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Our 100th legal tip!

May 26th, 2017

Today marks our 100th Lennons Legal Tip! Since January 2017, we have been publishing a tip every day on twitter and LinkedIn, giving our followers guidance about a whole range of legal topics. This ranges from tips about how using the services of a Solicitor works, specific tips about a litigation claim or the process of buying and selling a home.

 

Please find our first 100 tips below for your reference

 

  1. Get a solicitor involved at an early stage
  2. Be aware of any limitation dates or deadlines
  3. Take notes of meetings and telephone calls as soon as possible after
  4. Create a timeline of events and update this
  5. Problem at work? Consider your Company policies as a first port of call
  6. Keep track of any expenses and losses
  7. Keep a diary of any job searches and applications
  8. Buying your first home? Take into account all costs beyond solicitors’ fees!
  9. Before issuing a claim, comply with rules re pre-action conduct – they must be abided by or could suffer consequences
  10. Never underestimate settlement. 9 out of 10 cases end up settling before going to trial
  11. Allow yourself plenty of time to get to court hearings
  12. If your solicitor tells you something that you don’t understand, make sure that they explain it to you
  13. If you are going through a divorce, try not to involve your children in the disputes with your spouse
  14. Always give your lawyer as much relevant information as you can, as soon as it is needed
  15. Don’t sign any agreements without having your own independent legal advice
  16. If you receive a Letter Of Claim or Claim Form, act quickly & take legal advice asap. There are strict deadlines
  17. Buying a home? Budget for Stamp Duty Land Tax, Land Registry fees, searches, surveys & removals fees etc.
  18. Consider all of your options; you may not like them but commercially, they may be worthwhile
  19. Litigation is very stressful; instructing a solicitor can take away some stress & may help you make clearer decisions
  20. When buying a property, consider the amount of Stamp Duty Land Tax payable on a purchase price
  21. Getting a mortgage? Look at “early redemption penalties” – the penalty fee that is payable if you redeem early
  22. Online SDLT calculator shows your liability on property transaction – https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/calculate-stamp-duty-land-tax/#/intro
  23. When comparing quotes, ensure all costs & disbursements are made clear from the outset to avoid nasty surprises
  24. If you sell your principal residence within 3 years of buying a second home, you can claim back the extra SDLT
  25. Your home is your castle – always consider an independent survey
  26. Think about settlement proposals – it could save you money
  27. Own leasehold property? Keep an eye on the number of years remaining on the lease
  28. Obtaining judgment is not always the final result – you may have to enforce a judgment
  29. If you already own a property anywhere in the world, you are liable to the higher rate tax when buying second home
  30. Consider alternatives to litigation
  31. The higher rate stamp duty doesn’t apply to caravans, mobile homes or houseboats
  32. Dress smartly if you need to go to court
  33. Buying a property to rent out? Ensure your mortgage allows for you to rent it out– there are specific Buy to Let mortgages
  34. Solicitors may provide alternative funding options, consider these
  35. Married couples are treated as one person for SDLT rates & so be aware if your spouse already owns other property
  36. Be sure to tell your lawyer everything whether you think it is relevant or not
  37. If a lease terms is under 80 years, the premium payable to the landlord to extend the lease increases annually
  38. Consider what your ideal outcome from the situation would be when considering options
  39. There is no “common law spouse”. Your legal position is different if you are married compared to simply cohabiting
  40. In family matters, it is preferable to reach an agreement as opposed to engaging in contested court proceedings
  41. Be sure to tell your lawyer everything whether you think it is relevant or not
  42. Make it clear to your solicitor what your preferred method of contact is
  43. When dealing with a family matter, there are a number of less costly alternatives to formal court proceedings.  Make sure you explore all of these
  44. Always diarise all dates given to you by your solicitor so you know what may be expected of you down the line
  45. If you want to deal with your divorce yourself, it is worthwhile to get a solicitor to check the petition before it is issued.
  46. Always let your solicitor know if you are going to be temporarily out of the country and for how long you may be uncontactable for
  47. When dealing with arrangements for children, although it is difficult, always make sure you put the needs of the children before your own
  48. Let your solicitor know if you are moving house and your correspondence address is going to change.
  49. Buying/Already own a property jointly? Consider the importance of a Declaration of Trust, especially if 1 person contributes more
  50. Keep your address up to date at the Land Registry to ensure you receive notices of applications affecting your land
  51. Before signing a contract, make sure the correct parties are subject to it
  52. Do not give notice on your rental until contracts have exchanged – the sale contract only becomes legally binding on exchange
