Latest Legal News

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In a novel decision of interest to the international trading community, the High Court ruled it arguable that an English jurisdiction clause was incorporated in a petroleum supply contract notwithstanding that the alleged deal was done informally over the...
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Finding your way around the intricacies of the planning system without professional advice is, for most people, a near impossibility. The point was powerfully made by the case of a couple whose intimate living space was overlooked by a skylight fitted to a...
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When people dispose of assets shortly before having themselves declared bankrupt, it is inevitable that eyebrows will often be raised. However, as a judge's ruling showed, it is one thing to allege an improper motive and quite another to prove it. The case...
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Land is often sold subject to restrictive covenants that inhibit the use to which it can be put. As a guideline Court of Appeal ruling showed , however, the distinction between restrictions that provide a personal benefit to the vendor alone and those that...
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Dark secrets lurking in your family background are likely to cause you untold pain. As one case showed , however, bringing the truth to light in the safe environment of a family court can draw the sting and bring peace to you and future generations. The...
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Corporate reorganisations arising from a change in ownership very often result in a need to reduce staff numbers. However, as one case showed, it is vital to conduct redundancy exercises fairly and openly and with careful regard to the particular needs of...
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Strike action that grounded an airline's planes did not amount to an 'extraordinary circumstance' that justified passengers being denied compensation after their flights were cancelled. In reaching that conclusion, the Court of Appeal observed that...
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The categories of business that enjoy VAT exemption are highly restricted and any attempt to extend them is likely to encounter stiff opposition from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). That was certainly so in the case of a woman who provided private tuition in...
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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigations can be a daunting and potentially very costly experience for any business. However, as a tax tribunal ruling showed, clear and comprehensive record-keeping is the best defence. The case concerned two traders in...
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Judges have no power to rewrite your will after your death so as to achieve a result which, in their view, better reflects your wishes. The High Court made that point in upholding the validity of a Parkinson's disease sufferer's will although, at least in...
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For a design to qualify for protection as intellectual property, it must both be novel and have individual character. In a guideline case, the High Court found that the design of Union Jack-emblazoned hoodies and T-shirts, targeted at the London tourist...
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When it comes to divorce, it is very common for one spouse to argue that he or she should receive the lion's share of the marital wealth. However, as a guideline case concerning an entrepreneurial couple showed , fairness usually demands that an equal...
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When marketing commercial premises, they obviously have to be made available for inspection by prospective buyers, tenants or their representatives – but to what extent, if any, do such visitors owe the property owner a duty of care? The Court of...
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Apparently trifling neighbours' disputes over a few inches of land have a nasty habit of taking on the proportions of a state trial, with legal costs to match. That was sadly so in a case concerning the positioning of a fence between two suburban gardens. ...
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Agency workers have a right to be informed by those who hire them of permanent positions that become vacant – but are they also entitled to apply for such posts? Following an important test case, the Court of Appeal has answered that question...
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The intense vulnerability of many negligence victims requires lawyers to take careful steps to protect them from exploitation by others and the consequences of their own poor decision-making. A case on point concerned a recipient of a seven-figure...
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The suspension of live sporting events during the COVID-19 pandemic was a force majeure event that justified early termination of a media rights contract. The High Court so ruled in a case of great significance to the business community . After a tendering...
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It makes perfect sense that the market value of shares given to charity is deductible from the donor's tax liabilities. However, as an important tax tribunal ruling showed , discerning exactly what that value is can be very far from straightforward. The...
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Keeping your will up to date is a very good idea, but making changes that are likely to disappoint members of your family who might expect to inherit can be a recipe for dispute after you are gone. That was certainly so in a High Court case concerning a...
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A bewildering array of corporate structures is all too commonly used to conceal the real ownership of property. However, as a High Court case showed, judges are well versed at finding their way through the maze and uncovering the true position. The case...
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Court orders are sometimes obtained by improper means, but when the truth emerges – as it almost always does – those responsible are bound to pay a crushing price. That was certainly so in the case of a businessman who obtained a divorce on the...
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Trade secrets are the lifeblood of many businesses and the law will provide powerful assistance in protecting them. That was certainly so in the case of a ship design company whose confidential information was blatantly misused by a prospective client. ...
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Many people very sensibly confer lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) on others so that their affairs can be properly managed in the event that they lose the ability to do so themselves. However, as a High Court ruling underlined , it often makes good sense to...
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Absentee or non-resident tenants who do not leave their landlords with a forwarding address place themselves in acute legal danger. In one case, a tenant who failed to take that sensible step suffered forfeiture of her 140-year lease due to her non-payment...
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Employers who discriminate against pregnant women or new mothers can expect to reap a bitter harvest of financial and reputational damage. An Employment Tribunal (ET) made that point in describing a woman's suspension and dismissal whilst on maternity leave...

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