PR UPDATE JULY

Firm's inclusion in Bond Court development completion

Leeds-based Evans Property Group has completed its £25m investment into reviving the Bond Court area of Leeds city centre, bringing to life a host of commercial and leisure services. In collaboration with Leeds City Council, the team’s ambitious five-year project has transformed this important area in the heart of the city with new offices, a 5* luxury boutique hotel, restaurants and new public spaces. The property developer and investor has realised its commitment and investment into its home city with the jewel in the crown of Bond Court undoubtedly being the 95-bed, 5-star Dakota Deluxe Hotel, which opened in May, bringing a stylish new concept to Leeds. Dakota is a lifestyle brand synonymous with timeless style and exceptional service and its founder is internationally acclaimed hotelier Ken McCulloch, the mastermind behind the Malmaison brand. It includes the destination Bar & Grill restaurant and Salon Privé, a cocktail bar with a first-floor terrace. The programme of works at Bond Court includes the extensive upgrade of the Minerva and Capitol buildings, creating more than 50,000 sq ft of much-needed Grade A, BREEAM Excellent office space. The prestigious new offices are complemented by circa £1 million worth of extensive public realm and landscaping works, including new pedestrian links to Greek Street. Capitol has been a success story with one of Yorkshire’s largest law firms, hlw Keeble Hawson, leasing the mezzanine floor; planning practice Quod North relocating its Leeds office into the building and the UK’s leading car information expert, CAP Automotive Ltd, expanding headquarter operations within the building. Additionally, Minerva has enjoyed a host of lettings; leading discretionary investment manager, Standard Life Wealth, property firm BNP Paribas, global financial services company UBS and law firm Gateley have all joined the tenant line-up and existing occupier CDI AndersElite has also expanded into a larger suite to facilitate their expansion. A new-look retail and leisure line-up at Bond Court brings an unrivalled amenity offering to the heart of Leeds. Dining is another key element of the scheme. In Minerva House, the newly-launched 180-cover Tattu restaurant brings innovative Chinese cuisine with added distinctive glamour, its unique interior design inspired by body art and its diverse history. Living Ventures’ Blackhouse Grill restaurant, already a firm fixture in the city, has now committed to Bond Court with a 25-year lease extension. This comes after Evans secured planning permission from Leeds City Council to create a new terrace and elevation improvements.

Tinker, ‘Taylor’… how protecting ‘gig economy’ workers will affect employers (Guest Blog)

A few days before the Taylor Review was unveiled, one of the biggest players in ‘the gig economy’, Deliveroo, made headlines by calling for changes to the law on flexible employment practices.

The development would allow what Deliveroo called its ‘independent contractors’ to enjoy increased benefits while retaining their treasured ability to work when they wanted to.

The move might have been good PR, an attempt to steal the Review’s thunder or a genuine desire for a better deal for delivery drives, couriers and cabbies. Whatever the reason, it heralded change in those working environments where temporary positions are the norm and organisations contract with ‘independent workers’ for flexible engagements with no security or protection - the so called ‘gig economy’. How far and how fast this goes will depend on the government’s reaction to the Taylor Review and similar reports and Theresa May has said she will look at its proposals “very carefully and seriously.” The Review’s recommendations are certainly a step in the right direction. While the report makes the point that flexibility is a good thing, Taylor seeks to end arrangements that many claim allow companies to reap great benefits while workers carry the risks. Gig economy ‘platform’ organisations are not obliged to provide work – and when they do, the worker must supply their own vehicle or tools, have business insurance and pay their own tax and NIC. Should they be injured or unable to work because of illness, the platform provider does not have to support them financially. Taylor proposes renaming the current category of ‘worker’ (people who are not employed but are obliged to do the work personally) to a ‘dependant contractor’, entitled to important rights such as sick pay in addition to minimum wage and paid holidays. The move is bolstered by the recommendation of a clear definition for dependant contractors that will easily differentiate them from the genuinely self-employed. This will enable them to know where they stand and what their rights are, instead of assuming that they are self-employed, just because they are labelled as such by the platform provider, when in fact they are not. At present, they would have to apply to a Tribunal to establish their status, a costly and stressful exercise.

