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I am dealing with an estate where the bank has sent me an indemnity to obtain the funds. Will the bank accept my signature without it being witnessed by my solicitor?

If you have obtained a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration there should be no need to complete an indemnity, merely an account closure form. If however you have not yet obtained a Grant but the bank is willing to release funds then they will generally require an indemnity to be executed. Several banks and building societies including Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC and Santander have signed up to the British Banking Association’s voluntary Bereavement Principles, one of which is to support the bereaved according to their personal needs and work with you to resolve everything as quickly as possible.

If the indemnity requires a solicitor to act as a witness, you should contact the bank to see what they are willing to do to get around the problem, given the current situation.

Related FAQs

Is the current pandemic an event which will allow me to argue that the lease has been ‘frustrated’?

This is unlikely. Frustration is a doctrine rarely used as a way of getting out of leases. It operates to bring a lease to an early end because of the effect of a supervening event. It is then not a concept readily applicable to a situation where one party is looking to get out of a lease. To be able to argue the doctrine of frustration, you must be able to demonstrate that something unforeseeable has happened that makes it impossible to fulfil the lease and unjust to hold a party to its obligations.

This is not something that can be demonstrated easily.

There was a case in the High Court last year when the doctrine of frustration was looked at in a case involving the European Medical Agency.

The court found that Brexit did not frustrate EMA’s lease. EMA was granted leave to appeal that decision to the Court of Appeal, but unfortunately, the parties settled out of court so the arguments were not tested in the higher court.

Another reason why frustration is likely to fail is an argument that, whilst the current lockdown may force closures to businesses and whilst such closures maybe for a lengthy period, such closures will only be temporary.

If an employee refuses to wear a face mask at work, can I discipline or dismiss them?

In appropriate cases, disciplinary action and then dismissal may be fair if an employee refuses to wear a face covering in the workplace. For example, if this is in breach of the government guidance or if  employer has issued a reasonable management instruction to this effect due to an identified health and safety risk.

It is important that employers use a fair and reasonable procedure when deciding whether to discipline and/or dismiss an employee and that its actions does not unlawfully discriminate against employees who have legitimate reasons for not wearing masks, such as those individuals who have health conditions like asthma.

VIDEO: Market outlooks – the before, during and after

At 10am on the 21st July, we hosted the fourth of our “in conversation…” webinars, this time featuring the ninth largest private bank in the world, Swiss-based Julius Baer. Ward Hadaway partner Emma Digby once again lead the conversation, this time with Luke Downes and Darren Hirst from their investment and relationship teams on “Market outlooks – the before, during and after”. They were joined by Andrew Evans from our private client team to feed in his perspective. This will be of interest to individuals who are thinking about investment portfolios and pension pots, but also businesses keen to see how investors are viewing their sectors, markets and customers.

Luke and Darren took us through how the markets looked pre-Covid, how they responded to the pandemic, and obviously most importantly what we might expect going forwards. They took a look at the sectors that are seeing the quickest bounce-back, discuss which countries are likely to be the most attractive for investors, and where the long term financial gains are expected to be. They also touched on that imminent event, shrouded in mist recently but no less significant – Brexit! What is the expected effect on the markets, and who are likely to be the winners and the losers?

How do I apply for CBILS?

CBILS is made available through the British Business Bank’s 40+ accredited lenders and partners, which are listed on their website (https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/accredited-lenders/).  

 Businesses should initially approach their own lender and only consider other lenders if they are unable to access the finance they need. Note, not every accredited lender can provide every type of finance listed.   

 Some banks/lenders are not included in the list of accredited lenders which appears to mean that they cannot provide support through the Scheme. We understand from the British Business Bank that further lenders are applying to be accredited but that this may take a little time to process. If the provider of your senior debt is not on the accredited list you should consider approaching the bank which provides your day to day account banking services.

 If you wish or need to access the Scheme via an alternative funder the process may take longer as usual on-boarding and KYC processes will need to be undertaken.  

What are the new rules around holiday entitlement?

Workers who have not taken 20 days holiday entitlement due to Covid-19 can now carry it over into the next 2 leave years. It only applies where it was not reasonably practicable for a worker to take their annual leave due to the coronavirus.