Brexit – follow the money

After weeks of meetings, press conferences, private functions and a huge flurry of reporting, Brexit seems to have come to a shuddering halt. There have been five rounds of negotiations, yet it appears the UK and EU representatives have reached an impasse until the UK’s financial commitments have been settled. Issues surrounding the Irish land border with the UK and the rights of EU citizens (both here and the millions of Brits abroad), have been reported frequently. The real issue that’s caused everyone to scuttle back to their respective corners…

A quick guide to probate

Dealing with the death of a loved one is hard enough. However, there are still practical considerations to death with, including making sure that the last wishes of the deceased is taken care of. If a person has written a Will then it will be up to the executor to make sure those wishes are carried out according to the specifications of the Will (as long as it correctly completed in accordance with the law). To do this, an executor will need to obtain a Grant of Probate. This will…

Beat the workplace bullies

Nobody should ever have to start their working day worrying about being harassed, bullied, or intimidated in the workplace. We spend nearly a third of our lives at work, so they should always be a place where we feel safe. Not only does bullying in the workplace drive down productivity, but it can become so bad that it leads to conflict that destroys morale, triggers mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, and even forces good workers to find another position simply to get away from the problem. However,…

Overseas expansion for Bowling & Co

As part of the Firm’s 60th Anniversary we are looking at expanding our International connections and practice. This month saw our two Senior Partners (Dinesh Raja and Huseyin Huseyin) undertake a business development trip to Istanbul where our Head of Turkey Desk, Ayla Toprak Zengin, hosted them in conjunction with OXO Investments, a property consultancy specialising in assisting Turkish investors to acquire UK real estate. In addition to meeting contacts and clients Dinesh and Huseyin attended the launch of a new development in Turkey held near the Ortakoy Mosque, See…

The rights of Grandparents

In a divorce, nobody really comes out of the process a 'winner'. Hostilities between battling spouses can sour relationships not just between them, but throughout the wider family group too. Courts do their very best to protect the interests and the wellbeing of the most vulnerable members of the family, the children. But what about the older relatives? In a divorce, what rights do grandparents have, and how should they deal with what is always a painful and emotional situation? The forgotten victims Grandparents can often be the forgotten victims…

Avoiding septic tank blockages when it comes to selling

This year’s housing market has been characterised by slumping prices and sluggish sales in many areas, posing a challenge to would-be sellers looking to move on. And for those who are not connected to mains drainage, generally in rural areas, there’s an added challenge, with many unaware of stricter rules regarding septic tank systems and soakaways, which must be dealt with as part of the conveyancing process. According to Nicholas Maestri, property law expert and Partner at Bowling & Co, Solicitors: "Property owners with a septic tank or small sewage…

New Debt Claim procedure

A pre-action protocol relating to debt claims has for the first time been introduced as of 1 October 2017. The protocol requires certain steps to be taken and certain information to be provided to the debtor before legal proceedings can be started. However, the protocol only applies to debts owed to a business by an individual or sole trader, not business to business debts. The aim of the protocol is to encourage early engagement and communication between the parties and help them to resolve the matter- including agreeing a payment…

Tribunal fees dropped after court ruling

A government beset by policy U-turns has faced yet another one recently, as the Supreme Court ruled that employment tribunal fees were ‘inconsistent with access to justice’, and therefore unlawful. Not only has this caused red faces at the Ministry, but it could hit the government’s coffers too – potentially up to £32million in repayments to workers intent on getting justice. The challenge to the charges for bringing an employment tribunal claim – £1,200 in many cases – was brought by trade union Unison. Their argument was that the fee…

The Data Protection Bill – how will it affect e-business?

How safe is your customers’ data? Are you managing their information responsibly, and, more importantly, correctly in the eyes of the law? The new Data Protection Bill is designed to update the existing laws, and hopefully plug a few gaps along the way. It’s big, it’s important, and it affects every single business that collects any kind of client or customer data, no matter how inconsequential a tiny packet of data may seem. It also gives your customers the ‘right to be forgotten’ – a major development and one you…

Converting commercial property in residential housing

Commercial property re-development (where previously commercial buildings are transformed into residential units) is a current growth area. For example, a run down old factory site could be purchased for say, £250,000 and (subject to the usual planning obligations) converted into 10 residential units, with an estimated value at £150,000 each. This could provide a potential profit for the developer or investor willing to invest in converting the building. With the government encouraging commercial to residential conversions, and with a good supply of old offices, shops and industrial properties up for…