Blog

  

Separation & Divorce – Remember the children

With this week focusing on children in need it is important to remember what a child needs when parents are separating or divorcing. All the things your child needed before the divorce or separation will still be needed no matter what the age. How those needs get met, can be a real challenge as some parents have different parenting styles, household structures and rules.    It helps when parents are on the same page about everyday…

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Pensions & Divorce

If you are considering getting a divorce you will know there are numerous financial implications to consider. It is often very difficult to separate the emotional stress from the practical issues which need to adressed. An area which can be overlooked is that of pensions. There are various factors to consider, including pension offsetting, equalisation of pension incomes and treatment of foreign pensions.   This area of financial planning can…

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Spanish National day

Susana is attending a reception at the Spanish Embassy in London today for the Spanish National day, known as Hispanic Day or Fiesta Nacional de Espana.   This national holiday remembers the exact date when Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Americas. Columbus was trying to find a western sea route to India. On 12 October 1492 land was spotted, having left the Canary Islands five weeks earlier. They made landfall at an island in the…

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Family courts plan for paperless processes

HM Courts and Tribunals (HMCTS) has provided an update on its plans to modernise e-working in family law.   It’s vision is to have paperless processes from issue to resolution across this often complex and emotional area of law.   The first step will be to introduce “shared storage systems”, hopefully by Spring 2018.   At Labrums, we are aware of the benefits being paperless can bring to clients in terms of speed…

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We are supporting Remember a Charity Wills Week Campaign

We are extremely pleased to be supporting this year`s Remember a Charity annual Wills campaign, which follows on from last year`s very successful  campaign.    To help support this important and worthwhile cause, we are offering a 10% discount for all Wills being prepared from the beginning of the campaign (Monday 11th September) until the end of the month.   This year`s theme for the campaign is “What a Wonderful Will”…

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Free solicitor drop-in session

Iain Wanstall is running a free drop in session where clients can discuss wills and legacy gifts at the London Breast Cancer Haven, on Wednesday 13th September 12 p.m. to 4p.m.   Please email Iain if you would like to meet him for a chat that day.   Iain has many years experience advising clients about later life and estate/IHT planning, wills, lasting powers of attorney, asset protection and court of protection issues. Read more about…

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Holiday Blues

Summer can be a lovely time of year but can also be very stressful for couples particularly if the relationship is not going well.   Planning and preparing for a holiday followed by uninterrupted time together and with the family can bring any cracks to the fore.   If you would like to discuss your relationship issues and potential next steps please contact us to make an appointment to see our expert Reshma Sunnassee on 01727 858807 or…

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Free Family Law Surgery.

We are continually being asked how much we charge for initial consultations for family law issues, not least when it comes to couples getting divorced. Our answer is simple, the first session is free, we believe it is fundamental that clients feel comfortable and confident in their lawyer and it is not fair to charge for this session.   You can have a free 30-minute family law appointment, where you will be able to speak to our family law experts…

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Abuse of Power of Attorney

The below article details how a Harpenden man attempted to defraud his stepmother using a Power of Attorney. It is vital to ensure you get expert legal advice when preparing Powers of Attorney. Carefully and professionally prepared Lasting Powers of Attorney can assist greatly where people may need, or want, assistance in looking after their affairs.  Read the full article here.   For more information call Iain Wanstall on 01727 858807…

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Stephen comments on yesterdays Supreme Court ruling that employment tribunals should be free

"The U.K. witnessed yesterday a seminal moment in the evolution of the Rule of Law, when the Supreme Court ruled that the Government's previous actions in imposing fees on applicants to the Employment Tribunal were unlawful. The court went further, and said that access to justice was a constitutional right, so potentially its decision may be of far wider significance. On the downside this decision may trigger a surge of unwelcome claims…

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Susana meets King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain

Susana met King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain yesterday at the Spanish Embassy in London. Susana attended with her husband and daughter, who managed to get a selfie with Queen Letizia. It was a momentous day for all who attended.   The last State Visit from Spain to the UK was in 1986 by King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia.   Read more about Susana here              

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Iain Wanstall speaking to Nat West SME clients about how to plan for the future

Iain Wanstall will be speaking to Nat West SME clients about how to plan for the future   Iain will be talking about some of the succession steps that should be considered by business owners, including wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney. Iain, after his initial career as an Army Officer, has specialised in private client law and advising individuals on succession planning and related matters for the last 20 years read more about him here.…

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Susana to meet the King and Queen of Spain during their state visit to the UK this week

King Felipe VI, accompanied by Queen Letizia of Spain, has accepted an invitation from The Queen to pay a State Visit to the United Kingdom from 12th to 14th July this year. They will visit Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace.   The last State Visit from Spain to the UK was in 1986 by King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia.   On the morning of 12th July, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will greet the couple at their hotel on behalf…

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To mark Armed Forces Day – Get to know a bit more about Iain Wanstall

