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27 February 2020 Firm updates

Leading law firm Pearsons & Ward Solicitors, is proud to be supporting local rugby club  Malton & Norton RUFC by sponsoring the home match against Pocklington on Saturday 29th February, kick-off 2:15 pm. Pearsons & Ward (part of Ware & Kay Solicitors Ltd with offices in Malton, York & Wetherby) have enjoyed a strong working relationship with Malton & Norton Rugby Club for many years and are continuing to show their ongoing commitment by providing match-day sponsorship. William Browne Club Chairman of Malton & Norton RUFC said “We are really looking forward to welcoming the team from Pearsons & Ward along with guests to our home game against Pocklington on Saturday.  Our association with this local firm of Solicitors goes back to the founding of our club in 1953, and during those early years we…
20 February 2020 Wills and estates

Death and taxes eventually come to us all but for farming families succession planning can be particularly complex, given that agricultural businesses are held in a variety of ways and ownership can be split between the wider family. Emma Elwess, Director of Private Client Department at Pearsons & Ward Solicitors in Malton advocates taking a holistic approach to succession planning in the agricultural sector to ensure the family business can thrive and be passed down to the next generation. ‘When it comes to safeguarding the future livelihood of your family, it makes sense to be prudent and take as much advice as possible to ensure your affairs are in order. There are a number of different professionals, such as land agents, accountants, and agricultural lawyers who can work together on the best ways of structuring…
20 February 2020 Litigation

When relationships between business owners break down the impact on the business can be far reaching. In a family business, commercial problems can become complicated by unresolved resentments and issues that lie under the surface and once families fall, those problems can be difficult and expensive to resolve. Anecdotal evidence suggests that only 1 in 6 farming family businesses have a written partnership or shareholders’ agreement in place. It is no coincidence that we have seen an explosion of cases before the courts involving farming families who have failed to document how the business is to be run in terms of management, retirement and succession. One of the simplest ways of avoiding conflict in family owned businesses is to reach an agreement at the earliest possible stage about how the family will deal with matters which may arise in…
11 February 2020 Litigation

It is tempting for businesses to be reticent about taking action to recover a debt from a ‘longstanding customer’ particularly one that places a lot of orders with you. But these customers may be affecting your cash flow and putting your business at financial risk. Taking action sooner rather than later is important to the operation of your business and it can also stop your customers seeing you as a ‘soft touch’, paying other creditors before you because they are shouting louder. Effective Credit Control To help ensure your company runs smoothly and cost-effectively. The following steps will help you implement effective credit control: Issuing regular statements to your customers and chasing for payments by email, letter and in person. Making sure that you put procedures in place to avoid the risks…
28 January 2020 Commercial property

Where a business tenant has the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (often referred to as security of tenure), the landlord’s ability to get vacant possession of the property is limited.  A landlord who wants to redevelop must prove that they have a viable scheme and genuinely intend to carry it out.  A significant decision by the Supreme Court means that landlords will now need to seek legal advice much earlier in the process to give themselves the best chance of succeeding. ‘The 1954 Act aims to give business tenants long-term security while recognising that landlords need to be able to carry out redevelopment works to make the best of their property assets,’ says Andrew Little of Pearsons & Ward in Malton.  ‘The challenge for landlords is to prove that they have a…
24 January 2020 Employment advice

From 6th April 2020 an employee who loses a child under the age of 18, or suffers a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy, will be entitled to two weeks’ paid statutory leave to be taken in one block or as two separate blocks of a week. Employees must have at least 26 weeks’ service and meet minimum earnings criteria to be eligible. Statutory parental bereavement pay will be paid at the same rate as statutory paternity pay, i.e. £151.20 per week (from April 2020) or 90% of weekly earnings if lower. From 6th April 2020 an employee who loses a child under the age of 18, or suffers a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy, will be entitled to two weeks’ paid statutory leave to be taken in one block or as two separate blocks of a…
24 January 2020 Wills and estates

The government has increased the “statutory legacy” for partners of people who die intestate, from £250,000 to £270,000. Ministers said they would raise the amount partners can inherit, in line with the consumer price index, every five years. The amount was set at £250,000 in October 2014 and will be increased to £270,000 from 6 February this year; slightly beyond the initial deadline. Commenting on the imminent rise, Law Society President Simon Davies took the opportunity to stress the importance of an up-to-date will. “This increase is very welcome,” he said, “But many people are unaware that unmarried partners and close friends cannot inherit. Writing a legally valid will with the help of an expert solicitor ensures people’s estate is inherited exactly as they would choose.” For more information on Wills, Power of Attorney, Estates and…
16 January 2020 Family Matters

The end of a year and the beginning of a new one is often a time for reflection and resolutions for change. For many couples, this can include deciding that their marriage has come to an end and it is time to separate and get a divorce.  Indeed, the first working Monday of the new year is widely known in legal circles as ‘Divorce Day’, with lawyers seeing a large spike in divorce enquiries on this day as couples finally concede that their marriage has irretrievably broken down. Divorce is always unsettling as couples decide how to divide their property, sort their financial affairs and make arrangements for their children, but can be particularly complex where agricultural assets are concerned. So, what are the key things you need to know about a farming divorce? Juliet Walker…
15 January 2020 Family Matters

On 31 December 2019, new legislation made it legal for mixed-sex couples to enter into Civil Partnerships, an option that was previously only available to same-sex couples Civil partnerships afford couples the same financial and legal protections as marriage but offer an alternative for those who feel ‘traditional’ marriage isn’t quite right for them. Among the couples celebrating were Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, whose public battle for a civil partnership made it to the Supreme Court. The couple said that for them, a civil partnership felt more equal than a traditional marriage. They successfully argued that denying a straight couple the right to a civil partnership was discrimination and therefore “incompatible with their human rights.” Ahead of 31 December, hundreds of mixed-sex couples gave notice to enter civil partnerships but not without critics describing…
14 January 2020 Commercial property

Concerns about the impact of climate change are beginning to affect all areas of business including business premises, which are responsible for a significant proportion of the UK’s overall energy use.  The government has announced that it plans to tighten regulations on energy efficiency in rented property, requiring significant improvements by 2030.  Commercial landlords and business tenants will need to make sure their leases give energy efficiency a higher priority and set out who is responsible for energy efficiency measures and who will foot the bill. “Green leases are being gradually introduced in response to new legislation and a desire both by landlords and tenants to make energy savings,” says Andrew Little commercial property solicitor at our Malton office, “although it isn’t always clear exactly what a green lease is.  In simple terms, a green…
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