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We aim to provide practical guidance on useful areas of busness law.  

By brocs1, Apr 14 2021 09:40AM

Are you having issues with the Student Loan Company? Has Student Finance England rejected your application for student finance? Do you know you have the right to appeal their decision?


If you have found yourself in such a situation, then it is important to know that you have the right to appeal if you do not agree with the decision.


‘The Student Finance England, Assessing Eligibility Guidance’ for caseworker’s clearly stipulate that caseworkers should not apply a general rule of thumb to all applications, and that each application should be considered on its individual merits. However, as with most organisations, rules are not interpreted correctly, and a general blanket decision is applied which can lead to a rejection of an application.


Often, we see applications for student finance being refused on the basis that the applicant has “not satisfied the relevant three-year residence period in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland prior to the first day of the first academic year of the course”.


Such a situation recently occurred to a student after the course had already started. The student instructed Summerfield Browne Solicitors in his appeal against the SFE.


Background


The applicant had emigrated to the UK at a very young age and had attended primary school and secondary school in the city that was now his hometown. The applicant’s father had obtained employment outside of the UK when the applicant was 15 years old, and because of this new role, the applicant, being a minor, had no choice but to move abroad to live as a family unit.


Although the father had accepted employment outside of the UK, the role was temporary with no intention of becoming permanent. Furthermore, the Country that the family moved too had legislation in place that differed to the UK – in that, a temporary employment meant just that – temporary and no amount of ‘time worked’ would qualify as a permanent role.


As the intention to undertake that role away from the UK was always temporary, the father ensured the running of their UK family home continued. Mortgage payments were kept up to date, as was council tax payments, utility bills and TV licences. The family home was one which was frequently being used by the family each time they returned to the UK when the father’s work leave permitted. The applicant himself would undertake work experience in the UK each time his school leave abroad would allow as his intention was always to live and study in the UK – this was his home.


The moment the applicant turned 18 and was able to independently live away from his family, he moved back home to the United Kingdom and completed his final year of college before moving onto university studies.


Application to the SFE


An application in the usual way was made to the SFE which was rejected on the basis that the applicant had not resided in the UK for three years prior to making the application.


The Appeal


Based on our client’s living arrangements both here and abroad, and with documents provided to us by the client, we were able to successfully demonstrate along with supporting case law, that the applicant was not only ordinarily resident in the UK at the relevant time but also that the client was settled and had ordinary residence in two countries at the same time.


Having considered all the facts, evidence, and case law, SFE accepted the applicant’s appeal on the basis that the applicant was ordinarily a resident in the UK three years prior to making the application at all relevant times despite not living in the UK during the first two years of the relevant period.


This recent successful appeal demonstrates that the SFE do take into consideration factors that would ordinarily reject an application and that the ‘general rule of thumb’ cannot be applied in each application as each application must be considered on its own individual merits.


If you have recently been rejected for student finance and are unsure of how to proceed or you would like to appeal the SFE’s decision, then do contact our specialist team at Summerfield Browne Solicitors.


By brocs1, Dec 10 2020 10:23AM

The recent decision in the case of Bell v Ivy Technology Ltd [2020] EWCA Civ 1563, If anything, reminds us of how crucial the drafting of a Share Purchase Agreement can be and how the facts should marry up with reality.


In April 2019, Ivy Technology Ltd entered into a share and purchase agreement for the purchase of shares in five companies. Prior to the completion of the share purchase agreement, it was disclosed that although Mr Bell (second defendant) was not a party to the share purchase agreement, he did in fact, beneficially own 50% of the shares along with Mr Martin (first defendant) who owned the remaining 50%. This was of course significantly different to what the share purchase agreement stated, in that, Mr Martin held “all beneficial rights, title and interest in and to” the individually held shares, and that no other person was entitled to any right in and to such shares – such disclosure to Ivy Technology Ltd was not undisputed.


Ivy Technology Ltd brought a case claiming it was fraudulently misrepresented by Mr Martin; breach of warranty and a claim in restitution argument was also advanced. As Mr Bell was not named on the share purchase agreement, a claim against Mr bell was initially founded in tort rather than contract.


