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Latest Legal News

What You Do as Well as What You Agree in Writing Matters

It is a common misconception that contracts have to be agreed in writing or orally to be binding. However, a contract can also be valid if it is performed…even if the documentation requires that it must be formally agreed to be valid. A recent case...

Lease Break Fails Over Partition Permanence

Commercial leases normally contain a provision that if a tenant wishes to break the lease, they must remove all their property (chattels in legal parlance) from the let premises. Such provisions will often, but not always, require the removal of any...

Fertility Clinic Blunder Led to Mother Adopting Her Own Child

The requirements of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 are strict and any procedural error by fertility clinics can cause untold legal complications and misery. That was certainly so in one case in which a form-filling error led to a woman...

Online Trader Price Fixing Leads to £160,000 Fine

A company which deals in sports and entertainment products such as posters and stickers has pleaded guilty to breaching competition law by creating a cartel through collusion on pricing to ensure that it did not undercut the prices offered by an online...

Tough Times for Defaulting Taxpayers

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have in recent years taken an ever more aggressive approach to the collection of underpaid taxes. A woman who for more than a year underdeclared the VAT payable by the building company of which she was a director has agreed to...

Court Stresses Need for Facts in Child Residence Dispute

Divorces with an international dimension are often complex and, where the question arises as to which parent will look after children and in which country, the courts are often involved. When making these decisions, the courts will always put the child's...

Swift Justice Sees Director Receive £105,000 Bill

It is regrettably not unheard of for directors to flout their duties and help themselves to company money to which they are not entitled. However, one High Court case showed that professionally managed litigation can be a swift means of catching up with...

Delay Not Fatal in Resisting Landlord

When a commercial tenant fails to pay rent due, the landlord can take legal action to terminate the lease or can 'peaceably re-enter' the premises and take possession of them. Where a court order is made, the tenant has six months in which to apply for...

Fake BMW Goods Lead to Jail

Recent jail terms for the counterfeiting of goods, after a financial investigation by the Intellectual Property Office, show clearly the dangers of dealing in goods which are counterfeit or breach the trade marks or other intellectual property (IP) rights of...

No VAT Liability if No Taxable Supplies: True or False?

Many businesses engaged in the provision of 'exempt' supplies for VAT purposes (such as healthcare or financial services) or those with a turnover below the VAT registration threshold (currently £83,000 per annum) believe that they will never have to...

Insolvency No Bar to Liability for Support Payments

A recent decision of the High Court will come as a comfort to those whose ex-spouses have fallen into arrears with their child maintenance payments. It involved a man who was behind with child maintenance payments payable to the Child Support Agency when he...

Winding Up Petitions and Validation Orders - High Court Guidance

From the moment a winding up petition is presented against a company, any payments that it makes become legally void if a winding up order is granted. However, what happens if supplies are made to that company before the supplier is aware of the winding up...

Submitting to an Expert's Jurisdiction is a One Way Street

Contracts often provide for the appointment of independent experts to resolve any disputes arising, and voluntary submission to their jurisdiction is usually irrevocable. One building contractor found that out after it was ruled liable for potentially...

The Taxation of Termination Payments

The Government has published its response to the 2015 consultation on the tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) treatment of termination payments as well as draft legislation implementing the planned changes. The first £30,000 of a...

Defiant Divorcee Who Refused to Leave Matrimonial Home Punished

Obedience to court orders is not voluntary and judges possess a battery of powers to enforce compliance. In one case, a divorcee who barricaded himself into his former matrimonial home in order to prevent its enforced sale was given ten days to move out...

EU General Data Protection Regulation

In the UK, the Data Protection Act 1998 sets out the principles of data protection in compliance with European legislation. The more recent approval of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has imposed some changes on the operation of UK data...

Landlord's Subletting Ban Enforced by Court

Leases can vary enormously, and it takes a professional eye to understand their terms. In a recent case which underlines this point , a couple who sublet their flat in breach of an 'owner occupier' covenant in their lease ended up at risk of losing their...

In Business With a Friend? Don't Dispense With Formalities

When entering into a business partnership with someone you also consider to be a soulmate, putting in place formal agreements with them can seem inappropriate. However, personal relationships can turn sour and, in one case, the equity in a buy-to-let...

Concurrent Delay Plea Failure Ends Saga Saga

Concurrent delay is a common problem in construction contracts. It arises when a delay in one area of work causes a delay in another. The result can be a cascading of delays, which normally means losses and disputes. In a recent case involving the...

Getting Divorced - Honesty is the Best Policy

It is a sad fact that divorcing couples frequently try to hide assets from each other, but such manoeuvrings rarely succeed and can have very unfortunate consequences. In one recent case , a husband's dishonest attempt to evade his commitments to his...

High Court Brings Clarity to Multi-Million-Pound Consultancy Contract

One might expect contracts between sophisticated business entities to be couched in precise and unambiguous terms. That is not always the case, however, and the High Court's intervention was required to bring clarity to a jurisdiction clause in a...

Landlord's Liability for Uneven Surface Outside Scope of Lease

Landlords have a legal responsibility to keep the premises they let out in a safe condition to use. That responsibility is not unlimited, however, as a recent decision of the Supreme Court shows. The landlord concerned had sold a flat in a block of flats...

Corporate Veil Saves Honest Director From £100,000 Tax Penalty

The importance of the 'veil of incorporation' is that the owners of a company (the shareholders) and its managers are not normally liable for the company's debts as, in law, a company is a separate legal person from its owners and managers. This encourages...

Social Workers Wield Great Power - But the Courts Are Watching!

Social workers can wield immense power over people's lives – but one case clearly shows how carefully their activities are regulated by the courts. A local authority was ordered to pay damages of £45,000 to a mother and two young children after...

Trade Mark Rip-Offs - Landlords Beware!

It is well known that counterfeit copies of leading brands are fairly commonplace, especially in online shops. Many will also know that Internet service providers can be required to deny access to websites which are found to be dealing in 'knock-off' goods. ...
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