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hlw Keeble Hawson moves us the Experien rankings from 20 to 8

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Law firm joins rush of entries for charity paint pelting challenge

Lawyers and paralegals from hlw Keeble Hawson’s Leeds office will be pelted by “colour snipers” during a 5km run to boost funds for Sue Ryder.

The team is taking part in the second Manorlands PaintRush in Keighley on July 23 where obstacles also include a colour mountain and cargo nets. Participants are sprayed with water to ensure the powder from the seven colour stations they run through sticks.

The first Manorlands PaintRush event in 2016 saw 600 participants raise over £20k for Sue Ryder which provides hospice and neurological care for people facing a frightening, life-changing diagnosis.

Partner and head of the firm’s charity sector group Michele Todd said: “Our lawyers and paralegals are throwing themselves into the spirit of this colourful event for this inspirational organisation and we look forward to seeing them emerge at the end!” Sur Ryder community fundraising manager Andrew Wood said: “A big thank you to hlw Keeble Hawson and all our participants and sponsors. The fantastic, wide-ranging support we receive from individuals and businesses enables us to continue our palliative care and complementary therapy for people with life-limiting conditions.” A champion of giving back to its local communities, hlw Keeble Hawson – one of the region’s largest law firms with offices in Sheffield, Leeds and Doncaster – donates over 50 pro bono days annually to participate in wide- ranging fundraising events for organisations.

Q&A – RPI Lease

QUESTION

I have an RPI Lease which has an annual ground rent more than 0.1% of the capital value which is now not approved of by Nationwide. Is this likely to cause me a problem in the future?

ANSWER

Many thanks for your enquiry. Due to the rapidly developing nature of the issue - and with further changes afoot - it is very difficult to provide a definitive answer as to whether or not the ground rent escalation clause in your lease is likely to cause a problem for you in the future. Back in May Nationwide announced it would no longer offer mortgages where new build leasehold properties had punitive clauses on ground rents - a decision that attracted widespread press coverage. Essentially, Nationwide will no longer lend against new build leasehold properties where the starting ground rent is more than 0.1% of the property's value. Additionally, there will be no lending where the lease term is less than 125 years for flats and 250 years for leasehold houses. The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) also recently issued some information for its lenders on lease terms in new build leasehold properties in England & Wales. The information published considers issues which may have particular implications for the value of the property and for affordability of the mortgage, including the level of ground rent and how ground rents increase over the mortgage term. It is important to note that this is information only, and does not take precedence over the relevant paragraphs of the CML Handbook, nor does it override any of the individual lenders lending policies. It is likely that in light of this information issued by the CML that lenders will consider their lending policies. You already own the leasehold interest. The lending policy of Nationwide and the information issued by the CML relates to new build leasehold properties. That’s not to say that in the future the “second hand” leasehold market won’t come under scrutiny, but at present it’s the new build market that’s under the spotlight.

June 16 BBC Radio Sheffield

Vanessa Fox, answers listeners’ questions on divorce and family law on the Paulette Edwards phone in.

June 20 BBC Radio Sheffield

Michele Todd answers listeners’ questions on wills and probate on the Paulette Edwards phone in

July 11 Radio Leeds Head of Employment Barry Warne, was invited onto BBC Radio Leeds’ Big Yorkshire Phone In’ on Radio Leeds with Andrew Edwards to comment on the Taylor Review. Following the interview, Barry was invited to stay on and answer listeners’ questions.

Yorkshire corporate team chalk up 25 deals in five months

hlw Keeble Hawson’s corporate department has completed 25 deals in the first five months of the year.

