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Keighley News Article – 27.01.1989

One of WTW’s clients kindly handed in a Keighley News article on Turner & Wall from 1989. It really is a bit of a blast from the past.

Keighley News Article – 27.01.1989

Published on 27.01.1989 it details the recruitment of four ‘young’ solicitors including our very own Michael Bower (Director, Solicitor, Litigator & Equine Law Specialist). Only looking a just little bit more youthful we might add!

Turner & Wall Solicitors

Included in the article is a little bit about the firm’s history:

“It’s a far cry from the late 1920’s when Wilfred Turner and Harry Wall set up as solicitors using a couple of rooms in Arcade Chambers (Keighley, West Yorkshire), then a multi-occupancy office block.”

“Although Mr Turner died in 1940 and Mr Wall in 1966, the original company name was retained and Turner and Wall has thrived.”

WTW Solicitors – Looking Ahead

Of course things have moved on a lot since 1989. the firm has moved premises and there have been a number of staff changes. Further positive changes are due:

  • With another move planned (to 6-12 Devonshire Street) in the very near future.
  • Ongoing recruitment.
  • Continuing investment in technology.

As has always been the case WTW provide solicitors and legal experts who specialise in certain areas of the law, and who want the best possible outcome for their client.

 

 

 

 

 

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Cohabiting Disputes – ToLATA

Cohabiting Disputes

Questions 1

In proceedings under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA 1996), does equitable accounting only apply to the period after cohabiting parties have separated, or can the court consider the whole period they lived together at the property?

Question 2

Where a couple jointly own a property, but one party has paid all repayments in relation to a registered loan during their relationship, can that person argue under TOLATA 1996 that they should have an enhanced share of the sale proceeds?

Equitable Accounting

Equitable Accounting is the process where adjustments are made to the division of the sale proceeds of a property. This is done following an assessment of the parties’ shares, in order for there to be fair split of the assets. This tends to be a discretionary exercise.

House split

Occupation Rent

Occupation rent is defined as:

  • A matrimonial or joint tenant (tenants in common) property compensation claim.
  • This is based on an allegation that one spouse or joint tenant ought to be debited the value of her or his exclusive occupation of the family or jointly-held home.
  • The other party has often had to find alternative premises due to a dispute between the parties.
  • In matrimonial situations this is a more difficult area to assess particularly where the person who has remained in the property has had custody of the children.

Any discretion in relation to occupation rent should be exercised in accordance with sections 12–15 of the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996, rather than the older cases. However, the outcome will often be the same.

Common Arguments for Compensation

Other than occupation rent, the most common arguments for compensation are in relation to:

  • payment for improvement works to a property or
  • repayments on a mortgage.

Should the other party benefit from a share of the increase in equity that results from the other’s payments, without also assuming the burden of contributing to the expense in question?

Mortgages & Home Improvements

For example:

  • If one party had paid £10,000 off the mortgage following the separation, they would argue that they should have £10,000 more of the equity.
  • If one party had carried out improvement works that enhanced the value of the property by say £10,000 following the separation, they would argue that they should have £10,000 more of the equity, or a refund of the cost of the works prior to division (whichever was the lesser).
  • Where a mortgage is in joint names, both parties are also jointly and severally liable to repay it as a matter of contract. A party who discharges the other’s liability for a secured debt is therefore classed as the ‘prima facie’. I.e. They have an obvious and undoubted interest in the property.
  • In this situation they entitled to be reimbursed by them in ‘quasi-debt’/contribution. The position would apply to both payments of mortgage capital and mortgage interest.

In the case of Clarke v Harlowe, the court held that an account would usually be taken from the date of separation. Accordingly, extensive home improvement works (£90,000) made prior to separation by one party counted for nothing. The decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal in Wilcox v Tait.

It is easy to see the sense of this:

  • An expectation at the time of purchase that the parties would thereafter contribute to the mortgage equally, might soon be superseded.
  • One party might have to give up work to look after the children, or a relative, by reason of which they could no longer make the financial contribution that was originally envisaged.
  • Similarly, one party might pay the mortgage whilst the other paid the bills, or for holidays, cars or provided some other quid pro quo. In these circumstances their contributions (directly and indirectly to the mortgage) could be taken to be broadly equal.
  • The court should not readily embark on a detailed examination of the parties’ relationship and finances or attempt to draw up a balance-sheet of contributions (unless that had been expressly agreed).
  • Any occupation rent claimed by the party not in occupation is often equated in practice to their liability to contribute to the mortgage, so that those sums cancel out.

In summary:

  • There is no black and white answer as this is a discretionary exercise, however equitable accounting usually only applies to the period following separation.
  • The court is likely to be reluctant to attempt to formulate a ‘balance-sheet’ of the parties contributions to the mortgage during their relationship save in the most egregious circumstances.

