Legal Proceedings - Issue 27

Roll out the red carpet! Tier 1 Investor Visas.

In the last few years, the UK Government has introduced the Tier 1 (Investor) visa which effectively rolls out the red carpet for foreign investors. This visa offers significant incentives for high net worth individuals looking to settle in the UK.

Key principles:

  • The Tier 1 (Investor) category is for high net worth individuals making a substantial financial investment in the UK.

  • Under this route you will not need to show that you have any English language ability.

  • You will not need to show any maintenance (funds) because if you have the required investment funds you will be able to support yourself in the UK without needing help from public funds. You will not be able to claim most state benefits.

  • You will have to register with the police if this is required by paragraph 326 of the Immigration Rules, depending on your nationality.

  • You will not be able to take employment as a Doctor or Dentist in training, except in defined circumstances. You will not be able to take employment as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach).

  • Your dependants may be able to join you.

  • You will be able to apply for settlement in the UK through this route.


In order to obtain this type of visa either:-

  • You have money of your own, under your own control, held in a regulated financial institution and disposable in the UK amounting to no less than £1 million.


  • You have £2 million or more in personal assets and have money under your control, held in a regulated financial institution and disposable in the UK amounting to no less than £1 million, which has been loaned to you by an Authorised Financial Institution.


Generally for initial applications, you will be granted a length of 3 years. After 3 years, you can extend your UK visa for another 2 years. After 5 years, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residence in the UK. There is also an accelerated "fast track" route to permanent residence of 2 years if you invest £10 million or 3 years if you invest £5 million.


You are allowed to bring your children under 18 years of age and your husband or wife with you to the UK and they can apply for settlement as your dependants at the same time.

Xiaolin Ma, Trainee Solicitor and Immigration Specialist

Agent sues client for commission

Cruickshanks recently won a case on behalf of a selling client of a £3.25 million property.

Our client was sued for two commissions in the Central London County Court.

Agent 1 had shown the property to the ultimate purchaser before the seller had signed their Terms and Conditions. The ultimate purchaser then for reasons of their own decided that they could no longer trust Agent 1 and viewed the property again with Agent 2 a few days later. By this time our client had signed Agent 2's Terms and Conditions.

During the course of disclosure and exchange of witness statements it was disclosed that Agent 1 had essentially "amended" their detailed computer generated journal to suggest that they had more timely dealings with the sellers than they actually had.

After a 3 day trial at the Central London County Court, and disclosure of the "real" detailed journal, the Judge found Agent 1's evidence dishonest and fraudulent. He placed no reliance on any of the Agent 1's witnesses. Our client was awarded costs on an indemnity basis in excess of £40,000.

Why is independence of a law firm important?

This issue arises often where lenders advertise free legal fees. We have experienced many instances where existing clients have been told by their lender that they must use a solicitor on their lenders panel otherwise the legal services are not "free."

This sounds harmless enough but often what is at stake is independent legal advice to you, the borrower that may or may not be available from a lenders panel solicitor.

If a panel solicitor receives referrals from the lender and their fees are paid by the lender then this as a matter of common sense must compromise the independence of the panel solicitor. A solicitor is bound to act independently of the lender when advising you on the mortgage arrangement and whether or not the mortgage is in your best interests.

Our experience of such panel firms are that they are often rubber stamping machines where you can seldom speak to a person and "the client" is lucky if they ever meet anyone from that firm! An often simple Conveyancing chain becomes protracted by the delays caused by the rigid time scheduled conveyer belt like processes of such firms especially if a legal issue arises. Often weeks can elapse before the query gets processed up the chain of command in the Conveyancing panel firm. This causes inevitable delay and stress in the Conveyancing process.

Next time you see a lender advertising "free legals" ask yourself one question." If the mortgage offer is so good why will they not offer the same free legals for my independent solicitor of choice?"

John Cruickshank

When is Redundancy not Redundancy?

Redundancy is a potentially fair reason for dismissal and this article seeks to highlight the importance of defining redundancy for both employers and employees.

Employers perspective.

It is important for employers to recognise what constitutes redundancy in order to know how to proceed in relation to its staff, to appreciate its potential liability for redundancy pay and to minimise the risk of claims from individual employees for unfair dismissal.

Broadly speaking, redundancy situations fall into three categories:

  • Business closure - A business closes or relocates, this may be permanent or temporary,

  • Workplace closure - A particular workplace closes or relocates such as one of the business' offices or factories,

  • A reduction in the need for employees to carry out work of a particular kind – For example due to introduction of new technology or economic downturn.

The tribunal will not normally look behind the employer's decision or require it to justify how or why a redundancy situation has arisen. However, an employer considering making redundancies in his workforce should ensure that it has acted reasonably in all the circumstances of the case. An employer will normally be required to:

  • Warn and consult employees, or their representative(s), about the proposed redundancy,

  • Adopt a fair basis for selecting employees for redundancy. An employer must identify an appropriate pool from which to select potentially redundant employees and must select against proper criteria,

  • Consider suitable alternative employment. An employer must search for and, if it is available, offer suitable alternative employment within its business.

Employees perspective

It is important for employees to recognise what amounts to a genuine redundancy situation. Some employers may wish to dismiss their employees for other reasons and attempt to disguise this as redundancies. A dismissal for redundancy will be automatically unfair where the employee is selected on grounds such as whistleblowing, asserting a statutory right or trade union activities.

Employees should therefore be aware of their employment rights, both in the event of redundancy and generally in the workplace such as the right not to be discriminated against on the grounds of age, gender and race etc.

Tian Yin Wu Trainee Solicitor