What to do if your business is being held to ransom

Cybercrime, both against businesses and individuals, is becoming more common. It’s frightening and a major issue for businesses, which can end up having a big impact on your finances. There are also some pretty heavy potential legal issues to think about too, especially if your customers’ data has been compromised. Contrary to popular belief, it’s mainly small businesses that face the brunt of attacks. While large corporations face being bombarded by hacks on a daily basis, they often have entire departments dedicated to fighting off cyber attacks and blackmail attempts.…

Challenging times: what happens when family is cut out of the will?

High profile inheritance disputes follow celebrities and the super-rich as surely as night follows day, but such challenges are becoming increasingly common, whatever the values involved. Some of the names to have made headlines include the artist Salvador Dali, whose body was exhumed last year for a DNA test after a woman claimed to be his daughter and entitled to a share of his $1bn estate. Former South African President Nelson Mandela left the bulk of his estate to his current wife, but his late ex-wife Winnie challenged the will,…

Derelict buildings or structures: who’s responsible?

If you own your own property, then you’re generally responsible for the upkeep of the building. The buck stops with you, whether the property is residential or commercial, and by law you have to ensure it’s safe for members of the public to enter or pass by. If a building falls into disrepair or becomes an eyesore, what rights do neighbours have to force the owner to secure, renovate or, at the very least, tidy up a bit? Impacting the value of your home A run-down property with boarded-up windows,…

Flying the nest: do parents and children have rights over who lives under their roof?

For Generation X'ers and Baby Boomers, it was unthinkable to stay at home beyond a certain age, usually your late teens to early 20s. With reasonably affordable property prices and rents, most of those born from 1960 onwards had probably flown the nest by the time they were 18. However, today’s ‘Millennials’ face a huge housing problem, with astronomical property prices well beyond the reach of anyone even on a good salary, and high rents. That means more 20-somethings (and even those in their 30s) are still living at home…

Landlords – your legal obligations regarding smoke alarms, CO detectors and other safety features

All landlords have to fulfil certain legal obligations if they’re to rent their property. Some of the most important legal requirements are those that cover basic safety practices and equipment. Keeping tenants safe should be a landlord’s principal concern, so ensuring that these obligations are met is of the utmost importance. Here, we take a look at what landlords have to do when it comes to fire, gas, and electrical safety and also detail the relevant UK legislation. Relevant legislation A landlord’s legal safety obligations are legislated for by a…

Your rights as a step-parent after a divorce

If you’re a recently divorced step-parent and are wondering what rights you have in regard to seeing your step-children, there’s a number of things you need to know. Here, we take a look at what happens after a divorce, what measures a step-parent can take in order to gain access to a step-child, and whether there any financial obligations that needs to be met. A legal definition of a 'step-parent' In order to work out what legal rights and responsibilities are shouldered by step-parents after a divorce, we first need…

GDPR – Have you made sure you’ve done everything to comply?

Now that the GDPR has come into force, it’s absolutely essential that businesses ensure they’re following the new regulations. The consequences of non-compliance have the potential to cause great financial damage and the enforcement agencies operating in each of the EU nations will be taking their new responsibilities incredibly seriously. Here, we take a look at a few GDPR basics, examine what’s changing under the new regulations, and what non-compliance could mean for your business. GDPR Basics The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect on the 25th May…

To make your home your castle, be sure who owns the drawbridge

The Government has announced plans to tackle unfair leaseholder arrangements on new build properties, but in the meantime, as the Spring housing market gets into full swing, it’s worth understanding the difference between freehold and leasehold property. Increasing property prices and high population densities have seen a big increase in the number of leasehold properties across the country, as houses are split into flats and new apartment blocks are built, so there are now 1.4 million leasehold houses across England. And while leasehold arrangements are generally seen as a simple…

Hostile attacks – how can you defend yourself against overseas hackers?

You’ve been hacked. They’ve got into your Wi-Fi at home or at work and accessed personal details. You’re in a flat panic - how much information have they got to? What has been compromised? And what do you do about it? Once the dust settles and you’ve dealt with the immediate crisis, it’s time to start an investigation into how it happened in the first place. Is it your fault, or is it your ISP who is to blame? Read the T&Cs Internet service providers make it very clear in…

How to make a custody battle less painful for everyone, especially the kids

No matter how bad a marriage or partnership breakdown is, it can be ten times worse if there are children involved. Every situation will be different and depend on the unique circumstances of the family unit. But whatever happens, it is imperative that the children are protected from any animosity between the parents. Put simply, no matter how acrimonious the break up, making the process as stress free as possible for the children should be everyone’s concern. It will certainly be the family court’s number one priority above everything else,…