Category Archives: Uncategorized

Worthing Newsletter – June 2019

The next Worthing lunch will be on 12th June 2019 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM at the Ardington Hotel sponsored by Bennett Griffin - Book here

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Bennett Griffin

Tenant Fees Act 2019

On 1st June 2019 the new Tenant Fees Act 2019 came into force. There are now fees which landlords and agents may once have charged to the tenant which can no longer be claimed. The new Act applies to ASTs entered into on or after 1st June 2019 but will apply to all ASTs with effect from 1st June 2020. There is a raft of items which cannot now be charged to a tenant such as:

• charging the tenant a ‘set up’ fee for a new tenancy;
• if your AST allowed you to charge the tenant to carry out an inventory check or charge a check out fee, these can no longer be charged to the tenant; and
• any fees associated with a third party referencing service cannot be charged.

With regards to tenancy deposits, a maximum of the equivalent of 5 weeks rent can be taken (where the annual rent is less than £50,000), this applies to all fixed term contracts which are renewed from 1st June 2019 onwards.

The above are just a few of the fees affected. For the complete list, examples and information go to the government guidance published available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tenant-fees-act-2019-guidance

In addition, a new Form 6A section 21 notice has come into force which must be used for all ASTs from 1st June 2019. A section 21 notice cannot be served until an unlawful fee has been repaid.

A new How to Rent guide which has been published and must be used for all new and replacement tenancies (where the original tenancy predates 31st May 2019). Be aware that if the incorrect edition is provided to a tenant, a section 21 notice cannot be served until the tenant has been provided the current edition.

Brighton Newsletter – June 2019

The launch of the Brighton Lunch on Tuesday was very successful!

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The next lunch is on the 6th August at the Grand hotel in Brighton, sponsored by Harvey John - Book here

Book onto upcoming dates here:

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Harvey John

How do you cut through the white noise of recruitment? You lower the volume. 

At Harvey John, recruitment is far from a transactional service. It’s about fostering long-term partnerships within our core markets. Quality over quantity.

Specialising in Accountancy, Tax, and Legal since 2004, Harvey John are an international recruitment firm with two offices in the heart of Brighton and a team of 15 individual skill-sets, each united by a shared vision of how recruitment should be.

By immersing ourselves in every corner of these markets, we maintain an incredibly niche expertise, enabling us to simplify the most complex of searches. And whether that assignment takes us across Sussex, London, Europe, Asia, or the Americas, our deep sector knowledge – paired with our multi-faceted methodology – means that we provide local solutions on a global scale.

And so, by lowering the volume, we strip ourselves from unnecessary pressures and, in turn, become a trusted partner to companies worldwide.

Hove Newsletter – June 2019

The next Brighton & Hove lunch will be on 9th July 2019, 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM at the Ginger Pig Pub, sponsored by Whitespace & ViiSana - Book here

 

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Whitespace

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ViiSana

Viisana

If you’ve not come across us yet, ViiSana is a life and health insurance broker – but with a BIG difference. Life insurance is normally a pretty dry subject – focussing on what happens if someone dies or becomes ill.

Whilst we are deep subject matter experts in this area, we chose to do it differently. We focus on helping thousands of customers to live life to the full – by encouraging them to live a happy, healthy life.

In simple terms – we sell a product and then try as hard as we can to make sure it is never used… That said, there is a very serious side to what we do. We pride ourselves on advising our customers on the most suitable financial protection packages to put in place if the worst really does happen.

The business is run by Paul Ollerton, his wife Lisa, and his brother James, with a team of 25 who advise, manage and administer the relationships with customers. The team has a wealth of experience in the wellness sector, as well as an extensive knowledge base in the general business and financial services space.

We’re incredibly proud to say that Lisa has recently become a finalist in two categories, Financial Adviser of the year, South East and Woman of the Year, protection advice for the COVER Women in Financial Advice Awards which is taking place on 3rd July.

If you’d like to know more or wish to speak to us contact Lisa on 07595893192.

Eastbourne Newsletter – June 2019

The next Eastbourne lunch will be on 19th July 2019 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM at the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne, sponsored by Humphrey & Co- Book here

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Humphrey & Co

Probate changes

New Style Grant of Probate

HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has introduced a new style Grant of Probate to add more counter-fraud measures to this system.

