Chambers celebrates further success with rankings in Chambers and Partners 2020

We are proud and delighted to announce that Chambers continues in it’s success being recognised by Chambers and Partners 2020. Five members have also been individually ranked together with recognition for the clerking team for client service “The clerks are helpful and quick to respond.” “It’s a great chambers with a number of strong counsel and really helpful clerks.”

Employment

Nigel Moore (Band 3) – “His strength is his technical analysis – any work prepared by Nigel will show full consideration of all issues, no matter how small, yet he also delivers the advice in a manner which is clear and to the point.” “Nigel is extremely impressive in his speed at identifying the key issues in a case and for finding ingenious legal arguments in cases that may initially seem hopeless.”

Family/Matrimonial

Rupert Chapman (Band 2) – “He has a very approachable, calm and pragmatic manner. He’s extremely knowledgeable and is an up-and-coming star.” “He gets to the heart of complex issues, advises clearly and is a formidable advocate with an unmatched knowledge of the law.”

Carol Mashembo (Band 2) – “She has very careful, meticulous preparation and clear advocacy. She is clear and precise in conference and inspires trust and confidence from clients. She’s always prepared to go the extra yard to get the case right.” “She’s an excellent advocate who gives strong sensible advice in children matters.”

Christopher Naish (Band 1) – “He’s excellent, really experienced and very good with clients. He’s very knowledgeable, down-to-earth and approachable.” “He is unflappable and calm in difficult cases, which inspires the confidence of his clients.”

Planning

Gavin Collett (Band 2) – Well regarded for his expertise in planning law, with particular specialist knowledge in highways and rights of way. He acts for local authorities, as well as developers and private individuals. He is the head of the administrative and regulatory team at Magdalen Chambers.

Very well done to all involved!

Chambers and Partners 2020

THE NEW RESIDENCE NIL-RATE BAND

THE NEW RESIDENCE NIL-RATE BAND

CHARLES COOPER CONSIDERS THE RESIDENCE NIL-RATE BAND AND TRANSFERABLE RESIDENCE NIL-RATE BAND FOR INHERITANCE TAX

Inheritance Tax is payable on the value of a deceased’s estate above a set threshold, referred to as the Inheritance Tax Nil-Rate Band (‘NRB’). Since 09 October 2007 it has also been possible to claim the unused NRB of a spouse or civil partner who died before them, referred to as the Transferable Nil-Rate Band (‘TNRB’). From 06 April 2017 there has been an additional Residence NRB (‘RNRB’) and a Transferable Residence NRB (‘TRNRB’), the legislation for which is set out at ss.8D-8M Inheritance Tax Act 1984 (as inserted by s.9 Finance (No 2) Act 2015).

The RNRB and TRNRB legislation is relatively new and untested. ‘Residence’ refers to any interest in a dwelling house that was the deceased’s residence, at some point in time, and that interest must be ‘closely inherited’ (inherited by a lineal descendant) on or after 06 April 2017 for the legislation to apply. Where the first spouse or civil partner died before 06 April 2017 then 100% TRNRB should be available on the second death. These reliefs are subject to tapering provisions, and allowance has been made for individuals who ‘down-sized’ before death.

A specific gift of residence to a spouse or child under a Will is obviously ‘closely inherited’, but most Wills just leave residue to a spouse or child either absolutely or in trust.

If the residence forms part of residue, it is to be regarded as closely inherited for the purposes of RNRB to the extent that the residuary estate is closely inherited. For example, where residue (containing a residence) is to be divided one half to a child and one half to charity, only half of the residence would be treated as ‘closely inherited’.

If the residue is left in trust to a spouse or child for their benefit during their lifetime (a ‘life interest trust’) it should be regarded as closely inherited, but not if left on discretionary trusts.

With the legislation now enabling a potential combined Nil-Rate Band of £900,000 (on current figures) on death, it is worth checking whether the full Nil-Rate Bands may be claimed.

February 2019

 

[Charles practised as a Solicitor and Higher Court Advocate before being called to the Bar, and specialises in tax, trusts, wills and probate.]

