Further changes to pension ages

More pension changes are afoot in the UK.

Pension age versus retirement age

Let me just clarify one point first though; it is often quoted that the age of retirement is currently 60 (sic) for women and 65 for men. That however is not correct.

You can retire when you wish if you have the means to do so. Maybe that is semantics for most of us but the distinction is important.

The ages stated above are when you will receive your state pension, not when you can retire.

Current position

That having been said, the actual current state pension age is 63 for women and 65 for men, with the former due to rise steadily until all workers, male and female, retire at 65 by 2018.

From 2019, the state pension age will increase for both men and women, reaching 66 by 2020 and 67 between 2026 and 2028.

Those born after 05 April 1978 will reach state pension age at 68.

Proposed changes

Further changes are likely as the Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke has now announced that the state pension age will rise from 67 to 68 from 2037. He told MPs the Government was accepting the recommendation made in the Cridland review earlier this year.

This brings the change forward seven years earlier than was initially planned as the state pension age had been due to rise by a year – from the current age of 67 – in 2044.

No one born on or before 5 April 1970 will see a change to their current state pension age. There is also no change for those born after 6 April 1978, whose state pension age was already due to rise to 68. It is the “inbetweeners” who are feeling the sense of injustice and are feeling the pinch (yet again).

The further change is largely blamed on the fact that the number of people over state pension age is expected to grow by a third between 2017 and 2042, from 12.4 million in 2017 to 16.9 million in 2042, according to the Department for Work and Pensions.

I do not for a minute think that this is the end of the matter – the goalposts will undoubtedly keep changing in the years and decades to come.

The information provided in this article is not intended to constitute legal or financial advice and each case requires careful consideration in our view by a fully qualified Solicitor (or financial advisor as appropriate) before decisions are made and before you embark on a certain course of action.

Shak Inayat


Penn Chambers Solicitors

0207 183 2898




Oral Agreement ? Beware II

Saranovic v  Saranovic (unreported)

I wrote an article of an interesting case mid last year of Ely v Robson – in which a former partner Ms Robson said that she was not really party to an agreement (and I use the term loosely for non lawyers) that was reached in car park orally between her and her estranged partner Mr Ely.

The courts found in Mr Ely’s favour and I warned against friends, families, couples and spouses from being reckless in coming to terms in an agreement.

This is a similar case but concerns two brothers; one a highly accomplished graduate law lecturer and his brother, a more humble security guard.

The lecturer brother provided in this case a written document to the security guard brother allowing for the sale of a jointly owned property that was left to them. The latter lived in that property with his wife and child.

The security guard brother was of the firm belief that his law lecturer brother had agreed to allow him to live in that property rent free as long as he wished.

We as lawyers know that that would be hard to prove in any event and with a written agreement to the contrary, the security guard was in difficulties. Just likes Ms Robson was in the earlier case mentioned.

Not surprisingly, the lecturer brother then sought to resile on the agreement to allow his security guard brother to remain living in the property rent free and relied on the written contract to seek sale.  They ended up in court.

The lecturer brother won.

The security guard brother is now faced with a massive legal bill and being homeless together with his wife and child.

I therefore repeat, even if they are family and loved ones – do not enter into binding oral agreements or sign legal documentation with when side issues are present. Get a lawyer to check them out thoroughly.

If I got a pound every time I heard someone say “they are family etc …I can trust them, with my life” I would be a wealthy man if only the ones which then ended in tears paid up.


This information provided in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice and each relationship breakdown requires careful consideration in our view by a fully qualified Solicitor before decisions are made and before you embark on a certain course of action.

Shak Inayat
0207 183 2898


1000 years to get our first female Lord Chancellor

Liz Truss MP is now the the first female lord chancellor.

She was recently sworn into sworn into Office amid a row questioning her suitability. She read philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford and qualified as an accountant. In her political career more recently was first the education minister and then moved on to be the environment secretary.

Is she suitable for the post ?

She certainly is not the first non lawyer Lord Chancellor, so I suspect only time will tell. Her gender does not preclude her from that office in any way in my view and clearly she is very well educated and capable to hold high office – but I do wish that the Lord Chancellor was a lawyer, whether male or female, who truly understood the soul of the Law and the very necessary function of the Lord Chancellor being what I consider to be a bridge and a fence between Law and Parliament.

Bob Neill, a barrister who chairs the justice select committee, has expressed concerns to the Guardian about Truss’s lack of legal qualifications, experience and seniority.

