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Private Client Update 13

Woman wins unfair dismissal claim against Marks & Spencer

A woman who was sacked while on sick leave has won her claim of unfair dismissal and disability discrimination against Marks & Spencer.

Sally Roach had worked as a visual merchandiser for the company for 18 years until she had to take a year off work after a hysterectomy operation in 2014. She was dismissed a year later.

Mrs Roach said she felt that she had been treated as if she was “just another number” to the company.

She took legal action and the Employment Tribunal upheld her claims that she had been discriminated against and unfairly dismissed.

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Husband ordered to pay wife an extra £1.6m in divorce settlement

A husband who failed to disclose all his assets when negotiating a divorce settlement has been ordered to pay his wife an extra £1.6m.

The couple were both teachers when they married in 1984. The husband began a business in 1988. He owned 99 of the 100 shares and his wife had the other one.

He stopped teaching in 1990 to concentrate on the company, while the wife continued teaching and helped in the business. They had three children by the time they separated in 2002. The husband moved out of the family home and she took no further part in the business.

In 2006, the husband paid the wife £150,000 following their divorce, but she did not sign the deed of settlement that had been drafted.

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Man must pay £44,000 in family dispute over stepfather’s will

A man has been told he’s liable to pay costs of £44,000 because of his unreasonable behaviour in a family dispute over his stepfather’s will.

The case involved the stepson and the stepfather’s daughter and son. The stepson had looked after the father’s finances in the last 12 months of his life.

Following the father’s death, the daughter was concerned to discover that the estate was far less valuable than she had anticipated. She issued proceedings to determine who should represent the estate and to seek an account of the money that she suspected was missing.

A personal representative was appointed, to whom the stepson was required to give all documents and records relating to the father's financial affairs. However, he failed to deliver the relevant documents.

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UK House prices show an annual increase of 6.9%

House prices in the UK rose by 6.9% in the year to October according to the latest official figures from the Land Registry.  However, the number of sales dropped by 8% over the same period.

The price of the average property is now £216,674.

In England, the October data showed an annual price increase of 7.4%, taking the average property value to £232,655.  Monthly house prices fell by 0.1% since September 2016.

Wales showed an annual price increase of 4.4%, taking the average property value to £147,065.

Monthly house prices rose by 1% compared with September 2016.

London showed an annual price increase of 7.7%, which took the average property value to £474,475.  Monthly house prices fell by 1.2% since September 2016.

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