spencer Davis
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When I say everyone... Those of us who do not have the luxury of such a glamorous wardrobe were fined for being all 'bah-humbug'  - helping to push the funds raised to a fantastic £186.00!!!   So far across...

What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

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A cohabitation agreement records arrangements between two or more people who have agreed to live together, as a couple or otherwise. The agreement usually sets out the following criteria • Each party's rights and responsibilities in relation to...

25TH ANNIVERSARY OF IMPLEMENTATION OF CHILDREN ACT 1989

Spencer Davis
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14th October 2016 marked the 25th anniversary of the substantive implementation of the Children Act 1989 which was introduced on 14 October 1991. The Association of Lawyers for Children (the ALC) has noted the anniversary, stating: "The introductory...

"find your happy"

Spencer Davis
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In a recent article by  Design Week  it was reported that property search giant Rightmove are in the process of re-branding in an effort to humanise their brand.  Started in 1999, Rightmove claim they now advertise around 90% of all homes...

When Time Forgets

Lisa Carter
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It is often said that ‘things are never lost – only misplaced’. So what happens if no one knows where a loved one's Will is stored, or more to the point whether they ever made a Will. At Gepp & Sons once we have advised our clients...

How employers can say no, without saying a word

Alexandra Dean
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As the countdown to the festive season gets underway, employers juggling the pre-Christmas workload need to ensure workers are enabled to take their rest breaks. The warning comes after an employer was found to have failed to take the necessary steps to...

Are 'Power Naps' the answer?

Alexandra Dean
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According to a new study report on by the  BBC , sleep-deprived workers are costing the UK economy £40bn a year. The calculation is based on tired employees being less productive or absent from work altogether. Research firm Rand Europe, which...

Resolution survey - impact on children of divorce

Sally Ward
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Around 230,000.00 people are going through a divorce every year in England and Wales and almost half of the break ups have at least one child under 16 in the relationship. This therefore meant that tens of thousands of children see their parents separate and...

Assault at the Christmas Party

Alexandra Dean
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The High Court held in the case of Bellman v Northampton Recruitment that a company would not be vicariously liable for injuries caused by an employee after a work Christmas party had ended. The case involved an assault of a manager by a director after a...

Dangerous drivers who kill could face life in prison

Spencer Davis
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Drivers who cause death by dangerous or careless driving could get life in prison under new government proposals.  In a recent article the  BBC  reported that Ministers want to bring the offence, which has a maximum sentence of 14 years, in...

Helping you stay on the road...

Spencer Davis
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It is that time of year when the 'Road Safety' adverts start to hit the screens. This year alone a man was caught filming himself doing 192 mph in Northamptonshire and another speeder caught in a BMW 5 Series doing 152 in Linconshire. This...

New Woodland Carbon Fund

Edward Worthy
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In a recent article by  Lockhart-Garratt  millions more trees will be planted across the country thanks to grants from the Woodland Carbon Fund, which has opened for applications today. More than £19million has been made available by...

Mediation - the preferred choice...

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The news that the Court of Appeal is to stop hearing all challenges made in local family courts serves another reminder of the pressure our family court system is under. The quarterly Family Court Statistics, for example, showed some stark trends: a 10%...

Jammy and dodgers focus of Hammond's first and last autumn budget

Spencer Davis
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The first steps towards preparing the UK for a post-Brexit future were announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in his Autumn Budget statement, with a focus on lower income households and business tax avoidance. The new Chancellor announced a reduced growth...

A gaggle of geese gone!

Edward Worthy
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Rustlers have stolen a gaggle of Christmas geese worth up to £100,000 in an overnight raid on a farm. A police spokesman said: “Officers would like to speak to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the Bawburgh area near...

Good Divorce Week

Steven Payne
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There can never be a good time to get divorced but this week marks Resolution's campaign to improve the process for dealing with divorce and relationship breakdowns. Resolution is a community of family justice professionals who work with families and...

Christmas Contact

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Over the Christmas period we know that every parent's top priority is to spend time with children and this can be difficult for parents who are separating When parents initially split each family is very different. One parent often moves out and many...

The last person still living born in the 1800s.

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When Emma Morano was born, Umberto I was still reigning over Italy, Fiat had only just been established and Milan Football Club was still a few weeks off creation. On her 117th birthday, Emma will have celebrated life over three centuries. The oldest of...

Financial needs on divorce

Steven Payne
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The Family Justice Council published Guidance on ‘Financial Needs’ on Divorce. Define ‘financial needs’ on divorce and. Covers two areas: What are needs and how are they measured? The main needs in most cases are for housing...

Hot air and bra sizes all add to the discrimination mix

Alexandra Dean
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The news that Airbnb has adopted a new anti-discrimination code, following accusations of racism by hosts on the home-sharing site, highlights the growing challenge in managing this increasingly sensitive issue. Other recent headlines have ranged from...

Police crackdown for those using mobile phones when driving

Spencer Davis
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Police are conducting another week-long crackdown on drivers who use their mobile phones whilst driving. Measures include dedicated patrols and messages on road signs.  This move follows the government's plan to double fines and points to those...

Wednesday 2nd November - not a good day for many motorists...

Spencer Davis
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On Wednesday November 2 Essex Police ran a Surround a Town Operation designed to detect offenders using the roads and increase road safety. Officers used Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to identify suspect vehicles which were then intercepted and...

Just 48 hours to go...

Spencer Davis
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‘This House would abolish the doctrine of Joint Enterprise’ This is the motion for this year's Gepp & Sons Schools Legal Debate 2016, which will be held at Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford from 6:30pm on Wednesday 9th November 2016. ...

Sales of £1m+ houses rise by 12%.

Spencer Davis
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According to a recent report by  Lloyds Bank  the number of £1M+ house sales rose by 12% in the first half of 2016 compared with the previous year, a report has suggested. Lloyds  found the average price of a home sold above £1m...

Biggest challenge to Brexit yet

Spencer Davis
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The High Court has today rejected Theresa May's statement that the government can use its own prerogative powers to invoke Article 50 without Parliamentary approval. In the biggest challenge to Brexit yet, the Court found that the government does not...

A Country Landowners' Guide to Brexit

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The UK’s decision to withdraw from the European Union will have far reaching consequences for those who own and farm agricultural land. Few other sectors will be as heavily affected by the forthcoming changes. Edward Worthy, Partner and Head of Rural...