Everyone at Labrums would like to wish all those who are currently serving in the Armed Forces, or have served in the past, and their families, all the very best for this year`s Armed Forced Day celebrations. We would also like to thank you for the valued services you are carrying out now, and have carried out in the past.   Our head of private client and later life services, Iain Wanstall, spent his first career in the Army before changing…

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We’re Hiring- Residential Property Solicitor

We have an opportunity for a Residential Property Solicitor to join us.   Our business continues to grow so if you want to work in an environment where you can deliver high levels of expertise and service to clients, whilst working flexibly and using the latest technology and working practices, contact us today.   Our office is in the beautiful St Albans countryside where you can work or see clients but we also have the systems to allow…

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Divorce ruling ends era of 50/50 split

Among non-lawyers, there prevails a belief that marital assets are simply divided 50:50 in a divorce. However, you should not assume that this is always the case as illustrated in this recent article in The Times.   As this very recent case shows that the final outcome can be rather different.     Read the article here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/divorce-ruling-ends-era-of-50-50-split-cmzkfxkqm?shareToken=1e1067b19eaa453a8baf4f196cf409a0…

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The separation of divorce and financial proceedings

The President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, has recently issued his 17th View from the President's Chambers, as to the separation of divorce and financial proceedings.   He says that the separation is necessary because:   only a minority of divorce cases give rise to a financial claim divorce, as a process, is largely administrative and bureaucratic with limited judicial involvement, and unless the petition is defended, involves…

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Spain is still the place to go!

Airport traffic figures for Spain have risen in the first four months of the year and look set to continue. People are visiting Spain not just for holidays; spanish property purchases are on the increase again.   Passenger traffic figures for San Javier airport continued to show an increase during April, the latest figures released show that traffic at the airport rose by just under 20% during the first four months of the year, bringing…

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Good news – reduction in registration fees for Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) & Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs)

It is not often that fees decrease, but the registration fees for LPAs have in fact been reduced.   The fees charged by The Office of Public Guardian to register LPAs and EPAs have been reduced from £110 to £82 for each document.   Iain, our Head of Private Client and Later Life Department, says that “LPAs are extremely important documents which enable you to appoint someone, or some people, as your attorneys. …

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Probate Fees to increase from May 2017

The Government is introducing a dramatic rise in probate fees from May this year.   Currently flat fees apply of £215 if probate is applied for by friend or family member and £155 if a solicitor completes the process. Under the new plans estates worth £2m will have to pay a fee of £20,000 to execute the wishes of the deceased’s will.   There is less of an impact on smaller estates of between £50,000-…

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Planning for Later Life – join us for a free talk from our expert

Making a will and planning for later life to ensure your wishes are carried out and your loved ones' inheritance is protected is one of the most important things you will ever do.   Iain Wanstall our resident expert runs free talks at our offices to help clients put plans in place to ensure that their wishes are carried out. Please call the office to book your place at his next talk. Tel: 01727 858807 or email crt@labrums.co.uk    …

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Later Life Legal Question & Answer Session

Iain Wanstall is conducting a Q & A session at Sunrise of Beaconsfield to provide people with some answers to the type of questions below:   Have you ever wondered what a power of attorney is? What is a Living Will? How do you go about putting them in place?   Iain provides regular talks to clients to help with later life planning, if you would like more information about when & where his next talk is, please call the office to…

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What does leaving the EU mean for family law?

Our family lawyer Reshma is a member of resolution which is an organisation committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes.   Reshma, like all resolution members, follows a code of Practice that promotes a non-confrontational approach to family problems.   See what resolution say about recent key developments and their impact on family law here   If you need further help please call Reshma on  01727 858807 .  …

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Buying or selling a leasehold property?

 With more than four million homes in England being leasehold, it is vital that you fully understand the terms of any lease and the fees you may have to pay, if you are contemplating buying or selling a leasehold property.   Although the government is considering reforms in this area, for the moment leasehold transactions are often complex and burdensome, and must be handled with care.   Our experienced property team can help you to…

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Getting married abroad?

You need to make sure it is recognised in England & Wales.   Nowadays getting married abroad is much more common. The romance, excitement and intimacy are only a few of the reasons!   It is very easy to get lost in the excitement and the wedding preparations, and then overlook the necessity to check that all formalities are complied with.   Each country has its own set of laws and procedural regulations that must be complied…

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Did you see the Mail on Saturday “Victory” article?

Malcom Young has recently recovered approximately £200,000 following a change in spanish law.   He has recovered money he thought he’d lost forever following the 2008 property crash in Spain.     Labrums has already acted for many clients who have successfully recovered the deposits they paid, many with interest.   Call our Spanish Solicitor, Susana Diez on 01727 858807 today to see if you can make a valid claim…

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You can get your spanish property deposit back!

