Yearly Archive September 22, 2014

ByMichael Morrison

Wills and Contentious Probate: Have you made a Will?

The importance of making a will to ensure your property is left to those intended is highlighted by this contentious intestacy case.

The carer of a wealthy widow has been vindicated in a High Court battle over her flat and £1.3 million fortune, in a case which involved a genealogist from BBC show Heir Hunters.

Tanya Vasileva looked after her friend, Gertrude Stanley, in the years before her death at the age of 89.

Mrs Stanley, who had fled to London from the Nazis on the eve of the Second World War, believed she had no living relatives after her sister died in a concentration camp.

She promised her flat to Miss Vasileva in return for her years of care. After the widow’s death, in December 2009, she moved in.

But Mrs Stanley had not made a will, and a legal wrangle ensued after Peter Birchwood, a professional genealogist who has appeared on BBC series Heir Hunters, traced two distant cousins of Mrs Stanley.

Heir hunter: Peter Birchwood

Mr Birchwood, acting on behalf of Mrs Stanley’s estate, argued Miss Vasileva was a “trespasser” who should be ousted from the property and made to pay £50,000 for her years of rent-free occupation. But a judge ruled Mrs Stanley had promised the flat to her carer and said Miss Vasileva had “done her best” to look after the widow.

Judge Mark Raeside QC awarded Miss Vasileva £20,000 from the estate and dismissed Mr Birchwood’s financial claim against her. But he also estimated the value of the care provided by Miss Vasileva to be only £70,000, compared with the £160,000 value of the flat, and said she would have to leave by December so it could go back to the estate.

The High Court heard how Mrs Stanley fled Vienna and arrived in London in May 1939, when she was 19. She and her husband, Lawrence, lived together in their Belsize Park flat for 48 years, until his death in 1994. They did not have any children.

Despite her fortune, most of which was discovered in bank accounts and shares after her death, the widow lived a frugal existence and worried she would run out of money, the court heard. In 2002, the court heard, Mrs Stanley met Miss Vasileva at the supermarket where the younger woman worked. Miss Vasileva, who had  moved to the UK from Bulgaria the year before, said they struck up a friendship after she delivered Mrs Stanley’s shopping.

After a stay in hospital in May 2005, Mrs Stanley phoned Miss Vasileva and asked if she could come to collect her. She did not want any professional carers and asked Miss Vasileva if she would help her stay in her own flat.

It was then that Mrs Stanley first said she wanted her friend to have her flat after she died — a promise she repeated many more times, the court heard.

Miss Vasileva looked after Mrs Stanley — including cooking, cleaning and helping her bathe — until she went into a care home in April 2009.

After the case Miss Vasileva said: “We weren’t just friends, we were more  like grandmother and granddaughter, we were very close. She will always be in my heart.”

Original reporting  by the London Evening Standard on the 8/7/14.

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ByDavid7SB

Relationships, Economic downturn and Recuperation

Relationships, Economic Downturn and Recuperation

The function of relationships in creating social recuperation.

A study has been reported by relate – which is briefly dpresented here.

Recessions and recuperations are features of the economic cycle. Right here we look at the implications of future recessions and recoveries for our relationships, and vice versa. Economic crises and recuperations tend to be primarily understood in slim, financial terms. Yet economic downturns are also social phenomena which influence individuals’s lives in various methods– including their couple, household and social relationships. We refer to this social impact of economic downturn as ‘social economic crisis’. Social economic downturn can be triggered by financial recession, however can also exacerbate and lengthen it, hindering recuperation. In this research report, we analyze the ‘social recession’ in terms of the social repercussions economic recession can have. Specifically, we concentrate on the sustained decline in the quality and stability of couple, family and social relationships.

