Divorcing couples who want to sort out disputes over children without going to court can do so from this week with the launch of the Children Arbitration Scheme. The scheme is a significant development in family law arbitration. Arbitration offers a tailor-made and flexible alternative to court proceedings that is quicker and cheaper, and parties are afforded more control over timing, venue and choice of arbitrator.                 

The Times, Page: 56

Posted 21/07/2016



Theresa May will not trigger article 50 of the Lisbon treaty initiating the UK’s departure from the European Union before the end of 2016, the high court has been told. At the opening of the first legal challenge to the process of Brexit, government lawyers acknowledged the case was likely to be appealed up to the Supreme Court. At least seven private actions arguing that only parliament, not the prime minister, has the authority to invoke article 50, have been identified to the court.

The Guardian

Posted 20/07/2016



Peers who produce fraudulent expenses claims will no longer be prosecuted after Parliament intervened in a trial to exert its authority over the criminal courts. Lord Hanningfield, the disgraced former Tory peer, had been accused of abusing the House of Lords expenses system by claiming £300 a day subsistence allowance, despite spending as little as 40 minutes a time in Westminster. But on the opening day of his trial prosecutors were forced to offer no evidence when parliament moved to insist such matters were for it and not the criminal courts to decide. The intervention, which came almost a year after Lord Hanningfield was first charged, means the criminal courts are virtually powerless to prosecute peers who abuse the very system that was introduced in an effort to clean up parliament. Sources at the CPS have, however, expressed frustration and bafflement at the last minute decision.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 2   The Times, Page: 2   Daily Mirror, Page: 1,4,5   The Guardian, Page: 12   The Sun, Page: 21

Posted 19/07/2016


A former millionaire who was left homeless and facing jail after breaking up with his wife has said that divorce laws are unfair to husbands. Software company manager Peter Morris, 51, who earns £240,000 a year, had to pay Jane Morris, 52, almost £500,000. The ruling left him with nothing even though he was the sole earner. His lawyers told the Court of Appeal that the threat of jail violated the human rights of ex-husbands who failed to pay maintenance.

The Times, Page: 24

Posted 15/07/2016


Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, has told the Treasury select committee that he wants families to ensure they can cope with a 3% mortgage rate rise in coming years, noting that a period of post-Brexit uncertainty may bring increases. The Bank’s FPC is expected to cut interest rates further than the historic low of 0.5% this week, but there remains a concern that households are not expecting any rise in their mortgage rates so could be hit if increases occur in the future. Addressing the same meeting, Richard Sharp, an external member of the FPC, told the committee that buy-to-let lending was likely to cool significantly in the wake of the Brexit vote, with lenders assessing how house prices may be affected by the referendum result. He also advised that the huge amount of foreign cash that had been pumped into UK commercial property had created a “phenomenally” overheated market.

Daily Mail, Page: 14   The Daily Telegraph   Evening Standard, Page: 2

Posted 13/07/2016



Philip Hammond has predicted that negotiating Britain’s exit from the EU could take two years to negotiate and a further four years to fully ratify. The foreign secretary said: “Until we have served an Article 50 notice, we remain a full, participating member of the EU and our ability to negotiate new trade agreements is restricted by the continued application of EU law until we have negotiated our exit.” Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that MPs will debate in parliament demands from more than 4m people for a second referendum on EU membership. However, ministers have already formally rejected the demands made in the online request and the Petitions Committee stressed the debate does not have the power to change the law.

The Times, Page: 5   Yorkshire Post, Page: 4

Posted 13/07/2016


Expats who were unable to vote in the EU referendum because of missing postal votes could take legal action. Hundreds or possibly thousands of expats could not have their say on the UK’s membership of the EU because they did not receive their papers in time, and one man is investigating the possibility of a class action lawsuit with a London solicitors’ firm over the “denial of a fundamental right”. Spencer Wain, who lives in Brussels, said: “If there were literally thousands who like me were disenfranchised… then we need to get a class action against the local councils, the electoral commission, and ultimately HM Government.”

The Independent

Posted 08/07/2016


The “granny annexe” tax is on course to be repealed by the Government. A proposed amendment to the Finance Bill will remove the tax, which would leave anyone who buys a house with a self-contained annexe liable for a three percentage points stamp duty surcharge, on top of the standard tax rate.

The Daily Telegraph

Posted 07/07/2016


The former partner of property millionaire Carol Ann Ainscow is claiming she was misled over the size of her fortune when she accepted a settlement when their two-year civil partnership was dissolved. Helen Roocroft claims Ms Ainscow, who died in 2013, had a £30m fortune instead of the £750,000 stated at the time of their split in 2010. The case is the first of its kind involving a civil partnership.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 12

Posted 06/07/2016


The government have nominated July as scams awareness month. We urge you to read the Land Registry’s property fraud advice at www.gov.uk/propertyfraud which points out that you may be especially vulnerable if you are mortgage free, live abroad, own rental property or a property which is currently empty. To avoid becoming a victim of property fraud, you can register up to ten properties with their free property alert service. To register please go to www.gov.uk/property-alert.   The government have also produced a short property fraud video.

If you suspect you are or have been the victim of property fraud please act immediately, follow government guidelines or contact us on 01638661116.

Posted 05/07/2016