ISSUE 1, 2008
FAMILY TEAM GOES FROM NEW LOOK FOR
STRENGTH TO STRENGTH & MARSHALL
It has been a busy period for Charles Nicole Biggs has moved to strengthen the Charles Lucas & Marshall’s branding
Lucas & Marshall’s family team which family team in Wantage, while colleagues strategy has sought to capture experience,
reflects the firm’s commitment to stay Suzy Hamshaw and Lyn Ellins have innovation and a ‘can do’ attitude.
one step ahead in what is a fast-changing qualified as collaborative family lawyers.
The branding reflects our approachability,
Lyn has become one of the first lawyers transparency and the emphasis we place
Everyone in the team is a member of in the country to obtain a new national on open communication.
Resolution, an association committed to Resolution qualification – that of Family
We carried out client surveys as part
promoting a non-adversarial atmosphere Law Assistant. Peter Berry who heads up
of the branding process. These revealed
in which family law matters are dealt with the firm’s family team in Swindon,
that clients consistently see us as
in a sensitive, constructive and cost- qualified as a collaborative lawyer in 2005
“professional, friendly and helpful”.
effective way. – again, one of the first in the UK.
“We have always appreciated the
However, Claire Marshall has become Collaborative family law has been
importance of responding to clients’
the first lawyer in the firm to achieve introduced to allow couples to manage
needs and changing circumstances,”
specialist status by passing a series of their separation or divorce in a more
says Hemant Amin, Head of Practice
examinations to demonstrate her dignified and less confrontational way.
Development. “As part of that process,
specialist knowledge of family law issues. Crucially, couples agree from the outset
we recognise we have to change too.
that they will not drag each other
Claire, who has been qualified for seven
through the courts with their “Our new brand is part of this process.
years, had to pass exams dealing with
collaborative lawyers acting as guides, The way we present ourselves to clients
complex financial settlements arising from
by providing advice and legal support. has to show clear direction and give
divorce proceedings and cohabitation.
clients confidence they are working
with advisers who have vision and
understanding. We believe our new
brand achieves this.”
INHERITANCE TAX – BIKERS SUPPORT
THE NEW RULES HEADWAY
Simon Mee, a member of Charles Keen bikers, Michael Berrett and Jackie
Lucas & Marshall’s Wills and Estate Waller, both based at Charles Lucas &
Planning Team, reviews the changes Marshall’s Wantage office, are organising
to inheritance tax. a treasure hunt this summer to raise funds
for Headway, the charity that supports
Inheritance tax is charged on the value
people who have sustained head injuries.
of a person’s estate transferred on their
death – with any assets passing to a They will be joined by a team of fellow
spouse or to a charity exempt. motorbike enthusiasts at the Harley-
Davidson headquarters in Oxford from
Therefore, if a husband or wife leaves
where they will work their way towards
their estate to their spouse, inheritance
the ‘The Rising Sun’ pub in Stockcross
tax does not apply. However, on the
near Newbury, unravelling clues along
second death, with assets typically
passing to children, tax is chargeable
at 0 per cent – or the ‘nil rate band’ Michael, Partner and Head of Litigation at
as it is commonly known – on the first Charles Lucas & Marshall and a specialist
£300,000. Everything else above If, on the death of the first spouse, the trust in clinical negligence cases, is chairman
this amount is taxed at 40 per cent. is wound up after three months but before of the Oxford Headway branch.
Before the changes announced in the second anniversary, the trust is deemed For further information, contact
October’s pre-budget report, only one never to have existed and the nil rate band Michael Berrett on 01235 771234
nil rate band would have been used. remains intact. It is therefore important to or firstname.lastname@example.org,
However, tax-efficient wills would have review the position at that time, taking into or Jackie Waller on 01235 771234
included a ‘nil rate band discretionary account the possibility that if the nil rate or email@example.com
trust’ to ensure each spouse made use band rises rapidly in the years between the
of their respective nil rate bands. first and second death, the tax saving may
be greater by not using the trust.