We took a look at individuals’s experiences throughout the last economic downturn which began in 2008. In order to figure out the extent to which individuals’s experiences of recession corresponded to the quality and strength of their relationships, we examined information from the Understanding Society longitudinal research, which includes 40,000 homes throughout the UK, over the economic crisis duration. We categorised individuals according to their experiences of recession utilizing seven indications, organizing people with similar experiences, and analyzed their relative chances of experiencing deterioration in their relationships.

One could expect economic crises to take a toll on family life and relationships– arguments over cash are known to be a major reason for relationship problems. Sure enough, the findings show that a ‘social economic downturn’ has actually occurred alongside economic recession, in regards to a substantial correlation between unfavorable experiences of economic crisis and degeneration in relationships: people who were disadvantaged financially throughout economic crisis were considerably more probable to have actually experienced deterioration in their relationship quality and stability.
The groups who felt the impact of economic crisis most strongly, nevertheless, were considerably more influenced in their relationships, in comparison with the standard (the ‘Advancing’ group).
These relative possibilities of experiencing relationship breakdown held even after we accounted for picked background qualities, such as their income, family structure, education and relationship length.

The findings right here verify those of previous researches, which similarly reveal that financial shocks and unemployment can decrease relationship quality by enhancing conflict in relationships, decreasing mental wellbeing, and even impacting on physical health. Previous studies also show that this lowered relationship quality throughout economic downturn translates into increased danger of relationship breakdown. The findings contribute to this evidence base adding useful insight into the ways in which economic crisis experiences associate with relationship wear and tear.
Breakdown of relationships can respond to counselling but when the relationship has broken down irreversibly a good family lawyer can a minimum of ensure that a customer retains an appropriate proportion of the joint assets.

 

At WhichSolicitor, we can make an appropriate recommendation for you.

 

Original article can be found as a PDF here

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ByDavid7SB

Family mediation take-up rising

Family mediation take-up rising, however not yet from the woods

12 SEP 2014
Autumn most likely to indicate more enhancement on significant increases
Data from National Family Mediation (NFM) reveals a considerable increase in the take-up of its services in the very first 6 months of 2014.

NFM was reflecting on information covering its affiliated services and mediators from 1 January to 30 June 2014.

Jane Robey, Chief Executive of NFM stated:.

‘Whilst family mediation services across the country suffered a decline in 2013 after the Government revamped legal help, the signs for the career are positive in the first half of 2014.

The picture varies across the nation, however in a number of our service locations increases of 30 to 40 per cent in numbers of individuals attending mediation compared to the exact same duration in 2013 are common.mediation-pic-1[1]

There is no doubt a greater proportion of individuals are reaching agreement with mediation, realizing they can successfully settle household matters in a budget-friendly way.

Yet whilst it’s clear the change in the law reliable from April has signalled an upturn, household mediation is not yet from the woods. Our mediators and managers will continue working relentlessly to show the value of mediation, which is quicker, less stressful and generally cheaper than going to court.’.

Under the Children and Families Act, executed on 22 April 2014, it became compulsory for individuals to go to a mediation details and assessment meeting (MIAM) session before they can get a court order.

Jane Robey added that as we head into the autumn, household mediators are positive the increase could continue:.

‘Mediators often report a quiet time throughout the summer, but referrals were unseasonably high in August this year. And after the vacation duration, September signals a go back to the regimen of work and school. Extremely typically this is when couples choose to different, as the momentary twinkle of hope signalled by the sunlight and break-in-routine is well and really snuffed out.’. We would emphasise the need to work with a family solicitor even if you do go down the mediation route.

 

Read original …..

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ByMichael Morrison

Pre-Nuptial Agreements Increasing in the UK

A pre-nup is often a subject of much mirth in the UK; a dinner party debate about the merits of pragmatism versus idealism. Considering what you might do in the event of a divorce with regards to your estate is of course very pragmatic, but the partner calling for the agreement has often been depicted as a tad mercenary.

The demand for prenuptial practicalities is on the rise, with one London company reporting a 50% rise in people inquiring about pre-nups. Evidence from CAFCASS supports these claims, with a 2% increase in Private Law demand between 2013 and 2014. This followed a 9% increase on the 2012/13 figure.

