Latest Legal News

Latest News

Working From Home? Do You Have the Right?

Although they may not know it, many householders are banned by restrictions in their title deeds from using their properties for commercial purposes. Recently, a man who converted his garage into a dog grooming parlour discovered why he should have sought...

Email Address Not Enough for Serving Claim

You may think that because a firm has an email address, you can serve a writ or other legal document on them by sending it via email…and so you can, but not unless the firm has agreed to that. It took a visit to the Supreme Court to resolve the...

High Street Store Will Invalid, Rules Court

The dangers inherent in adopting a casual approach to one's will were starkly illustrated in a case that considered the validity of three 'templated' wills written by an elderly woman within a period of four years. The woman had three children and two...

Judge Criticises Council and DWP for Usurping Attorney's Powers

When a person is not capable of looking after themselves, the Secretary of State has the power to appoint someone else to do so. A recent court case shows that failing to do so in a balanced way can have adverse consequences and saw a judge condemn the...

Supreme Court Supports Mother Who Changed Mind Over Return to Australia

Divorces where there is an international dimension often present specific issues, and a recent case involving a couple who had been living in Australia before they separated is no exception, leading ultimately to a hearing in the Supreme Court . The...

Flats Development 'No Pets' Policy Passes High Court Test

If your tenancy agreement contains a 'no pets' policy, the fact that your pet does not cause any issues for other tenants will not prevent your landlord from enforcing its removal. In a recent case, the High Court ruled that a couple had been lawfully...

Failure to Take Advice Stops Legal Action Cold

Litigating without using a qualified solicitor to assist you is strictly for the foolhardy. The point could hardly have been more clearly made than by a case in which a man who wished to have his criminal record erased from the Internet sued the wrong...

Psychiatrist Approves Marriage for Alzheimer's Patient

Remarriages are a common source of disagreement and acrimony among family members and dementia is an increasingly prevalent issue, so it is unsurprising that when both were present, the result was a legal dispute in which the Court of Protection had to...

Who Owns the Balance on the Joint Account?

Sometimes, what seem to be quite simple questions have to be decided in court. In a recent case, the issue was who owned the money in a joint bank account when one of the account holders died. Simple question or not, it was argued all the way to the Court...

Everyone Has a Right to Know Who Their Parents Are - DNA Test Case

In a ground-breaking decision that prioritised the rights of the living over those of the dead, the Court of Appeal has opened the way for genetic testing of DNA extracted from a sample taken from a cancer victim before his death in order to clarify the...

Planning Law - Take Advice Before You Act

The planning system is very far from straightforward and sensible landowners seek legal advice before tackling it. The point was underlined by one case in which a farmer ended up with a part-built barn and at risk of enforcement action if he completed the...

Government to Review Law to Wipe Out Trolling

The finding that more than a third of users of the Internet in the UK have been 'trolled' or been the subject of harassment or 'cyber-bullying', sometimes with severe effects on those singled out for online abuse, has led the Government to commission an...

High Court Focuses on Essentials to Resolve Family Trust Dispute

Even the most careful drafting cannot always succeed in dispelling ambiguity or in making provision for all future eventualities. As a High Court case concerning a family trust showed, however, the courts are always there to act as a neutral umpire in...

Reliance on Accountant Shows Reasonable Care

If you rely on your accountant's advice regarding a tax issue, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will now regard you as having taken 'reasonable care' to get things right and will not impose a penalty. On 14 February, HMRC issued new guidance relating to the...

Premature Contract Signature Proves Expensive

Signing a contract before you are sure you are willing to complete it can be a huge mistake: judges do not flinch from enforcing valid contracts, as a recent case shows . It involved a man who reneged on a deal to buy a family home for £5 million. He...

Direct Contact With Both Parents Best Promotes Child Welfare

Family judges know that children normally do best when they have direct contact with both parents. The Court of Appeal underlined that point in a case concerning five ultra-Orthodox Jewish children whose transgender father had been ostracised by the close...

Victim of Hotel Jewellery Theft Wins Substantial Compensation

Thefts from hotel rooms are thankfully not an everyday occurrence, but when such a crime is committed, who, if anyone, is liable to pay compensation can become an issue, especially as the perpetrators, even if caught, frequently turn out to be penniless. In...

Mistaken Belief Overturns Estate Split Agreement

When the male partner of a cohabiting couple died, apparently without leaving a will, after they had lived together for more than 40 years, his estate was administered according to the laws of intestacy, with the result that no provision was made for his...

Non-Residents Beware - Ignorance of UK Tax Law is No Excuse

About 900,000 UK citizens are long-term residents abroad, and it is no particular surprise that they may be less careful about managing their UK tax affairs than those who live in the UK. Many foreign residents retain UK properties, and when these are sold a...

No Pay, No Passport?

In a consultation paper published just before the December holiday season , the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which is the Government department that deals with child maintenance payment arrangements, outlined significant powers that would enable...

DIY Approach to Property Purchase Proves Costly

You might think that something as seemingly simple as buying a pitch for a caravan is straightforward enough to do yourself, but a recent example shows why no sensible person would consider entering into a property transaction without employing a specialist...

Air Travel Woes May Lead to Compensation

After a ghastly year for flight delays, with British Airways suffering two major IT failures, Ryanair's problems with aircrew rotas and air traffic control disputes, a recent report reveals that nearly £400 million in claims could have been made for...

Reasonable Provision May Not Mean What You Think

When a person is excluded from the will of someone on whom they were 'dependent', the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 provides that the dependent person can apply for 'reasonable financial provision' to be made for their...

What Do Points Make? Tax Penalties

The automatic penalties attaching to late filing of tax returns have long been an unpopular issue for taxpayers. The system involves fixed penalties for missing deadlines and these are rigorously applied. Filing a tax return online just seconds after the...

Trust is No Replacement for Legal Advice

Sadly, not all relationships that get off to a good start last, and it is vital to seek legal advice before entering into any financial arrangements, even with those who are closest to you. That point was clearly made by a case in which a woman attempted to...
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