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Latest News

Commercial Leases and Opting Out of Security of Tenure - Test Case Ruling

Commercial landlords and tenants may contract out of the security of tenure provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 , but only if certain conditions are met. One of those conditions came under close analysis by the Court of Appeal in a ruling that...

Restrictions on Property Use Can Be Limited by Human Lifespans

Restrictions on the use to which properties can be put often lurk in old title deeds. As one case showed , however, some of them only endure as long as a human lifetime whilst others have no such shelf life and continue to have effect indefinitely. The...

Father Excluded from Babysitting Role Wins Sex Discrimination Damages

When recruiting staff, you may have a particular type of candidate in mind, but that is precisely the mindset that can give rise to discrimination. A company that advertised on social media for 'mothers' to work as babysitters fell into exactly that trap and...

COVID-19 - Do Diving Asset Values Justify Unwinding Divorce Settlements?

The value of many assets has been devastated by COVID-19 – but is that a good enough reason for setting aside divorce settlements agreed before the pandemic struck? A family judge considered that issue in a guideline case . The case concerned a...

Supreme Court Takes a 'Real-World' Approach to Rates Avoidance Schemes

When assessing whether tax mitigation schemes are effective, judges must interpret legislation in the real world and with regard to the likely intentions of Parliament. The Supreme Court made those points in a test case concerning schemes designed to avoid...

'Both' or 'Each'? - One Mistranscribed Word Triggers £6.4 Million Will Dispute

Will drafting is an exact science, requiring years of professional training, and a single mischosen or out-of-place word can have very serious consequences. Exactly that happened in a High Court case concerning the mistaken use of the word 'both' –...

Anti-Competitive Practices - Musical Instrument Supplier Receives £5 Million Fine

There will always be some who view anti-competitive business practices as an easy route to profits, but those who engage in them can expect deterrent punishments. In one case, a supplier of musical instruments was fined over £5 million for fostering a...

Judge Declines to Authorise COVID-19 Vaccination of Dementia Sufferer

Whether or not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is a matter of personal choice. A family judge robustly made that point in declining to authorise vaccination of a care home resident suffering from acute dementia who had fiercely objected to the procedure....

You Are Entitled to Rely on Professional Tax Advice - Even If it is Wrong

Professional tax advice, however carefully considered, cannot always be correct, but you are generally entitled to rely on it. A tribunal made that point in relieving a retired executive of a tax bill that would have had a devastating impact on his...

Carers, Home Working and Discrimination - Guideline Ruling

The COVID-19 pandemic has massively increased the prevalence of home working but, for some, working away from the office is far more than just a preference. In a guideline case on point, an Employment Tribunal (ET) emphasised the rights of carers who work...

Family Judge Deeply Regrets Wealthy Ex-Couple's Inability to Compromise

Judges often plead with divorcing couples to bury the hatchet rather than subject themselves to the financial and emotional self-harm of litigation. As a High Court case showed , however, such good advice is sadly not always heeded. The case concerned a...

Is It Acceptable to Poke Fun at a Competitor? High Court Tackles the Issue

Bad blood often exists between trade rivals, but is it an acceptable business practice for them to poke fun at one another? The High Court tackled that issue in the context of a trade mark dispute between tech giant Apple and Swiss watch manufacturer...

Judge Awards Substantial Damages in Scaffolding Trespass Case

Building works to extend or improve your property may involve temporary incursions onto your neighbour's land, for which permission is required. In a case that showed the serious consequences of pressing ahead without such consent , partners in a medical...

This Is What Happens If You Wait Until Sickness Strikes Before Making a Will

Making a will when you are close to death and without professional assistance is an effective means of fostering dispute between your loved ones after you are gone. As a High Court case strikingly showed , that is particularly so if you intend to leave your...

Charity-Run Restaurant Exempted from VAT - Guideline Tax Tribunal Ruling

Should potentially competitive business activities engaged in by charities be exempt from VAT? The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) confronted that issue in extending VAT exemption to supplies made by a restaurant where students with learning disabilities gain...

Neighbours Planning a Garden Development? You Are Not Powerless

Domestic gardens, which many people view as the glory of British suburbia, present a tempting prospect to builders amidst burgeoning housing demand. As one case showed, however, objectors to such developments are by no means powerless. The owners of a...

COVID-19 - Court of Protection Sanctions Vaccination of Vulnerable Adult

Many of the most vulnerable members of society lack the mental capacity required to consent to being vaccinated against COVID-19. As a Court of Protection case showed , that fact can give rise to formidable legal difficulties. The case concerned a care...

Website Terms and Conditions Ruled Worthless in Online Gambling Test Case

Every internet user has had the experience of mechanically scrolling through densely typed terms and conditions before being granted access to a website – but are they worth anything in law? The High Court tackled that issue in confirming an online...

High Court Rejects Divorcee's Bid to Annul Ex-Husband's Bankruptcy

It is sadly true that bankruptcy proceedings are sometimes used by perfectly solvent individuals for purposes other than seeking to satisfy their creditors or manage their debts. However, as a High Court case showed, alleging such conduct is one thing and...

Trusts - Court Relieves Family of Severe Tax Consequences of Drafting Error

Trusts are delicate and often complex legal instruments and any flaws in the wording of documents relating to them can have grave tax and other consequences. As a High Court case showed , however, inadvertent drafting errors can be corrected. The case...
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