Latest Legal News

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A recent decision of the Court of Appeal has emphasised the importance of the provision of good quality, relevant evidence in cases involving children. The case concerned a council's decision to place two children up for adoption against their mother's...
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Company directors should know that as well as their duties to shareholders, they also have a duty under both common and statute law to protect the interests of creditors. When this duty is not adhered to, the consequences can be severe, as a recent case ...
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Damages paid for loss of income are taxable but, by concession, most damages paid as a capital sum for not taking court action have been exempt from taxation to Capital Gains Tax (CGT). If the damages paid can be linked to a specific asset (for instance...
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During the course of an employment, it is common for employees to become aware of the ‘trade secrets’ of their employer’s business. If they subsequently use this knowledge for their own gain, they can find themselves facing a claim for...
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When land has been used by someone who has no legal entitlement to use it for 20 years without interruption, an ‘easement’ can arise under the Prescription Act 1832 . In principle, an easement gives the legal right to continue the use...
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If you have negotiated a divorce settlement and then find out that your ex-spouse has been less than open when disclosing their personal finances, the court will reopen the matter if there is sufficient evidence to do so. In a recent hearing, the court was...
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In a bitter example of how an innocent party can be left to carry the financial can following a corporate failure, the owner of a hotel who paid £110,000 for diesel powered generating equipment has received judicial sympathy but ended up with neither...
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Businesses that have constituted themselves as limited liability partnerships (LLPs) will greet without enthusiasm the announcement by Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander that the Government ‘will be closing the loophole that allows private equity...
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The economic value of a well-known brand having a registered trade mark is illustrated by two recent court cases involving British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB), US IT giant Microsoft and free Internet phone service Skype. Microsoft launched a cloud-based data...
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The use of certain names for companies etc. has been restricted for a very long time – the restrictions on ‘sensitive’ names being intended to reduce the likelihood that a person is misled into thinking that they are dealing with an...
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When a couple break up, the division of the assets they own is often problematic, whether they are married or not. In a recent case, the Court of Appeal was asked to consider the appropriate division of assets when a couple broke up after being together...
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Rushing into litigation with insufficient preparation and without taking advice can have unfortunate consequences. This simple fact was demonstrated when the owners of a restaurant, who claimed that their business had been blighted by, amongst other things,...
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Anyone who files a VAT return will know that for some time HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have insisted that these are filed online. This presents particular challenges for the visually impaired, those who have difficulty using a keyboard and people who lack...
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A recent intellectual property case has again illustrated the principle that the courts are unlikely to accept that geographical terms ‘belong’ to a particular business. It involved the launch of a publication called ‘The Southern...
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The pitfalls of not getting documentation exactly right have become all too clear for a lender following a recent Court of Appeal hearing . The case arose because the lender wished to rely on the guarantees given over a debt by a group of guarantors. ...
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In a ruling that underlines that the wishes and feelings of children can be decisive in even the most intractable family cases, a father has won a seven-year battle to have more contact with his daughter. The ‘doggedly persistent’ father had...
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The High Court recently had to deal with the question ‘What constitutes a public need?’ when it faced a planning appeal against an application for the creation of a very ‘upscale’ golf club and spa resort, which was to be built on...
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The door appears to have finally slammed shut on a family’s attempt to obtain Business Property Relief (BPR) from Inheritance Tax (IHT) in respect of a property which had been operated as a furnished holiday letting by their late mother. It has...
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Following hard upon a case in which the court refused to uphold a pre-nuptial agreement signed by a city lawyer and his bride-to-be on the day before their wedding, the Law Commission has published proposals for pre-nuptial agreements to become binding in...
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The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued new guidelines (45 pages) on the conduct of direct marketing , which confirms that electronic marketing campaigns directed towards consumers require clear and specific consent to be given by the...
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When a threat is made to bring a patent infringement action against another company, the result of the mere threat may be to cause damage to the threatened company. It may, for example, cease selling or making the item(s) that allegedly infringe the patent...
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The English courts are a popular place to bring divorce proceedings because the financial settlements they order are usually much more equal than those made under other jurisdictions. This has led to accusations that ‘divorce tourism’ is the...
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When an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) reaches the end of its term and the tenant continues to occupy the premises, a new tenancy is created. This has implications for landlords who have ASTs expiring which were entered into before 6 April 2007, the date on...
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Selling their business is often the last big transaction a person undertakes, and is one which may have a very significant effect on their lifestyle in retirement. As well as often being contractually complex, business sales also present a whole raft of...
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Following the death of an 11-year-old child who was hit by a speedboat whilst attending a friend’s birthday party that took place at a lake, the company that operated the site pleaded guilty to charges brought under the Corporate Manslaughter and...