If you were one of the many people who hoped to buy a property in Spain about 10 years ago, then had your hopes dashed by the crash in the spanish property market and subsequently lost money – we can help you.   Most people thought they had no chance of seeing their money again, but a ruling by the Spanish Supreme Court in December 2015 changed that.   Banks in Spain are now liable to refund money which was paid and lost by home buyers…

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Free divorce or separation advice available

A recent newspaper article highlighted that 2 million couples will face divorce after Christmas but will not be prepared for the financial cost.   Christmas and New Year often trigger a decision to divorce or separate but many couples have no idea of the potential legal bills they may face.   Getting the right advice from the right family lawyer at this particularly stressful time is vital. This is why we offer a Free Family Law Surgery.…

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Spanish Services

  Did you know that Picasso painted "The Blue Nude" during a period of acute depression, following the death of a close friend? He later commented that his melancholy fed into this painting.   We not only have an office in Picasso's homeland, but also a British based Abogado, Susana Díez Urquiola, as part of our international team.   She says : I am happy to help with any  Spanish legal problems, or issues…

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‘A No-Fault Divorce’

For many years there have been discussions about the need to update divorce law.   Divorce is not easy, even if it is amicable. It is usually a time of worry, conflict and stress. It often includes financial pressure and deep worries about the children.   Right now the Divorce law in England and Wales states the only ground for divorce is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably and that one of the following five facts are met:  …

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Why you should use a Solicitor to write your will

In a survey solicitors have been backed by the public as the best option to ensure that wishes written into wills are met.   In the survey by Will Aid, a partnership between the legal profession and top charities, 62% of respondents said they prefer to use a solicitor to manage their will.   The research also revealed that the public were generally unaware of the rules and regulations governing will-writers and that will-writers can practise…

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What happens if you don’t leave a valid will?

The rules of intestacy apply! Which means:   If you have no children, your spouse (husband/wife/civil partner) will inherit the entire estate. However, if you have children your spouse will only inherit the first £250,000 (plus all personal belongings). The rest will be split 50/50 between your spouse and any children – If a child has died before you leaving you with grandchildren that child’s share will go to the grandchildren…

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Our approach to conducting negotiations with another solicitor

  When conducting negotiations with another party's solicitor, there is no point in being dogmatic, or trapping him or her in a metaphorical corner. A client will not appreciate a negotiating stalemate. Ego can also be a problem in negotiations -it can often cloud judgment, or raise expectations prematurely, or set one up for an almighty fall! In the context of complex contracts, options or commercial leases, it is often best to agree heads…

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Due Diligence & Flooding

Flooding is becoming an increasing problem and needs to be considered when buying or leasing a property.   Things to think about:   Flooding can cause "contaminants" to migrate from one property to another If you own property next to a river, then at law you are obliged to accept flood flows from elsewhere. You are also obliged to keep the banks clear from obstructions if they cause increased flood risk Insurers may…

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Pitfalls of Buying Property at Auction

You are at your first auction, you get swept up with all the excitement, and make your bid. You have been successful.   What can go wrong? The answer is plenty. Some of the legal problems that you may encounter include:   Leases not registered at the Land Registry, so they are void which damages investment values Recent covenants blocking development Undisclosed legal proceedings to forfeit the main lease of the building Vat payable, but…

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Labrums are proud to be supporting this year`s Remember a Charity in your Will week

This year marks the 7th annual campaign by Remember a Charity with this year`s theme being “Pass on Something Legendary”.    The campaign follows on from last year`s very successful “Extreme Will Writing Campaign”, which featured a number of volunteers including our own Iain Wanstall  (while at his previous firm,) writing new Wills to leave legacies to charities – while sky diving!  Watch…

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Business Rates Bombshell

  Following Woolway v Mazars, the Supreme Court ruled that where a tenant in a building in multiple occupation occupied two floors that were not adjoining/contiguous, each floor was a separate unit of property for rating purposes. Had the two floors been treated as one, the occupier might have saved some money. Sometimes, the rate able value of one merged unit can be less than the total value of the two (or more) individual units.  …

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We’re Hiring- Apprentice, Clients Services Team Manager & Solicitors

We have an opportunity for a young person to join us as an Apprentice and are working with Oaklands College to provide an Intermediate Apprenticeship in Business Administration level 2. To find out more click here.     We are also about to post an Ad for someone to join us to manage our Client Services Team (CST), so if you have excellent attention to detail, customer service and supervisory experience, contact us today.   Last but…

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The benefits to clients of us being virtually paperless

As a client the top ten things you will benefit from are below. You will get: A cost effective service A speedier response Quicker access to your Solicitor & the Client Services Team Access that is not be restricted to “9-5” Electronic communication Electronic documentation Secure communications & faster turnaround times than paper post The ability to scan and email documents back to us An uncluttered, clear desk environment if…

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We’ve been shortlisted by Law Society for National Excellence in Technology Award

We are delighted to have been shortlisted for these national awards as we have already won regional awards for our Blogs, Responsive Website and Online Innovation.   The Law Society have said: “The names of the brightest and best from the solicitor profession have been unveiled by the Law Society of England and Wales in their 10th annual Excellence Awards shortlist.   The awards are a recognition of the commitment, enthusiasm and…

