Tim Henwood talks about the importance of wills

Yesterday, Tim Henwood, who is responsible for the Estates, Wills, Trusts, and Probate department at MannBenham Advocates, spoke to Manx Radio with Hospice Isle of Man on Late Lunch about the importance of making a will and some of the ways to leave legacies to charities. Tim, with his many years of experience, covered three main areas to ensure everything runs smoothly whilst writing and then executing a will.

Firstly, the real need to ensure that you have a proper will in place, a formal legal document to make sure all your wishes are carried out as intended. Secondly, to make sure that the will is professionally done and not one written at home, but expert legal advice is sought on bringing everything together to ensure there are no unexpected issues or risks of things not going to plan. And finally, decide on the manner in which your estate will be distributed and written in a way that will avoid unnecessary changes in the future.

You can see the video of the Late Lunch discussion here: Manx Radio YouTube

Tim, in his role as advocate, and trust and estate practitioner, at MannBenham primarily focuses on advising clients, drafting and implementing the requisite documents, structures and planning requirements, as well as managing trusts, and mental health and deceased estates for clients. He strongly believes in getting to know a client executors and the family first and foremost, understanding their needs and requirements for their estate when the time comes, and then ensuring a structure is in place to effectively implement all clients wishes and requirements.

Although not covered in the radio discussion, Tim also works in the field of mental capacity particularly with respect to enduring powers of attorney and receivership matters. With his caring demeanour he is well placed to talk with you on delicate matters of health and mental capacity.

As a leading professional in his field, Tim has a vast knowledge and experience of working with wills, estates, powers of attorney and probate matters. So, if you have a question or want to know more then please email us at enquiries@mannbenham.com or call us on 01624 639350 to arrange your initial no commitments consultation.

New addition to Compliance Team at MannBenham

At MannBenham Fiduciaries we are delighted to announce a new appointment within our compliance team.

Matthew Devine joins the company and the business team, marking the next step in MannBenham’s continued expansion and investment within its corporate service provider.

Over almost a decade Matthew has gained an extensive understanding of the compliance requirements for the online and terrestrial egaming industry. Having been an inspector with the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission and also having worked in the private corporate sector Matthew has significant insight into how the egaming sector operates. His knowledge-base extends beyond practical experience of the industry, and encompasses anti-money laundering compliance, social responsibility and the use of crypto-currencies for ebusiness.

Within his role at MannBenham Fiduciaries Matthew will be working closely with clients to ensure that their compliance policies and procedures meet the modern industry standards whilst advancing their business. He will be well placed to give informative, impartial and practical advice to clients looking to set up or move businesses to the Isle of Man.

Carly Stratton, Head of Business and eGaming at MannBenham Advocates commented: “We are extremely delighted to have Matthew working with us. With almost a decade’s worth of egaming experience under his belt and his invaluable experience from working with the Gambling Supervision Commission Matthew will be a great asset to our team.”

Carly goes on to say “Matthew’s unique industry background will help to ensure that, combined with the business, we continue to be able to offer informed, legal and truly independent, impartial advice to our clients.”

What do you do in a road accident?

Can you remember what to do in a road traffic accident?

The aftermath of a road traffic accident is hardly the ideal time to try and remember the rules which you should follow after such an event.

Written by Chris Grimson | Advocate

So why not keep in your glovebox this quick and handy guide to the simple steps you need to follow at such a time.

Firstly, some simple rules to follow in the immediate aftermath of an accident.  Assuming that you can safely emerge from your vehicle, make sure that you exchange insurance details with the other driver.  If an exchange of details is not possible then you should call the police.  Likewise, if any of those involved are obviously injured then you should call for police and ambulance.  You should also call the police if there is any significant damage to items known as ‘road furniture’, in other words lamp posts, signposts, railings etc.

If you are concerned that there may be any dispute regarding the circumstances of the accident, if you can safely do so then take any necessary pictures on your mobile phone.  If there is any aggression from the other driver in response, then desist from taking photos as it is not worth risking further injury.  Bear in mind also that if you have a dash cam fitted to your car, and if you feel that the footage on the memory card is likely to be useful to you, then stop the dash cam and remove the card so that you can download the footage once you are home.  You may of course need to refer to your dash cash instruction booklet.

Once you have exchanged insurance details, dealt with any police or ambulance involvement and received any necessary immediate medical treatment, then you should report the accident to your insurance broker or insurer.  Follow any instructions or guidance you receive to enable your vehicle repairs to begin, which may include the vehicle being inspected by a loss assessor.  Complete fully and honestly any forms which you are sent by the broker or insurer which typically require you to describe the circumstances of the accident and provide a sketch map showing the location of the accident, the directions of travel etc.