The new style Grant now includes:-

  • A hologram
  • A digital seal instead of an embossed seal
  • A digital signature instead of a ‘wet’ signature
  • A telephone number for people processing the document to check its validity

The old style Grants of Probate will remain valid and whilst the original of these contained a copy of the Will the new ones no longer do so, although a copy can be requested from the Probate Registry if required.

 

Statement of Truth

Following changes to the Non-Contentious Probate Rules there is now no need to swear an oath before a Solicitor or Commissioner for Oaths to lead to the issue of the Grant of Probate. Instead, a Statement of Truth can be signed by the person making the application.

This will make the process simpler and these can be prepared and completed by us as part of our Probate service.

As Humphrey & Co is licensed to carry out Probate work we are now able to apply for Grants of Probate or Letters of Administration in estates.

In addition to this, we can offer advice and help on the administration of estates along with preparing estate accounts and attending to the administration period tax matters.

If you are nominated an Executor of an estate, or have recently been bereaved and require assistance on any of these aspects, then please take a look at our Probate FAQs for further information or contact a member of our Trust & Estates Support Services Team.

Link to Probate FAQs 

 

Worthing Newsletter – May 2019

The next Worthing lunch will be on the 12th June 2019 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM at the Ardington Hotel sponsored by Bennett Griffin - Book here

Book onto upcoming dates here:

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Bennett Griffin

Finding the “hygge” (and the hug) in divorce. Big, friendly changes in the law announced today.

I have just finished reading two tutorial type books about the family and how we can all make things just a little better for one another, even through difficult times, by essentially being less critical and simply kinder to those closest to us. The first book is by Marie Tourell Soderberg and is all about the art of “hygge”, a Danish word which resonates with many Scandinavians and translates as a warm, cosy enjoyment of the moment and the small things in life. Making the best of what you have and being grateful for it. “Hygge” can be added to anything: the first coffee of the day is my hygge –coffee. Lovely.

The second life-guide is “The Sixty Minute Family”, by Rob Parsons and looks at what is special to us as individuals and family units and again, how we can cultivate that just by being a whole lot more “present” and nicer on a daily basis. He talks of the “January love”, meaning it is easy to love someone in June (sunny times), but being at least civil to that person in January (dark grey chill) is the real test. He states that good relationships are where you “…don’t dig up dirt from the past”.

So, these considered works link rather nicely to the Government’s announcement today that a softer, more respectful way of divorcing is going to be possible. The “no fault divorce” will be for those who don’t want to wait for a period of two years’ separation and certainly don’t want to start slating their husband or wife in the divorce petition, just because the law requires it. The blame culture of divorce is pretty unhealthy for us all, but especially any children who are caught in the middle.

The new legislation follows years of pressure from senior judges, lawyers, politicians and members of the public. The family lawyers ethics group ”Resolution” launched a major campaign a few years back and I recall a slightly fresh, but pleasant photo shoot on windy Worthing Pier, clutching a “No conflict divorce!” banner.

Justice Secretary, David Gauke, has said that the current 50-year-old divorce law sadly promotes “…hostility and conflict between parents” and that “…I have heard on many occasions that our divorce laws, as they stand, serve as an encouragement for some separating couples to grossly exaggerate their behaviour-based claims so that they don’t fall foul of the rules.” This is my experience also. I remember acting for a wife who wanted to bring the marriage to a close because she and her husband had “just drifted apart”. However, as the limitations of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 meant that they either had to wait two years from separating or effectively make up hurtful allegations about one another and plonk it in an “unreasonable behaviour” petition. Both agreed that they could come up with stuff about the other, but how would that help anyone ultimately? So, the soft behaviour petition went in and was immediately rejected, as per advice to my Client. What followed was a fresh petition with amplified conduct points, and it was accepted by the Court, of course. They got their divorce, but the journey there was not what they had envisaged.

