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HMLR – digital registration service

May 2021 | Conveyancing

HMLR has announced that portal users can now use its new Digital Registration Service to submit HMLR applications online. This service replaces the e-DRS service. Firms must be an HMLR Business e-services customer to use the portal and the service – but it is free to sign up. The Digital Registration Service will make it …

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Home Office – modern slavery

May 2021 | Employment

On 11 March 2021, the Home Office launched an online modern slavery statement registry. Organisations are being strongly encouraged to submit their most recent statement to demonstrate their compliance publicly. In the future, it will be mandatory for organisations which are required to produce a statement under s54 Modern Slavery Act 2015 to submit their …

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Sentencing – directors’ disqualification

May 2021 | Crime

D’s eight-year disqualification under s2 Company Directors’ Disqualification Act 1986 for fraud was intended to be punitive and was appropriate and proportionate. D was appealing his convictions for fraud by abuse of position and fraudulent trading, and was sentenced to a prison term of six years and disqualified for eight years. He was an experienced …

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HMLR – more evidence for extension requests

May 2021 | Conveyancing

We reported in our February 2021 edition (p5) on HMLR’s announcement that, from 11 January 2021, firms will have an extra 40 days to reply to a request for information, compared with the previous policy of cancelling an application after 20 days. HMLR has reported a reduction in requests for extensions and cancellations but has …

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Estate accounts – record-keeping

May 2021 | Wills, probate and administration

Poor record-keeping, particularly in relation to estate administration, can lead to significant problems for executors and their advisers, an issue highlighted by the High Court in a recent case. A Part 8 claim arose out of a dispute between the claimant and her brother (D) involving two estates of which D was the executor. One …

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NMW – retention of records

May 2021 | Employment

Employment advisers should ensure that their clients are aware of a change introduced by the National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations 2021 which provides that, from 1 April 2021, employers must keep sufficient records for six years, rather than three years, to show that they paid workers the applicable national minimum wage (NMW) at the relevant …

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Homebuyers – government schemes

May 2021 | Conveyancing

In addition to coping with the pressures resulting from the SDLT holiday, conveyancers will need to become familiar with new schemes introduced by the government. A new government-backed mortgage scheme comes into effect on 19 April 2021. It is described as a ‘mortgage guarantee scheme’ and aims to help people with a 5% deposit get …

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Sexual offences – children

May 2021 | Crime

What is the correct approach to sentencing offences against children under the SOA 2003, when no sexual activity took place, eg because the child is a fiction, or D failed to persuade the child to engage in sexual activity or was thwarted in his attempts? This was the focus in an appeal in which six …

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Digital disclosure – guidance

May 2021 | Crime

A high proportion of criminal cases contain large volumes of digital data. The publication of newly updated disclosure guidelines from the AG’s office is to be welcomed – particularly in view of recent events. The guidance, last updated back in 2013, makes clear that digital devices should not be obtained by investigators or prosecutors ‘as …

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SRA – compliance and Covid

May 2021 | Conduct, practice and risk management

We reported early in the pandemic in our May 2020 edition (p3) on the SRA’s helpful guidance on how to comply with circumstances that might arise as a result of the disruption caused by Covid-19. A major and continuing challenge relates to home working. The SRA has updated its guidance and it should be required …

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