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21 November 2019 Family Matters

Christmas is a magical time of the year for children. There is the anticipation of the presents they may receive, the relief of having a few weeks off school and the excitement of seeing friends and family. The hopes of what Christmas may bring are no different for the children of parents who have divorced or separated, yet lingering there in the background will be the worry of who they are going to spend Christmas with and whether the parent who misses out will be alright. To make sure your child has a wonderful and stress-free Christmas this year, Robert Bellhouse, family law expert with Ware & Kay Solicitors in York & Wetherby offers some useful tips to estranged parents trying to agree arrangements for their children over the festive period. 1. Plan ahead…
20 November 2019 Residential property

A Farm Business Tenancy is a contractual relationship which allows a tenant to rent land or buildings from a Landlord to run an agricultural business. But what provisions should a Farm Business Tenancy include to ensure it is legal and fit for purpose for both parties?  Hazel Anyon, Agricultural Property specialist at Pearsons & Ward Solicitors in Malton explains. Under the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995, a Farm Business Tenancy arises if it was granted on or after 1st September 1995 and land is used predominantly for agricultural purposes throughout the term of the tenancy. Whilst some terms are statutory and must apply, many terms of a Farm Business Tenancy can be negotiated between the Landlord and Tenant. The Act defines agriculture as including ‘horticulture, fruit growing, seed growing, dairy farming and livestock breeding and keeping…
18 November 2019 Employment advice

Bowls of fresh fruit and mindfulness sessions are becoming increasingly common in the workplace as employers try to promote the wellbeing of their staff. A successful wellbeing strategy can improve employee attendance and retention, as well as productivity.  It can also help shield you from compensation claims brought by employees for stress-related conditions which may be exacerbated by their work.  Gill Wilkinson, employment law expert with Pearsons & Ward in Malton sets out an employer’s legal obligations for employee wellbeing and suggests initiatives for you to adopt. Stress at work Employers are under an obligation to protect their employees from the risk of injury while at work, including the risk of injury to their mental health caused by the development of depression and anxiety as a result of work-related stress.  Where it can be shown that…
06 November 2019 Residential property

When many of us think about heritage properties, we think of buildings associated with our architectural past: a castle, stately home or elegant Georgian townhouse perhaps. But new developments, such as barn and warehouse conversions, may also be heritage properties if they are listed or in a conservation area. In this article, Philip Taylor, residential property expert with Pearsons & Ward in Malton looks at the different categories of heritage property and the implications for buyers who face the prospect of having to deal with the obligations that go hand in hand with owning a property of historical interest.  ‘If you are considering buying a listed building, a property in a conservation area or a property that appears in a local heritage asset list, then it is important that you speak to your solicitor at…
06 November 2019 Residential property

If you occupy land or buildings, then you will usually be under a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent anyone visiting you being killed or injured or suffering damage to their property.  You will also be under a duty not to do anything which may cause harm to your neighbours. The extent of the duties imposed on you will vary depending on the circumstances but where a breach of duty occurs the consequences could be serious, as Johanne Spittle, Head of Litigation with Ware & Kay in York & Wetherby explains.   ‘We live in a world where anyone who suffers damage or personal injury expects to be compensated’ says Johanne.  ‘This includes people who are lawfully on your property like employees and invited visitors, but also those who are there unlawfully like squatters…
05 November 2019 Employment advice

Employers should have a disciplinary process in place, but just following this may not be enough to avoid falling foul of the law and exposing yourself to the risk of an employment tribunal claim. Your procedures need to be fair and your decisions need to be justifiable. Gill Wilkinson, employment law expert with Pearsons & Ward in Malton offers employers six tips for the fair handling of disciplinary issues.  When to suspend an employee If an allegation of misconduct arises, suspending the accused employee should not be the default response. Instead, you should consider: the seriousness of the alleged misconduct and whether the employee’s behaviour could justify summary dismissal; the risks of further problems if the employee is allowed to remain in the workplace; and the possibility of interference with the investigation if they are…
23 October 2019 Firm updates

What job would you like to have other than your own? As I love what I do, I cannot really imagine doing anything else.  However, I do enjoy helping the younger members of the Firm, passing on my knowledge and experience so perhaps teaching was a route I could have chosen. Greatest Achievement? Getting to where I am now.  It has not always been easy juggling work with family life and I could not have done it without the support of my husband and children.  I do look back sometimes and wonder how I managed it! What makes you angry? These things irritate me rather than make me angry: Bad manners – there is no excuse for them. People not using their common sense – a little can go a long way in…
17 October 2019 Wills and estates

As farming families frequently rely on the natural succession of the farm, where ownership is passed down through the generations, every care must be taken to avoid a hefty inheritance tax bill. The first step is, of course, to ensure that you have a valid and up-to-date Will to ensure that the legal ownership of the land and business assets used in running the farm pass to your chosen relatives or other beneficiaries. In addition, your Will should be drafted smartly to ensure that it makes use of every available opportunity to ease inheritance tax liability – particularly with regard to the use of agricultural and/or business property reliefs. Another such measure that was only introduced in 2015 is the residence nil-rate band. Laura Carter, specialist agricultural Wills & Probate Solicitor at Pearsons & Ward…
15 October 2019 Firm updates

Pearsons & Ward Solicitors are delighted to have sponsored the 2019 Great Annual Michaelmas Show & Sale of Breeding Sheep at Malton Market on Friday 4th October.  Hazel Anyon, Agricultural Solicitor, Philip Taylor, Head of Residential Conveyancing at Malton and Emma Mennell, Paralegal, attended the event to present the Rosettes to the champions. The judge for the day was Richard Clifford, of Sledmere Farms. Hazel Anyon said, “Pearsons & Ward is committed to supporting local farmers and businesses in the area and the sponsorship of the Show is a great example of this”. Philip Taylor added, “This Show is a large event for the local community and we are delighted that Pearsons & Ward have been involved”. The results were: The R Farnell Memorial Trophy for the champion Suffolk Ram in the show was…
08 October 2019 Residential property

In the recent case of Stanning v Baldwin the Court was asked to consider a number of issues one of which as to whether the redevelopment of the Claimant’s property and construction of 4 houses would lead to an intensification of use of a right of way over land owned by the Defendants. The Claimant, Glynis Stanning, owned The Coach House, access to which was over an unsurfaced and unadopted track over Gerrards Cross Common near Slough, a local beauty spot registered as common land. The track was the sole means of vehicular access and the right of way arose by prescription. In 2017 the Claimant obtained planning permission to demolish the Coach House and to erect four terraced houses, with underground parking for nine cars and with access to continue over the track across…
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