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Latest Legal News

Council's Drafting Error Opens Way for Change of Use

Planning permissions mean what they say and judges are very reluctant to imply terms into them, even in order to correct flawed drafting. That point was made by the High Court as it opened the way for a former DIY store to be used for food retailing. ...

Court Corrects Parenthood Bungle

When a same-sex couple undertook fertility treatment which led to the birth of a baby girl, the intention was that both would be listed as her legal parents. However, due to mistakes made in processing the necessary forms, only one of the couple was shown as...

Legal Costs of Defending Director Not Tax Deductible

To what extent are the costs of professional advice given to a director tax deductible by the company that he or she serves? A tribunal tackled that thorny issue in a case of importance to company directors and their tax advisers. A director of a computer...

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right

When a contract is breached and one party suffers a loss as a result, they are normally entitled to be compensated for their loss by the party that has breached the contract. Whilst there are a number of ways the breach can be dealt with by the courts, the...

EU Proposes Steady as She Goes on IP Rights

In a knowledge-based economy, the protection of intellectual property is often of existential importance to businesses. With Brexit impending, the protection of such rights across Europe has come into focus and the European Union has come up with its ideas...

Economic Reality Telling Factor in Planning Appeal

Aesthetic opinions differ dramatically and, in planning disputes, one property owner's dream is very often anathema to another. That was certainly so in one case in which the Court of Appeal opened the way for the demolition and replacement of a...

HMRC Slammed for Unreasonable Behaviour As Costs Awarded to Taxpayer

The increasing aggressiveness of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in dealing with taxpayers was recently given short shrift by the First-tier Tribunal (FTT), which criticised HMRC's high-handedness and ordered them to make a payment to the taxpayer concerned....

Government Must Prove its Case to Obtain Deportation

Marriages of convenience are normally entered into in order to give one of the spouses the right to remain in the UK. At present, EU citizens normally have the right to remain in the UK. However, that right can be removed if it is shown that it has been...

Letting Agency Fined for Breaches of Consumer Rights Legislation

Professionals who deal directly with the public are subject to a battery of consumer protection rules and failing to comply with them can be costly, both in financial and reputational terms. In one case, a letting agency that neglected to display a list of...

X Marks the Spot in IP Battle

Trade marks are jealously protected by their owners. A recent case shows how even seemingly uncontroversial trade marks can be found to infringe existing trade marks and proves the need for care in such circumstances. The case involved tyre giants...

Business Rates Reform on the Agenda?

There has been much grumbling over the years about the fact that where a tenant occupies multiple floors of a building, those floors will normally be treated as separate premises for the calculation of business rates. This normally produces larger rates...

Banter Doesn't Create a Contract

The trouble with light-hearted discussions of important business matters in a social context is that none of those present can really be sure whether any agreements apparently reached are serious or merely a joke. Exactly that happened in one case in which...

Use It or Lose It

Having a trade mark is all well and good, but a recent case should serve as a reminder that failing to use trade marks may lead to them being lost. The case involved a trade mark for a cigarette brand which was registered to a tobacco company in the USA. ...

Facts Determine Tax Treatment of Dilapidations Payment

Virtually all leases have clauses which stipulate that when the lease comes to an end, the tenant must leave the premises in the same condition as they were in when they entered them, and the negotiations over the termination of a lease will often involve a...

Family Proceedings - Anonymity Orders v Freedom of Expression

Family courts routinely grant anonymity to children involved in care proceedings, but that inevitably has an effect on parents and others who might wish to publicise their objections to judicial orders. Exactly that issue arose in one case in which a...

Company Credit Status Must Stand Alone

You may think that if people of substance are behind a business you have a dispute with, this acts as a source of comfort that any sum you are awarded against the company is likely to be met, but that is not necessarily the case, as a recent dispute shows. ...

Housing Developments - Economic Benefits v Environmental Harm

Housing developments are almost always controversial and, in deciding whether or not to approve them, planners have to balance environmental and other objections against social and economic benefits. That was certainly so in one case in which the High...

Government Makes Tendering Process Easier

The complexity and length of the tendering process for government contracts has for many years operated as a significant deterrent for small businesses that might otherwise wish to compete for lucrative public sector contracts. Recognising this issue, the...

Do You Know Who Actually Owns the Patents You Depend On?

A great many companies depend on patents for their profitability, and doubts over ownership of intellectual property (IP) rights can put their very survival in jeopardy. This point was illustrated in a case that concerned a number of patents in respect of...

Denied Divorce Case Heading to Supreme Court

It has been revealed that the widely reported case last March in which a wife was not granted a divorce from her husband because she could not demonstrate that his behaviour had been unreasonable will be decided by the Supreme Court. Under English law,...

Furnished Holiday Lettings Face Tax Attack

The United Kingdom has very favourable Inheritance Tax (IHT) treatment for the owners of business assets used in a trade and, in general, the value of these will be outside the charge to IHT on death provided certain criteria are met. The IHT relief...

Breach of Contract - Court Takes Commercial Approach

Making the right decisions in the immediate aftermath of a breach of contract is of critical importance and, at such knife-edge moments, legal advice is essential. That point could hardly have been more clearly made than by a High Court case concerning an...

Landlord's Motivation for Work Not in Point, Rules Court

A recent case decided by the High Court will (if not overturned on appeal) have potential implications for some commercial tenants seeking renewals of their tenancies. It involved a dealer in textiles that occupies areas in the ground and basement floors...

Parenthood is Not a Trump Card to Avoid Imprisonment

Imprisoning parents is inevitably traumatic for their children, and striking a balance between child welfare and appropriate punishment of criminals is a dilemma confronted by judges every day. However, a Court of Appeal ruling has emphasised that parenthood...

Recovery of Cross-Border Debts

Firms and people who fail to pay their bills are a significant nuisance for any business, but when the debtor is abroad, there may be a temptation to give up. Although recovery of debts from those who live overseas requires determination, English judges are...
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