Life lessons from headline breakdowns

Steven Payne
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Watching others acting out the ending of a marriage on a public stage can provide a valuable lesson on how to ‘uncouple’ with least pain Whether fiction or fact, marriage breakdown issues have been stealing more than their fair share of...

Considering renting out your flat? Check the lease first!

Spencer Davis
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A ruling of the Upper Tribunal's Lands Chamber means that thousands of flat owners who rent out their homes are probably breaking the law. The issue is due to 'private residence only' clauses, a common feature of such leases. With an estimated...

A ruling of the Upper Tribunal's Lands Chamber means that thousands of flat owners who rent out their homes are probably breaking the law. The issue is due to 'private residence only' clauses, a common feature of such leases. With an estimated four milli

Spencer Davis
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The short answer is no, the law does not punish a party for committing adultery(other than costs for the divorce suit). Adultery will not have any influence on how the court divides the financial assets. However, if your ex-partner moves in with a new...

How do you know I'm choosing the right solicitor?

Spencer Davis
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It is important to find the right solicitor to suit your individual case. If you have young children, it is essential you choose a solicitor who is a family specialist, familiar with the family courts and with dealing with child arrangements applications. If...

Gender pay gap may remain until 2069

Alexandra Dean
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Research from Deloitte has said the gender pay gap in the UK may not close until 2069 based on current salary progression. Deloitte has said that the current hourly pay gap between men and women of 9.4% was narrowing by just two-and-a-half pence a year. It...

It's a sad day...

Spencer Davis
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Angelina Jolie has filed for divorce from Brad Pitt on Monday 19 August 2016, citing irreconcilable differences. The couple met in 2005 on the film set of Mr & Mrs Smith and married in 2014. The alleged reason Angelina has decided to initiate divorce...

Employers warned that they could be missing out on top staff

Alexandra Dean
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The employer advice group ACAS, has suggested that negative attitudes towards visible tattoos are outdated and could be causing employers to miss out on top staff by rejecting candidates with tattoos. A Yougov poll in 2015 suggested that nearly a fifth of...

Company bosses to be aware of proposed new laws for failure to prevent fraud

Spencer Davis
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Under proposed new laws, company bosses could be prosecuted for failing to stop their employees committing fraud. Prime Minister Theresa May has vowed to tackle corporate crime. The government propose to extend the existing legislation by making employers...

Rail Operators will soon be subject to the Consumer Rights

Spencer Davis
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The government has announced that from the 1 October 2016, the CRA 2015 will apply in full to all transport services. This will include mainline passenger rail services. Therefore, all rail operators (including those with the EU Rail Licence) will be...

UK housing market settles after post-Brexit uncertainty

Spencer Davis
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The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) says that house sales and prices are expected to rise in the coming months, despite fears of stagnation as a result of the vote to leave the European Union. The immediate aftermath of Brexit saw a sharp...

Felsted School hosts Lord's Taverners Cricket Festival for disadvantaged youngsters

Spencer Davis
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Pakistan international bowler Saeed Ajmal passed on his top tips to youngsters on the  Lord’s Taverners  Wicketz Programme which was hosted at  Felsted School  near Great Dunmow last week. Off-spinner Ajmal, who played 35 tests and...

​Government incentive to boost apprenticeships

Alexandra Dean
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The Government is to offer a £2,000 levy to businesses that take on teenagers, care leavers and those with special educational needs as apprentices. Under the plans, small businesses will be subsidised with 90% of the costs of providing...

Sexual Harrassment at Work

Alexandra Dean
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A survey undertaken by the BBC suggests that more than half of women say that they have been sexually harassed at work. To some extremes, parcels containing sex toys left at a work desk by a male colleague, a senior boss telling an employee that he wanted...

The UK housing market paused?

Spencer Davis
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In a recent Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) survey they reported house price rises slowed significantly in the three months to the end of July. The surveyors said new buyer inquiries, home sales and new instructions all fell over the period....

Your own private island hideaway...

Spencer Davis
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On September 27th you will have the opportunity to bid for a ‘hideaway retreat’ on your very own private island! Osier Island is only accessible by boat, but once there you will be immersed into a wonderful wildlife haven.  Osier...

Mother of 3 awarded property as the price her ex has to pay for refusing to marry her.

Steven Payne
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An article in the Daily Mail on line on 19 July 2016 reports on how a judge ruled that an un-married father of 3 should let the mother of his children keep the house that he bought in her name as the price he had to pay for denying her the financial security...

UK Unemployment rate has fallen to 4.9%

Alexandra Dean
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According to the  Office for National Statistics  (ONS), the UK’s unemployment rate has fallen to 1.65 million in the March-to-May period. This is down 54,000 from the previous quarter. The number of people in work rose by 176,000, with the...

Solar rooftop threatened with massive business rates hike

Edward Worthy
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In a recent  Farmers Weekly  article by Suzie Horne it is reported farm rooftop solar installations could be hit by a six-to-eight-fold hike in business rates from next April if government plans go ahead. Most at risk are projects where the...

Why everyone should make a Will and consider funeral arrangements

Lisa Carter
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One of the few certainties in life is death. None of us like to think about our own passing, but failure to do so can create difficulties for those we leave behind.Despite the uncomfortable reality that death comes to us all, of the 51 million adults living...

Not such a dozy idea after all...

Alexandra Dean
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The company that pays its staff to sleep Numerous studies have shown a correlation between sleep deprivation and poor employee performance in the office, with businesses facing the consequences that a lack of sleep has on productivity and...

Preventing common health problems in the workplace

Alexandra Dean
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British workers take, on average, more than four times as many sick days as in other Western European countries. This equates to nine days sick leave each year, resulting in an annual cost to UK employers of about £29 billion in lost...

Short-term slump in house prices predicted

Spencer Davis
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The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) predicts a drop in house prices over the next three months, which will be the first decline in the UK property market in over six years. It cites the upcoming EU referendum and the uncertainty that that...

The '40-year mortgage': a blessing or a curse?

Spencer Davis
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Traditionally, first-time buyers have bought mortgages carrying a term of 25 years, but with the ever-increasing difficulty to get onto the property ladder, sales of 30 to 40-year mortgages have shot up. Many see these longer-term mortgages as the only way...

House price growth continues to slow

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The rate of house price growth has slowed since March where we saw a 5.7% rise, with April seeing a rise of 4.9%, and May just 4.7%. Nationwide Building Society suggests that this is due to the stamp duty changes that came into force in March, leading to a...

