Articles and Updates
Welcome to the October bulletin. In this month's bulletin we round up the previous month's employment developments.
We take a look at the recent findings in an equal pay claim against the retailer ASDA which highlights the need for employers to review their pay practices across different groups of employees. Regulatory specialists in our Business Group also consider the impact of new sentencing guidelines on fines for health and safety offences for employers.
As reported by my colleague back in March this year, David Dinsmore, Editor of the Sun, was fined £1,300 and ordered to pay £1,000 to a sexual offences victim for a breach of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992.
Dispute Resolution Update
This update is brought to you by Mark Rhys-Jones, partner and Brett Eeles, senior associate, in our dispute resolution team. The usual rule in civil litigation in England and Wales is that the loser has to pay the winner's costs. However, the Court has discretion to make a different order and two recent decisions demonstrate the Court's readiness to depart from this usual rule if it considers the winner's conduct to have been sufficiently unreasonable.
The rise of contentious legacy cases is a priority for charity legacy professionals and probate specialists in the UK, write Chris Millward and Lucy Gill.
Remember a Charity Week takes place in the UK in September. This annual awareness week is designed to encourage more people to consider leaving a gift to charity during the will-writing process.
With financial abuse on the rise, especially among the elderly, Emma Facey, associate and specialist in legacy and trust litigation, highlights the warning signs and options available should financial abuse have taken place.
Earlier this year Age UK reported that at least 130,000 people over the age of 65 have suffered from some form of financial abuse from someone known to them. This is a terrifying statistic. There will also be a large number of vulnerable people who are under the age of 65 that are subject to financial abuse and not represented in this statistic, which is even more terrifying. It is estimated that 400,000 people over 65 have difficulty managing their money. It is therefore no wonder financial abuse is on the increase.
The importance of this case for you
This important recent case analyses whether a promised annual community donation amounts to a material consideration, and whether it may be lawfully taken into account when granting planning permission. This case reaffirms the fundamental principle in City of Bradford Metropolitan Council v Secretary of State  that "planning consent cannot be bought or sold". When applying for planning permission, always provide clear and explicit provisions for the regulation of land use and the control of development. Payment for any project or activity that benefits the community is not sufficient, by itself. It must be for a specific planning purpose and be related to the development itself.
This article was first published in the September edition of PS magazine, which can be found in the Private Client Section of the Law Society website, and has been reproduced with their kind permission.
Practitioners acting as a Professional Attorney or Deputy, and especially where there are no family members, will sometimes be faced with the responsibility of placing an elderly person into care. Patricia Wass, consultant, mental capacity, outlines the practical considerations to take into account when this situation arises.
It is rare for contentious estate disputes to hit the headlines once, let alone several times over the course of seven years, but this is what has happened in the claim brought by Heather Illott against the estate of her mother Melita. Heather had been estranged from Melita for 26 years. When Melita died she left her entire estate (worth around £500,000) to charity. Heather brought a claim against Melita's estate for financial provision under the Inheritance Act, and last year the Court of Appeal awarded her roughly one third of the estate.
Welcome to our September bulletin, we hope you all had a good summer break. As we move into Autumn, we reflect back on some of the developments that have taken place in the last couple of months as well as looking ahead with our changes on the horizon table. We also provide an update on the gender pay gap regulations and the apprenticeship levy to help your business get ready for these important developments that are expected to come into force from April 2017.