Latest Legal News

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When a child is taken away from one parent by the other against a ruling of the Family Court, the consequences can be severe for anyone who withholds information as to the child's whereabouts, as a recent case illustrates . Following the break-up of his...
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When a company ceases to exist and is struck off the register of companies at Companies House, any assets it owns become the property of the Crown. The Crown has the ability to disclaim the property if it chooses. Recently, the High Court had to consider ...
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In a bid to preserve the attractiveness of arbitration in the wake of the faster and less expensive procedures for dealing with disputes by litigation announced recently, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has announced a 'fast-track' arbitration...
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It is well known that when a business passes from one VAT-registered trader to another who continues it, the transfer will normally be a 'transfer of a going concern' (TOGC) and no VAT is payable on the sale. The treatment also applies where the purchaser...
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The Internet is a not a free source of material, as a home improvements company found recently to its cost . When the company used photographs which belonged to another company on its website, it was sued by the firm whose images had been used. Although...
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It is a fundamental principle of family law that the courts will always put the welfare of a child first in making any decision about where the child should live. However, it is also an established legal principle that when a lower court makes a judgment on...
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It is now quite well known that the public broadcast of music which is still under copyright requires a licence, but not many people appreciate that ignoring that requirement can lead to a jail sentence. A Newport nightclub owner who failed to obtain a...
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Contracts which are not in writing, although legally valid, are very often the subject matter of disputes, because the parties' recollections of what was agreed to can often differ dramatically. Incentive payments and commissions are another recurring focus...
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Tax changes scheduled to come into effect in April 2016 could prove very expensive for the operators of personal service companies, and consideration to changing the nature of the business entity may be warranted. The changes will disallow travelling and...
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When the ex-wives of two very wealthy men found that their divorce settlements had been concluded on the basis of information supplied by their husbands which was clearly wrong, a series of legal cases culminated in a decision by the Supreme Court which...
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Personality clashes can obviously cause difficulties in business, but they are rarely serious enough to justify cancelling commercial contracts. In one striking case, a television channel was ordered to pay substantial damages to a production company after...
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Businesses that deal with members of the public are reminded that the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which received the Royal Assent on 26 March, becomes law on 1 October 2015. The Act replaces a number of laws with regard to business-to-consumer transactions,...
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Things seldom run smoothly in property developments, and where the intention is to offer sales off plan, it is important to ensure that the contract offered to purchasers is sufficiently flexible to take account of contingencies – especially as regards...
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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are renowned for taking an overly tough stance when it suits them, as illustrated by a recent case in which 'special relief' against tax bills was refused to a taxpayer. 'Special relief' can be given where it is...
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Company directors inevitably make errors of commercial judgment now and again, but these rarely amount to a breach of the legal duties which they owe to shareholders, which occurs when decisions are made that are wholly unreasonable. A Court of Appeal case ...
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Since 1 October 2015, under changes introduced by the Consumer Rights Act  2015 , it has been compulsory for most businesses to offer Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to their customers if a complaint arises between them which cannot be settled by...
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One of the less well-known ways to deal with areas of dispute in a divorce is to arrange for them to be arbitrated. Arbitration involves the appointment of an arbitrator agreed upon by the parties to the dispute and has the advantage of being a process that...
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A simple technical error in a form may mean that thousands of divorce settlements have been incorrectly calculated. It recently came to light that Form E, which is available on the Ministry of Justice's website , fails to deduct debts when calculating net...
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A company which thought it could save money by dispensing with specialist advice before embarking on a complex dispute with a demolition contractor paid a heavy price when an adjudicator ordered it to pay more than £100,000. The company refused to pay...
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There are considerable tax reliefs available for investors in start-up companies, and among the more popular is Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) relief. EIS gives Capital Gains Tax (CGT) relief when an investment in shares in a qualifying company is made...
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The welfare of children is always of paramount importance in family cases and the Court of Appeal has emphasised the point in a case in which a mother sought to move abroad with her 12-year-old daughter against the wishes of the girl's father. Following...
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Decisions of arbitrators are ultimately backed by the authority of the High Court and those who fail to abide by their awards can face heavy financial penalties and even loss of liberty. In one case , directors of a grain trading company were sentenced to...
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The law of intellectual property is seldom simple or without surprises. In 2014, the High Court decided that the 'corrugated' shape of the Kit Kat chocolate bar, whilst unremarkable in itself, had acquired a 'distinctive character' by way of use over time...
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Managing residential property is a legally complex task and is not for amateurs. In one case which proved the point , benevolent landlords found themselves having to take court action after dispensing with formalities in order to save their tenants money. ...
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Anyone thinking of starting a family by entering into a foreign surrogacy arrangement should take careful note of a High Court case in which a well-meaning couple ended up in a legal tangle due to their ignorance of the law. Twin girls were born to a...