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22 February 2016

B P Collins LLP: established 1966

1966 was certainly a good vintage.  When B P Collins & Co opened its doors on 1 July 1966, no-one could have predicted that 30 days later England's "wingless wonders" would lift their first (and only) World Cup trophy.  Beating Germany 4-2 after extra time, Brian chose a winning month to start his practice, but what else happened that year?

As the number of road accidents continued to rise as a result of drink driving, January welcomed the introduction of a new Road Safety Bill. Setting a limit of 80mg of alcohol in 100cc of blood, it became an offence to drive when over this amount.

1966 also heralded improvements in the healthcare industry. In March, the National Health Service Act 1966 came into force, facilitating financing of premises and equipment used by practitioners.

And a milestone in defining the role of general medical services, the 1966 GP Contract addressed major grievances of GPs and provided for better-equipped and better-staffed premises, greater practitioner autonomy, a minimum income guarantee, and pension provisions.

Although they famously performed on the rooftop of Apple in 1969, 1 May 1966 was The Beatles' final scheduled live appearance in Britain at the New Musical Express Annual Poll-Winners' All-Star Concert.  Despite ABC TV filming the concert, Brian Epstein failed to reach an agreement over terms, so the cameras were turned off while The Beatles performed songs including Day Tripper and I Feel Fine.

On 29 June 1966, Barclays Bank launched the UK's first ever credit card Barclaycard. It enjoyed market monopoly until the introduction of the Access card in 1972.

In July, and making history overseas, a landmark Act was signed at a Texas ranch by President Lyndon Johnson. The Freedom of Information Act, allowing citizens to obtain records about government actions, is regarded as one of the most important legislative contributions to democracy in American history.

In November, the newly formed Law Commission had begun to consider the problems families encounter when relatives die without a will.  The Family Provision Act 1966 was introduced and was widely considered to “open the floodgates” on how, when and to whom estates are transferred. 

The 1966 Act has been superseded now but the basic entitlement for certain family members to make claims against an estate for financial provision still exists. This means that, even when a will exists, complications can still arise. 

Although not strictly a family provision claim, one high profile case in America showed just how contentious the issue of family inheritance can be: pioneering animator Walt Disney died in December 1966 but many years later, Walt's grandchildren were embroiled in a bitter legal row over hundreds of millions of dollars from his estate.

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