Latest Legal News

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Not all action against directors when a company goes broke is initiated by the Insolvency Service. Recently, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) issued a warning to rogue directors that it will take strong measures to enforce the payment of fines it...
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According to the Chartered Institute of Taxation, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are using data collection powers to uncover the ultimate beneficial ownership of offshore companies and trusts. The information is being obtained from UK-based providers of...
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The annual return, a fixture of the company reporting cycle for decades, is being replaced by a simpler 'confirmation statement'. The main impact of the change is that the confirmation statement will not require information that has not changed to be...
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Not many people would disagree with the position that children should only be taken from their natural parents as a last resort and this is the view of the court system also. In one case which strikingly made that point, a mother was given a final chance to...
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Landlords can often move their offices several times during a long lease, meaning that the original address for service of documents on them becomes obsolete. When a landlord does so, it is important for them to inform their tenant(s) properly and not rely...
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Accountants who perform due diligence work on acquisitions are almost always in the firing line if the deal does not provide the expected outcome for the purchaser, but a recent case shows the limits of their liability in such cases. The case involved the...
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There is a general rule in law, which applies to leases as well as contracts generally, that a legal agreement will normally be taken by the court to mean what it says, not what one of the parties to it thinks (or hopes) it should mean. That point was...
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Bayerische Motoren Werke is known by one and all as BMW and their roundel symbol is recognised worldwide. Unsurprisingly, it is also a trade mark. So when a non-franchised garage put the logo and BMW acronym outside its premises, BMW took action . It...
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It is inevitable that those in receipt of court orders often consider them to be unjust – but that is never an excuse for failing to obey them. The High Court made that point in imposing a suspended prison sentence on a recalcitrant divorcee who took...
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In an important decision , the Court of Appeal has underlined that tax avoidance schemes may be strictly in accordance with legislation – but still be ineffective. The case involved a university which made an ultimately abortive attempt to save itself...
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A recent case illustrates the risks landlords take if they refurbish tenanted buildings without taking sufficient account of the potential impact on their tenants. Almost all commercial leases include a provision that tenants are entitled to occupy their...
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Whilst remaining profitable is the top concern for family business owners, recent research published by Close Brothers Asset Management shows that four out of the top ten worries of those surveyed are related to succession planning, with provision for...
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Large international corporations are well known for flexing their financial muscles and attempting to browbeat smaller companies into submission when they are in dispute. Such seemed to be the case when a comedy club owner took on 20th Century Fox over...
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Divorce settlements are designed to provide certainty and finality so that people can get on with the rest of their lives. However, an important Court of Appeal decision has underlined that they can be modified after the event if circumstances demand. A...
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Planning laws are about the character and appearance of the built environment but can also be instruments of social policy. In one case which proves that point , a local authority deployed its planning powers to stop a local hotel opening its doors to a...
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In English law, the normal rule in a contested case is that the loser pays the winner's costs. Where an offer to settle a case is made, the rule is modified. If the case then goes to court, in simple terms the loser still pays if the court makes an award...
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Many businesses supply cars to their employees for business use. The regime under which benefits in kind are taxed is well known by most company accountants. However, one such must have been surprised when HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) sought to levy a...
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The respective rights of children and their parents has long been a tricky subject for the courts. A recent case on this topic involved a couple's adopted 16-year-old child, who was born female but wished to change gender and attended the Tavistock Gender...
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When a sports website was found to be providing unauthorised video clips of international cricket matches, the England and Wales Cricket Board and Sky UK Limited – to whom certain broadcast rights had been exclusively licensed – took a dim view...
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In a decision that clarifies a problem area of the law and will be required reading for commercial property professionals, the High Court has ruled that it is not legally possible for a tenant to validly assign a lease to a guarantor of that lease. The...
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Precision is important, as a recent tax case shows. It involved a claim for entrepreneur's relief (ER) by a businessman who had sold his shares in his company. The practical effect of a successful claim for ER is that the rate of Capital Gains Tax (CGT)...
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The breakdown of a relationship is sadly often accompanied by dispute over the ownership of once shared possessions. However, one High Court case vividly shows why it is nearly always sensible to seek compromise with the benefit of legal advice, rather than...
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Increasing public disquiet over the use of 'tax haven' companies and trusts to disguise the beneficial ownership of businesses and properties has led to the Government taking steps to improve the transparency of ownership. Such arrangements are often used...
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One of the ways by which a business can obtain recompense for the breach of its intellectual property (IP) rights is to make the infringing organisation account to it for any profit that they have made. This sounds all well and good, but it can be...
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When is a commercial lease surrendered? In one guideline case, the High Court has ruled that neither returning the keys, nor changing the locks, nor putting a property on the market effects a surrender. The decision had the effect of leaving a tenant...