Michael Bower can provide a straight forward assessment of your situation. Contact him direct on 01535 687084.

As a director and Litigation Specialist he has had lots of success with ToLATA cases. Please see our testimonials on the WTW Solicitors website and on our facebook page.

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Cancer Support Yorkshire – Fire & Ice Walk – 23rd November

Cancer Support Yorkshire Fire & Ice Walk

Fire & Ice Walk for Cancer Support Yorkshire

We are hoping to raise more money for Cancer Support Yorkshire, our Charity of the Year by taking part in the Fire & Ice Walk taking place on Sunday 12th November.

Our lovely Lee Kirby has already volunteered to take part – brave fella.

The event details:

  • Sunday 12th November 12.30pm – 5.30pm at Bradford & Bingley Sports Club
  • After specalised training you will not only be able to talk the talk, you will be able to conquer your fears and walk the walk!
  • £15 per walk or £25 to do both.
  • No minimum sponsorship
  • Commemorative T shirt for the first 50 people to raise over £100.

 

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Criminal Record – Child Contact

Can a father who has a criminal record for drug related offences still have contact with his child and is there any guidance on what will be considered by the court where there is a criminal record?

28/07/2017

Produced by Lexis PSL in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk

Section 1 of the Children Act 1989 provides that the paramount consideration for the court is the welfare of the child. Where a court is determining any question with respect to the upbringing of a child, it will have at the core of any decision what is in the child’s best interests.

When considering making orders regulating with whom a child lives or spends time with, the court will therefore consider what is best for the child having regard to the welfare checklist set out in Children Act 1989, and not what is best for the parent.

However, in 2014 following the Children and Families Act 2014, a number of new subsections were inserted into Children Act 1989.

This also provides that the court is to presume, unless the contrary is shown, that involvement in the life of the child by a parent will further the child’s welfare.

Involvement

‘Involvement’ is defined by Children Act 1989 as being involvement of some kind, either direct or indirect, but not any particular division of time. The purpose of this presumption was to direct courts that some form of involvement should be directed unless there was reason not to do so.

The Children Act, provides that ‘parent’ for the purposes of the presumption includes any parent that can be involved in the child’s life in a way that does not put the child at risk of suffering harm.

Court Discretion

There is a wide discretion for the court to consider what orders to make, having regard to the welfare checklist, and with the welfare of the child being paramount.

This basically means that the court will approach each case individually and consider whether any order that it is asked to make meets those statutory criteria.

Given the scope of this discretion, neither statute nor case law tends towards prescriptive rules relating to categories of cases where contact will or will not be ordered. Each case will turn on its own facts, as has been repeatedly emphasised by the higher courts.

Drug Related Offences

As a result, a conviction for drug-related offences is not of itself a bar to contact. However, depending on the nature of the conviction, this will be one of the factors that the court and Cafcass (The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) will take into consideration in respect of safeguarding and welfare.

  • This may mean that, due to the nature of the offence, ultimately a court will decide that the presumption of involvement is rebutted, or that any contact should be limited to indirect contact—gifts or cards for example.
  • However, it may also mean that there is no bar to contact whatsoever, if the conviction is historical and/or the nature of the offence was minor.
  • The case could also fall between those two extremes, with the court requiring contact to be supervised and for there to be regular hair strand drug tests, combined with undertakings not to use or be under the influence of drugs when with the children.

As each case will turn on its own facts, there is limited guidance to be drawn from reported case law relating to criminality; however, the existence of a criminal record will be highlighted in the initial safeguarding checks contained within the Cafcass (The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) safeguarding letter, and depending on the nature of that record may then be relevant to the recommendations made to the court and the orders consequentially made.

If you further guidance on the issues raised in this article then please contact Mark Hagyard on 01535 687070.

 

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Council House Building Programme announced by Teresa May

New Council House Image

In her leader’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference, Teresa May announced that Local Authorities will be given the power to commence building new council house stock.

BBC coverage quoted May as saying:

Hailing plans to “reignite home ownership” in Britain, she said the government plans to invest an additional £2bn in affordable housing, taking the total budget up to almost £9bn.

If ministers made the land available and gave young people the skills to build the houses, she challenged house builders to ensure they “build the homes our country needs”.

The BBC’s assistant political editor Norman Smith said the focus on council housing underlines Mrs May’s readiness to intervene and use the public sector to build houses in a way not seen since the 1950s. “

Source: BBC News

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41493370

 

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Charity of the Year – Cancer Support Yorkshire

Well the staff at WTW are really putting in some effort to raise money for our charity of the year, Cancer Support Yorkshire.

Cancer Support Yorkshire

Food always goes down well so for the second time this year we are having a foodie week. Members of the team have treated us to savoury and sweet delights each day. These have so far included chilli, buffet goodies, carrot and chocolate cake. We still have sweet & sour chicken, Indian delights and afternoon tea to come.

