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Family Companies – It’s Never Too Soon to Start Estate Planning!

When it comes to family companies, the death of a shareholder can give rise to very serious tax consequences and, as one High Court case vividly revealed, it is never too early to seek expert advice in respect of estate planning. After learning that a company’s founder and majority shareholder was terminally ill with cancer, its directors were concerned that...

Having Building Work Done? Be Smart and Put the Contract in Writing!

There is still a tendency towards informality in domestic building contracts, although the potentially dire consequences of not having a written agreement should be common knowledge. In one case, a couple and their builder became mired in costly litigation that could have been avoided had a lawyer been consulted at the outset. The couple paid £375,000 for a...

International Corruption – High Court Backs Serious Fraud Office

The international fight against corruption in the commercial sphere requires mutual cooperation between friendly states, but a balance often has to be struck between the public benefit in the detection of crime and the individual rights of suspects. The High Court addressed that issue in an important decision that represented a significant victory for the...

Private Sector Gender Pay Gap Reporting – Snapshot Day

The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 introduce mandatory gender pay gap reporting on an annual basis for private and voluntary sector employers with 250 or more employees. Employers will be required to compute and report on the difference in pay between ‘relevant’ male and female employees on an annual basis using data...

Winding Up Petitions Not To Be Used for Enforcing Disputed Debts

Winding up petitions are an extremely serious matter for any company and must not be used as a means to apply pressure to pay disputed debts. The Companies Court made that point in granting an injunction that restrained the presentation of a petition in the midst of an ongoing building contract dispute. A subcontractor who had been employed to carry out ground...

Secured Creditor Not Caught By Asset Freezing Order

Secured creditors stand first in line for payment, but what happens if a debtor’s assets have been frozen by a court order? The High Court has tackled that issue – on which there was surprisingly no previous legal authority – in an important ruling. A creditor was owed $2.9 million by a shipping company in respect of a bridging loan and had secured an...