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Property Fraud

    Given interacting on-line is an increasingly important part of our daily lives, there is a growing risk of your property being fraudulently sold or mortgaged by criminals.   There are two things you can do to help protect your property from being stolen from you or used as security if your property is already registered with the Land Registry:   Track changes to the register   You can sign up with the Land Registry to…

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Race for Life Success for Labrums Ladies

  We couldn’t be prouder of the Labrums Ladies after another fantastic performance in this year’s St Albans Race for Life. The team, made up of Teresa, Michelle, Charlotte, Katie, and Mia, raised nearly £370 for Cancer Research UK.   Special congratulations must go to Katie, who finished 2nd in the 5k race - a fantastic achievement. It was also Teresa's 14th time participating in the Race for Life and it certainly…

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Buying or selling a house doesn't need to be stressful

  At Labrums, we know how stressful it can be to buy or sell a house. That's why we make it our mission to be as approachable and as helpful to our clients as possible. Take a look at our video below to find out how our Residential Conveyancer, Collette, goes the extra mile for our clients.        If you would like any help or advice then call us on 01727 858807 and we’ll do everything we can to make sure…

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Positive Property Sales Figures For Murcia

    The latest property sales figures show that Murcia is one of the leading regions in Spain in terms of growth. Read more in the excerpt from Murcia Today below.     If you have any questions about Spanish Property, contact Michael or Susana on 01727 858807 or email crt@labrums.co.uk      

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Trusts: How to leave assets to those you love

    What is a trust?   Trusts, famously used by the families of both Tony Blair and George Osborne, amongst thousands of others, are a perfectly legal way to help individuals pass wealth down the generations.   Before you worry that you are about to get sucked into a tax avoidance scandal, Trusts have been used since the Crusades, and long out date any current tax law. They were originally designed for knights who left their property…

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Murcia Property News - July 2016

    As reported by Murcia Today, the Spanish property market is beginning to reflect the increasing number of mortgage registrations. The article below explains the situation in more detail, focusing particularly on the Region of Murcia.    If you have any questions about Spanish Property, contact Michael or Susana on 01727 858807 or email crt@labrums.co.uk    

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Meet our Client Services Team

  At Labrums, we are dedicated to providing the best service to each and every client and this is the key role of our Client Services Team (CST). CST look after clients as cases are opened and the regulatory documentation is completed. They also support our legal team, enabling them to provide high quality legal advice combined with excellent customer service.    Our clients will know members of CST well as they are the first people…

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Murcia Property News - June 2016

    As reported by Murcia Today, the recovery of the property market in Murcia is spreading, with the number of sales rising by 16.3%.    Source: Murcia Today   If you have any questions about Spanish Property, contact Michael or Susana on 01727 858807 or email crt@labrums.co.uk    

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Murcia Property News - May 2016

    As reported by Murcia Today, mortgage registrations in Murcia, Spain, have increased in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year.    Source: Murcia Today   If you have any questions about Spanish Property, contact Michael or Susana on 01727 858807 or email crt@labrums.co.uk    

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Could you be owed money from the Spanish property collapse?

    Did you lose your deposit when purchasing a Spanish property off plan?  You could be in line for a pay out following a landmark ruling in the Supreme Court in Spain.   It is reported that up to 100,000 UK investors could be paid as much as £20,000 each. This would total £2bn owed to Britons who lost money before 2008. The deposits paid to developers when purchasing off plan should have been paid into a bank account…

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Labrums - The Paperless Law Firm

  If you haven’t spotted it on our social media profiles, we are celebrating National Green Office Week this week, between the 9th and 14th of May.   Being environmentally friendly is something we at Labrums take very seriously. For the past five years, we’ve operated as a “paperless” office; something almost unheard of within the legal sector.   There are currently nine members of our team who deal with the…

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Top Tips for Landlords

    Choose your tenants very, very, carefully   We’re starting with a really obvious one, but it’s still worth highlighting. Once tenants are in possession of the property it will take time, and possibly court action, to remove them.     There is also the important issue of mandatory immigration checks, so Landlords should obey three golden rules:    Obtain original versions of documents  Check…

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Can you dismiss someone for pulling a 'sickie'?

  The sickie - the one or two days a year where some people are defeated by a hangover or plan a shopping trip and resort to calling into work sick.   The question is, can an employee be dismissed because of it? The recent case of Metroline West Ltd v Mr Ajaj UKEAT/0185/15/RN looked at when is it 'fair' to dismiss an employee if the employer suspects the employee may be exaggerating their ailments. To give you a bit of background…

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The Aftermath of the St Albans Sinkhole

  It’s not long since we discussed the 12 metre wide sinkhole that suddenly appeared in St. Albans. If you missed it, take a look at our original article here.   Since then, the residents have been forced to live in alternative accommodation whilst further survey work was undertaken on the cavity on Fontmell Close. It is hoped that the day of their return home is drawing nearer, as a report on the findings will be finalised within…

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The Brexit Vote – What it means for holiday homes

  On June 23rd, the UK will vote on whether or not it should remain in the EU. We’re sure you've already seen and read plenty about the potential pitfalls of both staying in the EU, and of opting out.  However, not much has been written about potential effects to Spanish property should the British  population vote to leave come the Brexit vote so here's a bit more information for you to digest.   First things first,…

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Introducing Karen

  We are delighted to welcome Karen Weiner to the Labrums team.   After qualifying 25 years ago, Karen has specialised in Family Law for the past 18 years so she brings with her a wealth of experience in the sector.   Family Law is the area Karen feels most passionate about because of the variety of personalities it allows her to work with and also because of the relationships she can build with her clients.   She said: "I…

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Could Divorce be Digitised?

