Protecting your online identity: four tools to protect yourself

We live in the future, and the benefits are legion. Technology such as social media (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram and so on) coupled with mobile communications technology creates a multitude of opportunities to interact positively with a global audience. What is good about it can also be its chief negative. Social media’s potential anonymity, coupled with a desire to harm someone, can be damaging, particularly to a person’s reputation. Harmful behaviour includes blackmail and harassment. The wrongdoer in this instance is likely attempt to cover their tracks by using, amongst other things, a proxy server, fake accounts/ email addresses and disposable hardware such as an unregistered mobile phone. Reputational damage is a key concern because the impact can be immediate whereas mitigating the damage (and removing instances of the offending information) may be a costly and time-consuming process.

An easy recent example is the recent high profile hacking of celebrities’ “cloud” accounts, resulting in dissemination of intimate images that were intended to be kept private. Anonymity is the central concept, both from the point of view of the hacker, anyone hosting the images and, generally speaking the people who choose to look at them. In entertainment, an affect person may feel that there is no such thing as bad publicity. The considerations are of course different for a business, for which bad publicity is just that; bad publicity.

For a person or business to protect themselves against these kinds of threats is a truly modern problem. One might say there are three aspects to the issue; keeping important information private, what to do when there the information has been compromised and finally what if anything should be done to investigate any such compromise. Here are some things to think about:

1. Safeguard important information:
Whether you are an individual or a business, have a policy on information security, and consciously implement it. This does not have to cost the earth, and there are a number of readily available, cost-effective tools, including encryption (such as Windows Bitlocker) or “two step authentication” (via a free mobile app such as Google Authenticator). Two step authentication requires the user to enter a code which changes every thirty seconds when he or she logs into an account from a new device for the first time. Popular information and document management systems such as Dropbox and Evernote offer two step authentication using Google Authenticator.

2. Don’t just curate your public profile – actively protect it!
If you have an internet profile of some kind (via Linkedin, or otherwise) then actively protect it. It is your public message to the world. Ensure to that everything that it published through this channel is professional and “on-message.” This may be less of a concern for an individual. For businesses, managers and owners should consider the extent to which it is appropriate to require employees to reflect their professional personas via social media. This may include a policy on how the company is described on Linkedin, for example (including the use of any brands or logos, etc) and having a policy on making personal statements where there is an apparent link to the company.

3. Be ready for the worst
Consider in advance how you or your business would react if it was subject to hacking or a sustained attack on your reputation. What would you do if you were locked out of key accounts, or negative information circulated on the internet gained public attention? Have a policy which considers your internal response (resetting passwords, communicating with any websites involved) and an external one, which may include having a pre-existing relationship with a public relations/ communications firm, and a law firm.

Fight back!
A properly conducted forensic examination coupled with a legal strategy can yield surprisingly effective results. This may involve communicating constructively with internet service providers and social media hosts, together with judicious use of Court applications to require people or organisation to provide information or documents. This can sometimes create a trail which leads to the detection of the wrongdoer.

 

Mr. Sebastian Szulkowski
Sebastian@adamslaw.co.uk

Key concepts in Islamic Finance

In global terms, the Islamic financial services market is estimated to be worth around one trillion dollars (US). The potential for future growth means that investors are looking for further opportunities presented by Shari’a compliant financial products and services.

Islamic principles are known as Shari’a. They are based on a number of sources including the Holy Qu’ran and Sunna, the living tradition of the Prophet Mohammed. Over time, Islamic financial structures have been developed in line with Shari’a. These are some of the key concepts:

Riba (interest)
Shari’a holds that money has no value itself, which is to say it holds no intrinsic value. It only facilitates an exchange of things that do have value. The payment and receipt of interest (riba) under Islamic law is prohibited and any obligation to pay interest is considered to be void. Shari’a stipulates that any return to a financier be earned by way of profit.

Maisir (speculation)

According to Shari’a, any contract that involves speculation is void. This does not forbid the general commercial uncertainty which is a facet of most commercial transactions. Instead, Shari’a forbids speculation which is in the nature of gambling. The question is whether something arises from productive effort or force rather than chance. In commerce, the distinction may often be a fine one. Each transaction will need to be considered on its own merits.

Uncertainty (gharrar)
Shari’a is concerned with any fundamental aspect of a contract which is not agreed with sufficient certainty. This will render is void. Fundamental terms are the usual suspects of subject matter, time for delivery, or price. The English legal approach of ascertaining whether there is some kind of machinery by which the uncertainty can be cured is not taken.