Deepcut army barracks 'failed in duty of care' to recruits

Spencer Davis
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The coroner looking into the death of a young soldier at Deepcut army barracks has said that the barracks failed in its duty of care to young recruits. However, Coroner Brian Barker QC said there was no evidence Pte Cheryl James, 18, was unlawfully killed. ...

Acas urges firms to be more flexible during Euro 2016

Alexandra Dean
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The conciliation service Acas has said that firms should be flexible with staff during the Euro 2016 football tournament. A number of games in the tournament, which begins on 10 June, will be played in the daytime.  Acas has...

Former Commander of The Field Army is guest speaker at The Gepp Lecture

Spencer Davis
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This evening will see the fourth annual Gepp Lecture organised by  The Friends of Essex Churches Trus t. The lecture will be given by Lieutenant General Sir Barney White-Spunner KCB, CBE, former Commander of The Field Army and former...

Interest in buying houses in April at its lowest level for eight years

Spencer Davis
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Across the UK in April surveyors saw the lowest number of new enquiries into purchases since August 2008.  The number of new enquiries fell most dramatically in London, with nine other regions in the UK following suit. Enquiries did, however, rise in...

Parent wins term time holiday case at High Court

Spencer Davis
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A father who refused to pay a £120 fine for taking his daughter on an unauthorised term-time holiday, has today won his case at the High Court. The court's decision is likely to redefine the way the law is applied in England. When the case...

How companies get caught in the slave trade

Alexandra Dean
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The recent conviction of a UK business owner for a human trafficking offence has been a wake-up call to big businesses to carefully monitor their supply chain, if they are to avoid being connected to slave labour unwittingly. But with the requirements of...

Business Secretary to put forward proposals to ensure restaurant tips go to individual staff members

Spencer Davis
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Sajid Javid, the Business Secretary, has said that restaurant tips should go to the individual workers, and not be deducted by their employers to make up pay. Proposals have been announced that attempt to limit these employer deductions, with a consultation...

How to fly drones safely and legally

Edward Worthy
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Technology has become an increasingly important part of modern farming. The latest innovation comes in the form of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), known as drones. Drones are enabling farmers to fine-tune chemical and fertiliser application plans, and the...

The impact of Brexit on agriculture and the rural economy

Edward Worthy
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On Wednesday, the  Essex Agricultural Society  hosted an important rural question time at  Writtle College  on the facts behind the 'Brexit' debate and the impact on agriculture and the rural economy. The high profile panel...

Cuts to staff benefits

Spencer Davis
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Risk of cuts to staff benefits on the back of the National Living Wage In April 2015 the new National Living Wage came into force, increasing the national minimum hourly wage to £7.20 for all over-25s.  In the wake of this employers have been...

​SDLT changes from 1 April 2016

Marc Dorsett
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The chancellor's 2016 Budget was a concerted attack on the buy-to-let market. Whilst most of the headline news was already announced in 2015 the actual legislation wasn't available until Budget day. The first change will be noticed when purchasing a...

Employer held to dismiss employee by constructive unfair dismissal by writing to employee with concerns while on sick leave

Alexandra Dean
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In Private Medicine Intermediaries Ltd and others v Hodkinson UKEAT/0134/15, the Employment Appeal Tribunal ("EAT") considered whether an employee was constructively unfairly dismissed when her employer raised written concerns with her...

Changes to termination payments over £30,000

Spencer Davis
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"Chancellor George Osbourne has announced that from 2018, termination payments over £30,000 will be subject to employer's National Insurance contributions (under £30,000.00 is currently free of tax and National Insurance contributions...

Beware of new tax offences!

Lisa Carter
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The Finance Bill 2016 ("FB 2016") introduces three new criminal offences tackling tax evasion and avoidance Part 10 of the FB 2016 contains provisions for tackling tax avoidance and evasion, including three new criminal offences seeking to tackle...

Tribunal success declines with the increased fees

Spencer Davis
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Since the introduction in 2013 of fees of up to £1,200, tribunals saw an immediate decline in successful claims heard at tribunal. The Ministry of Justice published figures which show that only 6% of around 21,500 cases were successful at the end of...

Essex farmers frustrated by councils' planning stance on barn conversions

Edward Worthy
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Farmers and landowners in Essex are being frustrated in their attempts to convert old agricultural buildings to much-needed homes in the countryside. Recently published figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) reveal that...

Bungalows maybe a thing of the past

Spencer Davis
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The amount of bungalows being built in the England has reduced, despite the need for properties to accommodate the elderly. Bungalows appeal to those approaching retirement, and for those who struggle to climb stairs. Therefore they are a perfect choice for...

Eastern region's farmers facing an uncertain future without EU Referendum commitments

Edward Worthy
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The eastern region’s farm businesses and rural communities face an uncertain future if Ministers fail to instigate carefully considered, long-term plans upon the result of the European Union (EU) referendum, the CLA says. The organisation, which...

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 - The Effect on Commercial Organisations

Alexandra Dean
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Some commercial organisations may not be aware of the effect which the  new Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the 'Act')  will have on them. Section 54 of the Act now requires large organisations in the UK to produce a statement setting out what...

Companies countdown to new transparency regulations

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Companies are on a countdown to comply with new regulations around transparency of ownership. As part of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, unlisted UK companies and LLPs will have to identify those people with significant control over...

Probate fees to rise "astronomically" for those with the biggest estates

Lisa Carter
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Obtaining a Grant of Probate from the court to deal with a deceased's affairs has long been fixed at either £155 or £215, for any estate worth more than £5,000. The Ministry of Justice now wants to increase these fees to as much as...

The Supreme Court Has Sent Employers A Wake-Up Call on Vicarious Liability

Alexandra Dean
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The Supreme Court has ruled that Morrisons supermarket was vicariously liable for actions of a staff member who physically attacked a customer. According to court documents, Amjid Khan was working at a Morrisons petrol station in Birmingham in 2008 when he...

Concerns over roll-out of Coast Path

Edward Worthy
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The concerns of Suffolk and Essex farmers and landowners regarding the impact of the England Coast Path on their property and businesses were discussed at a CLA forum held today (26 February) at the Burness Parish Rooms in Melton, Suffolk. The event...

Bosses receive frost alert to manage bad weather risks

Alexandra Dean
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Employers are on frost alert, following the news that a home care worker has won her claim for damages after slipping on ice and breaking her wrist when visiting a client.  The ruling by the Supreme Court means that employers who expect staff to work...

