Q: During the first lockdown my wife and I started our own business after I was made redundant. We went from strength to strength, taking on other people at the start of this year to cope with the increasing demand for our products. Now we are ready to take a much bigger step, move into business premises, go into full production and take on more staff. Whilst we put a few basic workplace policies and procedures in place, these will now need to be reviewed and updated. Are there any guidelines as to how this should be done?Read more
Q. I already have a Will, but I am wondering what will happen regarding it if I get married. Will I need to make a new Will, and if I do make a new Will including my soon to be wife, what would happen if we divorced but I left her in my will?Read more
Q&A - Bank repossessed client’s house before he had paid us for conservatory. Who do we go after for the money?
Q: Pre pandemic lockdown we quoted for a fancy conservatory for a client which came in at just under £50,000. The client ordered the work and paid £10,000 deposit. There were several delays due to covid, but we eventually finished the work in July this year. We were then unable to contact the client to get the outstanding payment. Now we have heard his business went bust and the bank repossessed his house. Who do we go after for the money? Him or the bank?Read more
Q&A - Telecomms company wants to reduce rent in renewal agreement for siting a mast on my land. What should I do?
Q: Several years ago, my father agreed to lease out land in one of our fields to a telecoms company for the erection of a mast. That lease agreement is now coming to an end and as I have taken over the farm, I do not wish to renew it as the new terms they are offering are considerably less favourable than previously. Can you advise me how I would go about getting rid of the mast?Read more
Q: New neighbours moved in next door before the covid pandemic began. During lockdown they built a monstrous ‘pavilion’ in their garden and turned an open lean-to into a two-storey garage without planning permission. I reported them to the council because they were a law unto themselves, and their constructions were out of keeping with the neighbourhood. Since then, they have continuously harassed me. I had screws left across my drive entrance that punctured my tyres, they lied about me to neighbours, stalked me, and made abusive threats. The police say it is a civil matter because I have not been physically assaulted and have no witnesses. What can I do?Read more
Q&A - Can I claim compensation for tripping over open drain cover, causing injury to my dog and myself?
Q: When walking my dog across the road after dark, I tripped over a heavy iron drain cover on the kerbside that had been flipped open, leaving a gaping hole. I broke my hip in the fall and the dog got free, ran across the road, and was hit by a car. He broke a hind leg in three places and spent several hours at the vets. As well as the inconvenience, pain and anxiety, I have incurred considerable expense, and loss of earnings as I am a self-employed driver. Annoyingly I saw the drain like this once before and manhandled it back into place and called the council, but they just said it was probably due to a big tractor going over it. Could I claim compensation?Read more
Q: I am a widow with one son and daughter, who are equal beneficiaries of my Will. However, at the start of the Covid pandemic lockdown my son began gambling, and my daughter and I believe he is now an addict. He refuses to discuss it or accept that he has a problem. I am worried that if he does not get help, he will just squander away his inheritance when I die. Is there any way I can protect what I leave him?Read more
Q: My husband has been having an affair with his secretary for years, but I have just put up with it as I believed he would never leave me because of the children. However, the secretary’s husband has now filed for divorce, and I am worried my husband might go after all. If that happens, I will divorce him. If I do divorce him, should I go for a clean break financial settlement or maintenance?Read more
Q: I work as a (female) line supervisor and have discovered that a male colleague who does the same job as me is on a higher pay rate. He is roughly the same age as me and has been with the firm only a year longer than me. I have spoken to my department manager, but he said he couldn’t discuss another worker’s pay with me. Could I go to a tribunal and make a claim for equal pay?Read more
Q: My widowed mum has been diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s. I am her only family and live too far away to help care for her, but thankfully she has a large network of friends locally who are a great support. She has lived in the village all her life but there are no elderly care facilities and Mum is worried the local authority will force her to go into care home too far away for her friends to visit. Could they really do that?Read more