Another relevant aspect is that Shari’a does not permit uncertainty in the subject matter of a contract. A insurance arrangement in its standard form is prohited on the basis of, amongst other factors, uncertainty (gharrar) as to whether the relevant insured event will happen or not.

Unjust enrichment
A contract where one party is deemed to have made an unjust gain at the expense of another is also considered to be void. It is not always clear what may amount to unjust enrichment of this kind and each transaction must be considered individually. The principle of unjust enrichment includes undue influence by one party over another.

To comply with Shari’a law a number of financing techniques have been developed. These include:

Murabaha (cost plus financing)
This is evident in trade financing contracts. The financier will purchase the asset from the supplier (either directly or indirectly via an agent) and will then on-sell the asset to the client at an agreed marked-up price. The financier may hold title to the asset for only a short period. The profit generated by the financier is nonetheless thought of as a profit derived from a sale of goods transaction. It is not therefore prohibited as interest paid on monies lent (riba).

Ijara (lease)
This may be thought of as a medium between a conventional operating and finance lease.

Rental payments under an ijara will reflect an agreed profit element and comparisons with rentals on conventional leases can be made easily. Different a finance lease contract, obligations such as insurance or undertaking maintenance to the leased asset remain with the lessor. The lessee will only remain responsible for the payment of rent for as long as the asset is being used. If the lessee is no longer able to use the asset – if it is destroyed, for example – then the obligation to pay rent will end.

 

Mr. Ruhel Alom
ruhel@adamslaw.co.uk

Involved in civil litigation? Fail to mediate at your peril

In the case of PGF II SA v OMFS Company 1 Limited [2013] EWCA Civ 1288, Lord Justice Briggs found the dispute “eminently suited to mediation”. Claimant PGF’s offer to mediate was not taken up by the defendant, which Briggs LJ determined was an “unreasonable refusal” to mediate, requiring a costs sanction. The case now stands for the proposition that or a failure to respond to an offer to mediate may expose a litigant, including a successful one, to a potential costs order.

Some commentators say that judicial attitudes in general are changing, as lawyers coming to the bench now will have had more exposure to mediation in their own practice. It is also said that in certain kinds of civil litigation, particularly commercial litigation, mediation is now almost obligatory. Consider the recent case of Northrop Grumman Mission Systems Europe Ltd v BAE Systems (AI Diriyah C4I) Ltd (No 2) [2014] EWHC 3148 (TCC) where Mr Justice Ramsey held that it was unreasonable for BAE, the successful party, to refuse to mediate. On the facts of the case, this did not result in BAE paying costs, but arguably it lost the potential benefit of an earlier settlement offer on costs, so there was a sanction of some kind.

There are trends in mediation practice which may make it increasingly attractive to potential participants. One of them is flexibility which may involve adapting or inventing the process to be used for a particular dispute. This may permit more time to be spent on others, which stands in contrast to a trial where all allegations must be proved an in a sense enjoy equal airtime. This may also lead to costs-savings, permitting parties to be robust and pragmatic when it is to their mutual advantage.

There is a growing realisation that mediation can be successful by recreating the atmosphere of a settlement on the steps of the Courthouse. These circumstances are not so much trepidation about the judge and the slings and arrows of a trial so much as a gathering together of key stakeholders who have been briefed on the risks of litigation and have the requisite authority to make decisions.

Cutting against the characterisation of mediation as being increasingly part of the ‘litigation’ process, is a structure that can remove some of the heat of the disagreement at the start. Stephen King of Payne Hicks Beach explains: ‘I have noticed an increased use of dispensing with a joint opening session, in circumstances where emotions run high and where clashes can stoke up the fire rather than lead towards a resolution.’ It is a practice noted by others.

As with anything, mediation is in a state of on-going evolution. Some have noted a rise in evaluative mediation; where the mediator offers a view on the arguments. The Manchester Technology and Construction Court’s offer a judicial mediation pilot project, where judges act as mediators. They tend to be more evaluative in their style. There are some indications of success in the pilot.

The Courts are moving closer and closer to compulsory mediation. Where an offer to mediate is made, it must be taken seriously. Where there is a refusal and the issue of costs is raised consequently, it will be necessary to show cogent reasons why the refusal was justified.

 

Mr. Antony Marquis
amarquis@adamslaw.co.uk

Is your pension available to creditors?