A Partridge 'clocked' doing 54mph

Spencer Davis
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Actor and comedian Steve Coogan (AKA Alan Partridge) has been banned from driving for 28 days after he was clocked doing 54mph driving a Mazda MX-5 SE sports car in a 30mph zone. Mr Cogan who was not at the hearing had pleaded guilty to the...

JURORS BEWARE - YOU COULD FACE A PRISON SENTENCE FOR BEING FOUND IN CONTEMPT OF COURT

Spencer Davis
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Jurors should be aware of the new European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruling on the 11th February 2016. It was held that there was no violation of a person's Article 7 human right (no punishment without law) in respect of a conviction for contempt of...

The law on Joint Enterprise has been 'wrongly interpreted' for over 30 years

Spencer Davis
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The Supreme Court has today ruled that a key test imposed by judges in assessing guilt in joint enterprise cases has been wrongly interpreted since a 1984 judgment by the judicial committee of the Privy Council. Under the doctrine of joint enterprise, an...

What price divorce in the Workplace?

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There have been some interesting facts that have emerged recently from research about the impact of divorce and separation in the workplace. The impact of divorce or separation is painful for couples, their children, families and friends. It is often...

Employers face stricter controls on private internet monitoring

Alexandra Dean
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Recent news headlines have warned employees that social media chat and email conversations at work are open to being read by the boss, following a recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights. But experts say that the headline writers have missed the...

CLA calls on Ministers to complete Compulsory Purchase reform as HS2 law reaches milestone

Edward Worthy
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Ministers must complete reforms to make the compulsory purchase system fairer for rural businesses affected by the HS2 scheme says the CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses. This week the HS2 Select Committee, which has been hearing...

Finally presumed dead after 42 years!

Lisa Carter
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Lord Lucan is now presumed to be dead, a High Court judge has ruled. 42 years after the peer vanished a death certificate has finally been issues.  He was declared dead in 1999, despite hundreds of unverified sightings, but the new ruling gives...

Warning to private Landlords - new "right to rent checks" introduced

Michael Callaghan
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From the 1st February 2016, private landlords in England will need to ascertain whether prospective tenants or other authorised occupiers have the right to be in the UK when granting a tenancy. The procedure is known as "right to rent checks"....

Significant increase in buy-to-let loans ahead of tax changes

Marc Dorsett
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The first buy-to-let mortgages appeared on the market in the mid-1990s. Since then the sector has boomed. A shortage of housing and rising demand has pushed up house prices and rents, making the buy-to-let market, with its high potential returns, an...

Employers' new ability to snoop your personal messages during working hours.

Alexandra Dean
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Employers can now legally snoop through your private messages that you send via webmail accounts and online chat software, including Facebook Messenger, iMessage and WhatsApp if the device used is owned by your employer, EU judges this week ruled. The...

Why we recommend a full structural survey in residential purchases

Spencer Davis
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  • Author

A full structural survey is the most comprehensive type of building survey. A qualified surveyor will carry out a detailed structural survey of the property, examining all aspects of the building structure. Yet many people consider purchasing a property...

Floods push up agricultural insurance claims

Edward Worthy
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  • Author

This winter's heavy flooding in parts of Scotland, northern England and north-west Wales is thought to be the worst for several years. The disruption has hit the farming community particularly hard, with farmers expected to make insurance claims for more...

A major reform of the legal aid system in England and Wales has been scrapped, the justice secretary Michael Gove has announced.

Spencer Davis
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  • Author

Plans to slash the number of law firms allowed to do criminal legal aid work at police stations and magistrates' courts has been scrapped, following repeated protest from Lawyers claiming the reforms could damage quality and access to justice. Labour...

Divorce down as pre nups rise

Steven Payne
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  • Author

The first working day in January is commonly known as Divorce Day, when family lawyers receive more enquiries than at any other time of the year, but they are more likely to be faced with ‘silver splitters’ than young couples these days.  ...

Talking about droughts whilst many are underwater!

Edward Worthy
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  • Author

After struggling to cope with the heaviest rainfall on record,  Farmers Weekly  report that water companies are being urged to examine how they would cope with the worst drought for a century. The recommendation is contained in  Environment...

Don't trust the label - or better still DON'T drink and driving!

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

A  recent study  has found that wine actually contains more alcohol than manufacturers are putting on the label. The findings are not only worrying for health reasons but could be unwittingly putting drinkers over the drink-driving limit. ...

Don't trust the label - or better still DON'T drink and drive!

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

A  recent study  has found that wine actually contains more alcohol than manufacturers are putting on the label. The findings are not only worrying for health reasons but could be unwittingly putting drinkers over the drink-driving limit. ...

December Sees a Hike in House Prices

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House prices saw a 0.8% rise in December 2015, in contrast to a 0.1% rise in November of the same year.  Nationwide claims the rise in house prices matched average salary growth in 2015, and that similar predictions are being made for this year. Chief...

Record investment in UK commercial property markets

David Springett
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According to a recent article in  Property Wire  the next 12 months is set to be another year of strong returns for investors in the UK’s commercial property sector with investment volumes expected to be as strong as 2015 which was a record...

Lush threaten Amazon with release of revenge toiletries

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Mark Constantine, founder of cosmetics company Lush, has employed a rather novel tactic in order to give the online retail giant, Amazon, a taste of its own medicine.   Not satisfied with recently winning a High Court battle against Amazon over its...

Domestic abuse legislation tightened

Elizabeth Bradshaw
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A new law targeting domestic abusers, brought into force in England and Wales, follows a Home Office consultation in which 85% of participants said the existing law did not provide sufficient protection. Citizens Advice said it has supported more than 5,400...

Penalty clauses in Commercial Contracts now valid and enforceable

Spencer Davis
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  • Author

The Supreme Court recently considered a joint appealin the cases of Cavendish Square Holding BV v El Makdessi and ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67. Both cases involved commercial clauses which the claimants argued were penalty clauses....

5 of the most shocking farm crime stories of 2015

Edward Worthy
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  • Author

According to a recent article by  Farmers Weekly  farm crime has continued to dog the agriculture industry during 2015 with the National Rural Crime Network estimating the cost of such incidents could be as much as £800m. Topping the list...

