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Latest Legal News

Act When You Think You May Have a Claim, Not When You Know For Certain

The time to seek legal advice when you think something may be wrong is when you first have a concern, not later on when you know there is a problem. One reason for this is that there are legal limitation periods for bringing claims, and in claims involving...

Certain Inheritance Can Be Financial Resource in Divorce Settlement

Under English law, a person is able (within limits) to decide absolutely to whom their estate should pass. However, many countries have 'forced heirship' laws, under which a deceased person's estate must pass in specified proportions to a particular person...

Follow Proper Planning Procedures or Else

An argument over a planning permission for a small rural development has necessitated the intervention of the Court of Appeal , which confirmed that a council that failed to follow its own planning guidelines could not grant permission for a development...

If You Help Fund a Claim You May Be Liable if it Fails

It is not unusual for the cost of litigation – especially where a group of companies is involved – to be paid for in whole or in part by a person or organisation that is not directly involved in the dispute. It should be remembered, however,...

Judge Sees Through Attempt to Hide Assets

When a couple divorced in 2014, the ex-husband was ordered to pay his ex-wife periodical payments of £120,000 per year after he was found to have used a variety of stratagems to make himself appear worse off than he really was. A mere three months...

Contract Terms Clarified by Court

No amount of careful drafting can be guaranteed to iron out disagreements as to the true meaning of contract terms and when a dispute occurs it may require the intervention of a judge to bring clarity. One case exactly on point concerned a contract for the...

What Has Queen's Club Got That Others Don't?

In an interesting VAT case, the well-known tennis club Queen's Club has been successful in a claim for recovery of the VAT it incurred on revamping its restaurant and bar facilities. The club gives access to tennis, squash, real tennis and rackets for its...

EU Trade Mark Reforms

On 1 October, changes came into effect across the European Union which broaden the range of things for which trade mark protection can be given. It is no longer necessary for a trade mark to be in visible form. Trade marks can now include sounds, smells or...

Insolvency and Assignment of Causes of Action - High Court Ruling

On the basis that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, it is common for liquidators of insolvent companies to assign (transfer the rights to) any claims that they might wish to pursue on behalf of creditors to specialists in the field. One such...

Council's Drafting Error Opens Way for Change of Use

Planning permissions mean what they say and judges are very reluctant to imply terms into them, even in order to correct flawed drafting. That point was made by the High Court as it opened the way for a former DIY store to be used for food retailing. ...

Court Corrects Parenthood Bungle

When a same-sex couple undertook fertility treatment which led to the birth of a baby girl, the intention was that both would be listed as her legal parents. However, due to mistakes made in processing the necessary forms, only one of the couple was shown as...

Legal Costs of Defending Director Not Tax Deductible

To what extent are the costs of professional advice given to a director tax deductible by the company that he or she serves? A tribunal tackled that thorny issue in a case of importance to company directors and their tax advisers. A director of a computer...

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right

When a contract is breached and one party suffers a loss as a result, they are normally entitled to be compensated for their loss by the party that has breached the contract. Whilst there are a number of ways the breach can be dealt with by the courts, the...

EU Proposes Steady as She Goes on IP Rights

In a knowledge-based economy, the protection of intellectual property is often of existential importance to businesses. With Brexit impending, the protection of such rights across Europe has come into focus and the European Union has come up with its ideas...

Economic Reality Telling Factor in Planning Appeal

Aesthetic opinions differ dramatically and, in planning disputes, one property owner's dream is very often anathema to another. That was certainly so in one case in which the Court of Appeal opened the way for the demolition and replacement of a...

HMRC Slammed for Unreasonable Behaviour As Costs Awarded to Taxpayer

The increasing aggressiveness of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in dealing with taxpayers was recently given short shrift by the First-tier Tribunal (FTT), which criticised HMRC's high-handedness and ordered them to make a payment to the taxpayer concerned....

Government Must Prove its Case to Obtain Deportation

Marriages of convenience are normally entered into in order to give one of the spouses the right to remain in the UK. At present, EU citizens normally have the right to remain in the UK. However, that right can be removed if it is shown that it has been...

Letting Agency Fined for Breaches of Consumer Rights Legislation

Professionals who deal directly with the public are subject to a battery of consumer protection rules and failing to comply with them can be costly, both in financial and reputational terms. In one case, a letting agency that neglected to display a list of...

X Marks the Spot in IP Battle

Trade marks are jealously protected by their owners. A recent case shows how even seemingly uncontroversial trade marks can be found to infringe existing trade marks and proves the need for care in such circumstances. The case involved tyre giants...

Business Rates Reform on the Agenda?

There has been much grumbling over the years about the fact that where a tenant occupies multiple floors of a building, those floors will normally be treated as separate premises for the calculation of business rates. This normally produces larger rates...

Banter Doesn't Create a Contract

The trouble with light-hearted discussions of important business matters in a social context is that none of those present can really be sure whether any agreements apparently reached are serious or merely a joke. Exactly that happened in one case in which...

Use It or Lose It

Having a trade mark is all well and good, but a recent case should serve as a reminder that failing to use trade marks may lead to them being lost. The case involved a trade mark for a cigarette brand which was registered to a tobacco company in the USA. ...

Facts Determine Tax Treatment of Dilapidations Payment

Virtually all leases have clauses which stipulate that when the lease comes to an end, the tenant must leave the premises in the same condition as they were in when they entered them, and the negotiations over the termination of a lease will often involve a...

Family Proceedings - Anonymity Orders v Freedom of Expression

Family courts routinely grant anonymity to children involved in care proceedings, but that inevitably has an effect on parents and others who might wish to publicise their objections to judicial orders. Exactly that issue arose in one case in which a...

Company Credit Status Must Stand Alone

You may think that if people of substance are behind a business you have a dispute with, this acts as a source of comfort that any sum you are awarded against the company is likely to be met, but that is not necessarily the case, as a recent dispute shows. ...
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