The English High Court has ruled that a trustee in bankruptcy should not be permitted to have access to a bankrupt person’s pension scheme savings to discharge debts before the pension becomes payable.

The Court has ruled that the Insolvency Act 1986 does not give the Court the ability to issue an “Income Protection Order” (“IPO”) against a pension for which payments had not yet begun. This ruling was out of line with an earlier decision, so the issue may not be regarded as settlement until it is considered by the Court of Appeal.

Pension providers will most likely believe the decision was the correct one to make in the circumstances. The general effect of the legislation is to protect pension money from a trustee in bankruptcy unless the person has already started to receive payments under his or her pension. A 2012 case indicated that a Court could compel a bankrupt member of a pension scheme to exercise an option to begin to be paid a pension not yet accessed. There has been a certain amount of disapproval of this earlier decision.

It is commonplace for savers to have the right to take some benefits from age 55. As a consequence, the trustee in bankruptcy may, potentially, have access to this money. Further, from April this year, scheme participants will have significantly greater freedom to “cash out” their pension.

Under the relevant provision of the legislation, a trustee in bankruptcy may apply to the Court for an IPO to receive income from the bankrupt’s estate for a particular period of time. A Court may make an IPO in respect of any income a bankrupt is entitled to receive, including pension payments.

In the case at hand, the trustee had applied to the Court for an IPO against various pension policies held by the bankrupt. None of them were payable. One had a large sum of money.

In its decision the Court noted that before the earlier decision, HMRC and other government bodies treated pensions that were in payment, and those that were not yet in payment, differently. He attributed this to the fact that once a pension is in payment, the sums payable will be known, whereas before a pension is in payment, the sums to be paid are uncertain. It also can involve a number of elections on the part of the pension holder.

The Court stated:

Mr Henry is not entitled to payment under his pensions ‘merely by asking for payment’. There is a considerable variety of options open to him. It would only be after he had made elections that any payment would be due to him. Only then would he become entitled to any payment. I do not consider that there is any power in the court under section 310 or in the trustee to require Mr Henry to elect in any particular way.

In effect then, the bankrupt’s pension was not “brought forward” to make it available to creditors. Until the Court of Appeal determines the issue, there will be uncertainty about whether this reflects the correct position at law.

 

Mr. San Chima
san@adamslaw.co.uk

Be careful what you wish for: statutory inheritance claims

In 2001, Patricia Wright wrote a letter to her mother, Mary Waters. In the letter, Ms Wright stated that she did not want to stay in touch, and that she wished her mother were dead. Ms Wright did not make any attempts to repair the relationship, and the pair had no contact before Ms Waters died.

Ms Waters did not leave anything to Ms Wright under her will. After Ms Waters’ death, Ms Wright applied to the Court for relief under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (the “Act”) having been left out of the will.

The Act provides a mechanism for a family member or a dependant to make a claim for “reasonable financial provision” from the deceased’s estate. Where the application is made by the offspring of the deceased, this means financial provision for the person’s maintenance. The Act permits the court to take into account a range of considerations when determining whether “reasonable financial provision” was made under the will, and then to balance these various considerations. When performing this exercise, the Court is essentially applying its judgment in a discretionary way.

Ms Wright was an adult claimant with a child and grandchildren. Even though it is the case that an adult claimant does not need to prove special circumstances or breach of a specific obligation by the deceased, generally speaking, the Court does not look favourably on financially independent adult offspring claimants. However, in this particular case Ms Wright was not financially independent. There was evidence she had various medical ailments including heart disease and depression, amongst other things. Usually this is the kind of thing that works in an applicant’s favour.

In terms of exercising the discretion referred to earlier, the judge was entitled to consider Ms Wright’s conduct toward her mother. In particular, the Act required the judge hearing the case to take into account “any other matter, including the conduct of the applicant or any other person, which in the circumstances of the case the court may consider relevant.” This acts as a “catch all” provision which permits the Court to consider the conduct of the applicant.

The judge put emphasis on the claimant’s conduct in writing the letter and stating that her mother was dead; a letter the Court described as extreme. In exercising its discretion the Court determined that this conduct outweighs the other considerations which worked in her favour: her ill-health, her financial circumstances and other factors.

Accordingly, Ms Wright’s statutory claim failed: the Judge concluded that it was reasonable for Ms Waters to have excluded Ms Wright from her will.

