Events & News

A very public row has engulfed the family company Sherlock Holmes International Society Ltd, which owns the Sherlock Homes museum, over disputed withdrawals of funds of more than £2m  from the company’s coffers by a member of the family.  A winding up petition was filed in the High Court in 2014 by the sole Director but then other members of the family opposed this, on the ground that the Director had not been validly appointed and therefore had no power to file the petition.


The company’s Articles only permitted shareholders to be Directors and the sole Director was not a shareholder at the time the petition was issued.    However it seems that on previous occasions, other non-shareholder Directors had sometimes been appointed at the company’s AGM.  The High Court had to decide whether the shareholders had by implication/conduct changed the Articles to permit a non-shareholder to be a Director, even though no steps had been taken to formally change them by company resolution and filing the change at Companies House.

Until now, companies have been required to file an Annual Return every year which updates the Register of Companies with current information about Directors, shareholdings, registered office, etc.   From 30 June, companies will no longer be required file an Annual Return but merely a ‘Confirmation Statement’   This confirms that the current details on the Register are correct or provides details of any changes which have occurred during the past year.


The statement must be filed within 14 days of the anniversary of the date when the company was incorporated. 


The new form is called CS01 and is downloadable from Companies House or you can file online.  You need to pay a fee of £40 each time you file this form.


The intention of the form is to reduce administration for companies.   

Mark Barrett is Head of the Commercial Dept and deals with company law matters at LLB

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We are delighted to have passed the Lexcel audit for the fourth consecutive year  with many positive comments from the Assessor, one of which was;


“There is an atmosphere within the firm found throughout this review that reflects the ethos of the firm i.e. people provide a service that is “Confidential, Communicative, Prompt and Courteous”. This is a long established firm with traditional values and the client base reflects this.”

Report on - Lancashire County Council (LCC) v Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 2016


The Judge in this case considered an appeal, which challenged a Planning Inspector’s ruling to register four playing fields (neighbouring a Primary School) as a town or village green.


The Commons Act 2006 regulates applications to register land as a town and village green. To be successful the applicant must show “a significant number of the inhabitants of any locality, or of any neighbourhood within a locality, have indulged as of right in lawful sports and pastimes of the land for a period of at least 20 years.”


The appeal was brought on the following four main grounds:

Last year the Ministry of Justice ran a ‘Choice not chance’ campaign, in an attempt to make people aware of the importance of planning for their future by making Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney. The campaign highlighted the disproportionate number of people who had Wills in comparison to the number who had Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA).


Lack of understanding and general misconceptions about LPAs can lead people to postpone or even put off making an LPA. There are different types of LPAs which do different jobs. The point of making an LPA is about taking control and planning for the future. In order to make an LPA you must have the sufficient mental capacity. The threshold for mental capacity to make an LPA is higher than the threshold required to make a Will. So it is important that a person makes their LPA at a time when they are able to understand and retain the information that they are being provided with and make an informed decision about who they would like to appoint as their Attorney.


Common Law


The cohabiting couple family is the fastest growing family type in the UK with over 3.2 million couples cohabiting as of 2015. Despite the increase in the number of couples choosing to live together without getting married, there is a lack of awareness about the protection offered by the law, and the risks that cohabitees could face. For example, many people still believe in the fictional concept of the ‘common law marriage’, a description for a long term cohabitation arrangement, to all intents and purposes a marriage, which must surely, they think, give rise to the same legal rights that married couples enjoy. 

By Nicky Davies


I once heard that the whole process of selling, purchasing and actually moving house was third on the list of most stressful events a person can endure, being superseded only by bereavement and divorce!  The stress generally comes from feeling out of control due to the various parties involved in a chain: sellers, buyers, agents, conveyancers, mortgage brokers, surveyors etc; not being kept informed and not understanding the process.  So, as an experienced conveyancer, I have put together my tips for reducing those stress levels:


1. Reputation, reputation, reputation
Choose your estate agent and conveyancer wisely.  Now, of course, I would say that(!) but this really is crucial because you will work very closely with these individuals during the course of your sale and purchase and will rely on them to advise you wisely and push your transaction through until the day you actually move.  Ask around amongst your friends, work colleagues

Lawyers For Life

Lawson Lewis Blakers are able to offer specialist advice..


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