Something we keep saying here at Labrums – “The future is coming, get ready.” And if Sir James Munby's prediction is correct, divorce may be the next thing to become digitised.   The President of the Family Division told barristers that in future some court processes will be almost entirely digitised, citing online divorce and online probate as early examples. He said plans to digitise these proceedings could be initially…

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Labrums Embracing New Technology

  We are delighted to continue our innovative approach and use of technology to communicate with our clients by using The Link App to keep our clients up to date.    The Link App is a revolutionary communication tool that connects us to our client’s smartphone application and is free for them to use. We use The Link App to save clients time and money by providing real time progress on their case, reducing…

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Steeped in History

  Labrums is proud to be located in an area steeped in history.   As more new members of staff join the team, and people move to the area, we thought we would put together a little history of the area.   Sopwell House, opposite the Labrum’s offices, was built on the site of Sopwell Priory following the dissolution of the monasteries.   Legend has it that two local women lived as hermits beside the river and in…

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Introducing Susana

Susana Diez is the latest face to join the Labrum’s team.   Susana is a Spanish solicitor who qualified in 1985 from Deusto University in Spain.   She is a member of the Bilbao Bar, and has been a Registered European Lawyer with the Law Society since 1997.   During her first post graduate years in Spain, she worked as a solicitor and a tax adviser for small companies and private individuals.   Susana moved to England in…

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This January and February...

This January, Labrums is offering 20% off the normal cost of a will or Lasting Power of Attorney.   It’s the new year. You’ve decided to lose weight, quit smoking, drink less etc. But have you promised yourself to get your affairs in order?   Around half of the adult population don’t have a will. But why not if it's so important?   Many people state they don't think they need one, that they believe they don't…

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HACKING: The Untold Story!

Computer hacking is the great train robbery or jewellery heist of the 21st century.   Traditional thefts such as chain-snatching and gold robbery now seem to be the petty thefts in comparison to hacking, which is constantly hitting the headlines. Hacking, commonly defined as breaking into computer systems with a view to access information, is a criminal offence and if found guilty it can hold a jail term of up to two years.   These days…

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Introducing Iain

Labrums has welcomed a new face to their ever-expanding team - Iain Wanstall.   Iain, who has over 19 years experience in law, will head up the later life, wills and probate team at the St Albans legal firm.   Iain, who lives in Wendover, South Bucks, plans to expand the customer base of the practice, visiting people in their own homes in the St Albans area and further afield.   He also plans to work with other professionals to…

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Labrums: 2015 - A Year In Review

After setting targets to aim for at the start of the year, no one could predict the success that Labrums Solicitors has received.   With four acclaimed awards under their belt, an appearance on the radio, Labrums has now become one of the only legal firms in the UK to successfully win a test case in Spain.   Michael Labrum, senior partner, said: “At the beginning of the year we sat down and set out some targets.   “We set…

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Viva Espana

Labrums Solicitors has had a phenomenal year - and next year is shaping up to be another big one.   With an office due to come online in Murcia next year, the Spanish Services department of the legal firm is due to take the firm international.   But that is not the only good news the firm has received in Spain… Labrums is now believed to be the first legal firm in the UK to help clients without bank guarantees recoup their deposits…

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Did you see us in the news?

Did you see Labrums featured in the Herts Advertiser?   If not, here are the four pages that featured in the publication about the Herts Business Awards and our award for Online Innovator.   Hertfordshire Digital Awards ad.

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Unwanted Attention

Did you know that bullying can be classed as harassment - which carries a criminal penalty of up to six months in prison?   Although there is no precise legal definition, conduct under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 states that harassment is defined as alarming a person or causing a person distress.   Before you assume that sounds pretty harmless, harassment is a criminal offence.   Not only does it cover actions, the Act…

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Labrums On Air

Following on from their recent win at the Herts Business Awards, Labrums Solicitors were invited on to Radio Verulam to talk about how they have embraced digital technology.   Labrums, based in St Albans, have had an incredible year - winning four awards for their digital approach to business in a sector traditionally seen as old fashioned.   The law firm, which also celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, has been leading the way in…

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Labrums win an award for 'Online Innovator'