Following the changes, if the first spouse
does not use their entire nil rate band, It is worth noting that these changes
the unused proportion now will become remain an announcement in the
available on the second death. For pre-budget report and while the
example, if (in this tax year) a person Chancellor has promised to include
dies leaving gifts to children of £150,000 them in the March 2008 budget and make
with the remainder to their spouse, 50 them retrospective to 9 October, they
per cent of the nil rate band remains will not become law until the summer.
available at the relevant rate on the For further information, contact
death of the survivor. Simon Mee on 01635 521212
Despite the changes, the nil rate band or firstname.lastname@example.org
discretionary trust will is not redundant
and still holds many advantages. NEW HEAD OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY TEAM
A discretionary trust is usually very flexible Simon Pook is the new joint head of responsibility for
and can be used to safeguard assets for Charles Lucas & Marshall’s Residential Head of Team with
the family, such as provision for care fees, Property Team. Simon joined the firm ten Managing Partner,
protecting assets for future generations in years ago and is a Fellow of the Institute Peter Graham who
the cases of second marriage, or where of Legal Executives. has over 30 years’
children would prefer assets to be held for experience in the
their own children without compromising In a recent client satisfaction survey, 98
their own tax position. per cent of clients said the conveyancing
service they received was either ‘good’
It is also a useful mechanism for taking or ‘excellent’. Simon Pook
maximum advantage of tax rules relating Tel. 01635 521212
to business or farming assets. Simon has first-class contacts and excellent
knowledge of the local market. He shares
PLANNING PERMISSION –
NOW YOU HAVE IT, NOW YOU DON’T
When planning permission is granted it
will specify the latest date from when the
development must start and often comes
with conditions that must be met before
the development can begin. For example,
a landscaping scheme must be submitted
and approved prior to the commencement
of the development.
Why did I choose that particular
example? Because it is one that is
frequently overlooked and has been
the subject of recent court cases.
What happens if the landscaping scheme
is not submitted and therefore not
approved within the lifetime of the
planning permission? The courts are
currently taking the view that planning
permission cannot be implemented,
which means the land does not have
permission for the development and
is consequently less valuable.
So what if the development has
The work undertaken is not authorised
and is liable to be subject to the
enforcement procedures of the local
planning authority. These consist of either
a notice stopping further work until the
issue is resolved or, even more seriously,
a requirement that the land is reinstated
to the way it was before the work
started. While there are steps that can be
taken to rectify the position, they will not
always be successful and the opportunity
for development may be lost for a long increasing significance. As the demand system better. They are just as likely
time or for good. for new housing grows, there will be to be concerned with small planning
more planning applications. This will applications as those for substantial
The best advice is to ensure that undoubtedly increase the number of developments.
before buying land with the benefit of objections. If a planning permission lapses
permission, you are happy that all the For further
because of a failure to meet timescales
appropriate conditions are fulfilled or that information, contact
and it has also been the subject of
you are satisfied you can meet them Hugh Ellins on
objection, the local planning authority will
within the necessary timescales. 01793 511055 or
have to consider its position carefully. If it
If you own the land for which you have email@example.com
does not, it may well find that its actions
obtained planning permission, make sure are the subject of court proceedings,
that you fully understand the conditions instigated by the objectors.
and the timing implications.
Objectors are now becoming better If you would like more information
I am highlighting this issue now as it e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or
organised and understand the planning
is one that I believe will become of visit our website at www.clmlaw.co.uk
JUDICIAL WORK – A DIFFERENT
DIMENSION TO LAWYERING
Michael Berrett, Partner with Charles “There is a wide range of work available
Lucas & Marshall, explains why he in the county court. It has unlimited
chooses to work as a part-time jurisdiction in family and insolvency
district judge. matters. District judges hear the largest
percentage of contested trials in small
“Within Charles Lucas & Marshall, both
claims jurisdiction – dealing with all claims
Caroline Bamber and I sit in a part-time
up to £5,000. District judges deal with
judicial capacity. Caroline sits as a Justice
over 90 per cent of all the work
of the Peace and I sit as a Deputy District
in the county courts.
Judge in the county court.