Anyone considering a statutory claim under the Act should speak with a solicitor, who can make a preliminary assessment of all relevant matters, including any aspect of the person’s conduct which might be relevant to the exercise of the Court’s discretion in deciding whether to grant relief. It should be noted that behaviour the Court construes negatively may have the effect of reducing the financial provision rather than removing it altogether.

Mr. Richard Dale
rdale@adamslaw.co.uk

Employer note: is being obese a disability? Sometimes, says European Court

The European Union Court of Justice has recently determined that, in certain circumstances, obesity may be regarded a disability in the employment context.

The case in question concerned a Danish overweight childcare worker who instigated a discrimination claim against his employers following his dismissal. The claimant said he was dismissed because of his weight whereas the employer contended it was due to reduced demand for child care services.

The Court ruled that discrimination on the basis of obesity, of itself, was not unlawful. However, where obesity leads to some other condition –depression for example – the employee’s obesity may fall within the concept of disability as the terms is understood in the relevant EU directive.

So, where an individual’s obesity affects that person’s participation in working life by way of reduced mobility, for example, preventing that person from carrying out their duties or causing discomfort when engaging in work then the individual may be disabled person for the purposes of the EU directive. Arguably, the real issue is the way the obesity affects the person, rather the fact that the person is obese.

This decision does not alter UK law in respect of the issue as to whether someone is disabled for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010, the relevant local legislation. To satisfy the requirements of disability discrimination legislation a person still needs to be able to prove that he or she has a physical or mental impairment which has a material adverse impact on his or her ability to perform their everyday duties and which is sufficiently long term (i.e., having lasted or likely to last at least twelve months). In essence, the European Court has determined that obesity itself is not a disability, but instead that its effects can result in a person being disabled for the purposes of the relevant disability discrimination laws. If a person’s obesity results in a specific adverse condition– such as, for example, a problem with mobility, or depression – then the Equality Act 2010 may be triggered, depending on the particular circumstances.

In general terms, employers should appreciate that an employee’s obesity may result in the person being deemed to be disabled for the purposes of the Equality Act. This could enliven the duty to make “reasonable adjustments” for the employee. These could concern issues of access to the work place, seating and other logistical arrangements which relate to the discharge of the employee’s function.

Whether the legislation applies in a particular situation will require careful scrutiny. However, as a matter of generality, it would pay for responsible managers of people to put this issue “on the radar”. Careful managers will think ahead about employees who might potentially attempt to claim they are disabled at some time in the future.

If you have any questions about any of these issues, please contact Adams Law partner Antony Marquis at amarquis@adamslaw.co.uk.

“Without Prejudice” – what does it mean?

To the observer, using the words “without prejudice” seems like a simple way to ensure that your letters or documents cannot later be used as evidence in court.  However, in the case of Avonwick Holdings Ltd v Webinvest Ltd, the Court concluded that marking a document “without prejudice” was not conclusive evidence of the parties’ intentions.  The most important consideration is whether the document is produced with the intention of settling a dispute.  Settling the terms upon which a party will pay an agreed liability is not “a dispute” and letters discussing such terms will not attract privilege.

Facts

Avonwick Holdings agreed to loan £100 million to Webinvest on terms that were recorded in a loan agreement in April 2010.  By April 2012, Webinvest was unable to make repayments on the loan and wrote to Avonwick seeking to alter the terms of the loan and repayments.  Avonwick was not prepared to agree to the terms that Webinvest suggested and served demands for the repayment of the outstanding monies.  Following discussions between the parties, Avonwick wrote to Webinvest with a draft agreement to restructure the debt.  The letter was headed “without prejudice and subject to contract”, as were several exchanges thereafter.  The Court was asked to consider whether these exchanges were genuinely “without prejudice” and therefore inadmissible in the main hearing of the dispute as to the terms of the loan.

What is “without prejudice”?

The words “without prejudice” are generally used with the intention of ensuring that a document or letter cannot later be produced in Court.  However, the words themselves are not some sort of magic shield: the Court must consider the objective intention for which the document was created.  A letter or document will only attract this kind of privilege if it was created with the intention of resolving a dispute.  As a result, it does not matter whether a document is marked “without prejudice” or not.  The intention of the party who created the document is definitive.  The rules was created with the intention of encouraging parties to feel more comfortable initiating and partaking in settlement discussions.

Were Avonwick Holdings and Webinvest resolving a dispute?