The wealth of transactions included representing Chesterfield-based Capital Refactories on its purchase of refactory product manufacturer, Pymetric Refactories, which is located in Middlesbrough. The firm’s Managing Partner Paul Trudgill, also provided strategic advice to Cooper Brown Enterprises Ltd on acquiring a significant interest in CNC engineering specialist, BG Engineering, based in Chesterfield. Along with advising HSBC Bank on funding WSG Provalve’s acquisition of Leeds-based independent valve repair specialist, Provalve, the team represented BHP Chartered Accountants in its merger with specialist cloud-based accounting practice, Atkinson Consulting, in Buckinghamshire. Mr Trudgill, said: “As one of Yorkshire’s leading M&A teams we have repeatedly demonstrated our strength in depth and expertise across the region’s key sectors including advanced manufacturing and the creative and digital industries. We have a strong pipeline of deals for the rest of 2017.” The corporate team includes highly experienced dealmakers, Matt Ainsworth, partner and Michael Hall, associate who joined the firm earlier this year from a national firm.

Steps to Avoid Reputational Damage when Tackling Online Defamation

Businesses are being urged to act immediately to minimise reputational damage when their employees or directors are the target of online defamatory remarks. The advice from hlw Keeble Hawson litigation specialist, Andrew Broadbent, follows a recent case where a Blackpool Football Club staff member secured £18k in damages for a defamatory post relating to a lawyer on an online fan’s message board. The solicitor was untruthfully described in the Blackpool FC “Fansonline” forum as “the well-known struck off solicitor GrahamWoodward”. The post was also repeated on another website, although the fan denied submitting the post. Aligned with the growing public and judicial desire to stamp out a culture of harassment and bullying that can blight businesses, Andrew Broadbent has outlined four steps for those who find themselves at the centre of online smears. 1. Act quickly to minimise reputational risks. A long delay in challenging a defamatory remark can jeopardise a successful claim. 2. Preserve the evidence by quickly securing a copy of the offending comments. Web postings (particularly those on social media) can easily be removed and may be very difficult to locate subsequently. 3. Resist the temptation to respond to the upsetting material. A spat in a public forum is likely to draw further attention to the defamatory remark and is likely to be counterproductive. 4. Establish a consistent approach to dealing with defamatory remarks. A reputation for taking a firm but fair line can be effective in preventing further defamatory comments. Always take expert advice from an experienced solicitor, who can guide you on the most appropriate course – then put this into action.

Law Firm of the Year

Winner: hlw Keeble Hawson

hlw Keeble Hawson has one of the largest corporate departments in the region and has completed 56 deals in the qualifying period, including substantial ones like the sales of Mechan Group and the Umbrella Co. The firm was also the number one choice of the deal making community in Insider ’s nomination process.

Shortlisted: DLA Piper Freeths CMS Irwin Mitchell

Sponsored by: Castle Square Corporate Finance

National awards honour for trailblazing Doncaster property management solicitor

The head of hlw Keeble Hawson’s Doncaster-based national property management legal team, Cassandra Zanelli, has been highly commended in a prestigious industry awards. The accolade, for the Regional Professional of the Year category of the Enfranchisement and Right to Manage Awards 2017, reinforces the PM Legal Services partner’s position as a leading player in her field. The awards were spearheaded by property sector bible, News on the Block. A national property management authority, Cass regularly addresses key industry conferences and conducts training sessions for the Association of Residential Managing Agents and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. She is also a sought-after awards judge. She said: “I am proud of PM Legal services’ strong and highly-respected reputation in the marketplace. This highly commended endorsement is a powerful acknowledgement of how we sustain long-standing partnerships with our national client base – taking the time to understand their needs and deliver a bespoke advice to add maximum value.” PM Legal Services was established earlier this year when Miss Zanelli brought her six-strong team to hlw Keeble Hawson. Based in Prince’s Street, it has a nationwide client base of freehold-owning and property management companies and provides a full range of specialist services. They include resolving complex property disputes, First Tier Tribunal proceedings, recovering service charge and ground rent arrears and landlord and tenant disputes.