  53. Bring at least 2 forms of up-to-date ID when meeting your solicitor for the first time
  54. A purchase generally takes 6-8 weeks from first instruction to completion – it may be quicker or longer – each transaction is different!
  55. Draft your employment Restrictive Covenant carefully so that it can be enforced
  56. Use “boilerplate” clauses to cover essential aspects of your contract
  57. Make sure your Part 36 offer complies with the relevant CPR requirements
  58. Remember that your solicitor is obligated to advise on all funding options for your claim
  59. Need a constitution for your new company? Adopt the Model Articles of Association
  60. When you suffer a loss, take all steps possible to mitigate- this is your duty
  61. Never forget Stamp Duty Land Tax when factoring in the cost of purchasing a property
  62. A divorce is only final when the court issues a Decree Absolute
  63. Your solicitor may ask for funds on account before work is to be undertaken.
  64. Solicitors usually charge VAT so ensure you have budgeted for this in your costs.
  65. Your solicitor will always want a proof of ID and address, whether original or a certified copy.
  66. Solicitors can certify your documents for a nominal fee.
  67. Barrister’s fees are paid in addition to your solicitors.
  68. Barristers have different experience to solicitors and therefore may be required in your case.
  69. Most barristers have to be instructed via a solicitor but this is not always the case
  70. Sometimes you will need an expert for your case and your solicitor will instruct the expert
  71. There are different types of offers that can be put forward tactically depending on your case
  72. Some offers of settlement may have cost implications. Discuss this with your solicitor beforehand.
  73. Keep a note of all conversations as you will undoubtedly forget who you spoke to and when over time
  74. Communication is key – if you are away or need more time, say so! It may prevent the matter escalating
  75. Ensure your Will is up to date
  76. Consider making Lasting Powers of Attorney as part of your estate planning
  77. Make full use of your lifetime gifting allowances for IHT planning
  78. Make sure your loved ones know you have a Will and where it is held
  79. Review your Will regularly, particularly following big life events
  80. Know the National Minimum Wage & ensure you pay this especially where staff work additional hours with no extra pay
  81. Consider leaving charitable gifts in your Will
  82. Consider any post-termination restrictions FORE entering into your employment contract
  83. Employers: ensure any post-termination restrictions within your Contract of Employment are enforceable
  84. Do not assume that service of court documents by email will be accepted- clarify this first with the other side
  85. When conducting advocacy in court, make sure beforehand that you address the judge by his/her proper title
  86. Have a Personal Injury claim? Check whether you have legal expenses insurance
  87. Legal Expenses Insurance may help cover the costs of the other side if you lose
  88. When Standard Disclosure is ordered, remember that you must disclose those documents that are adverse to your case
  89. Even with a small claim, it may still be worth instructing solicitors to review & see there are complex points
  90. A Letter of Wishes is NOT legally binding and therefore may not be enforced in the event of a Will dispute
  91. Want to challenge a will under the Inheritance Act 1975? You must apply within 6 months of the Grant of Probate
  92. There are two Lasting Powers of Attorney- health & welfare and property & financial affairs
  93. To bring a claim for Unfair Dismissal, you require two continuous years of employment with your employer
  94. In work you can be expected to be treated fairly and you should treat your colleagues fairly too
  95. There are rules about how many hours you can work & you have choice as to whether you opt-out of Working Time Regs
  96. The National Minimum Wage (NMW) for apprentices is not always the same as the NMW for that individual’s age group
  97. You are entitled to at least 11 consecutive hours of rest in each 24 hour period
  98. You are entitled to a break of 20 minutes if you work more than 6 hours
  99. Mediation costs are usually borne by both parties
  100. Consider a full structural survey when buying a property

As a firm, we value our clients and followers and hope to continue to support them through the legal process. Should you wish to get daily legal tips from Lennons, do not hesitate to follow us on twitter and LinkedIn using the links provided below. Here is to the next 100 tips…

 

Please note that whilst we take every reasonable endeavour to ensure that the information and commentary is up-to-date and factual, any information or commentary is for information purposes only and is provided free of charge. Any opinions expressed are reserved and entirely those of the author. There is no assumed liability by Lennons, its employees or principals as to the contents and its correctness or accuracy, or for any consequences that may follow if the content or information is relied on.
The content, information or opinions expressed do not, and are not intended to, constitute legal advice by any means. If you require advice, we strongly advise that you speak with a specialist lawyer or legal advisor who is authorised to provide you with legal advice and not to rely on any commentary or information on this site.

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