He stated that he was concerned over Truss’s ability to maintain the independence of the judiciary in her role as Lord Chancellor. He is quoted as saying :

“As chairman of the justice committee, I’ll be writing to Liz to meet us urgently. My concern is this: while it’s not necessary for the lord chancellor to have a legal background, they have a specific role under the Constitutional Reform Act to represent the interests of the judiciary and to represent the judiciary, including its independence within government.

“It helps if the person in charge has been a lawyer or has been a senior member of the cabinet. I have a concern, with no disrespect to Liz, that it would be hard for someone without that history to step straight in and fulfil that role,”

But those close to Truss have claimed that the legal establishment has closed ranks in the face of an appointment of a woman. A source said other justice secretaries without legal qualifications had not been subjected to the same level of criticism by “old, pale, male judges and politicians”.

Liz Truss has pledged to respect the rule of law, defend the independence of the judiciary and provide adequate resources for the courts.

(No jokes please about adequate resources – that will be the day !)

She is the third Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor in a row to take on those two dual roles who has not been a lawyer; the previous two being Chris Grayling and Michael Gove – not exactly beacons of light for non lawyer Lord Chancellors.

The information provided in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice and each case requires careful consideration in our view by a fully qualified Solicitor before decisions are made and before you embark on a certain course of action.

Shak Inayat


Penn Chambers Solicitors

0207 183 2898

Life After Divorce And How Interior Design Can Help You

A divorce is going to move the earth where you stand, but as well is going to create a world where if you water its soil it will create a new life for you.

I have friends who have been through the process of a divorce. It is one of the most painful and stressful situations that any man can endure, even more so if there are kids involved.

The challenges are: financial, emotional and existential.

The financial aspect is a big one to deal with: Lawyers, splitting of your wealth, maintenance of kids, therapists, and a new home, etc.

Emotionally it is tough, perhaps more so than financially: Dealing with any sort of loss is a long drawn out process that will drain your energy and one of the wiser moves you can make is to get help that allows you to understand the reasons behind what happened, the benefits that a civilized separation can bring and the promise there is of a better future that you will need to build by yourself.

Then there is the existential one: The usual age for men to get divorced is around their 40’s, an age where many are at the peak of their careers meanwhile walking on the minefield of what’s described as “maturity” (you are not old but you are not in your 20’s any more with all the implications that has).

It is at this point where questions like these ones will arise: who am I? What do I want? Is there life after marriage? Is being single again a bad thing, a great thing? How should I embrace my new status? etc.

Now you will ask how Interior Design can help you to get back on your feet and enjoy life, as it should be.

One of the concepts you are going to struggle with is the understanding that you have not lost “your home” but “a home” and that it is up to you to build your “new home”. Now in order to do this you need to internalize the fact that home is more than the place where you sleep, it is the place that you choose as the center of your life, where you are going to energize, create, dream, rest and entertain friends and why not? Bring that special one to enjoy the beauty of sharing a space that defines who you are.

Being happy with your own company and enjoying it should be part of what your new home gives you…

And it is in this area where interiors will help you: to give shape to that place and to imprint on it your personality, your likes, your ambitions and the way you are going to enjoy this new phase of your life, the new you.

The achievement of great interiors is in their ability to help you to keep you in love with life, with your life. Each time you cross the entrance door of your new home, all the spaces in it need to tell a story about you, and all of us love a great story. You are building your new life so there are a lot of things to say to yourself (affirmations, visions) to your friends, to your kids when they visit you and beyond this to the universe in general. You are in control of your life and you love it, making it tangible.

Life is one, dear gentleman, with its ups and downs but it is up to you to decide how to live it regardless of difficult times. Make it fantastic.

A place where receiving your friends and enjoying your new life is a must..


Diego Correa, Interior Designer

Prevention Of Terrorism Act 1988 (And 1998)

This article could be considered in conjunction with the comments I have made in the article entitled “All Catholics are Terrorists”.

It was 1989. I had completed my dissertation for my Honours on my LLB course. The paper was entitled “is unjust law, law?”. I will not bore you with the jurisprudence of the points made in that tome. What I will do is indulge myself a little to tell you a little of what my paper concluded.

In that paper, I reminded my readers (probably only my mum at the time and probably now, not a whole lot more!) that we (the British) were at war with the IRA. Some called it The Troubles (what an amazing euphemism – if only it were not so sad) and some called it a conflict. I am sure that there are legal implications of what that whole episode was named but whatever it was called, it was a bloody conflict, with serious, frequent and fatal blood shed on both sides of the fence.