Webinvest admitted that it owed Avonwick money.  At the time of the “without prejudice” communications, Webinvest simply wanted to renegotiate the terms of the original loan.  The Court referred to the case of Bradford & Bingley v Rashid, where the House of Lords stated:

“If the without prejudice rule is to apply not merely to attempts to resolve a dispute about the existence or extent of a liability but also to discussions as to how an admitted liability is to be paid, that would seem to me a very substantial enlargement of its scope.”

As a result, the Court was of the view that the documents marked “without prejudice” were produced with the intention of re-negotiating the loan and not for the purposes of resolving a particular dispute.  The Court noted that the documents were marked “without prejudice” by an experienced litigation solicitor, who presumably knew the effect and meaning of the words.  However, the Court found that it was likely to have been a mistake and the documents were capable of disclosure in the main dispute between the parties.

In light of the above, it is worth remembering that it makes very little difference if you mark your letters “without prejudice” or not.  A Court will always consider whether there was a dispute capable of being resolved and whether or not the document in question represented a genuine attempt to resolve such dispute.

If you have any questions about “without prejudice” communications, please contact James Smith at jsmith@adamslaw.co.uk.

Landlords now required to check tenants’ immigration status

Last year the Immigration Act 2014 became law. Part of the legislation requires the owners of residential property to regularly check the immigration status of prospective tenants of the property, along with other occupiers. A failure to abide by this legislative requirement may result in a fine of up to £3,000.

Under the legislation, a person may not occupy property pursuant to a residential tenancy agreement if they (i) are not a British citizen, (ii) are not a national of an EEA State, (iii) are not a national of Switzerland or (iv) do not have any right to rent in respect of the property. Further, a tenant has no right to rent a residential property if they require leave to remain in the UK and do not have such leave.

All of this requires a landlord to check an existing tenant or a prospective tenant’s immigration paperwork/ documentation in order to assess whether he or she has the right to rent the property. Where there is uncertainty about whether there is such a right, a landlord will be able to make web or telephone queries. The relevant government department has said that they expect a turnaround time of 48 hours for emails sent to them.

A landlord will have to review a tenant or prospective tenant’s documentation to determine whether they have a right to rent. Where it is not clear whether such right exists, landlords will be able to submit either a website or phone line enquiry. The email service will have a turnaround time of no longer than 48 hours. After this period, the landlord has the ability to let the property to the intended tenant. In essence this is much the same as existing employee checking type services.

The main purpose of the legislation is to deter illegal migrants from obtaining occupation of private rented residential accommodation and encourage the observance of immigration laws. In economic and societal terms, lawmakers have in mind British communities affected detrimentally by unlawful building structures and overcrowding. The Home Office has also mooted that landlords may also enjoy the benefit from less loss of rental income because of the higher standards required.

On the other hand, it is evident that there will be an additional administrative and bureaucratic burden on residential landlords. Some commentators have queried why responsibility for compliance with immigration legislation should sit with property owners. At an economic level, it may cause landlords to prefer a British tenant over a non-British one. One could argue that it would be very tempting for the landlord to prefer the former where the potential administrative burden associated with the latter’s immigration status is the only point of difference. Conversely, it may lead to migrants proposing that they pay a higher rent to address this. In both cases, there is potential for unfairness, and potentially even unlawful discrimination.

Either way, the legislation has been passed and it is likely to be implemented some time in 2015, most likely after the General Election.

If you have any questions about any of these issues, please contact Head of Immigration, Sanjeev Bakhshi at sanjeev@adamslaw.co.uk.

Legal Profession Comments on Applicability of Sharia Law

The Law Society of England and Wales has withdrawn a controversial Practice Note setting out official guidance for solicitors who have clients wishing to prepare a will that conforms with sharia law.  The Practice Note was published in March 2014 and was withdrawn only a few months later in November 2014 following protest from women’s rights and other secular groups. This provides a useful opportunity to consider the relevance of sharia law in England.

What is sharia law?

Sharia law is the Islamic system of law derived from the Holy Qu’ran and the teachings of the prophet Muhammed.  In those states where sharia law is recognised as the official law, it is applied and interpreted by Islamic judges and religious leaders.  Sharia law deals with many different facets of a person’s life, including the usual criminal, family, civil and property law, as well as “private” matters, such as prayer, hygiene and diet.

The Practice Note

The Law Society issued a practice note following numerous queries from practitioners as to how they should draft a will to take account of sharia law.  The practice note made it clear that a will could be drafted pursuant to sharia law, as long as it complied with the Wills Act 1837.  The practice note provided guidance for the drafting of a Sunni sharia will (as opposed to a Shia sharia interpretation of Islamic law).  How is a sharia will different from the traditional English will?