If you have been injured in the accident then once you have received any necessary medical treatment you should speak to your broker or insurer and find out whether you have legal expenses cover as part of your motor insurance policy.  Not all motor policies feature this kind of cover, with some policies you need to make a conscious decision to include legal expenses cover when you commence or renew the motor policy.  With other policies, legal expenses cover can already be included without you having to opt for it.  If you do not know whether you have legal expenses cover then you should ask your broker or insurer.

If you have legal cover there will sometimes be a dedicated initial claims line number that you need to call in order to get the process moving.  You will provide the legal expenses insurer with details of the accident and they will sometimes invite you to choose your own advocate to assist you with the claim, and the advocate will have to present his or her terms of business to the insurer in order to seek agreement on the fees which will be payable by the insurer to the advocates in question.  Some insurers have a panel advocate that they will ask you to use, but if you have a particular desire to use a specific firm of advocates then you should make that clear to the insurer.  Bear in mind that where an accident has occurred on the Isle of Man, you will need assistance from an Isle of Man advocate and not an English Solicitor.

Once terms of business have been agreed between the advocate and legal expenses insurer, you should receive an invitation from the advocate to meet and discuss the accident so that your claim can be set in motion against the other driver.  From this point forward the claim should be pursued by your advocate with reasonable speed however if you received significant injuries in the accident, you may well be required to attend one or more medical experts for reports to be produced.  Copies of your health records will usually need to be obtained from your GP and any relevant hospital before the medical expert will be able to produce his or her report.  Given the likely time involved in waiting for copy health records to be produced and then waiting for an appointment with the chosen experts, it is typical for the claims process to take at least 6 months and if the injuries involved are substantial, perhaps involving both physical and psychological injuries, it is not uncommon for claims to take one year or more to reach a conclusion.  The vast majority of personal injury claims are settled by negotiation, only a small percentage become the subject of Court proceedings and in those situations the timescale can be much extended.

MannBenham’s dedicated personal injury team have many years of experience dealing with all aspects of personal injury claims, whether arising from road traffic accidents or not, so do not hesitate to contact us if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident.

Talk to us today
If you need to talk to someone around Personal Injury then take the first step and email enquiries@mannbenham.com or call us on 01624 639350 to arrange your free initial consultation with us today over the telephone or video.

Workplace Distancing & Risk Assessment

Staff | Customers | Clients

Written by Chris Grimson | Advocate

At the time of writing an increasing number of businesses are considering the return of staff to their offices and the re-opening of their premises, with many staff having been working from home.

The obvious question for employers is, how does a business arrange for the safe return of staff when social distancing is still both a legal requirement and of course necessary to minimise the risk of COVID-19 re-emerging?

Key to the safe return of staff is risk assessment. The assessment of risk in work places has been a legal requirement for Isle of Man businesses since 2003 although it is fair to say that many employers remain largely unaware of how the process works in practice. In these COVID-19 times, risk assessment should always take place before an employer begins returning staff to its work premises.

Risk assessment is a process which is governed by regulations, so it is essential that legal advice is taken as part of the risk assessment process so that a business can ensure that it is meeting the requirements of the law.

In addition, currently the older regulations are bolstered by the constantly shifting guidance being issued by government in response to the evolving COVID-19 situation, which clearly adds an extra level of complexity to the process.

Obviously the arrangements which an employer puts in place to enable staff to return to work premises need to allow for the required degree of social distancing but in the majority of work places that will not be a straight forward process. The flow of foot traffic needs to be predicted and allowed for, not only in regular situations but also at times when there may be unusual events such as emergencies, visiting contractors or indeed clients and customers of the business whose attendance will also need to be planned for to ensure that traffic routes are properly organised.

Key elements of work place organising will involve measures such as signage, floor markings, delineated foot traffic routes and in some cases the placing of staff to ensure that the requirements are complied with, particularly in retail premises.

Generally speaking, for work places that will see the regular attendance of clients and customers the degree of risk assessment and implementation will be substantial and complex and in the absence of proper advice, businesses who re-introduce staff and who open to the public are risking not only potential criminal action but also possible civil claims by staff or customers who contract COVID-19 after attending the premises. Of course there will be difficulties for those who do contract the illness in proving that they did so as a result of attending the premises in question, but for civil action to be successful the standard of proof is only on the balance of probabilities.

So. in other words. if a civil court were to feel that it is more than 50% likely that the staff member or customer contracted COVID-19 as a result of attendance at premises which were not properly risk assessed and organised so as to minimise the dangers posed by the illness, it is quite possible that civil action could be successful. Even if such action failed, defending any such claims would cause the business the inevitable cost and disruption which would flow from having to engage legal assistance not to mention an increase in premiums if the business had to call upon its legal expenses insurance in order to defend actions bought against the business.