“I spend most of my time sitting in the
“There are over 400 full-time district
county court on the Midland circuit –
judges and almost 800 deputy district
Northampton, Worcester, Warwick and
judges in England and Wales. From this
Hereford. The work is challenging but
it can be seen that the Department of
rewarding. The nature of your ‘list’ can
Constitutional Affairs (DCA) relies heavily
be varied, there is little preparation you
upon members of the legal profession to
can do and the cases have to be fully
supplement judicial requirements.
dealt with within the working day. ceases to amaze me how widely known
“I am required to hear cases for a Charles Lucas & Marshall is in the ranks
“The working day lasts from around
minimum of 15 days per year. The court of the judiciary.
9am to 4pm. Unfortunately, open court
diary system allows me to fit this around
hearings are very rare and although “The DCA has a number of current
my client and management work.
my wig box is ready it has not yet initiatives to target and encourage
Barristers always see a part-time judicial
been opened. solicitors to take up part-time judicial
appointment as part of their career
progression. There is no reason why “It gives the practitioner a chance to appointments. It is likely that the period
solicitors should not think in the same way. understand the mysterious workings of of post-qualification experience will be
the county court and to appreciate the reduced from seven years to five years.
“Most of us have spent many years There is also a shadowing scheme
pressures staff are under.
advising clients and writing letters of whereby solicitors can spend a day
report, advice and drafting Instructions to “It is also a good way to forge shadowing a district or circuit judge
barristers. The assessment and reasoning relationships with the full-time judiciary in his or her work.
process that goes on in preparing these as an ambassador for the firm. You also
documents is very similar to the obtain an insight into judicial attitudes by “Of course, there are other avenues for
processes judges use in trying cases. meeting fellow district and circuit judges part-time judicial work apart from the civil
in the judges’ dining room! It never and criminal courts. The DCA also appoints
members of the various tribunals.
NEW ASSOCIATE “I have found the work to be satisfying
and I have enjoyed meeting judges and
Andrew Egan has been made an Associate at other lawyers I would not meet
Charles Lucas & Marshall. Andrew joined the otherwise. The training given by the
firm in 2006 to head up its employment team Judicial Studies Board is excellent.
and develop the firm’s employment practice I believe it broadens your experience of
across Wiltshire and West Berkshire. In that the legal system generally and makes you
time he has developed strong links with a better and more confident lawyer when
local employers as well as senior managers returning to the office.”
and HR advisers in advising on changes in
employment law and developing risk
management policies and procedures.
Andrew Egan If you would like more information
e-mail us at email@example.com or
Tel. 01793 511055
visit our website at www.clmlaw.co.uk
BRIGITTE CHANDLER IMMIGRANT WORKERS – WHAT
– STILL MAKING
HEADLINES EMPLOYERS NEED TO KNOW
Brigitte Chandler, Partner at Charles Once the work permit is approved, a visa
Lucas & Marshall, is one of the UK’s application will need to be made at the
leading lawyers in industrial disease law. British Embassy or Consulate where the
Over the last year Brigitte has again been employee is resident. Only after this has
involved in several leading-edge cases and been approved can a UK employer
been the subject of considerable press employ a specific person in a specific
attention through the people she has job at a specific location.
represented. Employers who try to avoid prosecution
One of the founders of the Swindon and by refusing to consider any applicants
South West Asbestos Group – a charity because they are foreign will contravene
to support people and their families the Race Relations Act 1976. Checks
affected by exposure to asbestos – carried out by an employer must be
Brigitte has worked tirelessly over conducted in a non-discriminatory
20 years to achieve compensation for Many businesses employ migrant manner and all job applicants must
asbestos sufferers and those who go workers. However, new legislation that be treated equally.
on to develop mesothelioma and came into effect on 5 November 2007 Employers must also ensure that their
lung cancer. will impose tougher sanctions on those discrimination and diversity policies
employing migrant workers illegally. reflect the growing trend of hiring
Brigitte is frequently asked to
comment on legal judgements Criminal sanctions for employing migrant workers. Workers who have
and compensation awards. illegal immigrant workers are great. come from overseas are entitled to the
An employer found guilty of such an same protection as UK-born workers.
