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Latest Legal News

High Court Rules on Fall-Out From Wine Company Insolvency

Insolvency proceedings that arise in the midst of an ongoing trading relationship can sometimes result in large sums of money remaining in limbo for a significant period. In one such case, the High Court ruled on the correct destination of more than 870,000...

Restrictive Covenant Modification Enables Home Development

Restrictive covenants often date back many years and a delicate balance sometimes has to be struck between their enforcement and the public interest in efficient use of the increasingly scarce supply of suitable land. In a recent case, the Upper Tribunal...

Pioneering Psychologist Blocks Abusive Use of His Name Online

A recent case in which web searches for a pioneering psychologist led to a website selling shoes and clothes shows the extent to which Nominet, the Internet watchdog, will act to protect the rights that people have in their own names. The psychologist had a...

High Court Encourages Social Workers to Make Use of Facebook

In the Internet era, it is wholly acceptable to use Facebook or other social media to make contact with those who have to be notified of family proceedings. The High Court made that point after being forced to abandon an adoption hearing due to a failure...

Engineers Must Pay for Defective Design of Seaside Storm Culvert

Contract arbitrators' decisions are meant to be final and challenging them is always an uphill struggle. This point was illustrated by one case in which the High Court upheld a six-figure award to a local authority in respect of a defectively designed...

Council Obliged to Give Reasons for Approving Stadium Development

There is no statutory requirement for local authorities to give reasons for granting planning consent. However, an important Court of Appeal case concerning a football club's controversial plans to build a new stadium in the Green Belt showed that there is...

High Court Keeps Commercially Sensitive Product Information Secret

Litigation often requires disclosure of highly sensitive commercial details. However, as one intellectual property case concerning a mapping database showed , the courts do have sophisticated means of keeping such information under wraps. A company had...

Making Tax Digital Delay

The one-year deferral in the adoption of the new 'Making Tax Digital' system for small businesses and landlords is to be welcomed, but businesses are strongly advised to make themselves aware of their pending obligations under the system at an early stage. ...

Giving Up Your Career to Get Married? Think Twice!

A person who voluntarily prioritises their marriage over their working life may not be entitled to compensation for the earnings foregone if their relationship ends in divorce. The Court of Appeal made that point in ruling on the case of a former headteacher...

Cartel Whistleblower Avoids Massive Fine

Being in a cartel is unlawful and is a risky business – especially when one of the cartel members blows the whistle on the others. In such circumstances, the whistleblower can receive immunity from punishment, leaving the other members to carry the...

Penal Landlord and Tenant Agreement Struck Down by High Court

Penal contractual terms that seek to impose exorbitant or unconscionable obligations are generally not worth the paper they are written on. The High Court found one such term unenforceable in the context of a side letter to a retail lease. A tenant had...

Divorce: Asset Division Not Always Equal

In general, there is a presumption that on divorce the assets will be split more or less equally, but that is based on case law interpretation of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 , not statute. Currently, a Bill in the House of Lords (the Divorce (Financial...

Can't Agree a Commercial Rent? Court Steps In

Calculation of commercial rents is more of an art than a science and disputes are sadly common. However, as one case involving a Polish-themed bar in Central London showed, judges are always there to promote peace if negotiations fail. Following the grant...

Directors Guilty of Misfeasance in Insolvency Proceedings

Some directors will always sadly be tempted to denude troubled businesses of their assets before they formally become insolvent. However, companies are not personal piggy-banks and, as one High Court case showed , the consequences of such conduct can be...

Developing Others' Ideas Can Itself Be Novel and Inventive

Patents that merely repeat pre-existing ideas are invalid – there has to be something novel about an invention to secure patent protection. However, that does not mean that developments based on the work of others cannot themselves be novel and...

Claiming VAT on Cars - New Cases Give Hope

Anyone who has tried to recover the VAT on the purchase of a car, particularly an expensive one, will know that few things are as likely to prompt a VAT query. The conditions under which such a claim can be made are strict (see the Value Added Tax (Input...

Landlord Repairs Must Be Reasonable, Not Most Economical

A long leasehold tenant has had mixed fortunes in opposing a charge for more than £55,000 after her council landlord undertook a major programme of repairs to the block in which she lives. Under the terms of her lease, the council was required to keep...

Court Enforces Pre-Nuptial Agreement

When the marriage of a wealthy couple broke up, the English court had the opportunity to consider the impact of two pre-nuptial agreements the couple had made before they wed. The couple, both Swedes, married in 2000 and had had two children by the time...

Knife-Edge Timing Solves £2.4 Million Construction Contract Dispute

In a striking piece of knife-edge timing, a property developer has convinced the High Court that it was reassigned rights under a construction contract just before a multi-million-pound dispute was placed before an adjudicator. The decision means that the...

Customer Details Email Leads to Fine for Ex-Employee

When an employee left her recruitment agency employer, she took the dubious step of emailing to her private email address the personal data of about 100 of her clients and contacts. She subsequently used the data to contact them in connection with her new...

English Jurisdiction Clauses - Court of Appeal Cracks Down

English law is well-developed, written in the universal business language and the English judicial system has a deserved reputation for fairness. It is not surprising, therefore, that vast numbers of international contracts incorporate English jurisdiction...

Court Corrects Bureaucratic Nightmare for Family

One of the most important roles played by judges is to protect individuals against unlawful treatment by the state. In one unique example, the High Court came to the aid of a couple who found themselves caught in a legal nightmare after their twins were...

Ignore the Planners and See What Happens

A landlord who decided to go ahead with a property development after the planners had turned it down ended up significantly worse off after he was successfully prosecuted. Having had his application to turn his existing property into nine flats rejected,...

Business Sales and Domain Rights

Buying and selling a business can be a complex matter and engaging a professional to make sure that deals are watertight and all the necessary actions are taken is a sound investment. In one case where that did not happen , a costly dispute developed...

Sending Employees to the USA - Some Tax Pitfalls

With Brexit looming and the likelihood that firms will look more seriously at doing business in what appears to be a broadly favourable business environment under the Trump regime, it is worth pointing out that sending employees to the USA to work with...
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