Alongside the need for less drama at an already sad and stressful time, a significant factor is that of fulfilling the best interests of the family in terms of resolving the finances immediately and the being able to “move on”. When you want out, you want out. (My apologies to all “remainers”, but this does fit here!) Divorce allows for a Consent Order to be lodged with the Court, enabling a final closure to all matters. But two years’ separation and no divorce until that time has elapsed can mean postponing a full conclusion to all issues, and a Separation Agreement is not an enforceable Order, as helpful as it is. Pension sharing Orders cannot be made without divorce proceedings and cannot be implemented without decree absolute in the divorce.

As family lawyers, we have had to apologise to our Clients for the law in this area. I have routinely omitted the reference to “unreasonable” for several years now. For Resolution trained lawyers such as myself and my highly experienced colleague Jackie Gifford, the focus has been on keeping the heat down and not encouraging an unnecessarily messy and unkind process, whilst trying to tick all the boxes to get past “go” on the divorce board.

This 21st century divorce will enable couples to divorce without making accusations of bad behaviour, by giving notice that a marriage has broken down irretrievably.
It will also remove the ability to contest a divorce. Contested divorces are pretty rare in any event, but when they occur, it is often about control and denial. Interestingly, there will be a minimum time frame of 20 weeks between petition for divorce and couples being issued decree nisi, the first Order, which confirms that the divorce is definitely happening. The cynical part of me thinks that all the (centralised) family courts will exhale collectively with relief as to a relaxed time frame/business as usual.

What it this does provide is a buffer to those who might be concerned that the new law will make divorce too quick and easy. By the way, from my legal life experiences, there has never been a “quick” divorce or indeed one that has taken less than six months, where there are children and or finances to look after. The definition of “easy” is highly subjective in this emotional context.

As a Collaboratively trained family lawyer, this all makes sense. Much of our work is about pacing. The “hygge” part of me says that these changes allow for reflection, calm and dust-settling and perhaps even reconciliation. Now, that is big and friendly and fittingly celebrated with (another) hygge-coffee.

Jacqueline Mensah is an Associate Lawyer at Bennett Griffin LLP and is the Immediate Past President of the Worthing Law Society. To gain from Jacqueline’s 15 years of family law expertise, please call on 01903 229914, for a confidential chat.

Eastbourne Newsletter – May 2019

The next Eastbourne lunch will be on 17th May 2019 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM at the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne, sponsored by Humphrey & Co - Book here

Book onto upcoming dates here:

Sponsor:

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Humphrey & Co

Tax Rates for 2019/20

A copy of our 2019/20 tax rates card is now available to download here.

Many of the figures are fundamental to our business and personal lives. We are sure that you will find it a useful point of reference throughout the coming tax year and below we have listed just a few examples of how it can be used.

Personal tax rates

The personal allowance is increased to £12,500 from 6 April 2019. We have also summarised the income tax rates and bands which apply to all types of income

Buying property

If you buy a property in the UK the tax you pay is different depending on where you live. Stamp Duty Land Tax applies in England and Northern Ireland, Land and Buildings Transaction Tax is payable in Scotland and Land Transaction Tax in Wales. The amount and availability of First-Time Buyers Relief vary depending on where you live.

Asset sales

If you sell an asset such as land, capital gains may be due. Our tax rates highlight the main rates and reliefs so that you can consider the tax bill that may arise.

Rates for businesses

If you run a business, obtaining the right allowances on equipment that your business buys can affect the tax that your business has to pay each year. The Annual Investment Allowance has increased from 1 January 2019 to £1,000,000 per annum. We have summarised the main allowances that are available.

 Rates for employees

There are increases in the percentage of charges for company car benefits again this year. Our website explains how these are computed to help ensure that you are paying the correct amount of tax.

Travel is a daily part of business life. If you drive your own car on business, HMRC allows certain tax-free mileage allowances to be paid. If you are paid less than these rates, you may be entitled to a tax refund. Our website highlights the rates.

These rates are intended for use as a quick point of reference. Should you require any further information, have a simple question or require detailed advice we are only a phone call away.

Brighton & Hove Newsletter – May 2019

The next Brighton & Hove lunch will be on 14th May 2019, 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM at the Ginger Pig Pub, sponsored by Whitespace & ViiSana - Book here

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ViiSana

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Whitespace

Who is Whitespace and what do you do?

Whitespace is a Brighton-based creative agency specialising in design, web and marketing. We founded the business after having worked together in various guises for the last 12 years so we have a really solid and collaborative working relationship. Each of us leads one of our three focus areas.

