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The charity, Maternity Action, are demanding more protection for women who are expecting a child or have recently given birth following the publication of their recent report which states that one in twenty mothers are being made redundant during pregnancy, maternity leave or on return to work.

We are presently within an 8 – week ‘Call for Evidence’ raised by Sajid Javid, the Communities Secretary, for estate agents, lawyers and mortgage lenders to best advise the Government on making house buying “cheaper, faster and less stressful”. He is specifically looking for ideas on improving the conveyancing process in relation to ‘gazumping’, trust building, digital innovation and information gathering.

It is not uncommon for an individual to leave a charitable legacy in his or her Will. People often leave token amounts to charities or numerous charities which promote causes close to their hearts. However, it is uncommon, apart perhaps from those with a considerable wealth and philanthropic nature, to leave a legacy to charity which represents a substantial percentage of their estate. It is understandable that people want to ensure that their families or friends are provided for first, and will often consider charities as a second option, or in fact no option at all.

Last week saw the Charity Comission focus on fraud in the charity sector and, to coincide with Charity Fraud Awareness Week, the Commission updated its guidance in relation to protecting charities from fraud.

Speaking at the launch of Charity Fraud Awareness Week, Helen Stephenson, the Commission's new chief executive, warned that many instances of fraud within the sector currently go unreported and that this can have a “devastating” impact on voluntary organisations.

After acting for Evangelos Marinakis, owner of Greek footballing giant Olympiacos, on his acquisition of Nottingham Forest in May, I was fascinated to receive a very kind invitation to attend his Greek club’s joint conference with Harvard Business School in Athens in September.

A recent Court of Appeal judgment has found that a firm of solicitors were not negligent in failing to challenge a client’s decision not to pursue a particular part of their claim.

The Government has issued a press release informing that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has won a landmark tax avoidance case.  

The First-tier Tribunal decision was made against the tax consultancy firm Root2. Root2 operated a tax planning scheme which extracted profits from owner-managed companies as winnings from betting on the stock market. The scheme attempted to ensure that these winnings were tax free and not classed as taxable employment income.

For those whose estates will be subject to inheritance tax (IHT), the introduction of the new Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) is very welcome, if a little complicated.  If you haven’t heard of the RNRB, this is how it works:

·         if you own a property which has at some point been your residence; and

·         (in simplistic terms) you leave it to a direct descendant; then

·         your estate will benefit from an additional IHT allowance of £100k.  This will incrementally rise to £175k by April 6 2020

Social media is undoubtedly now very much a part of daily life and as family lawyers we have seen an increase in the influence Twitter, Facebook and Instagram is having on the breakdown of relationships and divorce proceedings.  For those in the sporting public eye this can lead to very personal matters being played out in front of millions of ‘followers’. 

Every autumn, thousands of political enthusiasts cram into conference halls and seaside towns up and down the country in order to hear the latest offerings of their beloved political party. This year was no different, and the speeches of those well-known senior party figures presented some interesting insights into the future of British employment.

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