Christmas often a tough time for children following divorce

Steven Payne
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  • Author

Child experts are clear that the most important factor in a child’s healthy development is the stable and healthy relationship of their parents. Yet the sad fact is that half of all children in Britain are no longer living with both parents by the time...

House sales down By 16,000

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

The number of homes sold in the UK fell sharply in November, according to the latest figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). This relates to completed sales dropping from 122,000 in October to 106,000 last month. However, in November the figures were...

Ten Year Anniversary!

Steven Payne
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  • Author

This December sees the ten year anniversary of the first Civil Partnership for gay people take place in the UK.  Since 2005 almost 140,000 people have entered into a civil partnership. The law has moved on since 2005 giving same sex couples the choice...

Tenants could see a 25% increase in their rent, surveyors have warne

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) the cost of renting could rise faster than house prices over the next five years. Simon Rubinsohn, Rics chief economist, blamed government moves to discourage buy-to-let landlords. "In...

Christmas caution on sharing personal information

Justin Emerson
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  • Author

Christmas Day has been the biggest day of the year for online and app downloads in recent years, as users set up the new devices they’ve received as presents, and 2015 is expected to maintain the tradition. Apple announced the billionth download from...

Safer roads this Christmas

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

According to Essex Police a total of 940 drivers have been breathalysed since the launch of their Christmas crackdown on drink and drug driving. Fifty two of those tested were found to be over the limit or refused or failed to provide a sample. A total of...

Penalty fines may increase for those using mobile phones whilst driving

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

The government is considering proposals to increase fixed penalty fines from £100 to £150, as well as increasing the number of penalty points drivers receive from three to four. The last increase occurred in 2013, when the fixed penalty for using...

Ministry of Justice error leads to divorce deals being threatened

Sarah Overy
  • Posted
  • Author

When dealing with divorce settlements, couples have been filling out faulty Ministry of Justice forms since April 2014, it has been discovered. Debts were not included in the calculations, potentially producing inflated and inaccurate figures.  Though...

The rising cost of "paupers' funerals"

Lisa Carter
  • Posted
  • Author

The number of 'public health funerals' has risen by 11% in the past four years, according to a Freedom of Information request by the BBC. This 11% hike has by consequence seen a 30% increase in cost to local councils in holding these funerals,...

Company Law Reform - SBEEA 2015 will affect all companies regardless of size

Spencer Davis
  • Posted
  • Author

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 ('SBEEA') received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015. The name of the act is very misleading as most Directors and Shareholders may assume that they will not be affected as they are not part of a...

Why does England have so many empty homes?

Spencer Davis
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Despite ongoing coverage of the shortage in available housing stock,  there are reported to be 610,123 empty homes in England . Of these, 205,821 have been unoccupied for six months or more. Although it sounds counterintuitive, investors who leave...

MPs call for a 20% tax on sugary drinks

Spencer Davis
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The Commons' Health Select Committee has said there is "compelling evidence" a tax would reduce sugar consumption and help in the battle against child obesity in England. The  Committee's report , which acknowledges that no single...

Equal Pay Day

Alexandra Dean
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Although from the title of this article you may believe that 'Equal Pay Day' sounds like a day to be celebrated, it is actually the day on which men (on average) have already earned what a woman will earn (on average) in a year. From the 9th November...

'Most Active Law Firm' award goes to...

Steven Payne
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With a gathering of almost 70 prestigious law firms the competition was high at this year’s  LawNet  awards. A very pleased  Steven Payne , Managing Partner of Gepp & Sons collected the coveted award for the ‘Most Active Law...

Landlords lose and whiplash gets cracked in Osborne's autumn budget

Marc Dorsett
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Backtracking on the contentious cuts to Working Tax Credits caught the headlines when Chancellor George Osborne delivered his Autumn Budget statement, alongside a boost to building and good news for first time buyers. The Chancellor announced the allocation...

Mandatory payments imposed on convicted defendants should be abolished, say MPs

Elizabeth Bradshaw
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MPs on the parliamentary justice select committee have raised concerns about the criminal courts charge, calling for its abolition 'as soon as possible'. Since April 2015, convicted criminals in England and Wales have had to pay a charge, which is...

Another highly successful legal debate sees KEGS retain the silverware.

Spencer Davis
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This year's debate took place at Anglia Ruskin University.  Gepp & Sons were delighted to welcome a host of distinguished members of our community including the Deputy Mayor of Chelmsford, the Lord Lieutenant Lord Petre, the High Sheriff...

This House would raise the legal age of criminal intent from 10 to 14.

Spencer Davis
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There are only seven more days to go before the annual ‘ Gepp & Sons Schools Legal Debate ’. On Wednesday the 18th eight schools from across the county of Essex will be going head to head at  Anglia Ruskin University ,...

England coast path rolled out in the East

Edward Worthy
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In a recent article published by the CLA, Natural England is currently working on a number of stretches of the England Coast Path in the eastern region. In Essex, Natural England has begun to investigate coastal access around Mersea Island, and between...

Women in the Boardroom

Alexandra Dean
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The end of October saw the publication of the Davies report of 'Women on Boards.' Though the number of women on boards has almost doubled since the beginning of 2010, the report recommends that now a third of all boardroom positions should be given...

New thresholds for bankruptcy petitions

Justin Emerson
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On 1 October 2015, the threshold debt needed for creditors' bankruptcy petitions was raised. On the above date the Insolvency Act 1986 (Amendment) Order 2015 amends section 267(4) of the Insolvency Act 1986. The effect of this is that the threshold debt...

Longer farm tenancies?

Edward Worthy
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DEFRA minister  George Eustice  has called for longer farmland tenancies, stating that in doing so would encourage more people into the industry. Landowners should be encouraged to let out more of their land for longer periods (for farming)...

Growth in UK house prices sped up in the year to October

Spencer Davis
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According to the  BBC  the country's largest lender, the Halifax announced house prices rose in October by 1.1%, this follows a decline of 0.9% in the previous month. This increase has brought the average price for a flat or house...

Working time for mobile workers with no fixed workplace

Alexandra Dean
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Companies wanting to exploit the current trend of moving from office-based businesses to more mobile ones will need to take a recent ECJ decision into consideration before changing their approach. The ECJ held that the time spent by workers, who do not have...

HR involvement in disciplinary investigations

Alexandra Dean
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Businesses will welcome helpful guidelines provided by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) on how much involvement and influence HR should have in disciplinary investigations. What is crucial is that HR limits advice to questions of law, procedure and...