Labrums Solicitors was one of the many nervous finalists attending the Herts Business Awards last night.   Labrums was shortlisted for the Online innovator category, alongside Trademark Eagle, Business Film Booth, and The Beez Kneez Fitness.   The judging panel, largely consisting of the event sponsors, including KPMG and Barclays Bank.   After much anticipation, Labrums Solicitors was announced as the winner at the Knebworth Barns…

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Sibling Rivalry

Age and ill health bring many financial problems for families.   But one of the unnecessary strains is when siblings squabble over how their parent’s cash is being spent and alleged abuses of powers of attorney.   The scenarios where this is the case are easily imagined.   Typically, an elderly parent is in care, or being cared for at home and to some degree is incapacitated.   The children all play their roles to help things…

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It’s all in the detail

When it comes to contracts, how many of us can say they have read all the small print?   It is the fine print that can make the difference between paying a fair rent on a business premises, or paying more than the market value.   Michael Labrum, senior partner at Labrums Solicitors, said: “I have been revising a commercial lease for an Indian restaurant.   “In the past they have used a standard commercial lease agreement…

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London calling

Ricky Gervais recently put his stunning London house on the market for £7.7M - but sales of homes in the capital have plummeted nearly a quarter year-on-year.   According to the Land Registry, London saw a 23% decline in sales this year.   Across England and Wales 851 homes were sold for over £1million in January, a 19% fall compared with January last year, when 1,049 properties in this bracket were snapped up.   Stamp…

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The hidden truth

Environmental searches, introduced in the 1990s, help potential homeowners identify possible problems before money and contracts are exchanged.   Use of the land hundreds of years ago can have a huge impact today. Unfortunately no one realises this more than the residents of Fontmell Close in St Albans.   On 1 October, residents of the suburban street had to evacuate their homes when a massive sinkhole measuring 66ft wide and 33ft deep…

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Where there's a will...

Having a will isn’t just a case of a tick box exercise. A good will is a document which will protect you and your family’s investments.   Michael Labrum, of Labrum’s Solicitors, said: “I saw a client who wanted me to look at the will that had been drawn up for him and his wife before they signed it.   “He had been to a will writing company because he thought they would be better and cheaper.   “On…

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Making the right decision

If someone leaves everything to someone they have just met is it because they have lost mental capacity, or are they just in love?   At what point should you consider whether you are incapable of making your own decisions?   This is a very delicate matter with lots of grey areas.   There are a number of reasons why you might need someone to make decisions for you or act on your behalf.   It could just be temporary. For example,…

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Labrums - a multi-award winning company

Labrums is delighted to announce that it has won TWO gold awards in the inaugural Herts Digital Awards 2015.   The law firm was the only company out of the finalists to receive two gold awards - despite being in the same room as a number of companies specialising in digital media.   The event, held at the Holiday Inn in Stevenage, saw finalists go head to head in 14 categories.   Labrums, based just outside of St Albans centre, was…

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Icebreaker event hailed a success

  An icebreaker breakfast, ahead of tonight’s Herts Digital Awards, has been hailed a success by its hosts.   Labrums Solicitors organised the networking breakfast at the impressive Knebworth House barns for fellow finalists and local businesses to meet ahead of this evening’s awards at the Holiday Inn, Stevenage .     Labrums are finalists in four categories of the awards - including ‘responsive website’,…

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Let's get together - Your invite to our FREE awards networking breakfast

  Labrums are hosting a free breakfast ice breaker event for fellow finalists of the Herts Digital Awards and local businessmen and women.   The event, on Thursday 24 September - the morning of the awards - will begin at 8.00am at Knebworth Barns Conference Centre in Knebworth and will conclude at approximately 9.30am.   The delicious breakfast buffet is complimentary for ticket holders. The morning meeting is an opportunity for finalists…

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Home sweet home

Have you heard of Air BnB? It’s a site for people to list, discover and book unique accommodation around the world - whether it’s a flat for the night, a castle for the week or  villa for a month.   However, for landlords putting their property on the website it comes with hidden dangers, says Michael Labrum, senior partner at Labrums Solicitors.   In legal terms, this action is called subletting. Subletting (or subleasing)…

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Virtually Paperless

The clichéd impression of a law firm office, stacked to the ceiling with manilla files and an overflowing intray, couldn’t be further from the truth for one St Alban’s law firm.   Labrums solicitors, which celebrates 25 years in business this year, has run a paperless office for the last four years.   The company was one of the first businesses - let alone legal firms - to make the change from clutter to cloud.  …

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How do I make a will and why should I use a solicitor?

