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Jonathan Chadwick
 

The changing legal landscape for charities

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Charities are facing a changing legal landscape and are under increasing scrutiny from law makers and the media alike. Relatively recent, high profile scandals – such as the closure of Kids Company and allegations of pressurised fundraising tactics...

Interest rate swap mis-selling compensation 'slower than expected'

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The FCA has, over the past 12 months, highlighted their concerns over the sale of complex Interest Rate Hedging products to tens of thousands of small to medium sized businesses who were "non sophisticated customers"....

LinkedIn - who owns what?

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Who has ownership of the contacts relating to an employee’s profile has been the subject of a legal argument over the last few months. The case of Whitmar Publications Limited v Gamage has recently focused on this issue. In this case, Whitmar...

Sign on the dotted line...

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If you are entering into an agreement with multiple guarantors ensure that they all sign the document. In the recent case of Harvey v Dunbar Assets PLC the Court unanimously rejected the enforcement of a multiple guarantor agreement on the basis that one of...

Recycling fires - a hot topic

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Another blaze at a waste facility hit the headlines recently. The fire was at a Stockport recycling plant where bales of recycled material were stored before transfer to energy plants in Europe. The fire required a huge effort by Greater Manchester Fire and...

Bankruptcy tourism - a matter of public interest

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“Bankruptcy tourism” has become a familiar phrase. The trend for individuals from outside the UK to utilise the court system here to benefit from a more lenient bankruptcy regime has been well documented in the press. The trend continues...

Banks face further mis-selling claims over credit/debit card fraud insurance

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Millions of customers who have been mis-sold credit/debit card theft insurance are in line for compensation payments from a £1billion fund which has been set up. The fund relates to customers of HSBC, Barclays, Santander, Natwest and Nationwide (note...

Interest rates hedging - how to tell if you are a 'sophisticated customer'

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A sophisticated customer is a type of customer who is deemed to have sufficient investing experience and knowledge to weigh up the costs and benefits of an investment opportunity. In relation to hedging, this means that the sophisticated customer will have...

Banks are delaying interest rate hedging claims

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Vince Cable has criticised lenders for stalling on compensation payouts to thousands of businesses mis-sold risky interest rate swap products . It emerged in June that only a handful of businesses have received compensation almost a year after banks were...

Unlock the secret to resolving construction disputes

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Adjudication is often the preferred method to resolving construction industry disputes and in many cases is now required in construction contracts to help avoid the possibility of lengthy business interruptions. Construction disputes can arise due to...

Time is running out for interest rate hedging claims

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Thousands of businesses face being unable to bring claims against the banks through the courts for alleged mis-selling of hedging products and other complicated derivatives due to statutory provisions that prevent the bringing of claims outside of certain...

Two brokers charged over LIBOR conspiracy

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It has been reported that the Serious Fraud Office has charged two brokers with conspiracy to defraud as it continues with its criminal investigation into the alleged rigging of the LIBOR rates. This follows in the wake of the fines levied upon Barclays...

HMRC winding up petitions decrease

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It has been reported that the number of winding up petitions issued by HMRC has decreased by 42% over the last year to reach its lowest figure in 5 years. HMRC seemingly prefer to seize the assets of a business and sell these to recoup outstanding payments....

Good news for landlords with dilapidations claims

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In this difficult market many landlords who recover possession of a property with substantial dilapidations have to think carefully before simply carrying out extensive repair works. Particularly where funds are limited. Indeed it is more common for...

More deposit nightmares

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Now three years after the introduction of tenancy deposit schemes and just over 12 months after the most recent changes came into effect, tenancy deposits are set to cause more trouble for landlords. The recent Court of Appeal decision in the case of...

Buy to lets still make sense

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Research recently provided by the HSBC bank shows that rental properties can still in some areas provide yields of 7.82%. Three of the top 10 buy to let hotspots are in the north, including Blackpool, Manchester, and Liverpool. This is positive news for buy...

