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Tenants - Know your Rights!
08/04/2016
The number of households renting privately from a landlord in Northern Ireland has risen dramatically over the last decade, figures from local property experts have shown. It is therefore vitally important that tenants are aware of their rights and, in particular, are aware of whether their tenancy is protected or not under law. Much of the law relating to tenancies in Northern Ireland is contained in the Rent (NI) Order 1978 and Private Tenancies (NI) Order 2007, and under that legislation all tenants are granted a number of basic rights, regardless of whether their tenancy is protected or...
Supreme Court clarifies the position on penalty clauses
05/11/2015
The Supreme Court has given two important judgements on the interpretation of penalty clauses. Cavendish Square Holding BV v Talal El Makdessi concerning restrictive covenants and Parking Eye Limited v Beavis concerning parking penalties. Courts will now be concerned with whether the clause in question imposes a detriment on the contract breaker "out of all proportion to any legitimate interest of the innocent party". In determining this, the Courts will now consider the wider commercial context of a transaction. Even if the amount required by a clause bears no relationship to the...
An Outline of Hotel Purchases
09/06/2015
Hotel developments and purchases have been in the news recently which would indicate a thriving Northern Ireland tourism and leisure industry. But what exactly is involved in such a purchase and what issues should any potential Seller or Buyer be aware of? During the past few weeks the Commercial and Property teams in O’Reilly Stewart have acted in the purchase of Windsor House in Belfast by the Hastings Hotel Group who plan on turning the building into a new hotel, while on the north coast we acted in the purchase of The York Inn which was bought from Receivers by an unnamed business....
"Bolam, Bolitho and Montgomery" by the Honourable Mr Justice Stephens 28/05/2015
08/06/2015
Both the medical and legal professions have major impacts on the lives of others.  We are all highly dependent on the medical profession for advice and treatment.  Change in both professions is a constant.  As far as the medical profession is concerned medical science has greatly advanced and we as grateful patients have resulting enormous benefits.  However the outcome of treatments can be uncertain and potentially dangerous.  Patients have to take their own responsibilities for decisions and outcomes but the law in this area is concerned with the dividing line...
Public Contracts Regulations 2015
18/03/2015
The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 came into force on 26th February and implement EU Directive 2014/24 on public procurement. They replace the Public Contract Regulations 2006 and will apply to any contracts advertised after 26th February. The new Regulations introduce a number of key changes and should be carefully studied by those operating within the industry. Included among the key changes are; The introduction of a ‘light touch’ regime for health, social and legal services among others allowing the contracting authorities to determine the procedures to be applied New...
O'Reilly Stewart Solicitors Supports Right to Ride
13/02/2015
O’Reilly Stewart Solicitors support Right To Ride’s commitment to promoting awareness and understanding of road safety to all riders. We feel our involvement will help Right to Ride with its on-going research, as we have investigated and resolved some of the most significant motorcycle accident compensation cases in Northern Ireland. We have a dedicated service to the needs of motorcyclists. ‘Right to Ride’ has highlighted the issues faced by riders on our roads and the lack of awareness or understanding of how best to record the accident details, or any information...
Understanding the Stamp Duty Changes
09/12/2014
On the 4th December 2014 the Chancellor introduced Stamp Duty Land Tax reforms, amending the rates payable to the HMRC when purchasing a new property; it is believed that approximately 98% of people purchasing a new home will save money through the scheme. The Chancellor stated that the old scheme was “badly designed”, punishing those who were buying just over the threshold limits. Under the new reforms, rates of stamp duty will effectively be staggered dependant on the price of the property, where buyers will be liable only for the portion of a property's value above...
Flexible Working in Northern Ireland – Advice for Employers
17/09/2014
Employers may be aware of recent media coverage regarding new flexible working laws that were introduced on 30th June with the Children and Families Act 2014. The new laws apply to England and Wales only and there is now a notable difference between the position there and in Northern Ireland. In England and Wales any employee can now make an application for flexible working for any reason provided they have 26 weeks’ continuous service and have not made a flexible working request in the past 12 months. However, in Northern Ireland, the position remains that flexible working requests can...
Football Transfers – The Legalities
01/09/2014
With ‘Transfer Deadline’ day once again upon us, it is perhaps fitting to look at the legalities of the player transfer system and how it operates within the framework of EU law, with concerns having been raised regarding the employment rights of professional footballers compared to those in other professions. FIFPro, the international players’ union who represent over 65,000 professional footballers, recently criticised the football transfer policy, announcing a series of challenges aimed at reforming the global transfer system and ‘the current economic make-up...
Developing Tinnitus following a road traffic accident- it can happen.
08/08/2014
Neil McGranaghan, solicitor in the litigation department has just concluded a case for his client who developed tinnitus following an accident in 2012 when another driver collided with the rear of her stationary vehicle. Tinnitus is also described as “ringing in the ears” but very often several sounds can be heard including buzzing, humming or grinding to name a few. It can have a significant impact on an individual’s day to day life and can affect concentration, sleep patterns and can even lead to depression. Neil’s client also suffered whiplash type symptoms lasting...