This upsurge could have been partly prompted by the Law Commission’s suggestion that a pre-marriage agreement should form part of the marriage reform, and that pre-nups should be given the kind of legal weight which they’re afforded in Scotland.

The question was thrust into the news in 2010 when renowned German heiress Katrin Radmacher’s pre-nup was upheld by the Supreme Court. Radmacher’s partner, Nicolas Granatino, had been part of a pre-nup which agreed that no claim would be made on each other’s assets. After changing his mind on this agreement and asking for a sizeable chunk of his former wife’s estate, the court substantially reduced his claim in accordance with the pre-nup.

The rising prominence of the prenuptial agreement probably reflects the times we live in. Divorce is much more commonplace, and whereas marriage probably still carries as much weight in terms of devotion, people recognise that they can drift apart and this doesn’t tend to carry the same social stigma as it did in the past. Add to this the fact that family life can now be very complicated with marriages then remarriages, and the complicated family ties which emerge as a by-product of these separations.

Family solicitors in London have said “We strongly recommend that couples consider a pre-nuptial agreement – especially if property is involved.  Also with social media being an increasing presence in most of our lives it may not be that surprising that couples are now not only taking steps to protect their estate in an event of a divorce but also their online reputation by including a social media clause in their pre-nup.”

There’s also the fact that the way we earn money as couples has changed dramatically. Modern couples are often equal partners in terms of income, so why should one person have claim over any assets that were acquired before marriage.

The question will always be a great topic of debate with its conflicting moral and practical dimensions. Many couples who neglected to sign a pre-nup will rue their lack of forward planning, but when everything is rosy, why spoil the party by introducing a potential bone of contention.

Perhaps the pre-nup is not that far removed from making a Will; divorce and death are both pretty grim prospects, but few people would question the practicality of making a Will.

Original reporting by PropertyWire 18/8/14 

 

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ByMichael Morrison

Commercial Conveyancing Boom in London Surburbs

London suburbs such as Bromley and Brentford are enjoying a commercial property boom as buyers priced out of the centre of the capital look to snap up offices, property firm CLS said today.

The company, around half of whose £1.2 billion portfolio is centred on London, owns a clutch of properties in locations which include New Malden, Acton, Bromley and Brentford.

But CLS, which has spent more than £40 million on suburban offices in the past two years, said a “significant increase in competition” from both foreign and domestic buyers as well as more readily available bank credit had pushed up prices in the outskirts of London.

The business’s chief financial officer John Whiteley said: “There are far fewer bargains about. We’ve bid on £90 million of property in the past six months and looked seriously at around three times that, but we’ve not bought any.

“We don’t want to overspend on any of them, we’ve been a bit greedy.”

Demand for space in cheaper areas of the capital has pushed rental values up almost 9% in the past six months.

Our service has become known as a reliable recommendation source for commercial businesses.

The UK’s biggest listed property company, Land Securities, continued its recent run of wheeler-dealing in shopping centres today as it sold its 50% stake in Bristol’s Cabot Circus to AXA Real Estate for £267.8 million. The company recently spent £656 million on a stake in Kent’s Bluewater shopping destination.

Original reporting by the London Evening Standard 13/8/14

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ByMichael Morrison

Benefit Fraud of £74,000 = 12 Months Jail

A benefits fraudster has been jailed after fleecing the taxpayer out of nearly £74,000 while running a £2.6million property empire.

Seema Bassi, 49, claimed she was a jobless single mother to pocket handouts for more than a decade.

But she was secretly amassing a property portfolio across Kent raking in a fortune from tenants, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

Bassi owned 26 homes worth a total of £2.6million, providing her with about £150,000 in rent a year.

She bought her first property in 1994 and started claiming benefits three years later.

Her portfolio included 14 flats and four houses in Gravesend, a house in Canterbury, three flats in Herne Bay, a two-bedroom terrace in Greenhithe, and a house in Richmond Street, Hartlepool, Cleveland.