Some clients come to us for just one of our services, others are keen to use all three. We are really focused on our areas of expertise – we don’t try to be all things to all men, instead we do what we do well and are supported by an exceptionally strong network of collaborators and friends in the industry.

How did the three of you come together?

We worked together as heads of department in the same company before forming Whitespace.

Steve and James also previously worked for years on web and app projects, while Milly was James’ client collaborating on various successful designs and marketing projects. “We recognised we could build something together that we could be proud of and haven’t looked back”

All of us share the same core values, creative approach and love of good design. We each have our individual specialisms and strengths. We recognised we could build something together that we could be proud of and haven’t looked back!

What makes Whitespace special?

Our clients tell us that they love the fact that Whitespace is owner-managed and that we’re personally involved with each and every project and client, from concept to delivery.

We have a personal, down-to-earth approach which seems to resonate well with our clients.

And, of course, good, thoughtful design underpins everything we do. We pride ourselves on listening carefully and truly understanding a brief before even thinking about putting pen to paper to start the design process.

What type of businesses do you help?

We work for such a wide range of business, large and small. Some of the organisations we have helped this year include the Green Party and Brighton University, both of whom we have ongoing relationships with. We work with charities such as Grace Eyre, a number of publishers including William Reed, OX Mag – and Sussex Business Times!  We’re currently working on a brand new website for Mayo Wynne Baxter.

It’s a diverse mix and we don’t operate on a sector-specific basis. To us the brief is more important than the sector. And chemistry with the client is really important to us too.

Give us an overview of one of your favourite projects

There are so many! One piece of work we’ve really enjoyed working on this year has been supporting the Green Party’s recruitment drive to gain new members. We developed a web page, predominately for mobile users, which incorporates a radial dial giving users the freedom to pledge whatever amount they feel appropriate for their membership (rather than being constrained to certain brackets).

The Green Party’s main website includes fairly static web pages, so we were keen incorporate video, lots of colour and dramatic images to drive up engagement levels. We also included elements such as testimonials from real people talking about what the party meant to them, to capture the essence of the party.

The web page produced a much higher percentage of people pledging more money. We’re so pleased that the average donation was significantly increased – and the client was too! This campaign is a classic example that shows how clever, considered design can drive hard return on investment for clients.

Talk us through your own branding. What’s behind the name Whitespace?

 We chose on the name Whitespace as it perfectly reflects our clear, simple way of thinking, our creative approach and love of good design.

The term whitespace is a significant one in the design industry.  It is at the heart of good design and helps strike a balance between positive and negative spaces and is key to aesthetic composition.

The three accent colours represent our three core areas of expertise: design, web and marketing.

“We pride ourselves on listening carefully and truly understanding a brief before even thinking about putting pen to paper to start the design process”

Talk us through some key industry trends

The concept of ‘Responsive Logos’ has been around for a little while now but is certainly gaining momentum. In a modern world, where screens come in all shapes and sizes, logos that can adapt and make best use of the available space really stand out.

Your logo no longer has to be a one size fits all solution – it can move, evolve scale and engage with the device and even your location like never before.

Getting it right can elevate your brand and has huge potential benefits from a creative and marketing perspective.

28 Foundry Street, Brighton, BN1 4AT

hello@whitespace.studio

01273 258000

 

Worthing Newsletter – April 2019

The next Worthing lunch will be on 10th April 2019 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM at Liming Mexican Grill & Bar, sponsored by Bennett Griffin - Book here

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Sponsor

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Bennett Griffin

The possible impact of Brexit on leases

Brexit seems to be all we hear about these days, no matter what field you work in. There is still so much uncertainty but certain topics have already been brought before the courts.  One question that has recently been considered is whether or not a lease could be terminated on the ground of frustration following on from Brexit.

What is the doctrine of frustration?

If something happens after a contract is formed which makes it impossible to complete the contract or if something turns the obligation to be performed into a radically different obligation then the contract can be discharged on the ground of frustration.

Why could this be an issue?