Consultation relief for landlords

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A landlord’s requirement to consult leaseholders about major service charge works has always been a difficult area for landlords. A small error in any stage of the consultation process could render the...

On our way back up?

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The rate of business insolvencies has fallen in January 2013 to its lowest rate since June 2007 according to figures from Experian’s Insolvency Index. It is also reported that personal insolvencies have dropped by over 13% over the past...

Banking reforms debated in Parliament following LIBOR and interest rate swap scandals

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The Banking Reform Bill is being debated in Parliament today. The Bill was implemented in the wake of the LIBOR rigging scandal and the interest rate swap (IRS) mis-selling which has affected thousands of businesses in the UK. ...

Get your house in order!

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A press release from the OFT today details its findings following a review of the pay day loan market and its providers. As a result of those findings 50 payday lenders are being given 12 weeks to clean up their business practices or they risk...

Insolvency and suppliers, demand and supply

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It has been reported that the government is backing the insolvency profession by creating proposals to prevent suppliers holding struggling business to ransom. Suppliers such as utility providers can terminate a contract where a business enters...

Tenancy deposits - information is the key

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Any landlord who takes deposits from tenants will be familiar with the need to protect the deposit in one of the approved tenant deposit schemes. Most landlords are aware of the strict requirements to protect the deposit within 28 days of...

Winter weather warning for landlords

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At this time of year landlord’s properties are at risk of dampness, condensation and mould. This creates risk both to landlord’s properties and to landlord’s personally who may face action for disrepair from tenants....

Top tips for successful rent recovery

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1. Do your research – the information you obtain on the tenants before the tenants even pick up the keys is important. What is the tenant’s work, what is the tenant’s previous rental history, how is the tenant paying the rent?...

Full review of interest rate swap mis-selling to get underway

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A major report by the Financial Service Authority which was published last week has confirmed that four of the major banks will start to review sales of interest rate swap schemes (IRSA) on an individual basis. If they are found to be at...

The Law Society Gazette reports small/medium sized law firms are facing financial squeeze

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Syscap reported that it has received 410 requests from law firms needing assistance to meet their tax liabilities which were due at the end of January. This is a staggering increase of 58% on the same period last year. They have also seen a...

Business distress

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R3 (Association of Business Recovery Professionals) has this week reported that there continues to be very little good news for small businesses as they experience higher levels of distress than their larger counterparts. ...

The endowment bubble

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Endowment mortgages were the choice of many in the late 1980s when they were sold as the perfect way to get on the property ladder, ensure your mortgage would be paid and provide you with a comfortable nest egg for your retirement. ...

1/4 of UK businesses affected by cashflow problems

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It has been reported in the Telegraph that businesses are struggling to pay debts and cash flow problems that could leave companies unable to fund any future recovery are affecting 1 in 4 small businesses. The Telegraph reports that a...

Consultation on reform of the process to apply for bankruptcy and compulsory winding up - the results

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At the beginning of 2012, the Government’s consultation process was concluded in respect of the proposals to essentially remove the role of the Court from the bankruptcy petition and compulsory winding up process. ...

Winter of discontent?

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It has been reported that rising energy bills and late payments are putting small businesses at risk. A recent survey found that 85% of Forum of Private Business members reported an increase in energy costs and 54% have...

Red tape reduction welcomed

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Plans to reduce the amount of red tape that businesses must go through were announced this week as the Department for Business Innovation and Skills aims to help companies grow during the tough times. The planned...

Unfair finance rejections?

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The Forum of Private Business (FPB) states that if a small business feels its application for finance has been unfairly rejected it should take advantage of the appeals process. It has been reported that 49% of small business loan and overdraft...

Recession less deep than originally thought

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The Office for National Statistics has revised its figures for the UK economy, showing it contracted by 0.5% in the last quarter, not by 0.7% as was previously announced. What does this mean for UK businesses? Joe Grice...