Some of the properties were leased to Gravesham Council in Kent as sheltered housing for asylum seekers, the court heard.

Her fraud was uncovered after Gravesham Council started investigating her brother for failing to pay council tax in 2012.

The paper trail led investigators to contact Redbridge Council for more details about Bassi when they learned she had purchased 18 houses from her brother.

Stacks of documents were seized from Bassi’s home in Ilford, including bank statements and tenancy agreements.

For criminal defence solicitors in London please contact us.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2723558/Benefits-fraudster-claimed-74-000-handouts-owning-2-6million-property-empire-raked-150-000-rent-year-jailed-12-months.html#ixzz3AIC6ioZO
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ByMichael Morrison

First Time Buyers Loans Hit 7-Year High

More first-time buyers are getting onto the housing ladder than at  any time since 2007, mortgage lenders said today.

Mortgage lenders made 28,600 first-time buyer loans in June, 7% more than the previous month and the highest since November 2007, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. By value, banks and building societies lent £4.2 billion to those taking their first step on the ladder, the highest amount since August 2007.

Loans to other homebuyers also grew over the month but at a slower rate, increasing by 4% to 31,900 as the market cooled slightly in response to tighter mortgage restrictions introduced at the end of April, as well as higher anticipation of interest rate rises from the Bank of England.

CML director general Paul Smee said: “For the second month running since new rules took effect, lending characteristics remain similar to the market beforehand.

“We now feel confident that, as we would hope, the mortgage market review effect is more gentle dampener than hard brake.”

The CML’s figures showed affordability for first-time buyers little changed with buyers borrowing  3.47 times their income. They borrowed an average £123,865 in June, up from £121,500 in May. Record low interest rates meant payment burdens remained relatively low in June, at 19.3% of gross income. Over the second quarter as a whole, there were 79,900 first-time buyer loans — 24% up on the same period a year earlier.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “The lending market remains strong, suggesting that the impact of the mortgage market review has not been detrimental.”

To paraphrase Harold Macmillan, the former Prime Minister “Conveyancing solicitors in London have never had it so good!”

Original reporting by the London Evening Standard 11/8/14

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ByMichael Morrison

Permission to Appeal – Conditions

In a recent judgment(1) the Court of Appeal found compelling reasons to require the defendant company – which had unsuccessfully defended a claim by the claimant bank relating to foreign exchange and equities trading – to pay the judgment sum and other amounts into court as a condition of its pursuit of an application for permission to appeal and, if successful, an appeal. The case serves as a reminder of the issues that the court will consider when determining whether to impose conditions on a party before considering an application for permission to appeal a first-instance decision.

Permission to appeal and the imposition of conditions on such permission

A party always needs permission to appeal the decision of a county court or High Court judge, (except in limited circumstances set out in Civil Procedure Rule 52.3(1)(a)).

Civil Procedure Rule 52.9(1) provides that the appeal court may:

  • strike out the whole or part of an appeal notice;
  • set aside permission to appeal in whole or in part; or
  • impose or vary conditions on which an appeal may be brought.

Civil Procedure Rule 52.9(2) provides that the court will exercise its powers under Paragraph (1) only where there is a “compelling reason” to do so.

In respect of the imposition of conditions, the courts have imposed the following specific conditions (among others) on applications for permission to appeal:

  • settlement of outstanding costs;
  • security for the respondent’s costs; and
  • payment of a judgment debt.

By way of example of the imposition of conditions on permission to appeal, in Cruz City 1 Mauritius Holdings v Unitech Limited(2) the Court of Appeal made prosecution of the appellants’ appeal conditional on the payment into court, within 28 days, of sums owing in respect of two arbitration awards. The appellants owed the respondent in excess of $300 million (together with interest and costs). They had sufficient funds to pay the awards, but had evidenced no intention of doing so and were making every effort to avoid enforcement of the judgment against their assets.

