How to Buy a Racehorse: The Legal Aspects

OLS Solicitors Blog

How to Buy a Racehorse: The Legal Aspects

By Lara Davies on April 9, 2024

racehorse ownership

Embarking on the journey of racehorse ownership can be as thrilling as it is complex, presenting a unique set of legal and financial considerations that potential owners must navigate. As an equine law expert at OLS Solicitors, I’ve guided numerous clients through the intricacies of purchasing a racehorse, ensuring their ventures into the racing world are both legally sound and rewarding. Here, I’ll share essential advice on tackling the legal aspects of racehorse ownership, from syndicate purchases and tax-efficient investments to conducting vital health checks and securing appropriate insurance.


Joining a Syndicate: The Collective Approach


Syndicate ownership offers a more accessible entry point into the racing industry, allowing you to share the costs and joys of racehorse ownership with others. However, it’s imperative to establish a clear syndicate agreement from the outset. This legal document should detail the ownership structure, financial commitments, profit distribution, and exit strategies, ensuring all parties’ rights and responsibilities are transparent. At OLS Solicitors, we specialize in drafting and reviewing these agreements to protect your interests fully.


Maximising Your Investment with EIS


For those considering racehorse ownership as a financial venture, the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) offers attractive tax reliefs, making it a potentially lucrative investment. However, navigating EIS regulations requires expertise to ensure your investment qualifies. Our team at OLS Solicitors can provide the necessary guidance, ensuring your racehorse investment is both compliant and tax-efficient.


The Importance of a Pre-purchase Vet Check


A comprehensive veterinary examination before purchasing a racehorse cannot be overlooked. This step is crucial in uncovering any health issues that could impact the horse’s performance or overall value. Legal disputes can often arise from undisclosed health problems discovered after purchase. At OLS Solicitors, we can help you understand the legal implications of the vet check results, advising on the best course of action should any issues be identified.


 Insuring Your Racehorse


Insurance is a critical component of protecting your investment in a racehorse. From covering veterinary bills to insuring against loss of value or mortality, the right policy can safeguard you against unforeseen financial losses. Our team can assist in reviewing insurance policies, ensuring you have comprehensive coverage that meets your specific needs.


Navigating Caveat Emptor


The principle of caveat emptor, or “let the buyer beware,” plays a significant role in the purchase of a racehorse. It’s incumbent upon you, the buyer, to conduct thorough due diligence before finalising your purchase. This includes a detailed vet check, an examination of the horse’s racing history, and an understanding of its training background. Should issues arise post-purchase, having meticulously documented the buying process and any representations made by the seller can prove invaluable. At OLS Solicitors, we’re here to guide you through this process, ensuring you’re fully informed and protected every step of the way.


Your Next Step to Racehorse Ownership


Navigating the complexities of racehorse ownership requires careful planning, detailed due diligence, and expert legal advice. As an equine law expert at OLS Solicitors, I am here to provide you with the guidance and support needed to make your venture into racehorse ownership a success. Whether you’re considering a syndicate purchase, looking into tax-efficient investment schemes, or seeking to ensure your prospective horse is a sound investment, our team has the expertise to assist you.

Don’t embark on this exciting journey alone. Contact us at OLS Solicitors today, and let us help you navigate the legal landscape of racehorse ownership, ensuring your venture is as thrilling as it is rewarding.


For professional advice on buying a racehorse and navigating its legal aspects, reach out to Lara Davies and the team at OLS Solicitors. We’re here to ensure your racehorse ownership journey is a success from the start.

Request A Free Callback

    Your Name *

    Your Number

    Enquiry subject *

    The Essential Guide to Pet-Nups: Securing Your Pet’s Future

    OLS Solicitors Blog

    The Essential Guide to Pet-Nups: Securing Your Pet’s Future

    By Georgina Hitchins on March 25, 2024

    Guide to pet nups

    A pet-nup, or pet nuptial agreement, is becoming an essential document for pet owners facing divorce, catering to the well-being and future of our furry family members [1] [2]. Not only does it outline the care and custody of a pet, but it also ensures an amicable settlement is agreed upon in advance, avoiding heated disputes [1] [2].