Assured shorthold tenancies: changes to section 21 notices

Justin Emerson
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Landlords should be made aware of changes to the section 21 notice procedure that came into force on 1 October 2015. They place further restrictions on when a landlord can serve and enforce a section 21 notice in relation to residential properties let on...

Data protection and direct marketing

Justin Emerson
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Businesses that use and rely on third party marketing lists should take note of a First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) decision relating to breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003. The tribunal upheld the Information...

Sanctions for copyright infringement

Justin Emerson
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Two recent cases provide warnings to businesses on the sanctions that can be imposed for copyright infringement: In the first case, the High Court passed a 28-day custodial sentence suspended for 12 months on a nightclub owner for copyright infringement....

Property prices help fuel family inheritance court battles

Spencer Davis
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Rising property prices are helping to fuel increased numbers of inheritance disputes reaching the courts, with second marriages another major contributory factor. Such challenges are no longer the preserve of the wealthy, although they continue to feature...

Doctrine of Joint Enterprise comes under scrutiny

Elizabeth Bradshaw
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The Supreme Court is hearing two appeals in cases where convictions were gained under the doctrine of Joint Enterprise, which allows several people to be charged with the same offence, even though they may have played very different roles. Ameen Jogee and...

Health and Safety: The CDM Regulations 2015

Spencer Davis
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Changes to the CDM Regulations are likely to affect the work of any person who is involved in the supervision of contractors in construction work. The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015  (SI 2015/51) came into force on 6th April...

Gang jailed for series of power tool raids on farms

Spencer Davis
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Four men who targeted farm outbuildings in Wales, stealing thousands of pounds have been caught and put behind bars. Speaking after sentencing, detective chief inspector Neil Harrison, of North Wales Police, told the Daily Post that the group was...

Farmers must display EU billboards under new Stewardship rules

Edward Worthy
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Under the Government's new Countryside Stewardship scheme, which comes into force on 1 January 2016, farmers will be expected to erect EU billboards on their land. The new rule is contained in  section 8.4 of the Government’s latest...

Sunday Trading Laws

Spencer Davis
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David Cameron has stated that the current Sunday trading hours do not work and has backed changes to the rules, despite opposition from many of is own MPs. Sunday trading laws currently do not allow large shops to open longer than six hours. The Prime...

Three families - one King

Spencer Davis
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‘The Only Way Is Tudors’ As promised, David Starkey most certainly did take us all on a white knuckle ride through Tudor Essex last Friday evening. Focussing on three dynasties, the De Vere, Petre and Marney families, David spoke with passion...

Parent wins term time fine victory

Spencer Davis
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A father who refused to pay a fine for taking his daughter to Disney World in Florida during term time has had the punishment overturned.   Jon Platt, from the Isle of Wight, was taken to court after refusing to pay the £120 fine for taking his...

The north-south divide returns

Spencer Davis
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Latest figures from the Land Registry support the north-south house price divide, suggesting the gap to be widening aggressively. From January to August this year, house prices in Wales, the North East and North West of England rose by less than 1%. This...

Courts move towards higher tariffs on health and safety breaches

Spencer Davis
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Two high profile health and safety court rulings have caught the headlines this month, but the penalties imposed reflect the expected shift towards higher tariffs and businesses need to sit up and take notice say experts. First, fashion retailer Hugo Boss...

MP says couples should be allowed to apply for 'no fault divorce'

Steven Payne
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On Tuesday 13th October a controversial amendment to Family Law was proposed in the House of Commons by Richard Bacon, the South Norfolk MP. Speaking in the Commons, he said: "I propose one simple amendment to the law - the option of divorce without...

The high cost of rural crime

Edward Worthy
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Rural crime in England and Wales costs more than £800 million a year, according to a survey carried out by the  National Rural Crime Network  (NRCN). This is twenty-one times more than previous estimates suggest. The figure is calculated by...

Economic recovery gives rise to surge in wages

Spencer Davis
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Low unemployment and competition for best workers means companies are being forced to pay higher wages. Salaries are up this year by 2.9% nationally. For professionals such as accountants, IT staff and marketing executives it is even higher at 5.7%, and for...

Crack down on cold-calling

Spencer Davis
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Last year more than 180,000 complaints were received by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) regarding “cold calls.” The most common cold calls regard payment protection insurance (PPI) and accident claims, but the scope of such...

Junior doctors could strike over proposed contracts

Spencer Davis
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Junior doctors in England have voted to ballot for strike action over new contracts which they say could see their pay cut by 30 per cent. The British Medical Association (BMA) junior doctors committee said the ballot is being held because the Government...

Consumer Rights Act 2015: Remedies

Justin Emerson
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This article seeks to explore the remedies available to consumers under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which came into force in October this year. The CRA sets out the remedies to consumers in a tiered approach. It is expected that this simplified procedure...

All sorts of denim...

Spencer Davis
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Staff at Gepp & Sons relaxed their usual smart image last week to help raise money for Jeans for Genes day. All monies raised by the many thousands of participating businesses around the country help fund a range of initiatives that...

160 alleged crimes reported at schools per day

Spencer Davis
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According to a report published by the  BBC  more than 30,000 alleged crimes linked to schools were reported to police in 2014. This is equivalent to 160 allegations per school day. Theft, burglary or robbery were the most common offence, with...

The RSPCA could lose its power to prosecute

Elizabeth Bradshaw
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The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee is due to launch a parliamentary inquiry into whether the RSPCA should be allowed to both investigate and prosecute cases of animal cruelty. Founded in 1824, the RSPCA is thought to be the first...

Is there a shortage of jobs or a shortage of people to do them?

Alexandra Dean
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A record number of people in the UK are in employment, and immigration from the EU is also at a record level. There would appear to be little evidence to suggest that there is currently a shortage of jobs. The latest  Labour Market Statistics...

Dairy farmers asked to engage with migrant labour survey

Edward Worthy
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Dairy farmers are being asked to take part in a survey on their use of migrant workers to help make a focal point their crucial role in the workforce.  The Royal Association for British Dairy Farmers  (RABDF) survey takes five minutes to complete...

'Million' new homes aim

Spencer Davis
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The government says it wants a million homes built in England by 2020, as the scale of the housing crisis is revealed in a BBC Inside Out investigation. The National Housing Federation estimated 974,000 homes were needed between 2011 and 2014. However this...