Similarly, in Day’s Medical Aids Limited v Pihsiang Machinery Manufacturing Co Limited,(3)notwithstanding that there was no stay of execution pending the defendant’s appeal, the defendant (a Taiwanese company) had failed to comply with the judgment. The Court of Appeal made it a condition of permission to appeal that the defendant pay to the claimant the judgment sum (together with interest and costs). The claimant relied on the facts that:

  • the defendant was in deliberate breach of the order;
  • the application for a stay of execution pending appeal had been refused; and
  • the defendant’s failure to pay was not as a consequence of any impecuniosity.

Further, there was evidence of potential difficulties facing the claimant in enforcement of the judgment in Taiwan. In the circumstances, the court imposed conditions.

First-instance decision

Over the course of a 45-day trial, in an action commenced by Deutsche Bank to recover $243 million, Sebastian Holdings sought to argue in the High Court by way of counterclaim that Deutsche Bank had breached various oral agreements and implied terms relating to Sebastian Holdings’ foreign exchange and equities trading conducted through Deutsche Bank pursuant to a series of prime brokerage agreements. Sebastian Holdings alleged, among other matters, that wrongful margin calls made by Deutsche Bank at the time of the financial crisis in October 2008 had forced it to close out positions at significant losses and incur significant lost profits. Sebastian Holdings’ counterclaim was put at $8 billion. Its trading was conducted by Alexander Vik, its sole shareholder and director, and its agent, Klaus Said. The court found Vik to be “a man of considerable means (a multi-billionaire) with recognised business acumen and money-making skills”.

Notwithstanding Sebastian Holdings’ claims, the trial judge found that on and after October 13 2008, when Vik had a clear indication that Sebastian Holdings’ trading liabilities stood at many hundreds of millions of dollars, he had caused $896 million of funds and assets to be transferred from Sebastian Holdings to either himself or companies closely associated with him or his family. The judge found that Vik procured those transfers for no genuine commercial reason and that he did so with a view to depleting Sebastian Holdings’ assets and making it more difficult for Deutsche Bank to recover the amounts owed to it.

Accordingly, the court ruled in favour of Deutsche Bank and dismissed Sebastian Holdings’ counterclaim. Sebastian Holdings was ultimately ordered to pay $243 million to Deutsche Bank, together with indemnity costs amounting to 85% of the £60 million legal bill incurred by Deutsche Bank, in the course of the battle between the parties.

Court of Appeal approach to request for permission to appeal

The application before the Court of Appeal was Deutsche Bank’s application for an order imposing conditions on the ability of Sebastian Holdings to pursue its application for permission to appeal and, if successful, its appeal. Three conditions were sought:

  • payment into court of the judgment sum of approximately $243 million, together with accrued interest;
  • payment into court of the interim payment ordered on account of costs – approximately £34.5 million – together with accrued interest; and
  • Payment into court of £1,887,000 as security for Deutsche Bank’s costs of Sebastian Holdings’ proposed appeal.

In Hammond Suddards v Agrichem(4) the Court of Appeal listed a number of features of that case, which it considered justified making an order that a condition be imposed on the application for permission to appeal. These factors were as follows:

  • Is the appellant an entity against which it will be difficult to exercise the normal mechanisms of enforcement?
  • Does the appellant plainly have either the resources or access to resources which enable it to instruct solicitors and counsel to prosecute its appeal, apply to the court for a stay of execution or provide a substantial sum by way of security for costs?
  • Is there any convincing evidence that the appellant has neither the resources nor access to resources which would enable it to pay the judgment debt and costs as ordered and it has failed to do so?
  • Is the appellant’s disclosure of its financial affairs inadequate and does this give the court no confidence that it has been shown the truth?
  • Will the appeal be stifled if conditions are imposed?
  • At the time of intending to prosecute the appeal, is the appellant continuing to disobey court orders to pay the judgment debt and costs?

