Latest Legal News

When a Covenant May Be More Than it Seems

If you own or buy a property, you may find that there are covenants which apply to it, a covenant being a requirement to do something or refrain from doing something with your property. A covenant will benefit other property in the vicinity. Typically, a...

Even Highly Offensive Workplace Banter May Not Amount to Harassment

Irreverent and foul-mouthed banter is commonplace in some working environments and does not necessarily amount to harassment or victimisation. An Employment Tribunal (ET) made that point in rejecting a compensation claim brought by a salesman who gave as...

Online Selling - What About the VAT?

It is often optimistically considered that trading on eBay and similar online sales platforms is effectively outside the tax system. That, of course, is not true and anyone undertaking economic transactions for profit needs to comply with the tax laws to...

Attorney Allowed to Take Over as Executor

It is commonplace for people to appoint siblings or friends as their executors. When they do and they are of a similar age, there is a risk that when the person who has made the will dies, the proposed executor will have predeceased them or lack the mental...

Sharing Principle - Court of Appeal Gives Guidance

The application of the 'sharing principle' to big money divorces is more than a matter of simple mathematics, and what family judges aim to achieve is a broadly fair outcome for both sides. That was certainly so in one case in which the Court of Appeal...

Doing an Important Business Deal? Make Sure You Get it in Writing!

The existence of oral agreements is easily asserted but very hard to prove, and that is one good reason why important deals should be in writing and professionally drafted with the benefit of legal advice. In a case on point, a businessman received nothing...

Take Care if You Have a Carer

Many people employ carers or cleaners to assist them with daily living. Quite often, such arrangements are informal and can last many years. However, failing to put them on a proper footing can prove to be an expensive mistake. Where an agency is used and...

Overcautious Approach Means Compensation for Pension Scheme Member

With significant losses being reported in 'pension transfer scams', it is no surprise that when the administrators of a pension scheme receive a request to transfer a pension to a new scheme, they are expected to conduct an appropriate due diligence process....

Look Before You Leap With Trade Names

The first Intellectual Property Enterprise Court case heard outside London took place recently , when the court sat in Birmingham at the request of both parties involved in the dispute. It concerned an allegation of improper use of a registered trade mark...

Disinheriting Relatives Can Be a Recipe for Discord

You may have good reasons for writing close relatives out of your will but, as any lawyer will tell you, the consequence of doing so can be family discord after you are gone. That was certainly so in one case concerning a father who disinherited his...

Trading in the Winter Period - A Cautionary Note for Landlords

Weak economic growth and increasing competition is still wreaking havoc in the High Street and the quarter that starts in January is often make or break for retailers as it is traditionally the worst trading quarter of their year. Many commercial properties...

Judges and Firefighters Triumph in Age Discrimination Test Case

To defeat a claim of direct discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 , the employer must show that the treatment complained of is in pursuit of a legitimate aim and is a proportionate means of achieving that aim. The aim must be objectively and reasonably...

Tribunal Paves the Way for Suburban Garden Development

Restrictions on land use appear in the title deeds of many properties – but the law permits their deletion or modification if they become obsolete over time or stand in the way of reasonable development. Exactly that happened in one case in which the...

Licence Revocation Threat Averted by Prompt Action

Government regulatory decisions can have an instant and catastrophic impact on businesses, but prompt legal action can ensure that such damage is not unfairly inflicted. The point was made in the case of a company whose licence to warehouse duty suspended...

Commercial Surrogacies Abroad Are Not Illegal - Court of Appeal Ruling

Although commercial surrogacy businesses have long been banned in the UK, the Court of Appeal recently ruled that a clinical negligence victim would not be breaking the law were she to enter into such an arrangement in California, where a more liberal...

Social Media - Be Careful!

The legal dispute between Elon Musk and Vernon Unsworth, the man who helped to rescue boys trapped in a cave in Thailand, may have dropped out of the press over the last few weeks, but a recent case shows the lack of accuracy of Mr Musk's assertion that...

Digital Filing - Bar Set High for Opt-Out

The 'making tax digital' project will require VAT-registered businesses to submit their VAT returns online from 1 April 2019 and to use accounting software that is integrated with the Government's digital gateway to do it. This in turn means, in effect, that...

This Is Why You Need Professional Support to Protect Your Trade Marks

The validity of trade marks can be challenged post-registration and that is one good reason why it is essential to enlist professional support in protecting them. In a case on point , the Cypriot authorities had their own disorganisation to blame after they...

Quality of Occupation Determines Tax-Free Status of Residential Property Gain

The supposition that residential properties are exempt from Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is a common, but incorrect, one. You would think, for example, that if a person only owns one property, sleeps there quite often, has post sent there and tells the council...

Landlord's Redevelopment Plans Must Not Be Conditional

A recent case in which a landlord sought repossession of a property from its tenant on the ground that it intended to redevelop the property has gained a great deal of attention, but may not be as important as it first seems. The facts of the case were that...

Son Who Did Not Do Enough Excluded From Farm Inheritance

When parents changed their wills to exclude their son from inheriting their £1 million farm after a family falling-out in 2016, he took the unusual step of challenging their right to do so. Normally, such challenges are made against the estates of...

Thinking of Dispensing With Legal Advice on a House Sale? Think Again!

Home-made contracts, particularly for the sale of land, are a singularly bad idea and can lead to costs that dwarf the modest sums needed to secure proper professional advice. Exactly that happened in one case in which a house purchase contract was so...

Untaken Paid Holiday - Does Failure to Request Leave Result in its Loss?

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has supported the opinion of the Advocate General that the mere fact that a worker did not apply to take annual leave cannot automatically mean the loss of the right to payment in lieu of untaken leave at the...

Procedural Unfairness Stops Council Care Action

When the mother of a teenage daughter who had been taken into care in 2016 with her agreement had another child, the local council's social services department became involved. The woman's daughter had been removed from home as a result of her mother's...

Just Because a Debt is Small...

Many people think that the costs and difficulty of litigation mean that it is not worth pursuing relatively small debts. However, a High Court case in which a carpenter won the right to be paid for his work on a building project showed how wrong that...
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