Law firm boosts quality of life for vulnerable people

hlw Keeble Hawson’s Doncaster office has donated over £1,400 to Changing Lives which provides specialist support for 6,000 socially excluded and vulnerable people every month. The nationwide charity’s pioneering and innovative programmes are instrumental in helping people to make positive, lasting changes. Its support services for women and their families include dedicated recovery centres, temporary and long-term accommodation opportunities – and employment and volunteering opportunities. The firm’s family team has been working with Changing Lives in Doncaster since September 2016 – offering a fortnightly free legal clinic on a Tuesday between 10am and midday. Earlier this year hlw Keeble Hawson employees also hosted a special racing event via a big screen to boost funds for the charity. Changing Lives group chief executive, Stephen Bell OBE, said: “We value our partnership with hlw Keeble Hawson whose backing is instrumental in our work to engage with communities who are at the very edges of society – whether this be through rough sleeping, suffering from mental health problems – or experiencing exploitation and violence. Thank you to all the team at the Doncaster office for their continued support.” Paul Goel, managing partner of hlw Keeble Hawson’s Doncaster office, said: “Changing Lives is an inspiring organisation which works tirelessly to improve the lives of the people it supports. We are delighted to help to make a difference to its incredible work.” A champion of giving back to its local communities, hlw Keeble Hawson is one of Yorkshire’s biggest law firms in Yorkshire with offices in Doncaster, Leeds and Sheffield.

Law firm’s high-flying air ambulance fundraiser hlw Keeble Hawson’s Doncaster office is celebrating raising a soaring £550.32 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA). The success followed a vote by the 30-strong team, which saw the air emergency service chosen as its charity for 2016/17. Spearheaded by litigation and disputes resolution solicitor, Sarah Finnemore, all staff members gave the dynamic year-long drive enthusiastic support. A vibrant series of initiatives included monthly dress down days, bake sales and several champagne raffles at client events in the Princes Street offices. Sarah Finnemore said: “Air ambulance pilots and paramedics save lives across Yorkshire every day and we hope that our efforts can also raise awareness for their vital work.” Many people are surprised to learn that the YAA relies on the generosity of individuals and organisations to operate. To keep both Yorkshire’s air ambulances flying, it must raise £4.4 million a year – or £12,000 a day. Sarah and team members, property paralegal, Kate Large, and commercial property solicitor, Thomas Milner, presented hlw Keeble Hawson’s contribution to West & South Yorkshire regional fundraiser, Kelly Garner. She said: “It is fantastic to see Yorkshire firms supporting Yorkshire charities. Our thanks go to everyone who has worked so hard throughout the year at hlw Keeble Hawson to raise such a healthy sum of money for a relatively small office.” A champion of giving back to its local communities, hlw Keeble Hawson - one of the region’s largest law firms, which also has offices in Sheffield and Leeds - donates over 50 pro bono days annually to participate in wide- ranging fundraising events. The Doncaster office has chosen the MS Society as its charity for this year and is working with its corporate fundraiser on a calendar of events. Already, there are tentative plans to field a team for the Yorkshire ‘Tough Mudder’ 12-mile mud and obstacle challenge, in Skipton, in July.

Election result: the region reacts

“The shock election result has undoubtedly further exacerbated uncertainly in the countdown to Brexit negotiations – posing even more challenges for the region’s businesses who are not exporting – and for the wider UK economy as we witness the pound plummet in erratic trade. “It’s critical that politicians heed the CBI’s call to take immediate action and ensure the economy stays at the top of the agenda. Against a backdrop where the playing field around us is constantly shifting, businesses are seeking strong leadership as opposed to political paralysis – to enable them to drive and sustain their investment and growth objectives.”