Based at the firm’s Swindon office, They have the right to be treated fairly
offence may face imprisonment for up
Brigitte has represented hundreds of and equally, and not to be discriminated
to two years and/or an unlimited fine.
former railway workers exposed to against or harassed on the grounds of
It is not just the employer company
asbestos from the 1960s onwards, as their nationality, race or gender.
that is liable, any partner, director,
well as people who have worked in
manager, secretary or similar officer who Failure to either have such policies in
the construction industry.
consented to or negligently allowed the place or to adhere to those policies could
Brigitte Chandler offence to take place can also be guilty. prove very costly for an employer if a
Tel. 01793 511055 foreign worker brings a claim before an
Under the new legislation, the
firstname.lastname@example.org employment tribunal.
employment of immigrant workers will
also carry a civil penalty. An employer For further
will not only be subject to the same information, contact
criminal sanctions but could be fined Andrew Egan on
up to £5,000 for each illegal worker 01793 511055 or
they employ. email@example.com
It is important that an employer takes
all the necessary steps to avoid penalties
that may be incurred by employing
If the employee is resident outside the
UK and wishes to come over to begin
work, a new work permit application will
need to be made to Work Permits UK.
Such an application can be made by
either the employer or the worker, but
must ultimately be signed by the worker If you would like more information
before being registered. e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or
visit our website at www.clmlaw.co.uk
MOTORING OFFENCES –
PREPARE FOR CHANGE
Motorists will soon face a new series definition applies to all such offences
of motoring offences, which bring with committed after 24th September 2007.
them stiffer penalties and a new range
A new and controversial offence of
of penalty points.
“causing death by driving whilst either
The Road Safety Act 2006 received unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured”
Royal Assent on 8 November 2006. is also created by the Act. Again, this
Some provisions have already been can be tried in either the magistrates’
introduced – but implementation of the or crown court and carries a maximum Under the existing law, speeding offences
major part of the Act has yet to take penalty of two years imprisonment carry a range of between three and six
place but it is likely different provisions in the crown court or six months penalty points. This will change in that
will be rolled out over a period of time. imprisonment in the magistrates’ court, speeding offences will carry a range of
together with mandatory disqualification between two and six penalty points.
and endorsement. Further, the existing offence of failing to
A new offence of “causing death by
From the way the statute is framed, provide information about the identity
careless or inconsiderate driving” has
the nature and quality of the driving of a driver, which currently carries
been created. If tried in crown court it
concerned is irrelevant. For example, three penalty points, will increase to
carries a maximum penalty of five years’
an uninsured, unlicensed or disqualified six penalty points.
imprisonment whereas in the magistrates’
court the penalty will be a maximum driver, even if driving perfectly properly, The Act enables courts to offer persons
of six months’ imprisonment. It also will be considered to have committed convicted of careless driving, speeding or
carries mandatory disqualification this offence if involved in an accident that failing to comply with traffic signs, the
and endorsement. leads to the death of another person. opportunity of reducing the number of
penalty points on their licence by
For the first time, the Government has NEW PENALTIES
successfully completing a retraining course.
provided a statutory definition of careless There will be a new range of penalties,
or inconsiderate driving. A person is not only for these new offences but for To qualify for the scheme, there should
regarded as driving without due care and existing offences. be at least seven and not more than
attention “if the way he drives falls below eleven points to be taken into account
One of the more important penalty
what would be expected of a competent at the time of conviction. Successful
changes relates to offences of speeding.
and careful driver.” This statutory completion of the course will mean that
12 months after the conviction, three
points, or fewer, if fewer were endorsed,
SIMON MEE JOINS will cease to be taken into account.
CHARLES LUCAS & MARSHALL This new provision will provide
some relief from the rigours of the
Charles Lucas & Marshall has appointed
another specialist to its Wills and Estate
Planning Team. Lawyer, Simon Mee will For further
be based at the firm’s Newbury office information, contact
and will work on existing accounts and Paul Trincas on
develop his own client portfolio. 01635 521212 or
Areas such as inheritance tax planning
and issues relating to the elderly have
grown rapidly in the last five years and Tel. 01235 771234 Tel. 01635 521212
the need for professional advice has Fax 01235 772234 Fax 01635 37784
been reflected in the growth of Charles
Lucas & Marshall’s Wills and Estate
Tel. 01488 682506 Tel. 01793 511055
Planning Team. Fax 01488 684824 Fax 01793 610518
Simon Mee If you would like more information
Tel. 01635 521212 e-mail us at email@example.com or
firstname.lastname@example.org visit our website at www.clmlaw.co.uk