Most buoyant August for eight years

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Property prices in Greater London are now 9.7 per cent more expensive this August compared to this time last year. Usually the holiday month of August shows a slight down turn in activity with many would be buyers and sellers being away....

Police Prejudice Exposed In Stop-and-Search Figures

Peter Butterfield
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New stop-and-search figures composed by The Independent have revealed the significant issue of ongoing police prejudice, despite concerted efforts to tackle the problem. The Independent collated data from 39 police forces across the country. The result of...

Buy to let loan interest restrictions

Marc Dorsett
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During the Chancellor's Summer Budget 2015 he made the announcement for plans to restrict the tax relief given to landlords for their finance costs. The decision was stated to have been made in order to remove the tax benefit available to a landlord but...

Countdown to new consumer laws

Spencer Davis
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  • Author

Businesses have until 1st October to get ready for new consumer rights and dispute resolution procedures Consumers have new rights from October, including a 30-day period to claim a full refund on faulty goods and, for the first time, protections on...

Travel time pay ruling will have significant implications

Alexandra Dean
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The European Court of Justice has ruled that time spent travelling to and from first and last appointments by workers without a fixed office should be regarded as working time. The ruling is the latest in a series through European and UK courts reinforcing...

A law firm with a true pedigree...

Steven Payne
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Managing Partner  Steven Payne  was on duty this Bank Holiday as he judged ‘Best in Show’ at the  Essex Dog Day . The event set in the glorious grounds of Crix the Georgian mansion at Hatfield Peverel hosted thousands of...

Landlords must act to avoid ending up in hot water over heating supplies

Spencer Davis
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Landlords must comply with the introduction of individual metering and charging on communal heating and other forms of heat networks Landlords operating a communal heat supply have until December 31st to comply with regulations which introduce new...

Agricultural tax relief?

Spencer Davis
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Prior to April 2011, Agricultural Building Allowances were available on the cost of an agricultural building, allowing a tax deduction for the cost of the building over a number of years.  Following the abolition of the scheme, however, there is no...

Could the living wage be the 'death' of the care industry?

Alexandra Dean
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Under plans announced in the recent Budget, workers aged over 25 in the UK will be paid a minimum of £7.20 an hour from April 2016, rising to £9 by 2020. Four major care home providers have commented this could cost the care sector £1bn by...

Holiday pay sums are hot spot for employers

Alexandra Dean
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With the summer holiday season at its peak, employers have a hot-spot to watch out for back home, with the news that they must permit holiday entitlement to be carried over for up to 18 months if it has been unused due to sickness. It follows the decision...

It no laughing matter

Spencer Davis
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Lambeth Council has become the UK's first council to ban the use of nitrous oxide as a recreational drug. Also known as ‘laughing gas’, nitrous oxide has been linked to 17 fatalities between 2006 and 2012. According to The Global Drug...

Do you, don't you?

Spencer Davis
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  • Author

Recent figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) report a 30% increase in home-owners remortgaging in to new deals ahead of any possible rise in interest rates. During June 31,600 households changed their mortgage deals, compared to 24,300...

Landlords could face up to five years in prison.

Spencer Davis
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  • Author

New proposals to be included in the upcoming Immigration Bill will state Landlords will be required to check a migrant's status in advance of agreeing a lease. Repeat offenders could face up to five years in prison. Again they will be able to end...

Dismissal kicks up a stink at the sewage works

Alexandra Dean
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  • Author

A worker who was dismissed after failing to follow new health and safety guidelines has won his claim for unfair dismissal in the Court of Appeal. And the decision is a warning to companies that it is not enough to issue new procedures and risk assessment...

15 quad bikes a week are being stolen from farms.

Spencer Davis
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According to a recent NFU survey, the most targeted items over the past 12 months were fuel, tools and quad bikes, which is the same as in 2013. In 2014, the NFU processed claims for 820 quad bikes, which equates to more than 15 being stolen every single...

Hot dates and hot data

Spencer Davis
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Reports that an extramarital dating site has been hacked recently may have given its customers more than the usual worry that accompanies news of cyber-crime. Following on the heels of many other high profile hacking cases, such as Sony in the United...

Essex Show Case for the Arts

Spencer Davis
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Budding young artists from Schools from across the county displayed ‘the best of the best’ at this week’s Show Case for the Arts. For a number of years Gepp and Sons have been pleased to support this and other art projects helping the youth...

Property owners win and lose in Osborne's first fully Tory budget

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Action towards a new living wage caught the headlines as Chancellor George Osborne delivered his first Budget statement under a Tory majority, alongside good news for families who want to pass on their property wealth to future generations. The Chancellor...

HMRC pays record £605,000 to Informants

Spencer Davis
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The amount of money paid to informants who inform on those who avoid tax has increased by 50% to a record high of £605,000. According to an article recently published in the Daily Telegraph 250 people a day are tipping off the authorities,...

No walk in the park...

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A team of six Gepp & Sons employees participated in this year's LawNet Challenge to climb Scafell Pike Mountain in the stunning Lake District National Park. The apparently innocuous hills and peaks were quite deceptive and proved to be a challenge...

Son working for 10p an hour inherits £1m

Lisa Carter
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James Davies, 54, dedicated his life to the £1million business after father Tom promised him: ‘One day all this will be yours’. But after his death it was revealed his will stated the farm should be split equally between Mr Davies and his...

THE 2015 GEPP LECTURE

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This years lecture will be given by Dr Rowan Williams (Lord Williams of Oystermouth), Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, on ‘HOW BUILDINGS TELL A STORY’. Refreshments will be served from 7.45 pm. All are welcome. No charge is made for...

Disciplinary procedure: business development briefing

Alexandra Dean
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  • Author

Why is it important to follow the Acas Code? It can avoid a finding of unfair dismissal The Acas Code was introduced to help businesses and employees deal effectively with issues of alleged misconduct or poor performance. When deciding whether an employee...

Taking stock of UK and overseas property

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Capital Gains Tax (CGT) has been extended to non-UK residents selling UK residential property and as the tax will be calculated on the gain made after 5th April 2015, owners need to record the value of the property and its general condition now, so they have...

Nailing down agreements on divorce

Steven Payne
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  • Author

Kathleen Wyatt has been granted permission to lodge a belated claim against multi-millionaire Dale Vince, who made his fortune through a green energy company founded in the 1990s, which is said to be worth £57m. The couple met and married in 1981 and...