It is essential that any return to work for staff in these times, and indeed the return of clients and customers to such premises, is properly organised in order to meet the legal requirements. From a business point of view, showing that you have put proper thought and preparation into the risk assessment process and then the implementation phase is half the battle – if a business were to be sued in such a situation, it is far less likely that the firm or company would be found liable if it can show that its procedures had been properly thought out and implemented, even if a staff member or customer did appear to have contracted COVID-19 on the premises.

Our team are here for you…
Here at MannBenham we can assist you with an examination of your situation and appropriate advice and assistance in relation to risk assessment, its implementation and the requirements of the various regulations and guidance which govern this area. Do not hesitate to contact us if you are considering moving staff back to your work premises, allowing the return of clients and customers, or indeed if you are a staff member or other individual who has concerns about a particular environment which you are having to attend in these difficult times.

So, please contact us on 01624 639350 or via email at enquiries@mannbenham.com to talk to you directly or we can arrange a convenient time to call you back, either by telephone or video call.

The challenges of co-parenting during a pandemic

We are now in Week 4 of Lockdown in the Isle of Man which has presented issues for many families across the Island.

Whilst the government begins to ‘relax’ measures, separated and divorced parents, and their children, may continue to feel the effects more so than others as usual routines are suspended or have been disrupted due to the government restrictions in place.

Whilst the Government has issued advice that under 18’s can be moved between their parent’s homes during lockdown, this is not a ‘one size fits all’ piece of guidance. Where possible the usual arrangements for contact should continue but this should only happen where it is safe to do so. Careful consideration needs to be given by both parents as to what suits their family and children best during the current circumstances. You should consider:

  •  Are there any key workers in your family unit?
  •  Are there vulnerable persons in either household?
  •  Is there a Court Order in place?
  •  Can your normal routine be temporarily altered to work better at the moment?
  •  Could indirect contact via WhatsApp, Facetime, Skype etc. be used to help?

The government guidance to prevent the spread of the virus should always be followed but communication is key at the moment which we know is not easy for everyone. A sensible approach should be taken by everybody during these unusual times but if you have experienced difficulties in navigating issues surrounding contact then we are here to help.

Talk to us today
If you need to talk to someone around communicating with your children in these trying times then take the first step and email familyteam@mannbenham.com or call us on 01624 639350 to arrange your free initial consultation with us today over the telephone or video.

MannBenham Contract Clinic

For many years MannBenham Advocates has offered free consultations on any subject, to anyone wanting legal guidance.

With island businesses facing unprecedented difficulties at a time when they are least able to build up a fighting fund, MannBenham is extending that scheme.

The MannBenham Contract Clinic, staffed by our senior commercial Advocates, now offers free contract consultations to anyone, businesses and individuals. Perhaps you just require your own or your business contracts reviewing – or your contract partners are unable to meet their obligations, in part or in their entirety, on time, or in the way previously planned.

Our team are stepping up to the line to support you.

Contact us today on 01624 639350 or email us at enquiries@mannbenham.com for us to arrange a convenient time to call you back, either by telephone or video call.

Gaming Advisory to support Digital Isle of Man

 

As you may already know, we will be at ICE London 2020 from 4th February to 6th February – Miles Benham (Managing Director) and Carly Stratton (Head of Business & Gaming) along with members of the Gaming Advisory Team will be accompanying a delegation from the Isle of Man Government’s Department for Enterprise at this year’s ICE London event.

We will be there to promote the Isle of Man as a world-class destination for e-Gaming business. ICE London gives the Island a further opportunity to promote the Island’s universal proposition and meet with new and existing companies who are looking to establish themselves, develop and evolve or even relocate their business to the Isle of Man. This is a leading event and driver of international growth across the B2B Gaming industry, held at the ExCeL Centre at the Royal Victoria Dock, and we look forward to seeing everyone there.

Our Gaming Advisory Team will be on hand at ICE to give impartial, factual and balanced online gaming advice as part of our multi-disciplined single-source offering. The team can advise on gaming and software license applications along with compliance and procedural consultation, and how to create, structure and run a successful gaming business.

Miles commented: ‘I am extremely delighted that we continue to work with Digital Isle of Man and the Department for Enterprise, making each opportunity more exciting every time. We are proud to be a representative of the Isle of Man, being alongside the Isle of Man Government and even more so to represent the island at this significant event in the gaming calendar.”

With over 35,000 attendees and 9,000 operators from more than 150 countries last year, ICE London clearly continues to be one of the leading e-Gaming events for technology, development and business.

We are on stand N6-220 – see you at ICE London 2020!