Also around that time, for a bit more background information, we enacted the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1988. At the time of its enactment, the Houses of Parliament were told, assured, convinced, that the Act would only remain in place for 14 WEEKS. Ten years later, it was supplemented (or supplanted depending on your political persuasion) by the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1998.

At that time, the British Government were riled, I was at that time serving in the Territorial Army and very much on the “side” of the British. We wanted to sort out the murdering Irish b*****ds.

The problem for me as a person was that I was also in the final throes of my law degree. I believed then and I believe now in the Rule of Law, of Justice, of right and wrong. (Doesn’t everybody?) Fiat Justitia Ruat Coelum MEANS something. Without that, as a Solicitor (as I am now) would be just a job, a deluded food processor in a meat factory. Bad law is bad law. It should not happen and should not be allowed to happen.

Back to my dissertation – in amongst other things, I wrote in my work that the Guildford Four and Birmingham Six would and should be released. My predictions came true. Sadly, I cannot take credit for being a Mystic Meg of the legal world (oh, if only) and neither can I take any credit for being a legal genius. It was obvious that this would happen, frankly.

Again, I will not bore you with WHY they were likely to be acquitted but I will say this: The politicians at that time, on both sides of the House, meddled with the law to put right things “right” that are politically unsatisfactory at the time. But politically unsatisfactory to who? To the politicians of course. Things will go wrong and often do, when politicians meddle in the legal system to fix political problems. Miscarriages of justice will occur and worse than that, if such a thing could be contemplated, is that or rights as citizens are made a tiny bit weaker because of it.

You may have forgotten about the Prevention of Terrorism Acts, you may have forgotten about the IRA terrorists and you may have forgotten about the fear that they put in the daily lives of the British Population and the countless, pointless loss of live even here on the mainland.

You may have even forgotten that many men and a woman were incarcerated for what the law says they did not do – for over 30 years in total. 30 wasted years of their lives that we cannot give back to them. 30 political years of vote wins. And of course that would not happen now – not now, with hindsight or with the advances in our legal morality. Surely not.

I hope not.

Think about the vile murdering Muslim terrorists now. None of them charged with any offence, despite them being incarcerated in Gitmo for god only knows how long. The incongruity of this paradox hurts my head. On the one hand, we “know” that they are involved in terrorism; we know they make our streets unsafe and put at risk the lives of our children.

But to keep them incarcerated without charge is anathema to any right minded person’s moral and legal code, let alone the established legal code of a developed civilised democratic nation. That utter unbelievable incredible faux pas not only destroyed the credibility of the USA as the bastion of good and the defender of Right, but fuelled the fire of terrorism to a magnitude never seen before as far as I am aware. That is bad news. The USA involved politics in the Rule of Law and frankly fucked up big time.

We, the British (well English and Welsh to be precise) are not that far behind. We have been involved in illegal rendition flights, sending BRITISH CITIZENS to third party countries that either are despotic or rub shoulders with them, knowing that they will be tortured. British security forces have been in the same building or room as British Citizens who have been tortured not by our forces (thank god) but by those whose countries they use, thereby creating a deniability of torture at our hands.

The story goes on and on. Let me put it into stark relief what happens when politicians are trusted to mess with the law if you are still not yet convinced. We are now talking about holding specialist trials. Trials where all the qualified personnel, the lawyers for both the defence and the prosecution, the Judges, the whole lot, have security clearance  as the information that may be put in these hearings is so sensitive. I do understand the need to maintain secrecy to protect our working methods, our fight against terrorism, our need to protect the personnel and so on. But at what price?

The defence only gets the “gist” (I kid you not) of the case against the accused. There will be parts where even the defence will not be allowed to hear and the prosecution’s case that is put to the Judge (obviously security cleared) without the defence even present.

This is utter madness.

I know we are all pissed off with terrorism and 9/11 and 7/7 more to the point for us was a disgusting act of violence that should never again be allowed to happen.

But really? Not even knowing what the case is against you before you are potentially fully convicted of an offence that you do not fully get to hear about and leaving you in prison for life. LIFE.

I am ashamed that in 20 years’ time, our children will look back on us and wonder what on earth we were thinking to allow this to happen. Just like twenty-somethings now seem to question what the bloody hell we were doing when the PTA came into force.


The comments in this article are not intended to constitute legal advice. As ever, in all the articles written, it is imperative that you take independent legal advice before acting on any of the information contained herein.


Shak Inayat
0207 183 2898