An increasing waistline and lighter pockets is a small price to pay!

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Lee Kirby – Accreditation from Solicitors for Elderly

Solicitors for the Elderly Logo

Lee Kirby – Solicitors for the Elderly

WTW Solicitors are proud to announce that Lee Kirby (FCILEx) has been accredited by the Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE).

Lee Kirby

Working alongside Myron Handzij (Director/Solicitor) who is also accredited by the SFE they can both provide tailored solutions for those wishing to plan for later life. They also take a great deal of pride in the way they deal with elderly clients, their families and carers.

STEP

They are also both members of STEP providing further comfort for those who are considering choosing a legal practitioner to handle their affairs.

Step Logo

If you wish to contact Lee or Myron then please call 01535 662644.

Solicitors for the Elderly – Accredited Solicitors at WTW in Keighley, West Yorkshire

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Celebrate Roald Dahl Day!

Childhood classics! #RoaldDahlDay ‘A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.’

Roald Dahl Day

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Handzij – Lasting Powers of Attorney

Myron Handzij

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs)

Local solicitor Myron Handzij from WTW Solicitors based in Keighley, West Yorkshire has defended lasting powers of attorney (LPA) after Denzil Lush, the former Senior Judge of the Court of Protection, warned they may leave elderly people open to abuse.

An LPA is a powerful legal document that allows a person to appoint trusted individuals to make important decisions about care and finances on their behalf, in the event of a loss of mental capacity through an accident or illness such as dementia.

In the foreword to a new book on the subject, Mr Lush raised concerns about the “lack of transparency” in how appointed attorneys manage older people’s finances. The former judge went on to criticise the Ministry of Justice as being “disingenuous” in its promotion of the legal document.

Solicitors for the Elderly

However, Myron Handzij – a member of national organisation Solicitors for the Elderly – said LPAs are effective safeguards when created responsibly:

“Senior Judge Lush’s comments have given rise to fears that LPAs are a direct avenue for financial abuse. However, his comments must be put into context, as his 20-year career at the Court of Protection will have presented him with the very worst cases of financial abuse.

“An LPA can be a positive and effective legal tool, which ensures your wishes are respected should you ever lose capacity. Senior Judge Lush’s comments should highlight the clear need for professional advice when considering powerful legal documents of this nature.”

All of our Wills, Probate & Elderly Care legal team are members of Solicitors for the Elderly and are very experienced in dealing with clients who want to plan for their future. 

Top tips on drafting a Lasting Power of Attorney

Solicitors for the Elderly logo

Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) is an independent, national organisation of over 1,500 lawyers, such as solicitors, barristers, and chartered legal executives, who provide specialist legal advice for older and vulnerable people, their families and carers.

SFE has been campaigning to ensure essential checks and controls are conducted when making an LPA. Here are SFE’s top tips to ensure your lasting power of attorney is effective, legally robust and safe:

Plan early

While you have capacity, it’s vital that you get your affairs in order and choose the best people to manage your affairs, in case of an accident or illness. You can’t appoint an attorney once you lose capacity. 

Choose carefully

Think carefully who you want to appoint as your attorney and have an open conversation with them so they understand your wishes and what their responsibilities will include. Consider appointing more than one person as your attorney so they can share the responsibility.

Consider appointing a professional

A family member might not always be the best person to act as your attorney. Instead, you can appoint a professional such as a solicitor. They can act as a neutral third party and make unbiased decisions that are in your best interests. Bear in mind this usually involves a cost.

Think about different circumstances

Consider how you would like your attorney to manage your property and financial affairs in different situations. For example, are you happy for your property to be sold to pay for your care costs?

Address the difficult questions

Your attorney might have to make difficult decisions about your health and welfare. If you have specific wishes around your care plans, medical treatment, or end of life wishes, make sure you discuss this with them and make your choices clear in your document. 

Seek professional advice

Shop-bought and online LPA kits may be suitable for those with very straightforward financial situations or with considerable legal experience, but for most people, seeking professional legal advice is the best way of ensuring that an LPA is effective, legally robust and safe.

Keep your plans current

Make sure you keep your LPA updated if your circumstances change. Your choices around the people you want to be responsible for your finances and wellbeing may change, such as following a marriage or divorce, when children reach adulthood, or if parents pass away.

To find out more about LPAs go to: http://www.sfe.legal

 

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Orsolya Bodo (Orsi) – New WTW Team Member

Orsolya Bodo

WTW Solicitors are very happy to welcome Orsolya Bodo (Orsi) to the team. As a member of the support staff she will be helping Jean Foster on reception and supporting our Office Manager, Majid Hussain.

Orsi will also be adding to our existing translation services as she speaks fluent Hungarian.

Born in Hungary Orsi went on the complete her studies at university before moving to the UK. She has worked for last three years as part of the NHS translation team at Airedale Hospital, Steeton, Keighley.

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