Top Legal Tips for 2015

With 2014 drawing to a close, we asked some of our solicitors for their reflections on the past year and their top legal tips for 2015.

Mike Smyth | Litigation and Construction

The standout problem arising in cases that I handled in 2014 related to insurance. It may have been coincidence or something more indicative of a trend, but on more than one occasion this year, I have acted for clients facing substantial claims where they thought they were insured but the class of loss under which the claim fell had not been covered. In each case an exotic policy wasn’t needed, just the correct policy. My advice for all clients in 2015 is sit down with your broker when the renewal is due and make sure your risks are properly covered.

For any enquiries or more information in relation to construction, please send an email to michael.smyth@orj.co.uk or call 01785 223440.

 

Andy Hall | Matrimonial

The spring budget will see the second wave of reforms in respect of pension’s schemes. These will allow more and more pensions to be accessed earlier with the tax penalties for doing so being significantly reduced or even withdrawn. The impact upon many divorce cases will be profound with significantly increased options to raise capital easing the problem of meeting the parties housing needs albeit at the potential expense of their future financial security.

If you are close to reaching a financial settlement in 2015 make sure you take advice from a pensions accredited matrimonial lawyer and that you understand all the options.

For any enquiries or more information in relation to family law, please send an email to andrew.hall@orj.co.uk or call 01785 223440.

 

David Edwards | Property Litigation

In 2015 I would ask my residential landlords to continue to take care with time limits. Always remember;

A landlord or, in the case of joint landlords, at least one of them has given to the tenant of a dwelling-house not less than two months’ notice in writing stating that he requires possession.

For any enquiries or more information in relation to property litigation, please send an email to david.edwards@orj.co.uk or call 01785 223440.

 

Patrick Tedstone | Litigation

When business goes badly wrong we liken it to a jumbo jet crash.

The weather is bad, the radar is broken, the pilot is unfamiliar with the airport, fuel is low and to cap it all, the plane is full.

A series of errors or circumstances occur all of which might have prevented the problem.

Good terms and conditions can be your landing lights. They can quite literally save everything. In 2015 get your terms and conditions updated and incorporated.

For any enquiries or more information in relation to litigation, please send an email to patrick.tedstone@orj.co.uk or call 01785 223440.

 

Lorraine Smyth  | Commercial and Projects

When you negotiate commercial project contracts in 2015, take extra special care to look at the clauses headed “indemnity”.

Those of you who work with building and engineering projects as part of your business will be familiar with negotiating liquidated damages clauses and bonds of many descriptions. Indemnity clauses are bad news in the main. Exclude them completely where you can.

For any enquiries or more information in relation to commercial and projects, please send an email to lorraine.smyth@orj.co.uk or call 01785 223440.

 

Harj Dhatt | Commercial Property

Retail property has been in the doldrums for some time. I expect 2015 to show new lows. Avoid and divest of retail investments if at all possible. If you are stuck with retail in your portfolio look carefully at any residential development alternatives.

For any enquires or more information in relation to commercial property, please send an email to harj.dhatt@orj.co.uk or call 01785 223440.

 

Dan Whitehouse | Intellectual Property

If you are a manufacturer and you are updating your designs for 2015, give consideration to registering those designs you feel will be successful. It is cheap and gives you a monopoly protection over the design lasting up to 25 years. Patents are expensive to obtain and litigate – registered designs give ideal inexpensive protection to those who move fast and adapt their products regularly.

For any enquiries or more information in relation to intellectual property, please send an email to daniel.whitehouse@orj.co.uk or call 01785 223440.

 

For more information or to discuss any legal issue, please give us a call on 01785 223440