Monthly Archives: January 2019

Court of Appeal confirms bank’s wide discretion in determining “fair market value” for ‘repo’ trades under Global Master Repurchase Agreement

In particular, when assessing “fair market value”, the non-defaulting party is entitled to have regard to any distressed or illiquid market conditions that were being experienced at the relevant time. Background  Landsbanki Islands (“LBI”), an Icelandic bank, had entered into …

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One in a million? No, you’re only one in five.

The Times has reported that one in five people aged 65 and over has a total household wealth of more than £1,000,000. On reflection perhaps this doesn’t seem that surprising given the rise in the value of pension funds and residential property over the last few decades.Perhaps the clearest consequence of rising wealth amongst pensioners is that more and more have estates in excess of the available reliefs from inheritance tax on death. For married pensioners who leave their wealth to their spouse on death, the surviving spouse can leave up to £650,000 on their subsequent death free from inheritance tax (by using their and their spouse’s respective nil rate bands). If their wealth is under £2,000,000 each on death then they may also take advantage of the residence nil rate band, which provides an additional slice of inheritance tax relief if they leave all or part of a residential property to their children or further descendants. Taking all of this into account, it is possible for parents to leave up to £1,000,000 between them to their children and further descendants tax free.One way in which the Government could have sought to address the issue of increasing inheritance tax exposure for the middle classes would have been to raise the nil rate band allowance from the current threshold of £325,000, which has stayed level since 2009. In previous years the threshold rose each financial year, similar to the income tax and capital gains tax personal allowances. The residence nil rate band is a much narrower exemption which only applies in certain circumstances and so cannot be considered a like-for-like substitute.For those concerned about their future tax bill and/or those looking to pass wealth down to younger generations there are a number of tax-efficient methods for doing so. The UK rules on lifetime giving permit individuals to make unlimited tax-free gifts, provided the donor survives those gifts by seven years. On top of this individuals can make up to £3,000 of gifts each financial year free from inheritance tax (whether or not they survive seven years), as well as taking advantage of other specific exemptions, such as gifts to newly-weds for their wedding. Gifts that are made out of an individual’s surplus income each year can also be made tax free, although care should be taken over the definitions of both ‘surplus’ and ‘income’.Finally, rising wealth should be a reminder that preparing a Will should be seen as a high priority for all individuals. As a minimum Wills provide individuals with the peace of mind that their affairs will be properly administered after their death in accordance with their wishes. However, for those facing a potential tax bill on death, a Will is the key to unlocking the potential tax savings by directing wealth to those recipients which attract the highest savings.

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‘Strexit’- dealing with workplace, stress, depression and anxiety

Ever had to deal with a toxic work environment? Being undermined? A lack of support? Working to tight deadlines under pressure? One can only assume this would resonate quite strongly with Theresa May at present. In a wider context however, …

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Drone related incidents – The costs for airlines

The impact on passengers following the Gatwick incident, where drone sightings caused the runway to be closed for over 24 hours, has been well documented. It has been estimated that somewhere in the region of 140,000 travellers had their plans …

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Proceed with caution when offering professional advice as a favour

The decision, which saw the architect facing a £265,000 claim, is welcome but does not change the law. Whether substantial professional advice is given freely or charged without entering into a formal contract, a duty of care remains. In 2013 …

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