  • Heirs are divided into “primary” (for example: fathers, wives, daughters, sisters) and “residual” (for example: sons and brothers).
  • A testator can choose to give one third of his estate to parties who are not primary or residual heirs, such as charities.  The remaining two thirds is distributed among the primary and residual heirs;
  • Non-muslims, adopted and illegitimate children cannot inherit;
  • Any debts, including burial costs must be settled before the estate can be otherwise distributed.

The Controversy

A number of interest groups were concerned that the Law Society had produced a practice note that seemed to endorse a separate system of law from that of the law of England and Wales.  Further, sharia law is complex and differs between different states, as well as between Sunni and Shia.  Some would say that it is not for the Law Society to endorse a particular interpretation of the sharia law or to express an opinion about sharia law at all.

Sharia law often has the effect of causing men to inherit substantially more than women.  Certain interest groups were unhappy that the Law Society was effectively endorsing a system of law the minimises the rights of women.  For a legal perspective, commentators have noted that the sharia succession rules are such that it is not possible to know exactly who will inherit, or how much they will inherit until the testator dies, which creates uncertainty.

The withdrawal of the Law Society’s Practice Note does not affect your right to dispose of your assets in accordance with sharia law.  The most important thing is that your will complies with the Wills Act 1837.

How is sharia law applied in England?

Sharia law is not compulsorily applied in England.  However, it is possible to apply it in some circumstances:

  • If both parties agree, the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal will apply sharia law (within the framework of the laws of England and Wales) to resolve a dispute without the need to attend a court.  The Tribunal’s decision is enforceable in higher courts pursuant to the Arbitration Act 1996.
  • Islamic banks are permitted to offer sharia compliant mortgages (as charging interest does not comply with sharia law).  For example, a “Murabaha” plan, where the bank buys a property and immediately sells it to the “purchaser” for a profit.  The purchaser will make fixed payments to the bank on the higher “profit” price.

If you would like to discuss how you might apply sharia law to your will or if you have any other questions about the application of sharia law in England and Wales, please contact San Chima (san@adamslaw.co.uk)

Changes to Tier 1 (Investor) Visa Rules

Following a report from the Migration Advisory Committee earlier this year, a series of changes to the Tier 1 (Investor) regime came into force on 6 November 2014. Most significantly, the minimum required investment has increased from £1 million to £2 million. Further, the amendments contain several important changes to the rules regarding the nature of the investment, the requirement to ensure that the investment amount remains at the necessary level and the powers of caseworkers to investigate the origins of an investment. Any application lodged before 6 November 2014 will be processed using the previous regime.

Investment Amount
The value of the investment required for entry to the UK using the Tier 1 Investor scheme has increased from £1 million to £2 million. This increase to the investment amount is thought to be long overdue, as the rules have not changed since 1994.

Proportion
Prior to these most recent changes, the investor could allocate 25% of the investment amount to assets based in the UK, such as a house or bank account. However, the investor must now invest all of the investment amount in active trading UK Companies or government bonds. An investor is no longer permitted to rely upon a loan in order to make up any part of the investment amount.

Value
The requirement that the investment must be “topped up” if it fell below the required threshold value has been removed. However, investors who sell part of their investment must replace the part that has been sold within “the reporting period”. As such, it would seem that the focus has shifted from the “value” of the investment to the “quantity” of the investment, although it is not entirely clear how this new provision might work in practice. It is hoped that further policy guidance will clarify the rules regarding partial sale of the investment. We will provide further comment about this in due course.

The investment is intended to have the effect of fostering economic growth in the UK and it is hoped that the above changes will encourage investors to buy higher risk shares, rather than “safe” government bonds. The government intends to consult further regarding the type of investments that would best encourage economic growth within the UK.

Additional Powers
Caseworkers will have the power to investigate the source of an investor’s funds if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that the funds are not actually in the investor’s control, that the funds were unlawfully obtained (or would be considered so, had they been obtained in the UK), or that the party who is providing the funds is not of good character, such that approval of the application would not be in the public interest. As a result, an investor may need to provide more comprehensive evidence in relation to the history of the investment amount, in order to show how the funds were obtained.

If you have any questions about the new Tier 1 (Investor) rules, please do not hesitate to contact San Chima to discuss how we can assist you with your application.