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…

Surrogacy – what’s the legal standpoint in the UK?

The news that you’re unable to have children of your own can be devastating for parents, especially if it’s all you can think about. Same-sex couples may also face challenges when it comes to starting a family. Other than adoption, one of the most logical answers is surrogacy. But what is the legal position on surrogacy in the UK, and does existing law protect all parties involved, including the surrogates? Paying a surrogatee Recently, one of the country’s most senior family law judges, James Munby, called for the question of…

Unmarried couples need to protect themselves

A landmark victory in the Supreme Court has seen a Northern Ireland woman win a share of her former partner’s pension, with commentators saying it’s likely to add impetus to the drive for greater rights for unmarried couples.  But, in the meantime, cohabitees should face up and formalise arrangements, rather than keeping their fingers crossed.   The victory of Denise Brewster involved her claim for a survivor’s pension after her long-term, live-in partner Lenny McMullan died suddenly, shortly after they had become engaged.  He had paid into Northern Ireland’s local…

Businesses must keep foot on pedal for data protection

A major milestone in EU data protection law was marked when the General Data Protection Regulation came into force just before the EU Referendum. A huge piece of legislation that was set to replace the UK’s Data Protection Act 1998 from May 2018, it marks a tough new era in EU-wide data protection, with new powers for data regulators and much stricter operating boundaries for businesses that process personally identifiable information about individuals. But for UK companies imagining that Brexit will have changed the need for them to comply, there’s a…

Cohabitation – protecting your interests

In a recent report by the Office of National Statistics, the number of cohabiting couples was shown to have increased significantly in the 10 years to 2013 and the number of couples opting to live together without getting married or entering into a civil partnership is only likely to increase over time. A common misconception is that there exists the legal principle of “common law” husband and wife which affords cohabiting couples similar rights to those of married couples. Unfortunately the reality is that no such legal principle exists and…

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