Interview with David Downham our Practice Director

Interview with David Downham our Practice Director Q: How long have you worked at Bowling & Co?A: 18 years, having joined on 1st June 2001.. Q: What attracted you to the profession?A: Having previously worked in the Civil Service and Accountancy worlds, I wanted a change of direction, and whilst studying to be a Chartered Secretary, I decided that the legal profession seemed a natural fit with my chartered studies, so I moved into this area. Q: Who (or what) inspired you?A: My late father, Ernie Downham; in his early…

Trick or Treat! – The legal lowdown on our most horrible holiday

Whether you regard it as an unwelcome American import, or the chance to be downright naughty for an evening and dress up as a little devil, Trick or Treat is part of the UK’s culture. Every October 31st you’ll see hordes of ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties (and at least one Captain Jack Sparrow, for some reason) of various ages, wandering the neighbourhood and demanding munchies with menaces. It’s adorable to open your door to a ghost, two fairies, and a skeleton all carrying pumpkins, but could offering these…

National minimum wage and gratuity payments

Restaurateurs and other hospitality sector businesses should not bank on Brexit delaying the Government’s plans for legislation designed to deal with tipping protocols.  In December last year the Government said it would introduce legislation as soon as possible to stop employers making deductions from tips and gratuities, including any so-called ‘administration’ charges which are often levied where tips are given through card payments.  It remains unclear whether sharing of tips will be restricted to those who tend to be the lowest paid – waiting and kitchen workers – or whether…

Landlord and Tenant – The new Tenant Fees Act

A new act came into force recently that has a profound effect on the rental market. It’s relevant not just for landlords and tenants, but for agencies that, to date, have made a very nice little living out of charging tenancy fees and administration costs for rentals. These fees have affected both tenants and landlords, who have had to fork out hundreds if not thousands of pounds in fees and agency costs. Now, under the Tenant Fees Act 2019, all tenant payments are banned by default unless the Act specifically makes allowances…

Back to school – what’s the law on uniform policies?

This can be a very expensive time of the year for parents, as their children have now all returned to school. Not only are there all the usual essentials to buy, but also those big-ticket purchases, like a new school uniform. The majority of schools in the UK have some form of dress code or uniform, and most are pretty strict about enforcing compliance from pupils, whether it’s a school tie or a top-to-toe uniform with strict rules on everything from the type of shoes worn to caps, personal jewellery,…

Feathering new nests for fledglings

Exam results have been released and new students know where they will be heading for university.  Following the relief of results day, the next big headache for parents is often the search for accommodation, whether for first-timers or returning students. Faced with high rental costs, shortages and sometimes poor-quality student digs in many cities, increasing numbers of parents are investigating the option of buying property instead of renting, but the different options can make it a minefield.  Explained Property legal expert, Jeremy Lewis of Bowling & Co Solicitors: “For parents…

When can you let your kids fend for themselves?

If you’re a parent, you’ll be familiar with how long it takes to get your children ready to leave the house. Whether it’s setting up the pram for the baby, filling your bag with all the supplies you need or finding lost shoes, it can be a real pain to do anything quickly, especially if you have an appointment to get to, or shopping to buy. If only you could safely leave your child on their own and get those daily tasks done quickly. But where does the law stand…

Wills and Probate: Giving to charity

It seems that people in the UK are a charitable bunch. In fact, last year, just under £3 billion was donated to charity in Wills, which is expected to rise to £3.4 billion by 2022. This figure means that 3.5% of all of the money left in estates is now comprised of charitable giving. What sort of charities benefit? There is certainly no shortage of choice when it comes to picking a charity, but there are four industries that receive more than the rest. The lion’s share (38%) goes to…

Landlord & Tenant: A mouldy problem – who is responsible for getting rid of mould in rented accommodation?

By the end of 2021, a quarter of UK households will rent privately. That’s approximately 5.8 million households renting, due to the combination of soaring house prices and salaries remaining relatively static.  Anyone who has been a serial renter will know that the state of privately rented housing can vary hugely.  Some landlords take pride in their work, furnishing and finishing their properties to a high standard; whereas others complete the job as quickly and cheaply as possible.  For the latter category, neglecting standards can cause all sorts of issues…

Childcare during the holidays: Bring your kid to work day?

If you work full time in the UK, you are entitled to at least 28 days of paid annual leave, including the eight bank holidays. However, for parents of school-age children, the numbers don’t quite add up. First of all, there are all of those weeks at half-term. Next, there are the Easter and Christmas holidays. And then, of course, there’s the ‘big one’ - summer holidays lasting a full six weeks.  Parents are forced to choose between expensive childcare or relying on friends and family members to look after…