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Latest Legal News

Oral Contract Variation Invalid, Rules Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has decided a case which will be of significance to anyone who is used to making oral variations to contracts. The dispute involved a firm that had a licence to occupy office space provided by another company. The contract term was 12...

Data Protection Latest

You'd have to be living on Mars not to know that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is now in force. Its strict provisions must be complied with (the penalties for failing are swingeing) and it is practically impossible to run any organisation or...

Jail for Husband Who Flouted Court Ruling

Court orders have to be obeyed and those who defy them can ultimately be sent to prison. Exactly that happened in one 'big money' divorce case in which an 83-year-old businessman repeatedly tried to thwart his ex-wife. Following the end of the former...

Landlords - Children Count Too!

When a landlord appealed against his prosecution for breaking a planning enforcement notice with regard to a house in multiple occupation (HMO) he owns, he used a rather novel argument to justify exceeding the limitation on the number of residents of the...

Debt Management Company Investigation Brings Bans

There was a certain irony to a recent report that the directors of a debt management company – set up to offer advice and assistance to those with debt problems – have been banned from acting as directors for a total of 23 years after action was...

The Taxation of Termination Payments

The rules governing the taxation of termination payments have been tightened with effect from 6 April 2018 by means of legislation to amend Chapter 3, Part 6 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 . Hitherto, where the employee's contract of...

Oral Contract Existed as a Matter of Fact

When a decision is made as to what the facts are in a particular case, the judgment regarding those facts is normally accepted as not being able to be revisited in subsequent proceedings unless it was manifestly unreasonable or unfair, or subsequent evidence...

Future Earning Capacity Not a Matrimonial Asset

The Court of Appeal has made an important decision in a divorce case in which the main argument was over the availability of future income to fund maintenance payments in divorce settlements. The couple involved are both accountants and the husband is at...

Software Company Fails to Lock Out Customer

One aspect of intellectual property (IP) rights that is often not given much thought, but which can be extremely important indeed, is what happens when a licence to use comes to an end. Much computer technology is supplied by licence (it is quite rare for...

Director Address Disclosures - Changes

Recent changes have made it easier for company directors to withhold disclosure of their private addresses in publicly filed documents. Prior to 2009, the usual residential address of all company directors was on file at Companies House in publicly...

Faulty Electrics Necessitate Lease Interpretation

Many commercial leases provide that the formal document represents the entirety of the agreement, superseding any prior agreements that may have been reached. An important Court of Appeal ruling has, however, made clear that such clauses do not preclude...

Pre-Nuptial Agreement Receives Court Backing

The validity of pre-nuptial agreements depends on legal advice being taken on both sides, equal bargaining positions and overall fairness. In one case, the High Court found that a wife in a big money divorce case was bound by such an agreement and awarded...

Do You Understand Your Duties as a Director?

Directors have a wide range of legal duties that do not always coincide with their own interests, and seeking expert legal advice is the best way of ensuring that these are performed. In one case in which that did not happen, two directors of a phoenix...

Guesswork Not Enough to Create Tax Liability

When HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) suspect serious tax evasion, they will normally launch a full-scale tax investigation into the person they suspect. They use many tools in such investigations and one of the more common ones is to compare the cost of a...

Changing Circumstances Lead to Divorce Settlement Dispute

When a wealthy construction business owner and his wife divorced in 2011, a 'clean break' agreement was made to include the sale of the two properties they owned – the family home in the UK and one in Spain. In the event that neither had been sold, the...

Agency Law Gives No Recourse to Dumped Software Reseller

Under law which originated in the EU, agents of firms have considerable protection if their agency is terminated, and can normally be compensated. This reflects the commercial reality that agents frequently make a considerable investment in time and money in...

One Reasonable Condition is Sufficient for Landlord

When a tenant wishes to assign a lease, it is usual for the landlord's consent to be required, and that consent can be withheld if there are sufficiently good grounds for so doing. In a recent case, a landlord was asked by a tenant to agree to the...

Failure to Address Expert Report Proves Costly

When a tenant of industrial land failed to adhere to a notice to quit the premises, the landlord brought a legal action under the law of trespass for its lost rental income – £12,000 per annum. The tenant did nothing and the landlord then...

HMRC Reliance on Guidance Not Justified

The various VAT 'flat-rate' schemes were originally set up with the ostensible purpose of simplifying the VAT process for those using them, while being essentially revenue neutral for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). A recent case dealt with a situation in...

GDPR - ICO Launches Awareness Campaign for Micro-Businesses

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the Data Protection Act 1998 and comes into force on 25 May 2018. The new law gives individuals more control over how their data is used, shared and stored and requires organisations to be more...

Supreme Court Supports Mother Who Changed Mind Over Return to Australia

Divorces where there is an international dimension often present specific issues, and a recent case involving a couple who had been living in Australia before they separated is no exception, leading ultimately to a hearing in the Supreme Court . The...

Breach of Contract Claim Defeated Quickly

Some breach of contract claims are stronger than others, but even groundless cases come to court sometimes. However, with skilled legal representation, these can be identified and defeated at an early stage. In one case on point, the High Court struck out a...

Tenants Succeed in Avoiding Insurance Charges

When tenants discovered that their landlord had bought insurance over their flats, including the structure of the building, when they had already purchased insurance cover for themselves, the resulting argument ended up in the Upper Tribunal (UT) . The...

Everyone Has a Right to Know Who Their Parents Are - DNA Test Case

In a ground-breaking decision that prioritised the rights of the living over those of the dead, the Court of Appeal has opened the way for genetic testing of DNA extracted from a sample taken from a cancer victim before his death in order to clarify the...

Son's Casual Employment Proves Expensive for Dad

One area in which problems may not be anticipated is when a family member's status as a 'genuine' employee is disputed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). For any expenditure to be deductible for tax purposes, it must be 'wholly and exclusively' made for...
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