What is a Family Investment Company?

Fiona Kirkpatrick

Family Investment Companies (FICs) are not a new phenomenon, but they have been gaining in popularity over recent years as an effective estate planning tool, especially since changes to the taxation of trusts have made discretionary trusts a less attractive option.   What is a FIC? A FIC is a company that can be used... ...

Managing Whistleblowing complaints

Rachel Richardson

Whistleblowing complaints have been on the rise since the beginning of the global pandemic and the government has recently announced that they will be carrying out a review of the whistleblowing legislation to ensure that it is still fit for purpose.   Protection for whistleblowers in Northern Ireland is provided under the Public Interest Disclosure... ...

The Cookie “Monster” – What does the future hold for cookies and user analytics in light of new EU Laws

Andrew Kirke

Since the 1990s, websites have had a love affair with using cookies to track user behaviour, as strong as that of Sesame Street’s beloved monster.   However with recent moves towards customer privacy, and Google’s plans to phase out third-party cookies on Chrome browsers by 2022, it looks like third-party cookies (i.e. cookies created by... ...

Dismissal for refusing to wear a face-covering – fair or unfair?

Jack Balmer

Implementing Covid-19 related health and safety measures in the workplace has been an ongoing challenge for employers this year, as they balance new responsibilities alongside their existing obligations under employment and health and safety law.   With face-coverings now mandatory in many workplaces, either under the Coronavirus regulations or workplace health & safety policies, a... ...

Tax Day is no roadmap – but policy changes hint at a future cut to red tape

Fiona Kirkpatrick

Since the report of the catchily named  All Party Parliamentary Group for Inheritance and Inter-generational Fairness (“the APPG”)  was published back in January 2020, there has been much talk amongst UK private client practitioners regarding the potential overhaul of the inheritance tax system.   STEP also recently conducted a survey amongst its members on attitudes... ...

Furlough scheme extended until end of September

Jack Balmer

In his Budget speech today, the Chancellor will announce the latest, and perhaps final, extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, until the end of September. This extension forms part of the Chancellor’s wider plan for economic recovery post-Coronavirus, and will give much needed reassurance to employers across all sectors, especially those such as hospitality,... ...

Covid-19 Vaccinations: Key Considerations for Employers

Rachel Richardson

With the vaccine roll-out well under way, it is important to understand that you, as an employer, cannot force employees to take the vaccine.  Whilst of course you must do all you can to ensure the health and safety of your employees, that does not mean that you can insist on their being vaccinated, and... ...

DoJ launches consultation on increasing County Court jurisdiction

Pauline Walker

The Department of Justice has launched a 12 week consultation on increasing the jurisdiction of the County Court in Northern Ireland. The County Court currently hears cases which have a value of up to £30,000 with District Judges dealing with those with a value up to £10,000 (including small claims matters). The consultation makes proposals... ...

Estate planning opportunities you can’t afford to ignore

Fiona Kirkpatrick

We’ve finally made it through January, the gloomiest month of the year, and probably the worst in a long time thanks to the ongoing lockdown. One thing the pandemic has encouraged many of us to do is review our personal affairs, but this time I’m not here to tell you about the importance of making... ...

Real Estate – Where to next? Looking ahead to 2021

Let’s acknowledge Covid-19 and Brexit in this opening paragraph and then try not to mention them again.  The immediate future is undoubtedly tough for many businesses. However, as we gladly move out of 2020 and into the new year, let’s look at the commentary in the commercial property sector to see where opportunities may arise... ...