    Though not legally binding, courts consider pet-nup arrangements during separations, making it a pivotal document for those wanting to ensure their pet’s welfare [2]. This guide will delve into understanding pet nups, their importance, key elements, and legal navigation, ensuring you’re equipped to secure your pet’s future amidst divorce or separation.

    Understanding Pet-Nups

    In the realm of pet ownership during divorce, understanding the legal and emotional nuances is crucial. Here’s a breakdown:

    • Legal Status of Pets: Traditionally, pets are viewed as property, with custody awarded based on ownership or financial investment [1]. However, pet-nups challenge this view by prioritizing the pet’s well-being and the bond with its owners [3].
    • What is a Pet-Nup?: A pet-nup is a document outlining pets’ living arrangements post-separation [3]. It aims for an amicable care settlement, reducing potential conflicts [2]. Though not always legally binding, courts may consider these agreements during proceedings [2].
    • Key Considerations in a Pet-Nup:
      • Ownership and Custody: Specifies who will care for and physically keep the pet [4].
      • Financial Responsibilities: Details on splitting costs related to the pet’s care, including medical bills, insurance, and daily expenses [2].
      • Visitation Rights: Arrangements for the non-custodial party to visit the pet [4].
      • Future Changes: Provisions for what happens if one party wishes to relocate with the pet [4].

    Pet-nups are becoming essential tools for ensuring pets’ stability and happiness through the turbulence of a breakup, reflecting a shift towards recognizing pets as family members rather than mere property [3].

    Why You Should Consider a Pet-Nup

    Considering a pet-nup is not just about anticipating the end of a relationship; it’s about ensuring the well-being of a cherished family member—your pet. Here’s why it’s worth considering:

    1. Prevention of Disputes: Pet-nups can significantly reduce the likelihood of disputes over pet ownership and custody, which not only saves time and money but also spares all parties involved from unnecessary emotional distress [8].
    2. Peace of Mind for Pet Owners: Knowing that your pet’s future is secure, regardless of personal circumstances, can provide immense peace of mind. Pet-nups ensure that pets are protected in the event of a breakup, prioritizing their well-being above all [4].
    3. Prioritizing the Pet’s Needs: Unfortunately, pets are often considered property in legal disputes. A pet-nup can prevent pets from being treated as mere objects by ensuring that their needs are the priority, thus preventing retaliatory behavior between parties [9] [10].
    • For Existing and Future Pets: Whether you’re entering a relationship with a pet or planning to get one together, a pet-nup is a practical step towards responsible pet ownership [4].
    • Legal Considerations: Despite pets being seen as property by the law, pet-nups can influence court decisions by presenting a clear agreement on the pet’s care, which is especially important given that disputes over pet ownership can become as complex as those involving children [3] [5].
    • The Best Interest of the Pet: It’s recommended to always consider what’s in the best interest of the pet when determining ownership. A pet-nup allows for these considerations to be outlined and agreed upon in advance [10].

    Creating a pet-nup might seem like a daunting task, but it’s a testament to the love and care you have for your pet. It ensures that, no matter what happens, your pet’s future is secure and that their needs are always a priority.

    Key Elements of a Comprehensive Pet-Nup

    Creating a comprehensive pet-nup involves addressing several key areas to ensure the well-being and security of your pet in the event of a relationship dissolution. Here’s a breakdown of essential elements to include:

    • Custody and Ownership: Clearly define who will have custody and be considered the primary owner. This includes specifying care arrangements and how decisions regarding the pet’s welfare are made [4][2].
    • Financial Responsibilities: Outline all financial obligations, such as veterinary bills, insurance payments, daily care costs, and end-of-life expenses. It’s crucial to detail how these expenses will be split or managed [2][13].
    • Visitation and Living Arrangements: Include visitation rights for the non-custodial party, if applicable. Also, address potential scenarios like relocation and how it affects visitation and custody [7][14].
    • Medical Care and Decision-Making: Specify guidelines for medical decisions, including routine care and emergency situations. Deciding on who makes these decisions and how they’re financed is vital [12][14].
    • Additional Considerations: Although not legally enforceable, incorporating lifestyle choices and daily care routines can help minimize conflicts. This may cover diet, exercise, and other aspects of the pet’s lifestyle [12].

