Latest Legal News

Latest News

Late Payment of Tax - There Is Such a Thing as a Reasonable Excuse

Those who pay their taxes late can expect punishment – but there is such a thing as a reasonable excuse. In one case, a man who failed to notify the tax authorities of his obligation to pay the High Income Child Benefit Charge was relieved of...

Is Data Centre 'White Space' Subject to Business Rates? Question Answered

In order to be subject to non-domestic rates, a commercial space must be capable of beneficial occupation for the purpose for which it is intended. In a guideline case, a tribunal considered whether that criterion is met by so-called 'white space' in the...

Facing a Bank's Formal Demand for Payment? You Are Not Powerless

When faced with a bank's formal demand for payment, individual debtors can feel that there is little they can do but comply. However, as a High Court ruling showed , with the right legal advice they are very far from powerless. A bank served a man with a...

Contract Adjudications - One Dispute or More? High Court Gives Guidance

It is established law that contract adjudicators do not have authority to consider more than one dispute at a time. However, as a High Court ruling made plain, there is a potential conflict between that rule and the public policy imperative to encourage...

Ambiguous Wills - Court of Appeal Gives Effect to Deceased's Intentions

Where words used in a will are ambiguous, judges will strive to interpret them in a way that gives effect to the deceased's intentions. An instructive Court of Appeal decision on point hinged on the little-known fact that the Channel Islands are not...

Can the COVID-19 Crisis Justify Reopening Financial Orders in Divorce?

Can the economic havoc wreaked by the COVID-19 pandemic justify the re-drawing of final financial orders made following a divorce? The High Court has ruled in a guideline case that the answer to that question is 'probably not'. The case concerned a couple...

Employer's Hardline Anti-Corruption Policy Passes Legal Test

Many businesses, particularly those that deal with governmental authorities, sensibly have anti-corruption policies in place. One such policy came under close analysis in an employment case concerning a golfing trip provided to a public official ( Thompson...

Is Your Lease Under Threat of Forfeiture? Don't Delay Consulting a Solicitor

Tenants who fail to pay their rent on time place themselves in real danger of having their leases forfeited. As a Court of Appeal ruling showed , that risk exists no matter how small the arrears and no matter how short the delay in payment may be. The case...

Determined DIY Builders Score Important Victory Over HMRC

You may understandably feel overawed by the might of the tax authorities but, with the law on your side, the balance of power is far more even than you might think. In a case on point, a couple struck an important blow for the cohort of determined people who...

High Court Aids Widow Left in Precarious Position by Husband's Death

If someone on whom you depended for support has died without making reasonable financial provision for you, you should consult a solicitor without delay. In a case on point, the High Court came to the aid of a widow who was left largely reliant on benefits...

Employee or Self-Employed Partner? Guideline Tax Tribunal Ruling

When discerning whether an individual is an employee or a self-employed partner in a professional firm, judges look beyond the label attached to their engagement and focus on the reality of the relationship. A tax tribunal ruling provided a prime example of...

Parking Obstruction of Rights of Way - The Legal Principles Explained

The parking of cars along shared access routes is all too often a source of acrimony between neighbours. A High Court ruling provided a clear explanation of the legal principles commonly applied when resolving such disputes. The case concerned a lane that...

Penal Clause 'Cunningly Concealed' in Telecommunications Contract

Onerous terms and conditions cunningly hidden amidst the small print of a contract are likely to be viewed as entirely worthless by a judge. The High Court made that point in trenchantly criticising a contract presented by a mobile phone and...

Employment Contracts and the Implication of Terms by Custom and Practice

Workers wishing to discern the extent of their entitlements need usually do no more than read their employment contracts. As one case showed, the occasions when further rights are to be implied into a contract, having been established by custom and practice,...

High Court Clamps Down on Standardised Online Divorce Petitions

The advent of so-called 'no fault' divorce is on the horizon but, until then, a great many divorce petitions will continue to be issued on the basis of unreasonable behaviour by one party or the other. As a High Court ruling underlined , the requirement to...

Cowboy Builders Can Expect Stern Punishment - Court of Appeal Ruling

Cowboy builders who rip off householders are a well-known blight on society. As a Court of Appeal ruling showed , however, judges are well abreast of their activities and culprits can expect severe punishment, up to and including imprisonment. The case...

High Court Steps In to Unwind Former Friends' Joint Property Venture

Friends who go into business together sadly often forget that personal relationships do not always stand the test of time. Trust alone does not provide a firm foundation for such ventures and, as a High Court ruling showed, legal formality at the outset...

Deduction of Accommodation Costs from Income Tax - Guideline Ruling

You are only able to deduct accommodation and other expenses from your Income Tax liabilities if they have been wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred in the performance of the duties of your employment. That is a very high hurdle but, as a tax...

Film Studios Faced by Piracy Scourge Granted Internet Blocking Orders

Wholesale copyright infringement – otherwise known as piracy – has been a feature of the internet almost since its inception. In coming decisively to the aid of six major film and television studios, however, the High Court showed that...

Would Your Workplace Disciplinary Procedures Withstand ET Scrutiny?

Workplace disciplinary hearings should always be conducted on the assumption that the fairness of the procedure followed is in future likely to be rigorously tested by an Employment Tribunal (ET). A case on point concerned an adult education worker who was...

Inheritance and the Impact of Intestacy on Stepchildren

In an era of increasingly fluid family relationships, many children are brought up by step-parents – but what is the consequence of that social change in terms of inheritance? The High Court addressed that issue in a guideline ruling . The case...

Company Accounts Cannot Be Retrospectively Adjusted for Convenience

A company's accounts cannot be retrospectively adjusted to meet the convenience of its directors. The High Court made that point in ruling that the reclassification of a director's loan account just before a company entered liquidation was of no legal...

Are You a Pandemic Home Worker? Do You Need Planning Permission?

Vast numbers of people have been prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic to take up working or running businesses from home – but do they need planning permission for a change of use? The High Court addressed that burning issue in the case of a personal...

Read This If Your Child Has Been Taken Abroad Without Your Consent

If your right to play a full part in your child's life has been undermined by his or her wrongful removal from England, a specialist family lawyer can help you achieve a reunion. A case on point concerned a baby girl who, without her father's consent, was...

Overflying Jets - RAF Fends Off Unlawful Noise Nuisance Claim

Noise pollution may blight people's lives, but it by no means always amounts to an unlawful nuisance for which compensation is payable. The High Court resoundingly made that point in a case concerning a holiday park frequently overflown by noisy RAF jets. ...
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