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22 October 2016

Along with being half of one of the UK’s best-loved comic partnerships, Ernie Wise merits a place in history for his part in a telecommunications breakthrough.

On New Year’s Day 1985, he made the country’s first ever mobile phone call, heralding mass adoption of devices which have become considerably smaller, more powerful and more relied-upon in the three decades since.

13 October 2016

Post Brangelina split, there appears to be a lot of media coverage surrounding the parties decision to divorce.

How different is the process for a celeb than for a ordinary person? It always seems that celebs manage to obtain a “fast-track” divorce often cited as being completed not long after the news of a split.

04 October 2016

A daughter cut out of her father’s £1 million Will because he believed grown-up children should “look after themselves” has been refused a slice of his fortune by a judge. For Danielle Ames, unemployment was “a lifestyle choice” and she was fit and able to work, said Judge David Halpern QC.

Ms. Ames went to court arguing that she was dependent on her father and deserved a payout of about £300,000 as 'reasonable provision' from his estate, claiming that he had promised her 'it will be all yours one day', but was shocked when he wrote her out of his Will. Mr. Ames died in 2013 and left everything he had to Ms. Ames’ step-mother, Elaine Ames.

But Judge Halpern said Danielle had 'exaggerated' the strength of her relationship with her father and had no moral claim on his money, whereas Mr. Ames's widow, with whom he had lived for over 30 years, needed every penny of his estate to lead a comfortable retirement. The Judge commented that Mrs. Ames Elaine was not living the high life and she needed the whole of her husband's estate 'to meet her reasonable needs'.

30 September 2016

Tech start-ups in the UK are right at the forefront of what's happening in the world – in fact, so dynamic is the sector that, as a nation, we are seeing even more burgeoning start-up companies than leading tech nations such as China, India, Germany and Japan – only the US is home to more tech start-ups than our small island.

But there is a problem – only a tiny fraction of these tech start-ups ever make it beyond the infancy stage, with many floundering or stagnating just as soon as the first green roots begin to show.

So, inevitably, the question arises – how to help ensure that Britain, so good at providing the soil and sowing the seeds for emerging firms, manages to cultivate its crop of start-ups in the long-term so that we can all reap the benefits of the harvest?

It would be an amazing boost to jobs and the economy if more British tech start-ups could make the leap from "start-up" to "scale-up"; since 2012 less than 1 per cent of the 600,000 companies registered in Britain have made this transition, which is defined by a 20% rise in turnover or employee number over a three-year period.

Perhaps we need to look at the US, which, according to a study by Säid Business School, has, unlike us, been successful in helping companies make the transition to scale-up. Across the Atlantic there is more funding available to tech start-ups, around 300% more, with the difference in the level of venture capital funding particularly stark.

Perhaps another answer is for tech start-ups to be more savvy regarding their legal advice. A good commercial lawyer can be integral in helping to attract the right kind of start-up funding and to establish the full range of contacts necessary to foster positive and profitable long-term relationships.

Part of this is finding lawyers who are a little ahead of the curve, commercial lawyers who recognise that tech start-ups no longer represent a niche and emerging part of the economy. It's about having commercial lawyers who recognise that tech start-ups are the future and that the future is now.


Contact Oratto on 0845 3883765 to speak with an adviser or use our contact form to arrange a call-back.

29 September 2016

Recently the case of Joy Williams made the news headlines. The 69-year-old grandmother lived with dentist Norman Martin for 18 years after he split with his wife, Maureen. But Mr Martin never divorced, nor did he update his Will, so when he died of a heart attack four years ago, his half share of the £320,000 three-bedroom bungalow in Dorchester, Dorset, went to Mrs Martin – despite leaving her in 1994 to start living with Ms Williams.

The couple owned their property as ‘tenants in common’, a form of ownership which does not allow one party to inherit from the other. So when he died, the wife, not Mrs Williams, became his legal heir. Mrs Williams faced losing her home as she could not afford to buy out Mrs Martin.

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