Court of Appeal Grants Permission to Appeal in Livewest v Bamber 

The Court of Appeal has granted permission for a second appeal in the case of Livewest v Bamber [2018] EWHC 2454. This case concerns the correct interpretation and application of sections 21(1A) and 21(1B) of the Housing Act 1988 which apply to fixed term tenancies granted by registered providers of social housing. 

In a judgment of the High Court (Dingemans J) handed down on 27 September 2018 it was held that a 6 month notice in writing, as required by section 21(1B) of the Housing Act 1988, was not needed to end a fixed term tenancy of more than 5 years during the starter period of such a tenancy. 

Miss Bamber has been given permission to appeal against that decision by the Court of Appeal, who will consider later this year whether or not the approach taken by the High Court was correct. 

Miss Bamber is represented by Russell James of Magdalen Chambers and Cathy Morley of Shelter (Devon). 

Charles Cooper

CAVEATS AND STANDING SEARCHES

CHARLES COOPER REVIEWS THE USE OF CAVEATS AND STANDING SEARCHES AND A RECENT CHANGE TO THE NON-CONTENTIOUS PROBATE RULES

From November 2018 an online application can be made to the Probate Registry for Caveats or Standing Searches in a deceased’s estate (see: Non-Contentious Probate (Amendment) Rules 2018).

A Caveat enables the applicant to stop a Probate application but is a relatively draconian tool which should only be used where there is a dispute as to who can apply for Probate, or as to the validity or existence of a Will.

A Standing Search gives notification to the applicant when a Grant of Probate has been issued, and a copy of that Grant, which is a more useful tool for Inheritance Act claims where limitation runs from the date of issue of the Grant or where the applicant simply wishes to know the identity of the Personal Representative(s) and the value of the estate.

It seems likely that the use of Caveats and Standing Searches will increase with the introduction of an online application process.

November 2018 

[Charles practised as a Solicitor and Higher Court Advocate before being called to the Bar, and specialises in tax, trusts, wills and probate.]

Charles Cooper

NIL-RATE BAND LEGACIES AND THE NEW RESIDENCE NIL-RATE BAND

CHARLES COOPER REVIEWS THE CONSEQUENCES FOR NIL-RATE BAND LEGACIES OF THE NEW RESIDENCE NIL-RATE BAND FOR INHERITANCE TAX

Since 09 October 2007 it has been possible to claim, on their death, the unused Inheritance Tax Nil-Rate Band (‘NRB’) of their spouse or civil partner who died before them. This is often referred to as the ‘Transferable Nil-Rate Band’ or ‘TNRB’. By 2014, the Court of Appeal had been asked  to consider whether the wording of a so-called ‘Nil-Rate Band Legacy’ should properly include the TNRB as well. The case was Loring v Woodland Trust [2014] EWCA Civ 1314.

In that case, the relevant part of the NRB legacy read:

                ‘MY TRUSTEES shall set aside out of my residuary estate assets or cash of an aggregate value equal to                        such sum as is at the date of my death the amount of my unused nil-rate band for inheritance tax and to                      hold the same for such of the following…’

The Court of Appeal upheld the first instance decision that the legacy should be calculated so as to include both the unused NRB and the TNRB, even though the legislation had been introduced after execution of the will. Particular reference was made to the wording of s.8A Inheritance Tax Act 1984 as applying to increase the NRB rather than being a separate, additional, NRB.

HMRC has criticised the decision in Loring, in their Inheritance Tax Manual at IHTM43065, on the basis that the clause uses the specific words ‘the amount of my unused nil-rate band’.

From 06 April 2017, however, there is now an additional ‘Residence Nil-Rate Band’ and a ‘Transferable Residence Nil-Rate Band’ to contend with, the legislation for which is set out at ss.8D-8M Inheritance Tax Act 1984. Now, more than ever, caution is advised when drafting or interpreting NRB legacies within a will.

June 2018

 [Charles practised as a Solicitor and Higher Court Advocate before being called to the Bar, and specialises in tax, trusts, wills and probate.]