Know your rights when it comes to copyright

Copyright is the intellectual property (IP) right, which protects the use of any piece of work or idea that has been expressed physically (i.e. in words, pictures or sounds).

In the UK the relevant law is the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 which states that if your work is to be protected by copyright law, it must be original (the product of your own skill and creation and not a replication of another’s work) and tangible (expressed in a physical form). What does copyright protect? Copyright protection arises automatically and protects (amongst other things) original written works, photographs and software. If your work is protected under copyright law, nobody else can use your work without your permission. Copyright prevents others from copying, adapting and putting your work in hard copy or on the internet without your permission and if someone does use your work without your permission, you may be able to pursue them for copyright infringement. Who owns the copyright in my work? The first creator of a work is usually the owner of the copyright but if you have an employee that creates a work for your business under copyright then you, as the employer, will be the owner of the copyright. However, you need to take care if you commission a third party (e.g. a freelancer) to create work on your behalf because the general rule is that the third party will own the copyright even though you paid for its creation. If you wish to commission work from a third party, it is best to discuss the ownership of the copyright beforehand and record that agreement in writing. How do I protect the copyright in my work? When creating and developing your work always make sure you keep clear records of the versions with a time and date stamp to show you had ownership of the copyright at that time. You could also include a ‘copyright notice’ containing the same information along with the © symbol. How long does copyright protection last? The duration of copyright depends on a number of factors relating to the type of work you have created. For example, a piece of literature will be protected until 70 years after your death whereas if you act in a play, any rights relating to that performance are only protected for 50 years. However it also makes sure you are free to sell, licence and use your work as you wish.

What can I do if someone else owns the copyright in the work they have produced for me? You can ask the person who owns the copyright to assign it to you by law.

If they agree, it is advisable to record the assignment in a deed (a legal document) to ensure that ownership is transferred to you in its entirety. After an assignment, you will become the legal owner of the copyright. If the other person doesn’t want to assign the full legal rights to you but you still wish to use the copyrighted work, you may be able to licence the work from the owner usually on the basis of paying a fee. For advice on copyright law or assistance with assigning intellectual property rights, consult a legal firm with an acknowledged expertise in IP issues.

Why Charities Should Act Now to Avoid a £25k Fine

Charities are urged to make themselves aware of new rules that could see them fined up to £25k for pestering donors.

The recently launched Fundraising Preference Service gives members of the public the right to demand that charities stop telephoning, texting or emailing them fundraising messages. Organisations will receive a warning from the regulator, which, if not heeded, will be referred to the information watchdog, who can impose the heavy penalty. As the implications will be painful for all charities that breach the regulations - and potentially crippling for smaller ones - we advise taking on board the following considerations: Every charity is urged to get a handle on the changes as soon as possible – we have found a widespread lack of knowledge of the new rules and the penalties for not adhering to them. Addressing the issue now will avoid the expense and reputational damage of a heavy fine. Charities with large scale public fundraising will be required to make the most changes to their current practices - not just in the new procedures required, but also because changes could impact heavily on data protection requirements. All contacts (there may be hundreds of thousands), must hold a record of whether they have opted in or opted out. An informal rule that has been almost universally adopted is that data must be updated every two years if original consents were obtained via the telephone preference service. This is recommended but can incur substantial resource and cost. Charities that relied heavily on their ethical fundraising in promotional material will lose this selling point, since the changes will force everyone to abide by them. This means that they would be wise to review and refresh their key marketing messages to maintain public awareness of their points of difference. A major challenge for many charitable organisations is the sheer volume and complexity of the regulatory changes - another area of compliance they must navigate. It is therefore a good idea to seek the advice of a legal practice with a strong reputation for its expertise in the third sector. hlw Keeble Hawson’s dedicated, experienced team provides specialist and comprehensive advice for charities and voluntary organisations and has presented Trustee training courses. The next event, ‘Fundraising in a changing climate’, held in partnership with the Small Charities Coalition, will shed light on today’s fundraising landscape, charities’ options and important regulations. It will cover recent controversial fundraising tactics; the countdown to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), how to fundraise without incurring heavy fines (covering GDPR) along with available fundraising routes and legacy campaigns.

