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Latest News

Will Execution - Remote Witnessing Legislation Expires

A legal amendment that was made during the COVID-19 pandemic allowing the witnessing of wills to take place via videoconferencing has officially expired. As of 31 January 2024, the Wills Act 1837 (Electronic Communications) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Order...

Antiquated Contracts and Commercial Coherence - High Court Ruling

Where commercial agreements have been operating for many years, one party or another may well feel that they have become hopelessly out of date and unfit for purpose. However, as a High Court ruling showed , even very old bargains will be upheld if they are...

Psychotherapy Condition Leads to Contact Order Appeal

Wherever possible, the courts will do what they can to support contact between parents and children but, in some instances, that contact comes with conditions attached. The nature of such conditions was the cause of contention in recent appeal proceedings...

New Code Aims to Boost Music Streaming Licensing Transparency

In a world first, the UK's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has published a Code of Practice on Transparency in Music Streaming. The voluntary Code has been developed and agreed by 12 music industry bodies representing music creators, record labels,...

Beware of Builders Offering Cut-Price Work - Court of Appeal Cautionary Tale

Every householder should understand the dire risks involved in opening their doors to those promising to carry out cut-price building work. A Court of Appeal decision provided distressing examples of almost the worst that can happen . A householder...

Work From Home Dispute Raises Key Issue for the Modern Workplace

As the employment landscape continues to shift in the post-pandemic era, employees and employers can find themselves at odds when it comes to expectations of flexible and remote working. The issue was brought to light at Employment Tribunal (ET) proceedings...

Should Original Wills Still be Stored in Paper Form? MoJ Consults Legal Profession

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has launched a consultation on the storage and retention of original will documents by HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS). The consultation is intended as a means to challenge the current system of will storage and look at...

Post-Brexit Biosecurity Border Controls Come Into Effect

New post-Brexit border controls introduced by the government have now come into effect for animals, plants and plant products imported to Great Britain from the EU. The controls – known as the Border Target Operating Model – apply to products...

Family Court Transparency Pilot is Extended

The Courts and Tribunals Judiciary has announced the extension of a groundbreaking Family Court reporting pilot. The Transparency Implementation Group Reporting Pilot is being extended to 16 more courts across the country, after an initial run at the family...

Couples Who Keep Separate Finances May Still Need to Discuss Tax Affairs

Even in long-term or married relationships, couples very often operate separate bank accounts and keep their personal finances private from one another. However, as a case concerning the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) showed , such confidentiality...

Bank Relieved of Compensation Bill Despite Employee's Unfair Dismissal

Financial institutions are entitled to expect their staff to display a high level of probity. An Employment Tribunal (ET) made that point in denying compensation to a bank employee despite having found that his dismissal was unfair ( Johnson v Santander UK...

Court Ruling Underlines the Importance of Biodiversity in Planning Decisions

One of the positive effects of the green revolution is that biodiversity is now a vital factor in many planning decisions. As a High Court case showed , however, it is perfectly possible for an otherwise inappropriate commercial or industrial development to...

Failing to Make a Professionally Drafted Will Risks Tearing Your Family Apart

Many grieving families have sadly been torn apart by a loved one's failure to make a professionally drafted will. Exactly that happened in a High Court case concerning two brothers who fell out bitterly over which of them should take charge of...

Reasonableness of Exclusion Clauses in Hire Purchase Contracts Under Fire

In a ruling of particular importance to the motor sales industry, the reasonableness of exclusion clauses in hire purchase contracts which seek to avoid liability in respect of goods that are not of satisfactory quality has been thrown into doubt by a Court...

Grown Up Kids Staying On in the Family Home? What Does That Mean in Law?

Loving parents often allow their adult children to remain living in the family home for as long as they wish, in the expectation that they will, in due course, fly the nest. In a case that will ring a bell with thousands of families, the High Court...

A Fair Redundancy Process Requires Consultation at a Formative Stage

A fair redundancy process requires consultation of affected employees at a formative stage when there is at least the potential for them to influence the outcome. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) succinctly made that point in finding that a recruitment...

High Court Considers Limits on the Right of Parents to Name Their Children

Parents have a right to name their children and, in modern Britain, the options open to them are almost limitless. However, as a High Court ruling showed , there are rare occasions when a parental choice of forename may conflict with a child's welfare. The...

Under-Insured Commercial Property Occupier Wins Seven-Figure Damages

Fire is an ever-present threat to occupiers of commercial property and, all too often, they only discover after the ash has settled that they are under-insured. In one such case, however, the High Court came to the aid of a gifts retailer which lost...

Inheritance - High Court Shows Compassion in 'Mercy Killing' Case

Where one person unlawfully kills another, the killer usually forfeits their right to inherit any part of the victim's property. As a High Court ruling in an exceptionally sad case showed , however, that general rule may be tempered by compassion in cases...

How are 'Refer a Friend' Schemes Treated for VAT Purposes? Guideline Ruling

With a view to generating new client introductions, many public-facing businesses operate so-called 'refer a friend' schemes. In an important decision, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) pondered the consequences of such arrangements in terms of VAT . An energy...
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