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Legal Updates

Combined Family Courts Now in Operation

If you work in family law as a Legal Secretary or PA, you will already be fully aware of the fact that this branch of the legal system has just experienced what many people are calling a revolution of change.

When Are We Allowed to Record Conversations?

During a recent Diploma evening class, I was asked when it was allowed to record someone. This led to a discussion about whether it was illegal to record someone without their knowledge and if it was possible to use these recordings in a court of law. As we were studying the English legal system generally and would later in the course be considering the disclosure of evidence in civil court, I tried to give an answer off the top of my head.

Is the Inheritance Tax Threshold to Be Raised to £1 Million?

Are you getting a sense of déjà vu here? Haven’t we heard this promise somewhere before? Yes to both of these questions: indeed, the Conservative Party used this enticement in their manifesto for the General Election back in 2010.

Are Whole-life Prison Tariffs against Human Rights?

Despite a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) stating that whole-life prison tariffs are a breach of a prisoner’s human rights, the Court of Appeal has elected to go against this judgment and decide that such terms could still be handed down to the criminals responsible for the most heinous crimes in our society.

Conveyancing Update – Local Searches and Proposed Changes to the CON 29 Form

This month we are focusing on local searches, which are one of the most important checks that a purchaser should carry out before signing a contract to buy property or land.

The Effect of the New Squatting Laws

If you are a regular follower of this Journal, you might recall that we covered the change to squatting laws that were due to come into force a couple of years ago. At that time, we discussed the fact that it was to become a criminal offence for a person to trespass and live without permission in a residential property and we speculated as to how the new squatting law would be policed once the Law came into effect on 1 September 2012.

Important Changes in Employment Law for 2014

The year 2014 is very important for employment law. The current laws were introduced in the mid-1990s, so with it being nearly 20 years later, it stands to reason the UK government would be looking to change employment laws to meet current requirements and changes that have occurred to employment as a whole. Several proposed changes have been put into the works, with most of the employment changes occurring in April 2014.

Wills and Probate Round-Up

This month we are looking at some of the latest developments in the world of wills and probate. 

The Law Society Wills and Inheritance Protocol

A new protocol published in July 2013 was linked to the Law Society’s Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme. The protocol is not currently compulsory for Solicitors unless they are members of the Quality Scheme. 

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