    Remember, the focus of the pet-nup should always be “pet-centric,” ensuring decisions prioritize the pet’s welfare and happiness [6].

    Navigating Pets and Divorce Legally

    Navigating the legal landscape of pets and divorce involves understanding both the traditional stance of pets as property and evolving legal perspectives that prioritize their well-being. Here’s a concise guide to legal considerations and strategies:

    • Legal Perspectives on Pets: Traditionally, pets are seen as personal property in divorce proceedings [14][17]. However, states like Alaska, Illinois, and California have begun to consider the best interests of the pet, similar to child custody cases [9][14].
    • Deciding Custody and Ownership: Courts take into account factors such as who owned the pet before the marriage, who has been the primary caregiver, and who can financially support the pet [7][16]. In cases where a decision cannot be made, the pet may be sold, and proceeds split [2].
    • Creating a Pet Custody Plan: To avoid court decisions, couples are encouraged to negotiate pet custody and sharing agreements [14]. This can include detailed visitation arrangements and financial responsibilities for the pet’s care [18]. If disputes arise, mediation is recommended as a first step [14].

    This approach emphasizes the importance of considering the pet’s welfare while also acknowledging the legal reality that pets are still often viewed as property.


    Through the exploration of pet-nups, it’s evident that these agreements aren’t just legal documents—they are a pledge of continuity and well-being for our pets amidst life’s unforeseen events. By prioritizing the pet’s needs, a pet-nup serves as a preventive measure against disputes and ensures that the pet’s welfare remains at the heart of decision-making. Recognizing pets as more than property, the movement toward securing their futures underscores the evolving human-pet bond and reflects a growing societal acknowledgement of pets as integral family members.

    As the guardians of our furry companions, it’s our responsibility to ensure their stability and happiness, no matter the personal circumstances that may arise. Crafting a pet-nup, though it may seem daunting, is a testament to this commitment. For those navigating the complexities of pet ownership amidst life changes, seeking expert guidance can provide clarity and peace of mind. Should you require further information on creating a pet-nup or guidance on ensuring your pet’s future safety, please do not hesitate to contact us


    [1] –
    [2] –
    [3] –
    [4] –
    [5] –
    [6] –
    [7] –
    [8] –
    [9] –
    [10] –
    [11] –
    [12] –
    [13] –
    [14] –
    [15] –
    [16] –
    [17] –
    [18] –
    [19] –

    Request A Free Callback

      Your Name *

      Your Number

      Enquiry subject *

      Is it time for Cohabitation Law Reform? Global Insights and UK Perspective

      OLS Solicitors Blog

      Is it time for Cohabitation Law Reform? Global Insights and UK Perspective

      By Lara Davies on November 30, 2023

      an exploration of cohabotiation rights in England and abroad

      Family Justice Reform: A Global Perspective on Cohabitation Law, Including U.S. Insights and the Role of Cohabitation Agreements in England and Wales


      The rapidly changing nature of family structures globally, particluarly in the west, is causing a revaluation of legal frameworks to allow the politicians to catch up with the rapid pace of change.

      This is particularly evident in cohabitation laws, as highlighted by Resolution’s ‘Vision for Family Justice’ in England and Wales. Cohabiting families, being the fastest-growing family type in England and Wales, are currently afforded very limited legal protections, a situation that starkly contrasts with laws in other jurisdictions, including the United States and Australia.


      Cohabitation in England and Wales: Current Legal Stance


      In England and Wales, cohabiting couples often face significant legal challenges. The Trust of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA) primarily governs property rights, often resulting in complex disputes. Cohabitation agreements provide some level of contractual protection but fall short compared to marriage or civil partnerships and legislators are being asked to update the laws to afford protections to this growing family dynamic.