How do I make a will and why should I use a solicitor?   First, you must list what you have in your estate, then you can decide how your estate is to be shared between beneficiaries (who gets what).   You also need to think about:   What happens if any of your beneficiaries die before you do Who will look after your children (if you have any) Who should carry out the wishes contained in your will (your executor) Any other wishes you…

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Celebrating 25 years

An innovative paperless law firm in St Albans is celebrating 25 years of business.   Labrums Solicitors, based at New Barnes Mill in Cottonmill Lane was established by Michael Labrum in 1990.   Michael, who is not afraid to think outside the box, is a trailblazer in the profession. He and his team have run a paperless office for the past four years, and the firm is currently finalist in four digital award categories of the Hertfordshire…

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Blowing Hot Air

Ladies, put your hands up if you’ve had to consider what to wear for the office based on the temperature of the workplace?   And men, how many of you are sick of women complaining that it’s too cold when you’re desperate to open a window?   This is one of the age old battles of the sexes.   But have you ever considered that it may be creating a divide between the males and females in your office? An underlying, unaddressed…

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'Til Death Do Us Part?

Recently engaged? Congratulations! What an exciting time for your both. This is a wonderful time and no doubt you've already been googling venues, wedding dresses and colour schemes.   When you’re as head-over-heels in love as you are right now, the last thing you want to discuss with your future Mr or Mrs is what will happen if your upcoming marriage fails.   But, with 118,140 divorces in 2012 it's not a case of being unromantic,…

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Labrums are leading the way

Labrums Solicitors has been shortlisted as finalists in four categories in the inaugural Hertfordshire Digital Awards.   Judges for the award, which will be held on 24th September 2015 at the Holiday Inn in Stevenage, shortlisted the St Alban's legal firm in four categories - more than any other entrant.   Teresa Crowley, Practice Manager said: “We are delighted that the judges have recognised the effort we have put into keeping…

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Have you thought ahead to the future?

There's nothing more certain in life than death.   Hopefully everyone reading this will live long, happy and healthy lives. But what about when your time comes? Have you put your affairs in order? Have you provided for your family? Have you made arrangements to ease the burden on your loved ones?   So what should you put in a will and what will happen if you don't have one?   Michael Labrum, founder of Labrums Solicitors, said…

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Running for a Good Cause

Staff from Labrum's Solicitors joined the 'pink army' on Sunday when they took part in the St Alban's Race For Life.   The team of three, including Teresa Crowley, Katie Chaplin and Michelle Devine-Steel, pulled on their trainers and as much pink clothing as they could manage for the event, in support of Cancer Research UK.   The 'Labrum Ladies' completed the event at Verulamium Park in St Albans and raised a fantastic…

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The Dangers of Social Media at Work

So, you've found your dream job. You look the part. You've done lots of interview preparation and dazzled the panel with your personality and business acumen. So why didn't you get the job? Have you ever thought that your boozy Facebook pictures and tweets criticising your current boss may have had a part to play? In this new digital era, employers have so many more resources available to them when trying to find a new recruit.…

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Weird Law Wednesday

When we share little-known laws on Twitter for #WeirdLawWednesday, they always get a good response so we thought we'd put some new ones together in a blog for you.   Do you know any others? Tweet us @LabrumsStAlbans, we'd love to hear from you!  

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How Having a Will Can Prevent Family Feuds

  Financial issues are one of the most common reasons for family arguments and when stress and emotional levels are high after the death of a loved one the last thing that is needed is a dispute about money. Despite this, 59% of Britons still do not have a will, according to new research published by Macmillan Cancer Support.   The cancer charity found that around a million Britons have experienced a family argument over money after a relative…

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Is social media linked to marital unhappiness?

  According to an Ofcom study from April 2014, 66% of adults state that they currently have at least one active social media profile, with services such as Facebook, Twitter and others proving useful for staying in touch with friends and family, playing games and more. However, studies have also been conducted that suggest there is a darker side to these social media services, with a number of sources linking sites such as Facebook with marital…

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Property Solicitor needed to join the Labrums team

  This is an opportunity for a Residential/Commercial Property Solicitor to come and work in our spacious offices at St Albans.   The role would suit you if you are 0-3 years PQE, have excellent IT skills and want to join an innovative, growing, CQS accredited firm.   Also, if you would like to:   Give clients excellent service Ensure clients are offered solutions and have peace of mind Work with a firm that is embracing technology…

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5 Things to Remember About the Legalities of Rebranding

  5 Things to Remember About the Legalities of Rebranding   It's no secret that effective branding is critical to getting ahead in business. Here are the five legal points you need to be aware of if you intend to make your brand a success.  Protection is about more than just a name It's a common misconception that a brand is only the name of the company in question. Actually, the notion of protecting your unique business identity…

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Looking to Join the Labrums Team?

    Labrums offers its Consultant Solicitors a unique opportunity to achieve a perfect work/life balance and personal/professional goals. Our spacious offices are in St Albans so there is a choice to work from home or in a paperless modern office or a mixture of both. Consultants deal with a variety of cases or can specialise in a particular area of law. Reward is on a percentage fee split with additional reward for bringing in work/clients.…

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Some Suprising Facts About Divorce

For this week's infographic we've put together a few facts about divorce. Take a look and tweet us @LabrumsStAlbans      For more advice on family law contact one of our team on 01727858807 to see how we can help you.

