Latest Legal News

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If you are facing an investigation by the tax authorities, your very first step should be to seek professional advice. One taxpayer who sadly chose not to take that course, instead burying his head in the sand, narrowly escaped a six-figure back-tax bill. ...
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Flat tenants in certain circumstances have the right to band together and acquire the freehold of the blocks in which they live. However, as a High Court decision showed , the process of doing so is replete with legal pitfalls and those who fail to take...
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Public confidence in the civil justice system would collapse if court orders were not rigorously enforced – however agonising complying with them may be. The point was made by a case in which a divorcee who refused to move out of her home of 25 years...
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Sometimes, it is difficult to understand why many people don't seem to put as much effort into making profits as they do into trying to avoid paying tax. Tax avoidance is a red rag to a bull as far as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are concerned. They have...
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When a property development involving a building that is listed or in a conservation area is undertaken, it is reasonable for the contractor employed to do the work to assume that the employer has used due diligence to obtain the necessary planning consents....
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The whole purpose of the civil justice system is to achieve just and final resolution of frequently intractable disputes – and, as a guideline Court of Appeal decision in an inheritance case made plain, that includes saving litigants from themselves...
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Can Employment Tribunals (ETs) or the courts force employers to re-engage employees who have been unfairly dismissed? In a ground-breaking decision, the Court of Appeal has answered that question in the negative ( Mackenzie v The Chancellor, Masters and...
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When HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) find out that tax has been under-declared, the response is normally to raise a 'discovery assessment' to collect the tax due. This is usually the result of a period of investigation, and penalties and interest are also...
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When you enter into a contract, you are agreeing to be bound by what it says, not by what you think it means. Only rarely, such as when the meaning would make no commercial sense, will the court substitute its own view of the meaning of the contract if the...
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It may come as a surprise to many that local authorities are under no statutory obligation to give reasons for their planning decisions. However, as a High Court case concerning a residential development showed , a lack of explanation can render such...
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Surprisingly, nearly 250,000 people go missing in the UK every year. Leaving aside the heartache and worry this causes, until recent changes in the law it also created an appalling position for family members trying to deal with the affairs of the person who...
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There is almost nothing more frustrating for businesses than to see their successful products imitated by rivals. However, as a High Court case showed, expert lawyers are more than capable of putting a stop to such conduct if it amounts to a breach of...
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Cohabiting couples are the fastest-growing family type in the UK, according to newly released figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The ONS reports that the number of cohabiting couple families continues to grow faster than the number of...
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Under Section 109(1) of the Equality Act 2010 , anything done by a person in the course of their employment must be treated as also done by the employer. That is to say employers generally bear legal liability for misdeeds committed by their employees in...
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It is in the nature of litigation that the losing party frequently feels that the judge was wrong and the outcome unjust. However, a case in which a householder repeatedly lost his liberty , and ultimately his home, due to his defiance of court orders shows...
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The consequences of a company being struck off the Companies House register – even temporarily for nothing more than an administrative failure – can be catastrophic. In a case on point, a company that suffered that fate sacrificed the profits it...
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A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a document that may be used so that the finances or other issues of a person who cannot deal with them themselves may be attended to by a trusted third party – normally a solicitor or a family member. When an LPA...
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When a farmer dies, close relatives are in certain circumstances entitled to succeed to any agricultural tenancies he or she held. However, strict time limits and other procedural rules apply to the exercise of that right, which is why bereavement should not...
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Many vulnerable people who fall into debt are tempted to raise cash on the security of their homes. However, a case in which an elderly couple came within an ace of losing the roof over their heads stands as a warning to all that such arrangements should...
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Losing money at the hands of a crooked employee is a sadly familiar experience for many businesses, but what are the tax consequences of such deceit? The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) tackled that issue in the case of a catering supplies company whose manager...
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Workplace whistleblowers who act in the public interest by exposing wrongdoing are protected by the full force of the law. In a case on point, a hospital worker who endured detrimental treatment after making protected disclosures was awarded substantial...
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Very rich people often live jet set lifestyles of ceaseless travel, so pinning down the country in which they are domiciled can be a serious challenge. The High Court faced exactly that difficulty in a case concerning the acrimonious breakdown of a...
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A recent case decided by the Scottish Courts shows the wisdom of not making irrevocable decisions that you may later come to regret. It involved a woman who gifted her house to her daughter and son-in-law, retaining a tenancy for life over the property....
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Agreements are frequently reached behind closed boardroom doors, but a failure to engage a professional to record them, contemporaneously and in writing, can cause serious problems down the line. That was certainly so in one case concerning the tax...
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Where people lack the mental capacity to make important decisions for themselves, judges will step in to ensure that their best interests are served, as was demonstrated by an unusual case in which the Court of Protection (CoP) authorised the planned...

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