While this list is not exhaustive, and each category need not be satisfied before an order will be made, it gave the Court of Appeal in Sebastian Holdings an indication of the kind of matters which it should take into account in such cases. The Court of Appeal noted that if the criteria were met, it would still need to consider whether it should exercise its discretion to make the order.

In submissions made to the court on behalf of Sebastian Holdings, it was suggested that there were two material differences between the present case and Hammond Suddards. First, it was submitted that there was no evidence to suggest that the position of Deutsche Bank would materially deteriorate between the Court of Appeal’s consideration of this application and the hearing of the application for permission to appeal and, if appropriate, the appeal. The emphasis should be on what Sebastian Holdings might do in the interim to frustrate enforcement. Second, it was submitted that the court could be satisfied by Vik’s evidence that, if a condition were imposed, the application for permission to appeal and, if appropriate, the appeal would be stifled because Sebastian Holdings had no funds and it was clear that Vik would not provide funds to satisfy any condition imposed by the court.

Sebastian Holdings drew to the court’s attention the fact that all of the case law on the subject indicated that it was inappropriate to use the power to impose conditions on an appeal simply as a means of securing enforcement of the judgment debt.

Further, Sebastian Holdings pointed out that Vik gave no guarantee for the liabilities of Sebastian Holdings to Deutsche Bank. However, the Court of Appeal was shown no evidence to suggest that Vik was not still the sole owner and director of Sebastian Holdings, as he was in 2008. Given the trial judge’s findings as to the manner in which Vik treated Sebastian Holdings and its assets as his own, the court found it difficult to think that there could be a more appropriate case in which to take into account that Vik could, if minded to do so, pay the judgment debt himself. However, the court did not consider it necessary to apply that reasoning, as it had already reached the conclusion that Sebastian Holdings could itself pay the judgment debt into court if Vik chose to procure it to do so.

Sebastian Holdings submitted that on an application such as this, the emphasis should be on what may happen in the future, rather than on what happened in the past. However, the court rejected this as unsupported by authority.

The court also rejected Sebastian Holdings’ submission that the evidence demonstrated that the imposition of a condition would stifle the appeal. That argument was found to be “totally without merit”. Sebastian Holdings was held to have rendered itself judgment-proof by transferring its assets into hands and places where enforcement may be difficult or even impossible. Therefore, It could not rely on its own conduct as stifling the appeal. Further, the court took the view that the owner of Sebastian Holdings had a choice: if it were in the interests of Sebastian Holdings for the application for permission to appeal and, if appropriate, the appeal, to continue, he had to procure the payment into court of the judgment debt. If he did, the application (and, if appropriate, the appeal) would proceed. If he did not, the application for permission to appeal would be struck out.

Accordingly, having considered the issues set out in Hammond Suddard and the submissions made on behalf of Sebastian Holdings as to why the present case differed materially from Hammond Suddard, the court ruled that conditions should be imposed on the application for permission to appeal. Sebastian Holdings was therefore ordered to pay into court, within 28 days, the judgment sum of $243 million and interest, failing which the application for permission to appeal would be struck out.

In addition, the court found that this was in principle a case in which it was appropriate to require Sebastian Holdings to give security for Deutsche Bank’s costs of the application and appeal. Accordingly, Sebastian Holdings was ordered to pay £1.7 million as security for costs.

Comment

The case demonstrates that parties which are not prepared to comply with court orders, unwilling to be transparent about the movement of their assets and intent on putting obstacles in the path of enforcement are likely to find conditions being imposed if they wish to proceed through the appeals process.

We are able to recommend strategic commercial litigators par excellence who can guide you through this minefield.

 

(1) Sebastian Holdings Inc v Deutsche Bank AG [2014] EWCA Civ 1100.

(2) [2013] EWCA Civ 1512.

(3) [2004] EWCA Civ 993.

(4) [2001] EWCA Civ 2065.

