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Latest Legal News

Director Who Helped Herself Faces Music

It is hardly surprising that directors of companies that face insolvency often wish to recoup their investments before the balloon goes up. However, as one High Court case concerning a failed furniture retailer showed, they are not entitled to give their...

Court of Appeal Uses Real World Valuation Principles

An empty office block in Blackpool was given a rateable value (RV) of £490,000 by the local valuation officer, who made the valuation based on the expected rent for which the building could be let. The valuation was based on an assumed demand for a...

Seeking to Waive Dividends?

For a person who has no need of the income from a family company, a dividend waiver, which allows other shareholders to receive dividends but not the person who has executed the waiver, can be a useful device. However, the use of dividend waivers can...

Direct Contact With Both Parents Best Promotes Child Welfare

Family judges know that children normally do best when they have direct contact with both parents. The Court of Appeal underlined that point in a case concerning five ultra-Orthodox Jewish children whose transgender father had been ostracised by the close...

Incomplete Partnership Arrangements Lead to Court Appearance

When new partners are being introduced into a partnership, it is wise to finalise the arrangements quickly in case the partners fall out. Any lack of formality in the business arrangements can lead to trouble, as a recent case shows . The case concerned...

Incorrect Procedure Stymies Landlord

It is unusual when a case raises two different but significant points. A recent case dealt with issues raised when a landlord sought to obtain possession by 'peaceable re-entry' and the forfeiture of a lease when ground rent was not being paid. It...

Dealing With Breach of Patent

When you discover that a business has breached your patent, what should you do? The answer to this question has two elements. The first is based on what you can do in law and the second is based on business strategy. Firstly, before picking a fight with...

Copyright Law Still Applies on the Web

The idea that the Internet is a free-for-all is nothing more than a persistent myth and the consequences of publishing copyright material online without permission can be severe. In one case, a television news broadcaster found itself in hot water after...

No Pay, No Passport?

In a consultation paper published just before the December holiday season , the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which is the Government department that deals with child maintenance payment arrangements, outlined significant powers that would enable...

I'll Scratch Your Back and You Scratch Mine

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have recently carried out research on the 'sharing economy' – by which people share skills, resources, time or property with one another without cash changing hands. There are a number of websites that facilitate such...

Refusal to Cooperate Spells Trouble

Being made bankrupt is never a welcome experience, but failing to comply with reasonable requests of the Official Receiver can make matters even worse. Once a person is made bankrupt, they are required to deliver a statement of affairs within 21 days and to...

In Principle Planning Permission

One of the bugbears of UK planning law has always been that a lot of work has to be done before a planning application can be considered because an outline planning application must be made, except for certain proposed brownfield developments. The process...

Serving Companies with Legal Documents - High Court Guidance

Although companies are independent entities in law, they can only act through natural persons and serving a company with a legal document can therefore be tricky. The point was illustrated by a High Court ruling that effective service of arbitration...

Trust is No Replacement for Legal Advice

Sadly, not all relationships that get off to a good start last, and it is vital to seek legal advice before entering into any financial arrangements, even with those who are closest to you. That point was clearly made by a case in which a woman attempted to...

Property Rights Wrangle Ends Up in Court

Dense tangles of rights of way, easements and other property rights are inevitable in the rabbit warren of heavily populated cities and are a common source of strife. Feelings ran particularly high in one High Court case concerning toilet facilities shared...

Morrisons Held Vicariously Liable for Rogue Employee's Data Leak

In a workplace context, an employer can be found liable for the acts or omissions of its employees, provided it can be shown that they took place in the course of their employment – i.e. where there is sufficient connection between the employee's...

Insufficiency of Funds - Deals Mean Loss of Control

Failing to pay taxes due because of insufficiency of funds with which to do so has repeatedly been challenged by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) when a defaulting taxpayer has sought to claim it is a 'reasonable excuse' for non-payment. Where such an excuse...

Cohabitants Entitled to Bereavement Damages

The legal implications of cohabitation are often poorly understood by those who choose to live together outside of marriage or civil partnership, and the lack of protection for cohabitants often comes as an unpleasant surprise to many, especially when a...

Pre-Trial Skirmishing Can Be as Important as the Main Event

In commercial litigation, many of the most important battles are fought before the trial even starts and those who drag their feet or fail to comply with judicial directions can find themselves hamstrung when it comes to the main event. Exactly that happened...

Absolute Discretion Has Limits

Construction disputes are a rich source of argument in the courts, and where the contract affords one party a 'discretion' with regard to its rights or obligations under the contract, disagreement can arise as to when this becomes operative. Recently, an...

E-Signature Consultation

Under the Law Commissions Act 1965 , the Law Commission is required to submit programmes of law reform to the Lord Chancellor. The latest topics put forward for consideration include a review of the use of 'e-signatures'. These are becoming increasingly...

Failure to Point Out Business Decline Proves Costly

When a business is sold, a 'due diligence' process is normally entered into to make sure that the representations made by the seller to the buyer, on which the buyer's valuation of the business will be based, are true. Failure to be forthright in disclosures...

Family Attachment a Critical Factor in Adoption

When the Family Court was asked to consider an application for an adoption order made by a couple, two factors proved crucial in deciding whether it should be granted. The first was that the boy's natural parents could not reasonably be considered able to...

Charges Must Be Reasonable to be Reasonably Incurred

The leases relating to tenancies in blocks of flats and similar buildings will normally require the tenants to make a reasonable contribution towards the 'estate' costs of the property. The estate costs are those which apply to the whole of the premises or...

Get it Right First Time or Face Tax Consequences

When managing taxes, there can be few errors as expensive as failing to register for VAT if you should have done so, as a recent case shows. One area of potential confusion is when there is an agency involved which arranges for someone to provide services or...
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