      Enhanced Focus on Cohabitation Agreements


      Cohabitation agreements in England and Wales are contractual arrangements that define the management of financial affairs and property for cohabiting couples. Recognised under contract law, these agreements offer a form of protection, especially regarding asset division and financial responsibilities. However, they have big limitations, such as not overriding children’s statutory rights, and are subject to legal scrutiny for fairness.


      International Perspectives: Sweden, Australia, and the United States

      Sweden’s Cohabitee Act and Australia’s recognition of ‘de facto relationships’ under the Family Law Act 1975, highlight more progressive approaches. These jurisdictions offer more comprehensive legal frameworks, granting cohabiting couples rights and protections closer to those enjoyed by married couples.

      In contrast, the United States presents a patchwork of cohabitation laws. For instance, California grants legal recognition to cohabiting couples as “domestic partners,” affording them rights akin to married couples. However, as of 2023, Mississippi retains laws against cohabitation. Interestingly, until 2016, Florida enforced antiquated laws against cohabitation, demonstrating the varied and evolving nature of cohabitation laws across the U.S.


      England and Wales: On the Cusp of Change?


      The disparity in cohabitation laws worldwide, from relying on property law to having specific cohabitation statutes, underscores the need for reform in jurisdictions like England and Wales. The Law Commission’s 2007 criticism of the English system and the more recent endorsement of an ‘opt-out scheme’ by the Women and Equalities committee signal a potential shift towards recognizing cohabiting couples’ rights, drawing inspiration from the models seen in Sweden, Australia, and some U.S. states.


      OLS Solicitors: Navigating Cohabitation Law


      At OLS Solicitors, our family law experts are committed to supporting cohabiting couples through these legal complexities. We offer tailored advice, considering international legal perspectives, to safeguard your rights and interests in cohabitation scenarios.

      Request A Free Callback

        Your Name *

        Your Number

        Enquiry subject *

        Cohabitation Agreements for Women: Why they might be essential

        OLS Solicitors Blog

        Cohabitation Agreements for Women: Why they might be essential

        By Isabel Gillman on November 30, 2023

        cohabitation agreements protect unmarried women

        Why Cohabitation Agreements are essential in common law marriages

        Cohabitation agreements are becoming increasingly crucial for women in England and Wales, especially in the context of safeguarding their rights in the event of a relationship breakdown. Unlike married couples, cohabiting couples do not have the same legal rights, which can lead to significant financial and legal challenges if the relationship ends. This blog post delves into why cohabitation agreements are essential for women and the issues they face as cohabitees compared to their married counterparts. It also dispels the commonly held myth of the “common law marriage”.

        Understanding the Legal Landscape for Cohabiting Couples

        In England and Wales, the legal system treats cohabiting couples very differently from married couples. The concept of a ‘common law spouse’ is a myth; there are no automatic rights or protections for cohabitants, regardless of the relationship’s length. This lack of legal recognition can lead to a host of issues for women if the relationship breaks down, especially concerning property rights, financial support, and children.

        Property Rights: A Major Concern for Cohabitants

        For married couples, the family home is often considered a joint asset, regardless of whose name is on the deed. This presumption does not apply to cohabiting couples. If a woman is not named on the property deed, she may have no claim to the home she has lived in, even for many years. This situation can leave women in a precarious position, potentially homeless and without any share in the property they may have contributed to, both financially and non-financially.

        A cohabitation agreement can stipulate how property should be divided if the relationship ends, providing some security and clarity for both parties. Without such an agreement, the property division would be based solely on strict legal ownership, which may not reflect the true nature of the couple’s financial arrangement.

        Financial Support and Maintenance

        Upon divorce, married women have a legal right to seek financial support and maintenance from their spouses. This is not the case for cohabiting women. The end of a cohabiting relationship does not automatically entitle either party to financial support from the other, leaving many women financially vulnerable, especially if they have sacrificed career opportunities for the relationship or the upbringing of children.

