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voluntary redundancy and settlement agreements

Following the recent recommendations to merge the 22 councils in Wales to 10, coupled with the continuing financial difficulties of those local authorities, the future of those employed within councils across Wales has never been so uncertain.

The private sector also doesn’t seem to be going unscathed as both Lloyds TSB and Barclays have this month announced nationwide job cuts.

Although such plans are likely to result in compulsory redundancies, employers must comply with a number of duties before they can fairly make employees redundant. Such duties include undertaking a fair consultation process, along with trying to find suitable alternative employment for those employees at risk of redundancy.

Given the amount of hurdles an employer has to jump over in a redundancy process, employers sometimes offer those potentially at risk of losing their job the opportunity to opt for voluntary redundancy.

If an employee chooses voluntary redundancy, the benefits are usually better than if the process is done compulsorily. This makes a voluntary redundancy package more appealing, especially if the employee's position is already at risk anyway. More...

childrens rights which country

The Supreme Court has ruled that children whose parents separate and go abroad should be allowed to express a choice about whether they want to accompany them to another country.

In a case likely to have a significant impact on international cases, five justices unanimously decided that a 13-year-old girl, caught in a tug-of-love between her British Father and Spanish Mother (who separated approximately 2 years ago) should be considered to be a party to the domestic dispute.

Her Father is 47 and lives in the Thames Valley and her Mother is 46 and lives in Madrid. The teenager also has 3 brothers.

The Court concluded: “The youngster's “assertions about her state of mind" were relevant to any final decision about where she might live.”

Lady Hale, deputy president of the Supreme Court and the UK's most senior female judge, suggested that the teenager's "perception" was as important as that of her parents.

She said “the relevant reality was that of the child, not the parents. This approach accords with our increasing recognition of children as people with a part to play in their own lives, rather than as passive recipients of their parents' decisions."More...

wales business insider

Howells was recently featured in the most recent edition of Wales Business Insider. In a piece written by Geoff Wright about the rising confidence of property investors in Wales, Mark Hobbs, Managing Partner of Howells, provided his opinion on the sector. 

The article documented the large increase in businesses and individuals looking to invest in the Welsh property market over the previous 6 months. In particular, industrial units are proving popular with investors while increasing amounts of people are choosing to invest in land. Many people are also targeting property to be used by government departments, utility companies and housing associations. 

What’s more, with the property market in London and the South East already looking buoyant, and because it’s possible to buy buildings for less than they cost to build in some areas, other experts are anticipating that growth will spread across the country. More...

Disputes about wills and estates can be some of the most divisive, emotional legal cases as they can pit family members against each other and have devastating effects in the long term. What’s more, because people in the UK are getting richer and property prices have risen significantly, disagreements over probate arrangements are becoming increasingly commonplace in newspaper columns.

In the latest video uploaded to our Youtube channel Laith Khatib, Howells’ Private Client expert, discusses the ins and outs of probate law and the different issues that his expert team deal with on a daily basis.

A guide to contentious wills & probate

In the video, Laith talks about a range of different probate issues, including:

•    How the changing dynamic of the 21st century family can affect contentious probate cases
•    Whether it’s possible to challenge a will 
•    What happens if the deceased has created a will against their wishes or didn’t have the mental capacity at the time
•    What happens if there’s a mistake in a will
•    How the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 can affect probate cases
•    How you can prevent disputes between your loved ones in the event of your death
•    Why it’s important to seek professional legal help

Speak to Howells about wills today

Whether you’re contemplating challenging contentious wills or want to ensure that your will is both fair and cast-iron, talk to our team of expert probate solicitors at Howells today. Speak to us with no obligation – simply call 02920 404020 or email

by Tristan Lewis

With effect from 15th February 2015 EU Regulations on Consumer Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) allow consumers who bought our services online to submit their complaint via an online complaint portal.

We are required under the regulations to provide our clients the following information:-
  1. Link to the ODR platform - please follow the following link for further information (
  2. Our contact email address in case of a complaint under the ODR regulation – Andrea Coombes