The claimant, Ivy, issued an application for permission to amend its claim form and particulars to include Mr Bell in its breach of warranty claim. The application at first instance concluded that the claimant had real prospect of succeeding in its contention that Mr Bell was liable for breach of the share purchase agreement, even though he was not named as a party and permission to amend was given.


The second defendant, being Mr Bell appealed this decision and the Court of Appeal dismissed each of the 3 grounds and upheld the earlier decision that the Claimant was granted permission to amend its claim to include a claim for breach of warranties against the second defendant. Amongst the reasons the CoA gave, they stated that they could not rule out the possibility of Mr Bell being held liable under the contract at trial once a factual investigation had taken place and the reasons why he was not named as a contracting party becomes known. The court contended that an explanation was required as to why the share purchase agreement failed to name Mr Bell as a party to the contract.


If you are looking to sell your shares or make a purchase and you are unsure about how you are affected or what your rights may be then do contact our specialist team at Summerfield Browne Solicitors on 0800 567 7595 or email [email protected]



By sfb solicitors, Mar 17 2020 10:53AM

Following the recent announcement in the Chancellor’s Budget to review the business rate relief, one of our long-standing clients raise an important point, featured in the Evening Standard below


https://www.standard.co.uk/comment/letters/the-reader-small-west-end-traders-need-more-help-rishi-a4386826.html


If you have an issue regarding Business Rates and require legal advice, please contact our offices on 1858 414 284 or [email protected]



Summerfield Browne have offices in Leicester, Birmingham, London, Oxford, Cambridge and Market Harborough and assist with cases all over the UK.



By sfb solicitors, Mar 4 2020 12:06PM


The Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998 was enacted by parliament on 16th July 1998. It enabled universities to charge tuition fees. The act also made provision for the new system of student loans. The passing of this act replaced the Education Act 1998. It was later updated in the Higher Education Act 2004.


There are two types of student loan. The newer type of loan, known as an income contingent loan, is repayable by a borrower under the Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998 (THEA 1998). The older type of loan, known as a mortgage style loan, is repayable under the Education (Student Loans) Act 1990 (E(SL)A 1990).


Student loans are the main method of direct government support for higher education students. According to a Briefing Paper, published by House of Commons Library in June 2019, more than £17 billion is loaned to around 1.3 million higher education students in England each year. The value of outstanding loans at the end of March 2019 reached £121 billion. The Government forecasts the value of outstanding loans to be reach around £450 billion (2018-19 prices) by the middle of this century. The average debt among the cohort of borrowers who finished their courses in 2018 was £36,000. The Government expects that 30% of current full-time undergraduates who take out loans will repay them in full.


If you have an issue regarding a Student Loan and require legal advice, please contact our offices on 1858 414 284 or [email protected]


Summerfield Browne have offices in Leicester, Birmingham, London, Oxford, Cambridge and Market Harborough and assist with cases all over the UK.



By sfb solicitors, Feb 7 2020 10:15AM

Summerfield Browne continues to represent clients being pursued by business rates company RVA Surveyors, a recent matter against RVA featured in a national newspaper below


https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/rva-surveyors-accused-forging-signatures-21441069


Our client did not dispute having signed a contract in 2013 however refuted having met with another representative of RVA Surveyors, let alone having signed a further contract in 2014, less than a year later.


RVA Surveyors failed to provide any evidence or explanation to support why a second contract was allegedly entered into or why the handwriting in both contracts appeared to be the same.


After considering the evidence presented and comparing the two contracts the Deputy District Judge advised that it was reasonable for him to consider that it was the same handwriting on both contracts and on the balance of probabilities they were written by the same person. The Deputy District Judge concluded that the second contract was fraudulent, and the Claimant’s claim was dismissed.


On the small claims track the general rule is both parties bear their own costs. However, after robust submissions were made on behalf of our client the Deputy District Judge agreed that an unreasonable costs order was appropriate and that this was a case where costs outside fixed costs were appropriate and awarded costs on an indemnity basis.


If you too are being pursued by RVA Surveyors and require legal advice, please contact our offices on 01858 414 284 or [email protected]


Summerfield Browne have offices in Leicester, Birmingham, London, Oxford, Cambridge and Market Harborough and assist with cases all over the UK.



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