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Latest News

Inheritance disputes following the death of a cohabitee

Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as common-law marriage and if you are not married and your live-in partner dies, you have no automatic legal right to inherit your loved one’s estate unless they made this clear in their will.

Nick Timmings, a partner at solicitors Petersfields LLP, outlines the common inheritance disputes that can arise when a cohabitee dies, and your options for resolving such a dispute.

Sticks and stones: what can you do if you have been a victim of defamation?

Social media has become a breeding ground for all manner of trolls who throw about wild accusations on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, review sites and more. Sometimes comments are completely untrue and can be extremely damaging.

But what can you do if someone publishes something untrue about you in writing, or spreads lies about you by word of mouth. Dawn Kiddy, a solicitor in the dispute resolution team with Petersfields LLP, explains defamation and outlines how you can use the law to protect your reputation if someone is spreading hurtful lies about you.

Damage caused by a neighbour's building work: your rights

Building work in the house next door is often a nuisance, with seemingly endless noise, dust, and workmen coming and going. Usually, such disruption ends without any lasting harm, but sometimes the work can adversely affect your property.

Dawn Kiddy at Petersfields LLP in Cambridge and Haverhill outlines your options if a neighbour’s building work causes damage to your property, and she explains how a dispute resolution solicitor can help you get redress.

Resolving a dispute about a trust fund

Once thought of as a device only for the rich and famous, trust funds are now routinely used by ordinary families to protect assets for loved ones in a tax-efficient manner.

Although useful, trust funds can be complex mechanisms and disputes can and do occur about how they are run or about who benefits from them. Nick Timmings at Petersfields LLP in Cambridge and Haverhill outlines what a trust fund is, how disputes over trust funds can emerge and how a solicitor can help you resolve them.

Claiming compensation for negligent financial advice

Sometimes we need to make a financial decision that is of such importance we decide to pay for professional advice. This may be from an accountant, a tax specialist, a pensions expert, a mortgage consultant, an independent financial advisor, a land valuer or surveyor, or even a lawyer offering financial or tax planning services.

By seeking professional input, we aim to arm ourselves with the information needed to ensure that the decisions we make are well-informed and that they are geared towards helping us to safeguard or improve our financial fortunes rather than making them worse.

So where do you stand if you discover, possibly months or even years down the line, that the advice you have been given may be wrong or inappropriate and where it is likely that your financial interests have been harmed as a result?

Increasing rent and tenancy disputes

The cost-of-living crisis is hitting the UK’s landlords hard, with soaring inflation, interest rates and energy prices all exponentially adding to the cost of renting out property.

As a landlord, you may be tempted to simply bump up the rent for all your tenants to cover your rising costs, but there are rules and restrictions involved in doing this and the consequences of getting it wrong can be harsh.

Dawn Kiddy outlines the circumstances in which you can increase a tenant’s rent, describes your options if disputes arise in doing so, and explains how you go about terminating a tenancy if required.


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