How Doncaster property owners can maximise new inheritance tax allowances Property owners in Doncaster who want to ensure the best possible provision for loved ones after their deaths should check whether changes to the Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) allowance require them to alter their wills. The advice comes from Michele Todd, partner and inheritance specialist with hlw Keeble Hawson which has offices in Doncaster, Sheffield and Leeds, who warns that wills must be reviewed regularly to maximise benefits brought by changes to succession law. She said: “The new RNRB allowance is a prime example. It gives extra tax relief to those with an estate, including a main residence, worth more than £325,000, which is the inheritance tax threshold - or nil rate band. “The changes make some family homes exempt from inheritance tax and bring a number of new conditions for bequests that those making wills must know about.” Additional nil rate bands when a residence is passed on death to a direct descendant began their phased introduction on 6 th April – and will increase by £25,000 a year until 2020. However, the new rules come with strict definitions on who is a direct descendant of the owner. They are a child, grandchild or other lineal descendant and a lineal descendant’s spouse or civil partner (including their widow, widower or surviving civil partner). Also entitled are a stepchild (someone whose parent is, or was, the spouse or civil partner of the will maker), an adopted child, a child who was fostered at any time and a child who the owner is the appointed guardian or special guardian when they’re under 18. A property can’t go to nieces, nephews or siblings but may be left to a mixture of direct and non–direct descendants – with its RNRB value calculated on the share direct descendants inherit. In addition, to claim the allowance, the will maker must have used the home as their main residence at some time in their lives - buy-to- let properties don’t count. Other conditions cover which trusts qualify for the allowance when property is included in them; how to protect RNRB when a will maker downsizes and sells the family home; and changing a will’s terms post-death to enhance beneficiaries’ entitlement. Michele Todd concluded: “Always remember that it is far better to get the will right at the outset, then keep up with regulations on tax-efficient inheritance so that it can be adapted to new rules. This is a complex task – and your own altered circumstances might also require changes to your bequests – so it is a very good idea make periodic inheritance ‘check ups’ with a specialist legal adviser part of your succession planning.”

How to make divorce easier on children

I have often thought that we should take research into the effects of divorce on children with a pinch of salt and concentrate on common sense, practical measures to reduce the impact. The latest study to grab headlines has concluded that a quick divorce is worse for children than an acrimonious one and that they are less likely to succeed in life as a result. In my extensive experience no divorce is easy – emotionally, financially or legally and nobody enters into the process because they think it is. Even amicable separations are hard on children – but if both parents work to safeguard them, there is no reason why they should not grow up to achieve fulfilled lives. If possible, sit down together to tell your children about a separation or divorce. Keep explanations simple and don’t blame each other. Always put your children’s welfare, not your own, first and avoid unnecessary squabbles. Strive to remain cordial despite feelings of hurt with your ex. Try to reach a quick and easy financial outcome – it is better to collaborate and to compromise than fight over minor issues. Strive to be fair and flexible with each other about children issues – avoiding disruption with last minute changes of plan. Routine is always helpful for children but it doesn’t have to be a straitjacket. Explain in simple terms how their lives will change, particularly major decisions such as where they will live and how often they will see each parent. Both parents are urged to be flexible over planned routines if children, particularly teenagers, want to alter them. Agree some parenting ground rules with your ex and have monthly coffee meetings to discuss how things are going with the children. Below are some tips on how estranged couples can make their split easier on their children:

Avoid getting into a blaming situation with your ex – a spirit of cooperation will go a long way.

Regularly reassure your offspring that you love them – they, in turn, are entitled to continue to love both parents.

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