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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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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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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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Financial remedies – disclosure

May 2021 | Family

Knowles J described the Akhmedova case as one of the unhappiest ever to have appeared in her courtroom. In what proved to be a high-profile, big-money divorce, the case culminated in W being awarded a settlement of a staggering £453m – but it was complex and long-running, as these cases invariably are. W successfully argued …

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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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Procedure – public law

May 2021 | Family

Practitioners should note that amendments have been made to standard public law orders. These give effect to recommendations of the Public Law Working Group and reflect the president’s guidance on the form of orders in children’s cases (17 June 2019). Order 8.2, for instance, now includes general provisions including identification of the allocated judge. All …

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Commercial rent arrears – successful claim

May 2021 | Landlord and tenant – commercial

The first case involving T’s liability to pay rent during Covid-19 has been heard. It will no doubt cause concern to commercial Ts faced with the devastating impact that the Covid-19 situation has had on the commercial property sector, particularly in retail. The almost overnight closure of thousands of retail outlets led to a catastrophic …

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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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Fire evacuation – misconduct

May 2021 | Employment

The Costa coffee chain has found itself in hot water when facing a claim for unfair dismissal from a manager at a store in Edinburgh. Among the usual requirements, Costa’s fire and evacuation procedures required that anyone evacuating does not stop to collect personal belongings. The claimant (who had undergone Costa’s basic fire safety training) …

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