Original reporting by The International Law Office 12/8/14

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ByMichael Morrison

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route changes announced

On July 10 2014 the Home Office published a statement of changes to the Immigration Rules, with some provisions coming into effect on July 11 2014.

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

These changes impose restrictions on the ability of those already in the United Kingdom as Tier 4 (Student) or Tier 1 (Post-study Work) migrants to make an in-country application for an extension of stay under the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route. The immigration minister has claimed that the majority of those applying from within the country for leave in the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category have come to the United Kingdom to study and are making speculative or fraudulent applications in order to extend their stay. The Home Office investigation has extended to checking tax records which suggest that few have gone on to engage in genuine entrepreneurial activity and a significant proportion have taken employment in breach of their conditions, typically at low skill levels.

Applicants who submitted an application for leave to remain before July 11 2014 will not be affected by the new provisions and will have their application decided under the rules in force on July 10 2014.

The new provisions will not affect those applying to switch from Tier 1 (Post-study Work) who have already established a business in the United Kingdom and can provide sufficient evidence of their entrepreneurial activity; nor will they affect those qualifying on the basis of seed funding or funding provided by another government department, as these applicants will already have demonstrated the necessary credentials as an entrepreneur in order to secure this funding.

The Immigration Rules also now clarify that entrepreneurs are prohibited from working for another business under a contract of service as an employee or apprentice.

For professional immigration advice with integrity contact us.

 

Original reporting by The International Law Office 8/8/14

 

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ByDavid7SB

Divorce of Malaysian owners of Laura Ashley

Divorce of Malaysian owners of Laura Ashley stake to be heard in Britain

Pauline Chai and Khoo Kay Peng’s £ 400m conflict most likely to be settled in London where other halves can expect higher awards. The conflict between Pauline Chai, 67, and Khoo Kay Peng, 74, is now more likely to be settled in London.

A £400m divorce battle between a Malaysian former beauty queen and her separated spouse, who possess much of the Laura Ashley fashion industry, is most likely to be heard in Britain following a ruling by the Asian nation’s highest court. London Solicitors and barristers are most likely to be included.

The disagreement between Pauline Chai, 67, and Khoo Kay Peng, 74, is now more probable to be settled in London where partners can anticipate far greater awards and a more equal department of household properties.

The case is the most recent example of affluent foreign litigants looking for to fix high-value divorces in British as opposed to overseas courts.Laura Ashley - Owners to divorce in London

The case, which has actually been running in parallel in the UK and Malaysian courts, has already been condemned by a British judge for its “eye-watering costs” of almost £2m.

Justice Holman questioned earlier this year “just just how much time of an English court these celebrations must be able to take up on preliminary skirmishes, whilst squeezing out the many needy litigants who need precious court time to recuperate their youngsters from abduction or seek their return from care, and other such issues”.

But the federal court in Kuala Lumpur on Monday rejected the partner’s attempt to have actually the case heard in Malaysia, clearing the way for a 10-day hearing at the high court in London in late September to evaluate whether it has territory in the case.

Khoo, who is stated to be worth approximately £400m, resides in the £30m Rossway Park estate near Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. He and his partner own 40 % of the Laura Ashley fashion business. The couple, who have 5 youngsters, are not British citizens.

Chai’s divorce solicitor in London, said: “I am unbelievably happy that the two highest courts in Malaysia have actually recognized the essential oppressions associated with binding a better half to the residence of her husband.

“This is a case where the wife has actually not resided in Malaysia for over 30 years. A law that therefore rejects her the independence of a domicile of choice, and ties her to a country that she has long since left behind, is rather remarkable.

“We are delighted that the Malaysian courts have recognized the importance of the problems of equality invoked by this case and the need for the concern of our customer’s independent residence to be relatively heard.”.

Khoo’s attorneys have actually said that the marital relationship took place in Malaysia and that Malaysian laws provide that the jurisdiction for any divorce proceeding is figured out by the spouse’s residence.

Reported in the Guardian….

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