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Cohabitation Rights Bill gives basic rights to cohabiting couples

The Cohabitation Rights Bill is a step closer towards becoming law, after having its second reading in the House of Lords and currently being at committee stage. If passed, it will give greater legal rights to people living together, including if one of them dies.  The bill defines cohabitants as two people of the same or opposite gender who are in a relationship and are living together as a couple but not married or in a civil partnership.…

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Will Aid - Make a Will , Make a Difference

We are pleased to see that our total amount raised for Will Aid 2014 was : £24,779   For further information on Will Aid or to make an appointment to make a will, call us on 01727 858807 or email us on the Contact Page.          

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5 Weird and Wonderful Wills

We've found 5 weird and wonderful wills for this week's infographic. What's the strangest thing you'll leave in your will? Tweet us at @LabrumsStAlbans  

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UK's Strangest Laws - Fact or Myth?

Have a look at some of the weirdest laws we could find in the UK - are they fact or myth?  

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Why you need a shareholders' agreement when starting your business

It's common for entrepreneurs to go into business without planning contingencies for the future. Being driven and enthusiastic in your mindset is a positive way to start a new business endeavour, but untempered optimism can be problematic when you're planning for the long term. A shareholders' agreement is essential for anyone that is about to enter into business together, regardless of how well they may know one another. Here is a brief…

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Family Law Group Calls For More Humane Divorce Law

  Family law group calls for more humane divorce law   Resolution, an organisation of England and Wales family lawyers, has devised a blueprint for what it hopes will be a more equitable alternative to divorce and separation. This comes at a time when current laws are increasingly seen as belonging to another era and not wholly applicable to the dynamics of today's modern families.  Essentially, what the group wishes to do is remove…

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This Week at Labrums

An update from Michael Labrum   This week, I am preparing a shareholders agreement for two friends who are setting up a new business. It will set up how they will work together as shareholders and directors and what will happen if anything goes wrong. A little time and money spent now should help avoid a lot of expenses and problems in the future.   Team News   Some of the Labrums team visited the Modern Day Law Conference on Wednesday,…

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Red Nose Day at Labrums

As it's Red Nose Day this week, we got into the spirit of things by baking a batch of homemade cakes to sell in our office and donning our red noses.   Comic Relief is a fantastic charity that we are proud to support so we hope they manage to achieve their target of raising more than £1 billion in total donations on Friday.   We would love to see how you are getting involved with Red Nose Day. We'll retweet all of our favourite…

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This Week at Labrums

  An update from Michael Labrum   I have just received instructions on a case which on initial reading seems simple. It is a dispute regarding the payment of an invoice. However, it is far more complex when you look at it as the invoice is for goods made abroad and supplied to the UK. Therefore, there are initial questions to answer about which country’s law applies and where the contract was made.    It could have been…

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The Importance of Professional Will Writers

  An alarming proportion of the UK’s population have still not made a will. This is highlighted in a recent report released by The Law Society which revealed that 73% of 16-54 year-olds do not have a will. One of the main reasons for this is often because people believe that their assets or estate will automatically go to the people they would like it to go to. Usually that is not the case.   There is also a worrying…

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St Albans has fastest growing property prices in Britain

  St Albans is boasting Britain’s strongest house price growth over the past year, according to Nationwide. The average cost of a home in our historic town is now £494,777 after prices rose by 24% in the 12 months up to September 2014. This puts St Albans at the top of the table of “best performing” regional towns and cities, ahead of London, where prices are up by nearly 22% in the same period.   The Top 20 Towns…

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Welcome from Michael

I am delighted to launch our new website and mark my 25 years of practice in St Albans. You now have an opportunity to meet the whole team at Labrums who are ready to help you. You will see the services and experience available and I hope we can be of help to you, your family and friends shortly.

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Conveyance Quality Scheme

Labrums has secured membership to the Law Society's Conveyancing Quality Scheme - the mark of excellence for the home buying process.   The firm has undergone rigorous assessment by the Law Society in order to secure CQS status, which marks the firm out as meeting high standards in the residential conveyancing process.   Law Society President John Wotton said that the Law Society introduced CQS to promote high standards in…

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Our Charities

We are proud to support the following charities:   Macmillan Cancer Support    Will Aid   Rennie Grove Hospice Care   Remember a Charity   If you need more information on our online services, please call 01727 858807 or send us an enquiry by email.

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Will Aid - Make a Will, Make a Difference

We are pleased to see that our total amount raised for Will Aid 2013 was: £3,348.75 Our donations for 2014 are yet to be confirmed.   We will be donating our time and expertise again later this this year.   For further information on Will Aid or to make an appointment to make a will, call us on 01727 858807 or email us on the Contact Page.  

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Macmillian Cancer support

We hold annual coffee mornings as part of the Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning and have raised just over £700, which surpassed everyone's expectations. We are grateful to everyone who supported us and enjoyed the wonderful cakes!   Macmillan Cancer Support improves the lives of people affected by cancer. They provide practical, medical and financial support and push for better cancer care. Cancer affects us all, so our support and…

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