Gepps lift the trophy!

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Partner Michael Callaghan led a team of Gepps finest lawyers beating a number of prestigious barristers chambers as well as many other regional law firms. Will it be third time luck next year?...

Abusive email puts employer on the spot

Alexandra Dean
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  • Author

The email was sent to 48 year old James Allen, a former serviceman from Devon, who was described in the letter as ‘an old, aesthetically challenged guy with no teeth’. Written by the company director of a window and conservatory manufacturer,...

Battle of forms highlights a hard truth for company contracts

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The ruling from the High Court has said that neither company made enough efforts to deliver up their terms and conditions to the other side, leaving both without a leg to stand on in a dispute over a supply of rubber gaskets. The dispute arose between...

Osborne puts inheritance tax under the spotlight

Lisa Carter
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The Chancellor announced that the UK economy grew 2.6% in 2014, faster than any other advanced economy but lower than the 3% that he predicted in December. He also reported record levels of employment and trade deficit figures that are "the best for 15...

A Civil Marriage...

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This can be undertaken by a simple service in a Registry office or in a ceremony conducted by a Registrar. Upon conversion the married couple will receive a back dated marriage certificate similar to a conventional certificate. The date of the civil...

£337 million divorce settlement...

Steven Payne
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  • Author

Sir Chris Hohn, 48, and 49-year-old Jamie Cooper-Hohn had fought over who should get what in one of the biggest divorce fights seen in an English court. He said she should get a quarter of his wealth, but she had argued she should get half because the...

Talking it out can save the children

Steven Payne
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  • Author

According to the research, published by the Marriage Foundation, one in three children under the age of 15 woke up with just one parent on Christmas morning.  Alongside, are many more families where couples will have ‘held it together’ for...

More parents can ask for time off from next month

Alexandra Dean
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  • Author

And as the deadline looms, businesses are being warned to make sure they’re prepared, or risk claims for discrimination by fathers seeking to share the time with their newborn. Paid Shared Parental Leave is a new right available to parents...

Secrets in Switzerland lead to big penalty bill

Lisa Carter
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  • Author

The case, the first to test the position in court, is a warning to anyone who fails to come up with the facts when asked questions by those handling the estate of someone who has died. When Clayton Hutching’s father died, he left an estate of farm...

A seven year high!

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With lower interest rates and purchaser initiatives such as the Help to Buy scheme, first-time buyers found houses and flats more affordable in the last year, despite rising prices An estimated 326,500 people purchased their first home last year - a rise of...

Be careful if you're leaving employees lonely this Christmas

Alexandra Dean
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  • Author

It comes after convenience store operator McColl was fined £150,000 for failing to protect its staff during a series of store robberies in Merseyside. The case was brought by Wirral Council, who argued that the company’s “failure to carry...

Relationship Christmas blues

Steven Payne
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  • Author

The pace of modern life is such that families spend little time together, one occasion when they do is Christmas. Many couples experience additional stress, be it emotional and/or financial, so much so matters often come to a head and boil over. Before...

£300 per week less for ZERO HOUR workers

Alexandra Dean
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  • Author

Average weekly earnings for zero-hour workers are £188, compared with £479 for permanent. The article based its report on unpublished data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS has estimated there are 1.4 million contracts with...

Osborne headlines on stamp duty but disappoints on inheritance tax

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Highlighting that the UK is currently the fastest growing economy in the G7, the Chancellor announced an improved economic growth forecast for 2014, increased to 3% from the 2.7% predicted in March, and against a backdrop of 500,000 new jobs created this...

Great news for the Schools Food and Farming Day...

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The  Essex Agricultural Society  have been awarded the first prize of £750.00 in the recent Chelmsford Grant Awards. This award will go a long way to help finance the annual Schools Food and Farming Day held at Writtle Agricultural College. ...

A Better Way For Separated Families And Children

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If you are in that situation help is available if you and your partner want to resolve matters. The options available in conjunction with legal advice include  mediation . This is helpful and gives people the time and space to enable them to reach...

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). Budget News!

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As of December 4th 2014 there will be a major shake-up in the way Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is calculated. Further details of the changes hot from the Chancellor's Autumn Statement can be found  here ...

Passions were high as schools battled it out at the annual Gepp and Sons Schools Legal Debate

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Sixth form students from, Anglo European School, Brentwood School, Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School, Felsted School, Great Baddow High School, King Edward VI Grammar School, New Hall School and William De Ferrers School debated on the emotive...

Holiday Pay Ruling

Alexandra Dean
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  • Author

Historically, many employers have paid workers holiday pay on 'basic pay' only excluding non-guaranteed overtime payments.  That is overtime payments that workers are not guaranteed, but if requested must work. In  the case of AMEC v Law...

Shift work dulls your brain

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The article went on to report that a decade of shifts could age the brain by more than six years. Apparently there was some recovery after people stopped working antisocial shifts, but it took five years to return to normal. The above is not legal advice;...

Tribunal decision shakes up personal use of office email

Alexandra Dean
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  • Author

An employee has failed in an attempt to have the content of personal messages he sent from his work email account excluded from a disciplinary investigation.  The messages were discovered during an investigation into Mr Atkinson, the former director of...

What Businesses need to know under the new Consumer Contracts (Information Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013

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Relevant Contracts With the exception of certain specific contracts, which are either exempt or only partly covered by the CCR; the CCR’s apply to the following contracts for goods and/or services formed between a business and a consumer on or after...

Automatic pension enrolment: business briefing

Alexandra Dean
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  • Author

What is auto-enrolment? From a date after October 2012, businesses will be required to automatically enrol eligible “jobholders” in a pension scheme. A “jobholder” will include permanent, fixed-term and temporary employees, as well...

'This house would afford anonymity to defendants of sexual crimes'.

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The event is open to sixth form college students offering them a fun and educational insight into the legal system as well as giving them the opportunity to put their mooting skills to the test.  The event involves 8 teams who debate a specified legal...

Straight talking protects family business

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A businessman is facing a hearing in the Supreme Court to answer claims that he misrepresented the value of his company to cheat his ex-wife out of millions in their divorce settlement. When the Sharlands divorced after 17 years of marriage, Alison...

Consumers get more clout with new laws

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When the changes come into effect, the  Consumer Protection (Amendment) Regulations  will give consumers the right to unwind contracts, claim a discount or raise a claim for damages against businesses who have subjected them to misleading or...