Articles & Downloads / 2017

Toni Fitzgerald-Gunn

Employee’s Christian beliefs on same-sex adoption leads to dismissal

06 December 2017

Whilst NI eagerly awaits the arrival of the UK’s highest court to consider the Asher’s ‘gay cake’ case, in the recent English case of Page v NHS Trust Development Authority [2017], an employment tribunal rejected a claim of religious discrimination by a non-executive director who was opposed to same-sex adoption. Read More

Katie Buchanan

Employment Tribunal determines that colour blindness is not a disability

29 November 2017

In the case of Bessell v The Chief Constable of Dorset Police 1400313/2016, an Employment Tribunal in Southampton found that the fact the Claimant, Mr Bessell, suffered from colour blindness did not render him a disabled person within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010. The Equality Act 2010 does not apply in Northern Ireland. The corresponding legislation in Northern Ireland in relation to disability discrimination is the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. A person satisfies the definition of a disabled person under the legislation if they have “…a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on [their] ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.” Read More

Huw Worthington

How wealthy do you have to be to pay inheritance tax?

21 November 2017

In order to pay Inheritance Tax on death your assets need to be at least £325,000 if you are single or £650,000 jointly if you are in a civil partnership or married. Should you reach the above criteria then your loved ones will have to pay 40 per cent death duties on assets above those levels. Happily the introduction of a new allowance – the Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) applies to residential property when it is left to direct descendants. It will result in an additional £100,000 of nil-rate band – the term for the tax free allowance – in 2017-18, rising to an additional £175,000 in 2020-21. Read More

Toni Fitzgerald-Gunn

From Hollywood to the Houses of Parliament; the Worst Kept Secret

14 November 2017

Sexual Harassment allegations surrounding film industry megastars such as Kevin Spacey, Ben Affleck and Harvey Weinstein, show that years of ignorance, secrecy, and cover-ups have been accepted as part of normal life in Hollywood. This trend has recently been reflected within the UK Parliament and may be reflected in workplaces everywhere if appropriate preventative measures are not taken. Read More

Michael Duffy

Property transactions - know who you’re dealing with!

08 November 2017

The 2016 English case of Dreamvar (UK) Ltd v Mishcon de Reya illustrates the importance of knowing your client and exactly who you are acting for. This case related to a property in London which was being sold quickly. It was not occupied and there was no mortgage over the property. Read More

Nikki McConnell

There is danger in the dark!

06 November 2017

I hope you all remembered about the hour change on Sunday morning and appreciated that additional hour in bed. The end of British Summer Time (BST) results in the start of dark evenings and many people will be embarking on their journey home from school or work in the dark. Read More

Chris Wallace

Cycling accidents: What to do and how to claim…

25 October 2017

The popularity of cycling has increased significantly over the past number of years with many recalling the Giro D’Italia gracing the road of Northern Ireland in 2014 and the Gran Fondo recently completing its 3 year run in June 2017. Read More

Janeen McKay

Buying at Auction - Forewarned is forearmed

24 October 2017

Buying a property at auction can be exciting and potentially profitable and appeals to a wide spectrum of purchasers hoping to bag a bargain and cut out the traditional and sometimes lengthy conveyancing process. It is conceived as a faster way to dispose of property and is a relatively simple process. However, it is not risk-free, as once your bid is accepted and the hammer falls, you are contractually bound to complete the purchase no matter what. Read More

Toni Fitzgerald-Gunn

In the wake of Ophelia

17 October 2017

In the wake of Ophelia, many employers are asking the question – do I have to pay workers who did not attend for work? Read More

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