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Latest News

High Court Detects Apparent Bias in Residential Planning Decision

Justice should not only be done but should be seen to be done. That phrase may be somewhat hackneyed but, as a High Court planning case showed , it is a golden rule that serves to root out even the appearance of bias in official decision-making. The case...

Family Judge Gives Girl in Foster Care a New Double-Barrelled Surname

Surnames reflect family heritage and most people view them as an essential part of their identities as human beings. A family judge made that point in choosing a new double-barrelled surname for a little girl so that she would no longer bear a nominal...

Indirect Consumer Confusion - Bourbon Supplier Wins Trade Mark Battle

The average consumer is not a fool, but trade mark law is all about mistakes and unwitting assumptions they might be expected to make. The Court of Appeal made that point in a case concerning competing brands of bourbon . A supplier of luxury bourbon held...

Judge Unravels Agatha Christie-Style Plot to Detect Will Forgery

Agatha Christie would struggle to imagine the plots of some inheritance disputes that come before the courts. That was certainly so in one case in which a judge found that a son resorted to forgery in concocting a bogus will after his mother died. Prior...

Neighbours Encroaching on Your Right of Way? Consult a Lawyer Today

Many homes or businesses are only accessible via neighbours' land and that can prove fertile ground for dispute. However, as a High Court case showed , expert lawyers are adept at ensuring their clients' unhindered use of rights of way. A couple's home and...

Discrimination and the Burden of Proof - Supreme Court Clarifies the Law

Ever since a crucial alteration was made to the wording of the Equality Act 2010 , the question of where the burden of proof lies in employment discrimination cases has been the focus of intense legal debate. An important Supreme Court ruling has, however,...

Record Amounts of Inheritance Tax Being Paid in UK

A record amount of Inheritance Tax (IHT) is being recouped from UK taxpayers by the Treasury, according to recent data published by HM Revenue and Customs. The statistics, released in late August, show that £2.1 billion was collected by the government...

Suspension on Award of Fire Brigade Safety Equipment Contract Maintained

If you feel that you have been treated unfairly in a public contract tendering exercise, you are anything but powerless and should take legal advice straight away. A High Court case on point concerned the award of a contract for the supply of protective...

Court Upholds Planning Consent for Heliport Close to Fuel Storage Depots

Few human activities are entirely risk free but, when deciding whether to authorise potentially hazardous developments, planning professionals have to keep the worst-case scenario well in mind. In a case on point, the High Court opened the way for...

Confidentiality of the Adoption Process Prevails in Parenthood Dispute

The confidentiality of the process by which an adopted child becomes part of a new, permanent and inviolable family unit is, for very good reasons, sacrosanct. A judge made that point in refusing a man's application for his biological parenthood of an...

Employer Pays High Price for Turning Blind Eye to 'Toxic' Office Culture

Banter is one thing, but employers who turn a blind eye to workplaces descending into toxic arenas of discriminatory abuse can expect to reap a bitter harvest. That was certainly so in one case in which an Employment Tribunal (ET) ordered a company to pay...

Father's Failure to Make a Will Plunges His Widow Into Legal Difficulties

One of the best things you can do for your loved ones is to sign a professionally drafted will. As a High Court case showed , failing to take that easy and cost-effective step is to risk plunging those closest to you into legal difficulties after you are...

Negligent Education - Boy Let Down by Private School Wins Compensation

Parents who send their children to private school are entitled to expect that they will receive a reasonable standard of education – and, at the very least, that the school concerned has lawful authority to teach them. In a rare case on point , a...

Chinese Restaurant Sees Off Tax Authorities in Takings Suppression Dispute

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers wield great power but are not immune from error and, with the right legal advice, their decisions can sometimes be overturned. In one case, a Chinese restaurant accused of systematically under-declaring its takings was...

COVID-19 - Procurement Dispute Focuses on Award of Face Masks Contract

The means by which the government procured urgent supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic have been the subject of fevered debate. However, as one case underlined , it is a feature of a free society that...

Promoted to Partner in an LLP? Do You Understand the Tax Implications?

Stepping up from the ranks to become a full partner in a limited liability partnership (LLP) involves a fundamental change in status from employment to self-employment. The tax consequences of that shift came under analysis in an important Upper Tribunal...

Homeowner Pays Price for Unauthorised Subterranean Leisure Development

Judges play a crucial enforcement role in the planning process and those who fail to comply with their orders can expect stern punishment. In one case, a homeowner who breached planning control when he built a huge subterranean leisure facility under his...

Even Modest Sole Traders Can Reap the Benefits of Trade Mark Protection

No matter how small your business may be, it is always worth engaging a solicitor to ensure that you have proper trade mark protection. In a High Court case on point, registration of various trade marks paid dividends to a sole trader who made a modest...

Break Clauses in Commercial Leases - What Does 'Vacant Possession' Mean?

Commercial leases frequently stipulate that premises are to be handed back to the landlord 'with vacant possession' – but what exactly does that mean? The Court of Appeal pondered the issue in a case concerning an office block that was stripped back...

Court Honours Woman's Intentions by Correcting Clerical Error in Her Will

Even the most carefully drafted will can contain inadvertent clerical errors that leave room for doubt as to the document's true meaning. As a High Court ruling showed , however, judges happily have the power to correct such mistakes so as to ensure that...
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