Latest Legal News

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To many people, buying or selling a 'knock-off copy' of a branded item may seem a relatively minor matter but, given that brand owners invest billions of pounds annually in promoting their brands, it is unsurprising that the law which protects their rights...
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When a loss is caused to one party by another, the party suffering the loss will often seek redress (damages) from the person or organisation that caused it. The process is relatively straightforward when one person or organisation is responsible for the...
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Everyone knows that the end of a marriage can be bitter, but few divorces can be more so than one in which a businessman has started legal proceedings against his ex-wife, claiming £150,000 in libel damages after she bad-mouthed him on Facebook. The...
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When undertaking tax enquiries, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are well known for embarking on 'fishing expeditions' for information. In a recent case, a company which was under enquiry for a relatively minor matter (possible underdeclaration of car and fuel...
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Running an airline profitably is critically dependent on keeping planes in the air as much of the time as possible, so when an airline enters into a contract relating to its fleet, 'on-time' delivery is very important. Also key is the need to provide a...
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The law of intellectual property is seldom simple or without surprises. In 2014, the High Court decided that the 'corrugated' shape of the Kit Kat chocolate bar, whilst unremarkable in itself, had acquired a 'distinctive character' by way of use over time...
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Adjudicators' powers to resolve contract disputes are frequently challenged by those who are unhappy with their decisions. However, in a guideline case, the High Court has thrown out one attack on an adjudicator's jurisdiction as 'misconceived'. A retail...
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You might think that the courts will always seek to see that a child is brought up by one of its parents, assuming he or she is willing and able to fulfil that role, but this is not so where such an arrangement is not considered to be in the child's best...
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Since 6 April 2015, changes to the law have given the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) enhanced powers to take action against companies making nuisance marketing calls and sending spam messages. Previously, the ICO could only issue a civil monetary...
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A trade association representing Champagne producers has come down hard on a British flooring company which hoped to bask in the glory of the sparkling wine by registering trade marks which incorporated the name 'Champagne'. The company had applied to...
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When the tenants of a commercial property held on a 125-year lease allowed their subtenant to use it in breach of planning permission, the owner of the freehold of the premises applied to the court for the head lease to be forfeited on the ground that the...
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The rules relating to VAT present many pitfalls and specialist advice should always be taken if there is any doubt over the VAT treatment of any significant transaction or series of transactions. In one striking case, the High Court had to come to the aid...
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A case in which the outcome of a $30 million dispute hung on the interpretation of a single word proves the point that the drafting of commercial contracts is not for the uninitiated and is better entrusted to legal professionals. An investment bank had...
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Merely making contributions to the family finances has, yet again, been ruled by the Court of Appeal to be insufficient ground to make a declaration that a long-term cohabitee is entitled to a share in the family house. The case arose after a couple, Mr...
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A judgment that generated a lot of column inches but had little practical effect was decided recently by the General Court of the European Union , when Skype (Skype Ultd) was denied the ability to register its name as a trade mark on the ground of its...
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Timing stipulations in commercial contracts can be inflexible and failure to comply with them can be very costly indeed. In a recent case , a building company's failure to submit an interim application for payment on time has resulted in a considerable...
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The welfare of children is always the principal concern of the court in care proceedings and the rights of their parents are of much lesser importance. In one case, a judge opened the way for adoption of a seriously ill baby boy after ruling that his...
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An intellectual property decision which surprised some when it was made in 2014 has been reversed by the Court of Appeal . It involved the importer and distributor of a branded pharmaceutical product which had an exclusive licence to use the product's...
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A recent case in the Technology and Construction Court (TCC) gave guidance on the potential liabilities of consultants and contractors when a building project goes wrong and the owner of the building alleges that the consultant has failed to warn them. ...
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The use of limited liability partnerships (LLPs) has become widespread since their introduction in April 2001. An LLP allows its members to have limited liability, which a ‘traditional’ partnership does not: in a traditional partnership, each...
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The value of a post-nuptial agreement in protecting wealth was illustrated recently when a property developer with assets said to be worth more than £30 million was able to persuade the court that a post-nuptial agreement signed by his ex-wife should...
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Businesses that deal with the public are reminded that legislation will come into effect soon to give consumers better protection under the law than they currently have. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 received the Royal Assent on 26 March and becomes law on...
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Changes to planning law that came into effect on 15 April 2015 will make it easier for several types of business to change the use of their premises as the rules that apply to the grant of planning permission for change of use between different use classes...
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It is often tempting to press on with things and not worry about details, but a recent case shows how much trouble can be caused when i’s are not dotted and t’s not crossed. The High Court was asked to grant a declaration that Fresh Trading...
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It is commonly thought that for input VAT to be reclaimed from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), a valid VAT invoice is an absolute prerequisite. However, HMRC are permitted to accept other evidence and, although this is discretionary, they are obliged by their...