Monthly Archive December 31, 2014

UK Court Annuls 180 Italian Divorces

UK court annuls 180 Italian divorces signed up to Maidenhead mail box

Italian Divorces In Maidenhead anulled

Italian Divorces In Maidenhead annulled

A Female has been charged around EUR4,000 to arrange for couples to circumvent slow-moving Italian judicial system.

Maidenhead might, up until this week, have claimed to be the divorce capital of Italy. One hundred and eighty Italian couples whose marriages were dissolved through fictitious home in the Berkshire town have now had their divorces annulled by a British judge.

The conspiracy theory to circumvent the slow-moving Italian judicial system was officially ended on Tuesday by the president of the family division of the high court, Sir James Munby.
In a lengthy judgment (pdf) that detailed the strange scams, the judge explained how English and Welsh courts were swamped with divorce petitions from Italian couples asserting that a minimum of one partner was staying in the UK.

For the rate of around EUR4,000, a woman calling herself Dr Frederica Russo arranged to supply divorce documents for couples who wished to separate. Great deals of county courts were utilized in order to prevent and spread out the work any individual observing the duplicated use of the same address.
“The issue wased initially recognized in late February 2012 by an eagle-eyed member of the court staff at Burnley county court, Julie Farrah, who spotted that in two files, both involving Italian parties, the address was the same and that it was in Maidenhead,” Munby said.
“She brought it to the attention of district judge Conway, who contacted an associate in the Slough county court.
County courts were alerted and eventually 179 petitions using the same address were found; one Italian couple, making use of the very same technique, had actually liked to end their relationship through an address in Epsom.

“It is specific that none of them can ever have actually lived at Flat 201,” Munby included. “On 28 August 2012, policeman of the Thames Valley police carried out a search warrant. DS Steven Witts of Thames Valley cops confirms that Flat 201 was not a house or, undoubtedly, a property efficient in occupation.

“It was in fact a mailbox, mail box 201, one of a number of mailboxes found in industrial facilities. As the investigating officer in charge of the authorities investigation, DS Jonathan Groenen, mordantly commented in his witness statement: ‘It is not possible for 179 candidates or respondents to reside at this address.’ Provided the measurements of the mail box it is clear that not even a single person, however little, could possibly reside in it.”.

The divorces were prohibited, Munby stated, because the English courts were being deceived about their jurisdiction. The divorces therefore needed to be stated gap through scams even “if one or other or both of the celebrations have remarried or perhaps had a kid”.

The case will inevitably enhance nationwide stereotypes: while Hollywood film stars commemorate their nuptials in Venice, Italians choose Britain as a passion-killer.

Original Source 

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Stamp Duty

You have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) if you buy a property in the UK over a certain price. This is charged on all purchases of houses, flats and other land and buildings.

Different rates apply in Scotland from 1 April 2015 when Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) replaces SDLT.

The SDLT rate depends on:

  • the purchase price of the property
  • whether the property is residential

SDLT may also be due if you lease a property.

SDLT rates from 4 December 2014

SDLT is charged at different rates depending on the portion of the purchase price that falls into each rate band.

Before 4 December 2014, SDLT was charged as a single percentage of the property price.

Where contracts have been exchanged on or before 3 December 2014, and the transaction is completed on 4 December or later, you can choose whether you follow the new or the old rules.

Residential properties

Purchase price of property Rate of SDLT (percentage of portion of purchase price)
£0 – £125,000 0%
£125,001 – £250,000 2%
£250,001 – £925,000 5%
£925,001 – £1.5 million 10%
Over £1.5 million 12%

Corporate bodies

SDLT is charged at 15% on residential dwellings costing more than £500,000 bought by bodies like:

  • companies
  • collective investment schemes

There are some exceptions. For example, you pay SDLT based on the new rates and bands where the property is used for:

  • a property rental business
  • a property development or resale trade
  • providing admission to visitors on a commercial basis

Residential leases

If your residential lease is for more than £125,000, you’ll pay 1% SDLTon the amount above the £125,000 threshold.

Conveyancing solicitors in London have reported that since the new rules were introduced there has been a fall in asking prices throughout London e.g. from 7% in Hammersmith and its environs to 0.5% in Hounslow.

Non-residential and mixed-use properties

Purchase price/lease premium or transfer value Rate of SDLT (percentage of portion of purchase price)
Up to £150,000 – annual rent is less than £1,000 Zero
Up to £150,000 – annual rent is £1,000 or more 1%
Over £150,000 to £250,000 1%
Over £250,000 to £500,000 3%
Over £500,000 4%


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Modification to the rules on wills

Modify the rules on wills, the government has actually been advised.

The policy of wills must be reformed to prevent people being ripped off, the Legal Ombudsman has actually cautioned.
Around 180,000 wills are written by non-lawyers every year, and are exempt from the complaints handling body. But a report by the Legal Ombudsman has actually gotten in touch with the government to open up their services to those utilizing non-regulated providers.
A Ministry of Justice representative said more could be done however more policy was not always the response.

‘Room for improvement’.
A spokesperson stated: that when people write a will it is very crucial for them to have peace of mind that their affairs will certainly be dealt with how they desire them to be. That is why we have actually agreed with the Legal Services Board that there is space for improvement in this area.
However we are not persuaded that regulation is the best way forward – we believe other options should be explored initially, including much better guidance for professionals and making better use of existing consumer info and security.

The Legal Ombudsman’s report declared that wills and probate were the 3rd greatest source of received problems, which the marketplace was “dealing with a variety of quality concerns.
It concluded that all customers of wills and probate provider need to have access to redress.


Wills and Probate

The Ombudsman assisted resolve more than a thousand wills and probate related complaints last year.

‘Ripped off’.
Excessive costs, hold-ups and a failure to follow instructions were a few of the usual issues dealt with. However the independent body is only enabled to take on wills prepared by regulated service providers.

It stated that a lack of regulatory oversight implied that customers could be entrusted no alternatives if they were “swindled by the provider.

Chief Legal Ombudsman Adam Sampson said: that wills can be prepared by anybody in concept. For people on a spending plan, this develops headaches about the standard of service one might reasonably anticipate. It likewise implies some individuals will certainly have access to help if things fail, while others will not. We want the government to at least consider a voluntary ombudsman plan into which company can opt themselves. Provision currently exists for the Lord Chancellor to make this happen.

Claims for mishandling a deceased estate rose three-fold in 2013, with 368 claims lodged in 2013 compared to 107 in the previous 12 months, according to figures from the Chancery Division.
Last year, Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling declined the advice of the Legal Services Board to make will certainly composing a reserved legal activity.

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Delayed Diagnosis £120,000 High Court Award

Chloe McCarthy a 12-year old born with a dislocated hip was awarded £120,000 by the High Court recently for her future care due to a hospital blunder which led to a delay in her diagnosis and treatment.

Due to the error caused by an East London hospital she had endured restricted leg movement, great pain and undertaken several bouts of surgery.

From birth she had suffered from developmental dysplasia of the hip which was only diagnosed in August 2002 after several administrative mistakes and therefore three months late. As a result she was unable to undergo a manipulation of the joint to realign it with the socket, a procedure known as an immediate closed reduction.

Her medical experts attest that she could have avoided any operations and a suspected hip replacement by the age of 40 and in fact made a complete recovery just by wearing a cast for a few months.

She was represented by solicitors in London.

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