Wednesday Guest Blog

Jeremy Frost writes:

Not sure I should mention it, but I think I saw the sun today!  Could this be the end of a long cold depressing winter, leading to a warm period of growth?  Well even the latest economic stats appear to suggest we might be seing at least the first glimmer of an improvement!

But before we all get too excited, I caught 10 mins of TV chef, James Martin’s attempt to improve hospital food yesterday morning.  It would appear that, despite a budget of many £billions, no one within the NHS is engaged in the fairly basic task of minimusing waste and maximising taste.  In an organisation containing so many individuals how can it possibly be that no one has a job to make sure the patients get a hot nutritious meal within a reasonable budget!  And in the two hospitals mentioned, one in wales had to buy lambs from New Zealand and one in Birmingham threw away 40% of what was cooked on a daily basis!  This is after over 20 years of attempts to solve these fairly basic issues.

It just goes to show that we continue to put barriers in the way of progressive thinking.  This is called a compliance and regulatory culture.  When will we learn that this approach does more harm than good!

But in the end, I think Mr Martin says it very well. (after throwing away about three ton of un-reciped custard made with double cream)  I can teach them to cook in a week, but I don’t know how to teach them to care!   I wish we had more of this level of honesty and leadership within our government and its employees.

Jeremy Frost FABRP MIPA, Director  Frost Group Limited

Tel: 0845 260 0101   Fax: 020 8915 1018    http://www.frostbr.co.uk

Freedman Alexander LLP  – solicitors in Epsom and Ewell – http://www.fallp.co.uk 

No-Win No-Fee … No time

The Jackson reforms to civil litigation are coming into force in April.

These changes impact on cases that are undertaken on a conditional fee basis.  For example, you will no longer be able to claim back any insurance premium in connection with so-called “after the event” insurance – even if you win.  Such premiums can be substantial.

You need to get your claims in quickly and issued before April to be certain as to this recoverability point.

There are many more change to the Rules to consider.  For more information contact mailto:iain.macdonald@fallp.co.uk

Freedman Alexander LLP  – solicitors in Epsom and Ewell – http://www.fallp.co.uk 

Wednesday Guest Blog

Jeremy Frost of Frost Business Services writes:

The last few years have seen a significant increase in the number of agreements, usually about less and less.  This attitude is becoming so prevalent that not even the lawyers can make any money!

The basis of business still remains the same.

  • • Make stuff that people want (and need)
  • • Tell them about it!
  • • Sell it to them
  • COLLECT IN THE CASH!

Business owners tend to deal with the issues in order and only worry about the lack of cash when it hasn’t arrived and is unlikely to do so.

This week I have been looking at two cases:

  • • A debtor who believes that he should only pay for professional advice when he agrees with it.
  • • Two Directors whose response to the impending insolvency of their Company and their relocation abroad was to drain the Company’s Bank account of £45,000.

The first one is a matter we deal with.  Judgement achieved on line, with the matter now to moved to the High Court.  The time for the Sheriffs is close!

The Second is one for Freedman Alexander LLP.  Contingent fee to collect in debts overseas!  Looks good to me.

Jeremy Frost FABRP MIPA, Director  Frost Group Limited

Tel: 0845 260 0101   Fax: 020 8915 1018    http://www.frostbr.co.uk

Freedman Alexander LLP  – solicitors in Epsom and Ewell – http://www.fallp.co.uk 

What will be, will be …

The Legal Services Board has recommended that all Will writing activities should be regulated.   The Lord Chancellor will now decide whether to accept the recommendations which will then be debated in the Commons and Lords.

At the moment the recommendations are only for Will writing activities and does not extend to estate administration.  The recommendation follows extensive investigation revealing cases where Wills had been negligently drafted.  I have certainly picked up work from bereaved families putting right Wills which had been badly drafted by unregulated Will writers.   Those who prefer to use the unregulated sector because it may be cheaper than using a solicitor, can sometimes leave the bereaved family with more expense during the administration of the estate.

For a properly drafted Will which is actually going to work, please call Freedman Alexander LLP on 020 8393 0941.  I am a qualified solicitor and also a member of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners.

graeme.aston@fallp.co.uk

Freedman Alexander LLP  – solicitors in Epsom and Ewell – http://www.fallp.co.uk 

Wednesday Guest Blog

Here’s the next guest blog by Jeremy Frost of Frost Business Services:

For many years I played rugby with and against the boys in blue.  “Policing only works when it is with the consent of the population.”  I always used to remember that as some usually smiling 18 stone Neanderthal, sorry, PC dropped his knees into my back.

It used to be said that falling out with HM Inland Revenue was almost impossible, whereas it was similarly impossible not to fall out with Customs and Excise.   One branch was the people and we agreed to pay them Tax and the other was the Crown whom we reluctantly paid duty.

So with one organisation doing both, how long will it be before the population begin to feel wholly alienated.  Not too long now I feel.  The number of stories concerning over zealous tax collectors destroying businesses, i.e treating tax in the same way as duties is growing.  But at the same time I receive alarming stories from accountants as to the level of clients leaving their charge and not going to a new Accountant. Attempting to Disappear under the radar!  There seems little appetite to recognise that these two events are related and even less appetite to accept that collecting tax is not necessarily an exact science, but this is a whole new subject.

Jeremy Frost FABRP MIPA, Director  Frost Group Limited

Tel: 0845 260 0101   Fax: 020 8915 1018    http://www.frostbr.co.uk

Freedman Alexander LLP  – solicitors in Epsom and Ewell – http://www.fallp.co.uk 

Wednesday Guest Blog

Another blog from Jeremy Frost of Frost Business Services:

It is very rare for me to know more than a day or two in advance what I will be doing.  On Friday I got a call to attend a Board Meeting with a client on Monday to discuss the Company’s pending Insolvency.  It was clear that the Board Meeting was the culmination of a twenty year business relationship which had disintergrated as, amongst other things,  trading pressures had built over the course of 2012.  A tough meeting culminating with the Board inviting in an Administrator.  To paraphrase the Chairman; I could go and borrow £250,000 to refinance this business, but not with  him in it and, quite frankly I would prefer to go back on the tools.

Very sad and very understandable.

And yesterday I was on my way to the little boys room in our business centre, merrily minding my own business when I got asked to partake in a television programme called Real Women which is produced by www.Croydontv.co.uk.  I was invited to discuss the effect of the mountain of debt on UK corporations and how it affects more of us than we might believe.  I tried to inject a bit of  humour but thought better of using my usual joke about buying too many handbags and shoes!  Hopefully it will look as good on the Interweb as it sounded when being there!

Jeremy Frost FABRP MIPA, Director  Frost Group Limited

Tel: 0845 260 0101   Fax: 020 8915 1018    http://www.frostbr.co.uk

Freedman Alexander LLP  – solicitors in Epsom and Ewell – http://www.fallp.co.uk 

Reduced Rate of Inheritance Tax

The rate of Inheritance Tax is 40% for estates over the “nil rate band” of £325,000.   After 6 April 2012 the 40% tax has been reduced to 36% if 10% or more of the relevant estate is given to charity.  This new measure affects people who are considering leaving or who have already left a charitable legacy in their Will.

If your Will contains legacies to charities or you want to benefit a charity and pay less tax then it would be an appropriate time to take our professional advice with regard to your Will.

Graeme.Aston@fallp.co.uk

Freedman Alexander LLP  – solicitors in Epsom and Ewell – http://www.fallp.co.uk