In 2011, European Medicines Agency (EMA) was granted a 25 year lease by Canary Wharf Group. The property is located in London but EMA subsequently announced that they would be relocating their headquarters to Amsterdam following Brexit. As there is no break clause in the lease, Canary Wharf Group stated that EMA will still be bound by the terms of the lease and will therefore have to continue paying rent as well as complying with their other obligations contained in the lease. EMA’s case was that Brexit would frustrate the lease and they should be allowed to bring the lease to an end.

A trial recently took place and the Court had to make a decision as to whether or not Brexit was foreseeable at the time the lease was granted and, if not, did this change the contract or the obligations contained within it so that the lease could be frustrated.

If the Court agreed with EMA then this could have opened up the door for many other tenants to use this as the basis for their own leases to be terminated early. Fortunately for the Landlord in this case, the Court did not agree with EMA and their lease will continue.

Outcome

From the Landlord’s perspective the outcome of the trial was very positive. They still have a tenant paying rent and covering the costs for their property. Obviously for the tenant, the outcome is less than ideal. Even if they are no longer using the property they will still have to pay the rent and other outgoings as well as ensuring that all other tenant obligations are complied with.

The importance of Break Clauses

As mentioned above, there was no break clause in this 25 year lease. There could be a number of reasons for this – at the time the lease was granted perhaps EMA thought that there would be no need for this as they had no plans to move or perhaps Canary Wharf Group would not agree to this.  However, from a tenant’s perspective it is important to give full consideration to what could happen in the future. There will always be situations outside of our control and not everything is foreseeable but giving some thought to what terms could be put in place to protect you is always advisable. A break clause at one or more intervals during the term of this lease would have allowed EMA to bring their lease to an end early.

Property issues and Brexit

This is not the only issue which could arise following on from Brexit. There are many issues which may need to be reviewed once the UK has exited the EU. Many laws are currently in place which derive from EU regulations including Energy Performance Certificates and Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards. The truth is that we may not have a clear answer on many of these matters for some time now. However, if you do have any concerns relation to property, please do contact our property team who will be happy to discuss this further with you.

Eastbourne Newsletter – April 2019

The next Eastbourne lunch will be on 17th May 2019 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM at the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne, sponsored by Humphrey & Co - Book here

Book onto upcoming dates here:

Sponsor

H&Co_logo_hi-res

Humphrey & Co

Spring Statement 2019

Philip Hammond presented his Spring Statement on Wednesday 13 March 2019. So, what exactly did the Chancellor say and, more importantly, what did it actually mean?

A summary of this year’s Spring Statement is now available on our website.

The Chancellor responded to the Office for Budget Responsibility’s economic forecasts, as well as reaffirming the fundamental taxation changes which will affect businesses and individuals in the new tax year. We have included informative comments to help you assess the likely effect that the proposed changes may have on you personally and their significance. We hope the summary will provide you with a useful update and allow you to get to grips with the changes. If you have any questions in understanding how the changes to tax affect you, please do get in touch.

Read more here…

Brighton & Hove Newsletter – April 2019

The next Brighton & Hove lunch will be on 14th May 2019, 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM at the Ginger Pig Pub, sponsored by Whitespace & ViiSana - Book here

Book onto upcoming Brighton & Hove dates here:

Hove Lunch dates
Brighton Lunch dates:

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Whitespace

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ViiSana

 ViiSana, Rewarding Healthy Lives

ViiSana is one of Vitality’s largest Exclusive Associate brokers in volume terms and has recently been recognised as their fastest growing partner in 2018. This growth has been driven by using the Vitality product as the base for our proposition – and adding extra layers of products, services and most importantly, engagement support. Experience has taught us that sustainable, long term habit change (particularly in relation to he­alth and wellbeing programmes at work) is far stronger when ongoing engagement and relationship support is provided.

It might sound obvious but poor nutrition, inactivity, smoking and alcohol abuse, are the main causes of CV disease, diabetes, chronic lung disease and various cancers. Together they contribute to 60% of deaths in the UK*. Our clients life expectancy can be changed through engaging in a healthy living programme. At ViiSana we don’t just protect our clients, we reward them for getting healthy!

We provide a full sup­port service including wellness days, open clinics, ongoing advice and support – as well as lots of additional benefits and rewards.

ViiSana is a multi-award-winning Sussex based family run business that offers life and health insurance with a difference.
*Source: Vitality