Latest Legal News

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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...
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When a creditor appointed two 'informal' debt collectors to collect money due from a debtor, the tactics they used resulted in them being given prison terms by the Court of Appeal. A landscape gardener was beset by financial problems and one of his...
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Divorce cases involving the very rich are over-represented in court reports for the simple reason that where the family is very wealthy, the costs of arguing over the division of the assets are deemed to be worth incurring, which may not be the case for...
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Have you ever been out and had a cup of coffee with someone else, who paid and then offered you the VAT receipt 'so you can get the VAT back'? This common offer shows, at best, a lack of understanding about how the recovery of input VAT (the VAT you have...
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Deciding on a business name and URL for a website can be one of the most important steps a business takes – but it is essential to take professional advice to ensure that you do not step on others' toes in doing so. In one case, a car manufacturer came...
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The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) was introduced as a means of raising cash from developers to fund public projects. However, it is not always welcome to those who have to pay it and, in one High Court case, a shopping centre owner succeeded in...
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Officialdom is a necessary, if occasionally irritating, fact of life, but one case has shown that an overzealous application of the rules can be beaten with tenacity and good legal advice. It involved an award-winning flower dealer, which had almost 1,500...
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The voices of children will always be heard by family judges in care proceedings, but they are not always decisive and can be outweighed by other factors. In one case, a boy's vociferous wish to live in England with his mother was overruled by a judge who...
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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) know that 'cash trades' are often susceptible to a suppression of takings and regularly target cash traders for tax enquiries. Where HMRC's suspicions are confirmed and the evasion of tax is significant, a criminal prosecution...
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The owners of two emblematic brands have lost their claims to Intellectual Property (IP) protection lately, in cases which highlight the need to exercise careful thought in the formulation of trade mark applications. The first is the well-known London black...