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Latest Legal News

Can Developments That Conflict With Local Plans Ever Be 'Sustainable'?

In a guideline decision on the correct interpretation of the sustainability provisions of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), the High Court has scotched plans for 150 new homes on the edge of a market town. Planning permission for the...

Bank Fails to Avoid Guarantee Liability

The sums of money involved in international trade are so vast that without bank guarantees to underpin contracts, the wheels of commerce would cease to turn. However, as one High Court case vividly revealed , banks normally insist that all the formalities...

Shape Must Convey Brand to Create Goodwill

Many household objects are of a similar shape and even where the shape of an object made by a manufacturer has a particular style, the existence of intellectual property rights in that style will depend on it being unique to the point that potential...

Trustee of Deceased Bankrupt Cannot Claim Payment From Spouse

Financial problems are frequently connected with marital problems, and the interplay between family law and insolvency law can produce legal complications. In a recent instance, the court had to decide what to do about a claim from the receiver in...

Recording Studio Must Live With Demolition Project Next Door

In ever more densely packed urban areas, hardly any development can take place without treading on someone's toes. The point was illustrated by one High Court case in which a recording studio complained that a demolition and flat-building project next door...

Court Guidance on Jurisdiction

When contracts have an international element and a dispute arises, it is often necessary to ascertain at a very early stage which country's courts have jurisdiction to deal with the dispute. In the case of a dispute over a contract, the place of performance...

Trade Mark Validity - It All Depends

A recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has implications for the owners of trade marks which are only used in part of the EU. The nub of the ruling is that if a court in the EU finds that an EU trade mark may cause confusion...

Family Companies and Benefits in Kind - Tax Tribunal Guidance

When it comes to Income Tax, almost nothing is more controversial than benefits in kind. The Chancellor's recent announcement on restrictions on 'salary sacrifice' illustrates the Government's hostile attitude towards tax planning that takes advantage of...

Jail Threat for Man Who Failed to Cooperate in Divorce Proceedings

Divorce is normally a difficult time for all concerned and the financial arrangements can be very contentious. Normally, problems revolve around the failure to provide accurate disclosure of assets, but on some occasions there is a total failure to...

Incorrect Procedure Can Render Possession Proceedings Voidable

Landlords frequently need to evict tenants, and where a possession order is sought because the tenant breaches conditions in the lease (typically for reasons of behaviour which impacts negatively on other tenants), the order will often be postponed or...

Failure to Adopt Sound Business Principles Proves Costly

Cases involving negligent valuations have been passing through the courts steadily over the years – many triggered by the financial meltdown in 2008. A recent decision involved the reliance of a bank on a valuation provided in support of a £1.8...

TalkTalk's Fine for Data Protection Breaches - What it Means for You

The recent fine levied on TalkTalk by the Information Commissioner shows the great importance of having an effective data protection regime in operation in any business. TalkTalk was fined £400,000 – the largest ever fine of its type –...

Tenants First - Or Else

When the landlord of a residential building wishes to sell it (make a 'relevant disposal') with the associated tenancies left intact, it has a legal duty under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 to offer it to the tenants first. Many landlords might be...

Continued Use of Defective Devices - Who is at Fault?

Disputes between insurers and claimants under insurance policies are common, and a recent dispute raised an interesting question: What is the position if a person or business uses a device which they know to be faulty and this results in subsequent damage?...

Renault Squashes Internet Entrepreneur in Web Domain Dispute

Building brands is a lengthy and very costly process and it is hardly surprising that brand owners take a very dim view of others benefiting from their goodwill. In one case, car manufacturer Renault came down hard on a businessman who used its name and well...

Child Protection More Important Than Family Togetherness

Family judges are used to controversy and accept the fact that there will always be an embittered few who accuse them of 'playing God'. However, one striking case shows that they will only break up families when doing so is necessary to ensure the...

Buy-to-Let Landlord Tax Challenge Rejected

The legal challenge to changes in the tax regime relating to buy-to-let properties has failed, despite the backing of a £180,000 'crowd fund' and the pleadings of barrister Cherie Blair. The case was pursued on the basis that the changes, which limit...

Slipshod Execution of Contracts Can Come Back to Haunt You!

Slipshod execution of contractual documents can come back to haunt you, and that is one good reason why you should always have the benefit of qualified legal advice. In one case , the waters were so muddied that the High Court was unable to say, without...

New Homes v Office Space Retention - High Court Holds the Line

Relentless pressure for more new housing in urban areas tends to relegate to second place the need for office space in planning terms, and in some circumstances full planning permission is not needed to convert office premises to residential use. However, in...

Delay Denies Financial Support for Divorcee

It is not uncommon for affection and trust to survive the end of a marriage – but legal advice is still almost always required to ensure a fair outcome. In one striking case, a woman who waited until almost 20 years had passed since her divorce before...

IP Investment Exceeds Physical Investment

Anyone doubting the importance of intellectual property (IP) in the modern economy will be surprised by the contents of a recent report from the Intellectual Property Office that investment in research and development, software and design in 2014 was, at...

New Legislation to Counter Tax Evasion Reaches Parliament

The distaste with which the Government regards tax evasion is clear, with HM Revenue and Customs taking an increasingly tough approach both to tax evasion and (with considerable success) when mounting legal challenges to tax avoidance schemes, especially...

What You Do as Well as What You Agree in Writing Matters

It is a common misconception that contracts have to be agreed in writing or orally to be binding. However, a contract can also be valid if it is performed…even if the documentation requires that it must be formally agreed to be valid. A recent case...

Lease Break Fails Over Partition Permanence

Commercial leases normally contain a provision that if a tenant wishes to break the lease, they must remove all their property (chattels in legal parlance) from the let premises. Such provisions will often, but not always, require the removal of any...

Fertility Clinic Blunder Led to Mother Adopting Her Own Child

The requirements of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 are strict and any procedural error by fertility clinics can cause untold legal complications and misery. That was certainly so in one case in which a form-filling error led to a woman...
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