New law risks downturn in the buy-to-let market

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As most buy-to-let landlords know, mortgages on buy-to-let properties are treated as commercial transactions. This means that the projected rental income from the property can be taken into account when applying for a buy-to-let mortgage....

Victory for commercial landlords?

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Commercial landlords could be excused for not knowing exactly where they stand with administrators. Do commercial landlords with tenants who enter into administration have to leave it to chance as to whether they will receive rent payments or...

Squatting is criminalised

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Landlords are often faced with the concern that their properties will be targeted by squatters when they are left unoccupied for a period of time. Up until April this year, anyone squatting in residential property could...

North West insolvencies on the decline

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The number of business insolvencies fell by 11% in the North West compared to last year’s figures. The statistics, from Experian, also showed that the South East saw the largest drop, with 20.7% fewer, while the...

Be fair - pay on time

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A leading business group is calling for the UK’s largest businesses to pay their smaller suppliers on time. The Forum of Private Business says larger businesses should lead the way when it comes to paying on time,...

A new challenge to hedging, swap and collar agreements

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Following the recent scandal over the manipulation of LIBOR rates by Barclays Bank, it has now come to light that this manipulation may have rendered thousands of interest rate hedging, interest rate swap and interest rate collar and cap...

Squatting is criminalised

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Landlords are often faced with the concern that their properties will be targeted by squatters when they are left unoccupied for a period of time. Up until last month anyone squatting in residential property could only...

Company voluntary arrangements - The impact on landlords

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Times are difficult for the retail industry at present which can be seen on many high streets throughout the country. Empty shops and closing down sales are becoming the norm. Company voluntary arrangements...

Financial Services Authority finds banks guilty of mis-selling to SMEs

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The FSA announced yesterday that some banks have mis-sold interest rate swaps (IRS) to potentially thousands of small and medium-sized businesses. This is following the news I reported last week, that a test case involving alleged mis-selling of IRS will...

Interest rate swap/hedging deals - The new PPI?

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Banks are facing a growing number of high value claims by small and medium sized businesses in relation to allegations of serious mis-selling. The mis-selling relates to interest rate swap deals or "hedging deals" as they are also...

Will the benefit changes make a bad situation worse for landlords?

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Evictions are already up this year by an estimated 17% (official figures have suggested). More landlords are forced to resort to the courts to obtain orders for possession after tenants have fallen into rent arrears. ...

Small businesses affected by late payments

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It has been reported in the Financial Times that late payment has become an epidemic that is threatening many small companies according to the Forum for Private Business lobby group (“the FPB”). A survey conducted by the...

Corporate insolvencies

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In the first quarter of 2012, according to the Insolvency Service, there were 4,303 liquidations in total in England and Wales. This is an increase of 0.2% on the previous quarter and an increase of 4.3% in the same period in 2011. There was a...

Cash is king

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In this tough economic climate, managing cash flow is vital. The saying “cash is king” could not be more true in times such as these. Businesses with a healthy cash flow are those more likely to survive periods of economic downturn....

Are landlords fully prepared for the Dilapidations Protocol?

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Some experienced commercial landlords may be familiar with the Dilapidations Protocol, it has been around for a number of years and those involved in dilapidations whether they be landlords, surveyors or solicitors have followed the protocol as...

Rent deposit rule changes

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Most landlords will remember the introduction of the rent deposit schemes in 2004. The rules are about to change. From 6th April 2012 landlords have 30 days rather than 14 in which to protect their rent deposits. This may sound beneficial...

Are landlords at risk from fraudsters?

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A recent case heard at Bolton Crown Court saw a tenant imprisoned for fraudulently selling his landlord’s property. The tenant used his landlord’s identity to sell the property to an...

Is the condition of private rented properties deteriorating?

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It has been reported this week that tenants who rent from private sector landlords are living in poor conditions and that the condition of privately rented accommodation has deteriorated. This is at a...