        Cohabitation agreements can include provisions for financial support, similar to a maintenance agreement in a divorce, to ensure that both parties are treated fairly and that any financial imbalances are addressed.

        Child Arrangements and Parental Responsibility

        While mothers automatically have parental responsibility for their children, the same is not always true for fathers, particularly if they are not married to the mother and not listed on the birth certificate. This can create complications in cohabiting relationships regarding decisions about the child’s upbringing and access arrangements if the couple separates.

        A cohabitation agreement can include provisions for how children will be raised and what access arrangements will be in place if the relationship ends, providing stability and certainty for the children involved.

         The Psychological Impact of Inequality

        The legal inequalities faced by cohabiting women can also have a significant psychological impact. The insecurity of not having the same legal protections as married women can create stress and anxiety, particularly in long-term relationships where significant joint contributions to property and family life have been made.

        The Importance of Legal Advice

        Given the complexities and potential pitfalls of cohabitation, it is vital for women to seek legal advice before entering into such an arrangement. A solicitor can help draft a cohabitation agreement that reflects the couple’s wishes and ensures that both parties’ rights are protected.

         Empowering Women Through Cohabitation Agreements

        In conclusion, cohabitation agreements are not just legal documents; they are tools of empowerment for women. They provide a means to address the inherent legal inequalities faced by cohabiting couples in England and Wales, ensuring that women have some level of protection and rights if the relationship breaks down. As the number of cohabiting couples continues to rise, it is increasingly important for women to be aware of their legal position and take proactive steps to safeguard their future.

         References and Further Reading

        1. “Cohabitation Rights” – Citizens Advice Bureau
        2. “Property Rights of Cohabiting Couples” – The Law Society
        3. “The Myth of Common Law Marriage” – Office for National Statistics

        4. Martin Lewis warns cohabitees in the Daily Mirror

        These references provide additional information and legal context for those interested in exploring the topic further. The legal landscape surrounding cohabitation is complex, and staying informed is crucial for protecting your rights and interests.

        If you are interested in securing your future get in touch for a no obligation chat on 01554 756952

        Request A Free Callback

          Your Name *

          Your Number

          Enquiry subject *

          The Importance of Barristers in Family Law Cases: Why Solicitors Work with Them

          OLS Solicitors Blog

          The Importance of Barristers in Family Law Cases: Why Solicitors Work with Them

          By Lucy Batstone on April 27, 2023

          Barristers and solicitors often work together in family law cases

          When it comes to family law cases, solicitors often work with barristers to provide their clients with the best possible representation. While solicitors are trained to handle legal matters, barristers have specialised skills and expertise that make them invaluable in these types of cases.

          In this blog post, we will explore some of the key reasons why solicitors tend to use barristers in family law cases.

          Expertise and Experience

          One of the primary reasons why solicitors work with barristers in family law cases is because of their specialised expertise and experience. Barristers have typically undergone extensive training and have years of experience in specific areas of the law, including family law.

          They have a deep understanding of the nuances of family law cases, including the legal frameworks and precedents that govern these cases. This expertise allows them to provide valuable insights and advice to solicitors and their clients, and to develop effective legal strategies that can help them achieve the best possible outcome.

          Effective Advocacy

          Barristers are also skilled advocates who can represent their clients in court. They have honed their advocacy skills through years of experience in courtrooms and have developed an ability to present their clients’ cases in a clear and compelling manner.

          This is particularly important in family law cases, where emotions can run high and the stakes are often high. Barristers can help to ensure that their clients’ voices are heard and that their interests are effectively represented in court.

          Working in Partnership

          Solicitors and barristers also work in partnership to provide the best possible representation for their clients. Solicitors are typically the first point of contact for clients, and they handle much of the preparation and research required for a case.

          Barristers then work with solicitors to develop legal strategies and to represent clients in court. This partnership allows solicitors to provide their clients with the benefit of specialised expertise and advocacy skills, while also ensuring that they have a deep understanding of their clients’ cases and the issues at stake.

