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Legal News from Edward Harte LLP

Monday, March 14, 2016

Now recruiting in the Family Department

Our busy family team is recognised for the quality of its work, its expertise and client care.  We are seeking to recruit a solicitor with minimum 2+ years PQE on competitive terms with a proposed start date of November/December 2016.


Applications by CV to Anna Glenton, Partner by email on aglenton@edward-harte.co.uk.


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Monday, March 7, 2016

Amnesty International’s Free Will Writing Fortnight

Between the 7th and 20th of March 2016, Mr Tom Callaghan (our head of Wills & Probate) and Mr Jack Taylor (one of our trainee solicitors) will be taking part in Amnesty International’s Free Will Writing Fortnight. During this period we are offering appointments to discuss and prepare a simple Will for free or update an existing simple Will for free. This represents a great opportunity for anyone who has not yet made a Will and would like to do so whilst also helping to support a good cause. 

There are a limited amount of appointments which we can offer and these are provided on a first-come-first-served basis. 

Please contact Tom on 01273 662753 or tcallaghan@edward-harte.co.uk 


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Exciting News! New additions and new promotions!

We are very pleased to announce the promotion of Robert McDonald to salaried partner at Edward Harte LLP alongside Tom Callaghan, Samantha Dawkins and Anna Glenton. 


Friday, October 30, 2015

Offers in Civil Proceedings

The use of Part 36 Offers in Civil Proceedings either during pre-action correspondence or after the claim has been issued is common practice.  If the successful party beats their Part 36 Offer; i.e. the Claimant makes an offer for £10,000.00 and at trial is awarded £15,000.00 the Defendant will be liable to pay the Claimant's costs from 21 days after the offer was made up to and including trial on an indemnity basis.  If the Defendant makes an offer to pay £10,000.00 to the Claimant and is ordered to pay £5,000.00 at trial then the Claimant would be liable to pay the Defendant's cost from 21 days after the date that the offer was made up to and including trial on an indemnity basis.  There are other benefits, such as parties are able to recover interest on costs and damages at up to 10% above base rate.  In addition, you are able to claim an uplift in damages which effectively means a party has the windfall of extra damages which they would otherwise not have been entitled to. 

Changes were made to Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules, which took effect from 06 April 2015.  There were as follows:

1.   It was confirmed that Part 36 is a self-contained procedural code and falls outside the law of contract.

2.   You are now permitted to put a time limit within the offer by which it must be accepted.  This time limit would not take effect during the first 21 days after the offer was made.

3.  If no time limit is recorded in the offer then the offer remains open to acceptance until it is formally withdrawn by the Offeror.

4.  You can now make Part 36 Offers to settle just part of a claim.

5.  A trial is defined as any trial in a case whether it is a trial of all issues or a trial of liability, quantum or some other issue in the case.  This therefore now covers cases where there are split trials.

6.  Further examples of the specific refining of definitions are set out in CPR 36.3

7.  A Part 36 Offer may, during the course of proceedings, only apply to the costs of those proceedings during which it  was made and not in relation to the costs of any appeal.  A Part 36 Offer no longer has to state that it is to have Part 36 consequences.  Even if that is not expressly stated within the offer then it will still amount to a valid offer.

8.  If any party makes an improved offer then in accordance with Part 36 this is considered to be a new and separate offer and unless either offer has formally been withdrawn then they both remain open to acceptance. 

9.  Where a Part 36 Offer is accepted late, unless the Court considers it unjust to do so, the Court must make the usual Order i.e costs.

10.  If there is a split trial and only part of the case has been determined then any Part 36 Offer that relates to those elements can no longer be accepted.  However, any existing offers dealing with the remaining issues yet to be determined can be accepted, albeit not earlier than 7 clear days after the Judgment arising from the split trial.  This enables the Offeror to have the opportunity to withdraw that offer if necessary. 

11. Parties are now able to reveal at the end of a split trial that a Part 36 offer has been made in respect of the issue which has already been determined.  

11.  The Court, when considering whether to make the usual cost Order arising out of Part 36, will now need to consider whether the offer was a genuine attempt to settle proceedings.

12.  Finally, in the event that a party has failed to file and serve a costs budget and the Court will not grant relief from sanctions i.e. they can only now claim Court Fees from that point onwards, that party can put in a Part 36 Offer and if successful they will be entitled to claim 50% of their costs from the relevant period.

If you have any queries please contact our Civil Litigation team on enquiries@edward-harte.co.uk or 01273 662750.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Tips, Service Charges and Gratuities

Ever wondered what happens to your tips?  Often when we feel we have received a good service in a bar, hotel, restaurant or taxi etc. we want to leave a tip....... but who receives the money in addition to their salary?

Previously any tips paid by the employer to the employee formed part of the employee's salary.  However, since the introduction of the National Minimum Wage regulations 2015 (as amended) this is no longer the case.

If a tip, service charge or gratuity is labelled as "discretionary" or as a "suggested amount", then there is no legal obligation on you the customer to pay it, and you are entitled to ask for this sum to be removed from your bill.  However, and perhaps surprisingly, in a restaurant you have no legal authority to insist that your tip goes directly to your waiter or waitress.  On a practical basis, some establishments share the tips paid by credit or debit card between all staff, whereas cash is assigned to your server.

Does tipping attract PAYE and NI contributions?

If you gave cash tips voluntarily and directly to the person providing you with a service and their employer is not in any way involved in this transaction, any responsibility for PAYE and National Insurance contributions may not be relevant and generally speaking that tip will not attract VAT. 

However, if the employer is in some way responsible for distributing the tips amongst staff, then PAYE contributions may be required.

The code of best practice on Service Charges, Tips, Gratuities and Cover Charges provides comprehensive guidance on how to tip fairly.  This is a transparent operating guide for both customers and employees and sets out the obligations on businesses to provide their customers with information regarding how tips are handled and also provides guidance for employees.  This is a voluntary code, however those businesses who sign up to it are expected to comply.

Click on the link for the full version of the document:


Friday, September 4, 2015

5 Reasons Why Terms and Conditions Are Important; they

  1. Provide a framework for transactions and help to create certainty as to what is agreed. In the event a customer has breached the contract having robust Terms and Conditions to rely on may provide a solid base on which to defend a claim.  
  2. Provide consistency between all business transactions, minimising any ambiguity as to the terms on which you and your client(s) contract on. 
  3. Save valuable management time and money in bespoke negotiations as nonstandard terms can be incorporated which reflect the transactions of your business. 
  4. Provide the opportunity for a business to impose its terms on the customer rather than entering into time consuming negotiations. 
  5. Improve efficiency as with standard terms and procedures and with training, more junior staff can conclude transactions on behalf of the business. In turn, freeing up senior management time to concentrate on other matters.

For a review of your Terms and Conditions please contact our Civil Litigation Team on enquiries@edward-harte.co.uk or 01273 662750


Friday, August 28, 2015

5 Top Tips for serving Section 21 Notices

  • Serve each Tenant with their own Notice
  • Check the terms of the Tenancy for how the Notice should be served
  • Personally serve the Notice
  • Check the Deposit has been protected 
  • Check the Prescribed Information was served in time

If the Deposit hasn't been protected or the prescribed information not served in time or for further advice and assistance with preparing and serving Notices contact Samantha Dawkins by email: sdawkins@edward-harte.co.uk 

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