Bowling & Co Solicitors – History of the firm

The firm was founded by the late Gilbert Bowling, who in the summer of 1957 set his sights on his own sole practice in Stratford. He located some rooms above the Burtons menswear shop and moved in by late June 1957. However with no working telephone at first and decorators still in refurbishing the offices he did not actually start practising as “Bowling & Co” until 17th July 1957. The premises above Burtons comprised of just a few rooms - numbers 1, 2, 3 and 3a on the first floor…

Jammy and dodgers focus of Hammond’s first and last – Autumn Budget Statement 2016

The first steps towards preparing the UK for a post-Brexit future were announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in his Autumn Budget statement, with a focus on lower income households and business tax avoidance. The new Chancellor announced a reduced growth target and predicted a tougher economic period during the transition towards Brexit. The target set out by his predecessor to achieve a surplus by 2020 has been set aside, with growth predicted to fall to 1.4% in 2017 and cumulative borrowing over the next five years predicted to be £122bn…

Relaxed planning rules to be made permanent

The process for converting commercial property to residential has become easier, now that temporary planning rules removing the need for planning applications to convert certain types of building have been made permanent. The rules, which apply to B1 use properties (including offices, research and development premises and light industry) being converted for C3 use (residential housing), were set to end in May 2016. However, they will now be made permanent – much to the relief of commercial landowners and developers. Removing planning application requirements for converting certain commercial buildings should…

Digging deep: extending the basement

A site in South East London has been sold at a recent auction for £27,000. With the average price in the area an estimated £501/ft² the 400 sq ft site seemed like the perfect acquisition for somebody looking to secure their place on the property ladder. See also: Buying a property at auction Upon inspection of the particulars it was noted the site was marketed as "A vacant front basement suitable for redevelopment (subject to obtaining all necessary consents)" and prospective buyers were told, "There will be no internal viewings due…

Women’s work, age and sex discrimination

In Osborne and another -v- Gondhia and others t/a Rutaba Partnership 2014, two female employees have successfully claimed age and sex-related discrimination after their employer subjected them to unfair criticism. This case is a timely reminder as to how an employer shouldn’t behave towards employees. The case was brought by two women who are sisters (referred to below as A & B), both had been employed by the Rutaba Patnership at a service station. Sister A was aged 21 throughout her period of employment whereas Sister B was aged 17 at the…

Rental payments after break dates

The Supreme Court handed down its Judgment in the case of Marks and Spencer Plc v BNP Paribas Securities Services Trust Company & Ors on 2 December 2015. This is important news for landlords and tenants alike when negotiating the terms of leases and exercising break clauses. The facts The brief facts of the case are that a lease had been granted for a term expiring on 2 February 2018, with rent being payable in advance on the usual quarter days. The tenant gave a break notice to end the…

Employer’s £15,000 text message error

An employee who worked for his employer for just six months has been awarded over £15,000 after he was dismissed by text message. Christopher Hillis (H) began working as a chef at the Cail Bruich restaurant in Glasgow in April 2014. On 19 September, believing that he was being paid below the national minimum wage (NMW), H questioned his boss over his rate of pay. The following day H called in sick. Later on that same day, he sent a text message to his boss asking when he was next…

Start-ups and entrepreneurs: The rise of serviced offices

Often the best route (or the only one) to starting your own business is working from home or your garage. The need to get bigger space and or a professional environment is soon a necessity when the business takes off and expansion is required. However a level of flexibility is required and the commitment to a long lease may not be the right step or one that can be affordable. Therefore one option, initially, is by use of a serviced office. Several researches have shown this to be the case,…

No fault divorces

On 13 October 2015, Richard Bacon MP introduced a Bill to Parliament proposing an amendment to family law which could enable couples to say that there was no fault for the break up and to apply for a "no fault divorce". This would involve both parties making a separate declaration that the marriage or civil partnership had “irretrievably broken down” which is the ground that needs to be satisfied to enable a person to be able to petition for divorce. The other requirement being that the parties have to have…

The death of buy-to-let?

The rise of the buy-to-let market has become an increasingly lucrative business source for Britain’s 2 million buy-to-let investors. With average yields between 5-10%, you can see why. Many property owners see this as a vital source of income both for their present incomes and their future income via pension plans. They often collect this income on top of their salaries. However, new Government proposals set out by the chancellor, George Osborne, are poised to hit private landlords hard. The Government proposes dramatic tax increases on profits (and even on…

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