Gaming Advisory going to ICE London 2020

 

MannBenham will be at ICE London 2020, a leading event and driver of international growth across the B2B Gaming industry, and we look forward to seeing to everyone there.

We will be accompanying a delegation from the Isle of Man Government’s Department for Enterprise at this year’s ICE London event. It will be held at the ExCeL Centre at the Royal

Victoria Dock next month, where we will be there to promote the Isle of Man as a world-class destination for e-Gaming business.

From the company both Miles Benham (Managing Director) and Carly Stratton (Head of Business & Gaming) along with members of the Gaming Advisory Team will be on the Isle of Man Government’s stand to support the key message that the island is one of the top centres for e-Gaming in the world and shows like ICE gives the Island an opportunity to promote the Island’s universal proposition and meet with new and existing companies who are looking to establish themselves, develop and evolve or even relocate their business to the Isle of Man.

Being able to embrace ICE, and other significant events throughout the coming months, is an important part of our ongoing strategy to continue our support of this fast-evolving industry, especially on the Isle of Man which is a considerable employer on the island and represents a significant proportion of the economy.

The Gaming Advisory Team, having evolved from our legal heritage, over recent years continues to be extremely well placed to give impartial, factual and balanced online gaming advice from a multi-disciplined single-source across multiple jurisdictions. Our team is responsible for advising on gaming and software license applications along with compliance and procedural consultation, and how to create, structure and run a successful gaming business. They work closely with directors along with commercial and corporate teams to solve issues, create value, maximise growth and improve business performance by providing operational and practical advice.

Carly commented: ‘ICE enables us to support the high quality of our Gaming sector and I am extremely delighted that the relationship with the Department for Enterprise continues to develop and evolve making each visit to ICE with them more exciting every time. We are proud to be on stand with the Isle of Man Government and even more so to represent the island at this significant event in the gaming calendar.”

With over 35,000 attendees and 9,000 operators from more than 150 countries last year, ICE London clearly continues to be one of the leading e-Gaming events for technology, development and business.

The Festive Period: Fun or Fighting?

At MannBenham we understand that Christmas can often be a difficult time of year for separated parents who both want to enjoy this special time with their children, but not necessarily together! To make things run smoothly over the festive period we have some suggestions that can help make things less stressful:

  • Try to agree, well in advance and not the day before, specific dates and times for contact to take place to ensure everyone can make their own, uninterrupted, plans with the children.
  • .
  • Make sure the plans are in the children’s best interests, not what is just convenient for you. Your children will probably have exciting school activities on, or may want to see extended family in person; stopping them from doing so may risk upsetting them as well as making things difficult between everyone else.
  • .
  • On the ‘big days’, for example Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, if you can’t reach an agreement on who the children should spend time with consider splitting the day in half and alternating this annually.
  • .

It is best to discuss these arrangements well in advance, but it’s never too late to start!

At MannBenham our Family Law Team appreciate that it may not be that simple for everyone and if you are unable to communicate directly we’d be happy to assist. This time of year is often important to everyone and if an agreement can’t be reached then this can provoke emotional reactions from all parties. It is so important to remember that whatever the dispute, the children should not be exposed to the conflict.

Our dedicated team of Family Advocates would be happy to help you in any way they can, so contact the office today on 01624 639350 or email them directly at familyteam@mannbenham.com for a free initial consultation.

Unseasonal redundancies – help is at hand

At odds with the festive season which most of us hope to enjoy at this time of year, local law firm MannBenham Advocates is reporting a marked increase in demand for advice and assistance from company directors, senior management and staff following a sudden flurry of high-level redundancies and dismissals in the Island’s corporate sector. This follows on the heels of recent job losses and the rise in unemployment as highlighted in the local news; most noticeably from within the e-gaming industry and the financial services and legal sectors.

What has transpired is that the companies involved have been shedding senior staff and company officers at short notice, issuing those selected for redundancy with compromise agreements (sometimes called conciliation agreements or settlement agreements) which often state that they need to be accepted within just a few days. Whilst those selected may consider rejecting the offer or trying to negotiate, perhaps with a view to using the Employment Tribunal to achieve a better outcome, such a course is fraught with pitfalls not least because of the manner in which Tribunal awards are capped and the time it takes.

It is essential that anyone affected takes proper advice before accepting or rejecting a compromise agreement presented to them by their employer, no matter at what level of an organisation they may work at.

Whilst this current wave of redundancies and dismissals will hopefully prove to be short-lived as we have seen in the past, those affected can call MannBenham’s Dispute Resolution department on 01624 639350 or email them at enquiries@mannbenham.com for swift advice and to arrange the legal support and assistance needed in these most difficult of situations.