          Faster and More Efficient Legal Proceedings

          Working with barristers can also help to speed up the legal proceedings in family law cases. Barristers are often able to provide expert advice and guidance that can help solicitors to make quicker and more informed decisions, reducing the time and resources required for a case.

          In addition, barristers are trained to be efficient in their advocacy, presenting arguments and evidence in a concise and effective manner. This can help to reduce the length of court hearings and to resolve cases more quickly.

          Reduced Stress for Clients

          Family law cases can be incredibly stressful for clients, particularly when they involve issues such as child custody or divorce. Working with barristers can help to reduce this stress by providing clients with expert representation and guidance.

          Barristers can help clients to understand their legal options and to develop strategies that are focused on achieving their goals. They can also represent clients in court, helping to reduce the emotional burden of having to do so themselves.

          Cost-Effective Solutions

          While working with barristers can be expensive, it can also be a cost-effective solution in the long run. Barristers can help solicitors to develop legal strategies that are focused on achieving their clients’ goals, reducing the time and resources required for a case.

          In addition, barristers can often provide clients with the benefit of their expertise and experience, helping them to avoid costly mistakes and to achieve the best possible outcome in their case.


          In conclusion, there are many reasons why solicitors tend to use barristers in family law cases. Barristers have specialised expertise and experience in family law, and can provide valuable insights and guidance to solicitors and their clients.

          They are also skilled advocates who can represent clients in court, helping to ensure that their voices are heard and that their interests are effectively represented. Working with barristers can also help to speed up legal proceedings, reduce stress

          Request A Free Callback

            Your Name *

            Your Number

            Enquiry subject *

            Key Considerations for Drafting a Separation Agreement in England and Wales

            OLS Solicitors Blog

            Key Considerations for Drafting a Separation Agreement in England and Wales

            By Georgina Hitchins on April 15, 2023

            separation agreement drafting has to be done carefully

            When a couple decides to separate, they may enter into a separation agreement. A separation agreement is a legal document that outlines the terms of the separation, such as how assets will be divided, child custody arrangements, and financial support. In England and Wales, separation agreements are not legally binding but can be used as evidence in court proceedings. In this article, we will discuss what you need to know about separation agreements in England and Wales.

            Understanding Separation Agreements in England and Wales

            A separation agreement is a legal document that sets out the terms of the separation between two parties. It is essentially a contract between the parties that outlines how they will divide their assets, who will have custody of any children, and how financial support will be provided. Separation agreements are not legally binding in England and Wales, but they are still an important legal document that can be used in court proceedings.

            The purpose of a separation agreement is to provide clarity and certainty for both parties during a difficult time. The terms outlined in the agreement can help to prevent future disputes and can provide a framework for the parties to move forward with their lives. It is important to note that a separation agreement is not the same as a divorce, and it does not end the marriage or civil partnership.

            Key Considerations for Drafting a Separation Agreement in England and Wales

            When drafting a separation agreement, there are several key considerations that should be taken into account. Firstly, it is important to ensure that the agreement is fair and reasonable. This means that both parties should have the opportunity to seek legal advice and negotiate the terms of the agreement.

            Secondly, the agreement should be clear and specific. It should outline the division of assets and any financial support that will be provided in detail. It should also include provisions for child custody and visitation rights.

            Finally, it is important to ensure that the agreement is properly executed. Both parties should sign the agreement in the presence of a witness, and each party should receive a copy of the agreement.

            In conclusion, a separation agreement can be a useful tool for couples who are going through a separation in England and Wales. While it is not legally binding, it can provide a framework for the parties to move forward with their lives and prevent future disputes. When drafting a separation agreement, it is important to ensure that it is fair, clear, and properly executed. Seeking legal advice can be helpful in ensuring that the agreement meets these requirements.

            Request A Free Callback

              Your Name *

              Your Number

              Enquiry subject *

              Ask Us A Question