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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...
We have written on numerous occasions of the danger of either failing to leave a will or of not taking professional advice when making your will. Among the difficulties that can arise with DIY wills are challenges by family members who have been excluded...
One of the advantages of placing your trust in solicitors is that they owe a lifelong duty to maintain the confidentiality of any information you give them. That point was underlined by a High Court case in which a solicitor was banned from taking...
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,...
Under Inheritance Tax (IHT) law, certain types of trust have a ten-yearly charge to IHT on the value of the trust assets. The legislation, which imposes IHT of 6 per cent on the 'relevant property' in the trust settlement, was introduced in 2006 and applied...
People who seek advantage by going beyond the bounds of planning permission they are given can expect to be taught a very expensive lesson by the courts. However, the law does guarantee the right of a person to have a planning application considered, as was...
Mobility of labour is vital to any modern economy and many employment contracts require staff to relocate from one workplace to another if their employer's business demands it. One such clause came under consideration in a case in which a charity worker who...
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...
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...
A solicitor's primary duty when drafting a will is to follow faithfully their client's instructions after giving accurate and level-headed advice. In a professional negligence case triggered by the early death of a business tycoon's wife, the High Court...
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...
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...
Many people think that for a libel to occur, the statement made has to be both false and made in public, but in fact that is not so, as a recent libel case confirms . The libellous comments were made by a care worker at a hospital about a colleague in an...
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...
Anyone tempted to participate in a tax avoidance scheme would be wise to take note of one case in which a businessman complained in vain that he had been subject to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) inquiries for almost seven years, with no end in sight. The...
Restrictive covenants in employment contracts are worthless if they are so broad as to amount to an unlawful restraint of trade. The Court of Appeal reiterated that point in enabling a senior recruitment consultant to take up a position with a competitor of...
Home ownership is generally regarded as providing safety and long-term security, but this is not always the case as properties can be compulsorily purchased by public authorities to make way for socially beneficial developments. Any householders affected are...
When you appoint a solicitor to be the executor of your will, you can be assured that they will understand their duties and can be relied upon to comply with them. However, as a High Court case showed, the same sadly cannot always be said of friends or...
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. ...
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...
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...
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...
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have challenged a number of property-based trading businesses, seeking to deprive them of the Inheritance Tax (IHT) and Capital Gains Tax advantages that are normally available. In a recent case, HMRC sought to persuade the...
After the Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld the decision of the Employment Tribunal that Uber drivers are workers, rather than being self-employed, and thus have the right to be paid the National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage and to receive...
The Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 (PTWR), which came into force on 1 July 2000, established a minimum standard of fairness for part-timers so that they cannot be treated less favourably than comparable...
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