Dublin - Defamation Capital of the World?

defamation130x90 In November 2015 Thomson Reuters, which claims to be the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, released figures showing the number of reported defamation cases in Britain has fallen by almost a third (27%) over the last year.

They attributed the fall to the new UK Defamation Act which came into force in January 2014 in particular to the provision which stipulates that to succeed in a defamation action plaintiffs must demonstrate “serious harm” to their reputation or, in the case of companies, serious financial loss.

Because Ireland’s Defamation Act 2009, by comparison, defines a defamatory statement as one that “tends to injure a person’s reputation in the eyes of reasonable members of society” and does not require proof of loss some commentators foresee Dublin becoming the venue of choice for libel tourists and the Defamation Capital of the World.

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 Inheritance Tax - Budget Brings Little Comfort

 inhertax130x80 Inheritance Tax (also known as Capital Acquisitions Tax or CAT) rates shot up and tax free thresholds fell radically in 2012. Apart from slightly raising the Group A threshold (which applies mainly to gifts and inheritances from parents to children) the recent budget has done nothing to address the many difficulties which can commonly arise.

One of the major issues is that rising property values, especially in Dublin, have caused tax-free thresholds to be very quickly exceeded. Many families are unaware of the significant inheritance tax issues that can arise when parents or older loved ones die.

Inheriting siblings, nephews or nieces are among those most acutely affected. In their cases tax at 33% can be payable on that portion of the value of a property over €30,150. This has had the effect of catching large numbers of people in the tax net who never anticipated they would find themselves in such a situation. 

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The Companies Act 2014 - A Game Changer

The Companies Act, 2014 is due to come into effect on the 1st June, 2015.  It will fundamentally change how companies are structured and how company law operates.  Its stated purpose is to simplify and modernise Company Law in Ireland. 

New Forms of Company

Most companies registered in Ireland are private companies limited by shares.  This form of company will be discontinued.  The act introduces a number of new company types.  Existing companies will face a decision as to which new form they wish to adopt.  Doing nothing is not an option.  In most cases the choice will be between:

-       a private company limited by shares (LTD) and

-       a designated activity company (DAC).

 

 

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 Best Will in the World 2015 Extended

 

You have not missed out. We are extending "Best Will in The World Week" to 30th November 2015.

With a Will consultation costing just €50 (plus VAT), Best Will in the World Week offers you the opportunity to get your affairs in order by making or updating a Will in a simple and extremely cost effective manner. Young or old, rich or poor, everyone should make a Will.

Making a properly drawn Will ensures:

  • You decide who benefits
  • You decide who looks after your affairs
  • You minimise Inheritance Tax
  • You appoint Legal Guardians for your children 

Minimal effort gives greater piece of mind.

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Family Law – Get Off to the Right Start

“Feuding Couples Go to War Over Land and Cash”

So says the headline in the Sunday Independent of 26 April 2015.  The paper cites a number of recent high profile cases including a High Court judicial separation awarding the wife of a wealthy businessman €18,000 a month in maintenance payments, the family home - valued at €1.6m - and an overseas holiday home as well as an equal share in her husband's €1.8m pension pot.

While headline grabbing divorce or separation cases serve to illustrate what is now possible they do not change the fundamental point that family law and relationship disputes, with their emotionally devastating and life changing consequences, have always been with us and it is how we approach and deal with them that counts.

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