Latest News

Court of Appeal Sanctions 'Informal' Tax Investigations in Landmark Case

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) operate within the constraints of their statutory powers, but their ability to conduct 'informal' enquiries into taxpayers' affairs, without limit of time, has been upheld by the Court of Appeal in a landmark ruling . The case...

Liquidators Act to Recover £7 Million Invested in Abortive Flats Development

Investing in property development projects is definitely not for the faint-hearted but, if things go wrong, professionals will help you to recoup as much of your money as possible. A case on point concerned about £7 million invested in a student flats...

Revolutionary Garden Hose Design Too 'Obvious' for Patent Protection

Patents reward originality, and inventions that are obvious developments on pre-existing designs do not qualify for protection, however successful they may be. In a ground-breaking case on point , patent protection was denied in respect of a one-man...

Don't Even Consider a Foreign Adoption Without Specialist Legal Advice

Adopting children from abroad can complete families and be of great benefit to all concerned. However, as a High Court case showed, it is fraught with legal pitfalls and should not be attempted without first taking specialist legal advice. The case...

Elite Cyclist Jess Varnish 'Neither a Worker Nor an Employee', Tribunal Rules

What is an employee? What is a worker? The answer to those perennially tricky questions has been illuminated by a ruling of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) that elite cyclist Jess Varnish fell into neither category when she parted company with the...

High Court Rules on COVID-19 Insurance Test Case

In a welcome development for thousands of small businesses, the High Court has ruled that losses arising from the COVID-19 pandemic are covered by certain business interruption insurance policies. Many businesses have claimed on their business...

Property Investors - Make Sure Your Money is Secured From the Outset

Investing in property is very far from being risk free but usually has the advantage that monies advanced are secured against real 'bricks and mortar' assets. The crucial importance of ensuring that enforceable security is in place before parting with your...

Can Contract Adjudications Be Fairly Held During COVID-19 Lockdown?

Speedy and cost-effective dispute resolution is the primary aspiration of the contract adjudication regime – but to what extent can that be fairly achieved during the COVID-19 pandemic? The High Court confronted that issue in a guideline case . A...

Family Dispute Underlines Wisdom of Making a Professionally Drafted Will

Family disputes frequently focus on inheritance and can inflict immense anxiety and pain on all concerned. A case concerning a young man who died tragically when he stepped in front of a train, however, showed that the best way to avoid such conflict is to...

Council Awarded Seven-Figure Damages for Flaws in Tram Depot Design

Disputes concerning major construction projects can simmer on for years after they are completed and one of the great advantages of litigation is that it offers finality. In one case, the High Court achieved that end by awarding more than £1 million...

Giving With Warm Hands to Minimise Inheritance Tax - High Court Ruling

The most straightforward means of minimising Inheritance Tax (IHT) payable on your estate is to give away your assets with warm hands when you are still hale and hearty. However, such gifts will bring no tax advantages at all unless they are absolute and...

Dishonestly Misled Company Overturns £115,000 VAT Late Payment Penalties

Delaying payment of your quarterly VAT bills is no way to relieve pressure on your cash flow and usually results in heavy financial penalties. However, as a First-tier Tribunal (FTT) ruling showed, there is such a thing as a reasonable excuse for late...

Want to Adopt a Child From Overseas? Beware the Legal Pitfalls

Adopting children from overseas is fraught with legal pitfalls and those who attempt to do so without first taking expert advice expose themselves to heartbreak. In one case, however, the High Court came to the aid of a British woman who adopted a little...

Gender Diversity Bias Claim Fails to Convince Court

Many employers are taking laudable steps to increase diversity in their workforces by recruiting more women. However, as a case involving an unsuccessful candidate for a BBC radio broadcasting position showed, such considerations do not detract from the...

Let Down By Your Builder? Consult a Solicitor Without Delay

Home renovations are a notoriously frequent source of dispute and, if you feel that you have been let down by a builder, you should consult a solicitor straight away. In a case on point, a householder won a £200,000 asset freezing order against a...

Spotlight on Corporate Democracy as Small Shareholders Take Crushing Loss

Concerns that small shareholders are the victims of a deficit in corporate democracy, having little influence over the direction taken by the companies in which they invest, were highlighted by a High Court case concerning a troubled mining company. Tens of...

Home-Made Wills May Save a Few Pounds But Store Up Trouble for the Future

Home-made wills may save you a few pounds in the short term, but dispensing with legal advice greatly increases the risk of painful disputes arising after you are gone. That was certainly so in the case of a desperately ill man who left the whole of his...

Tempted to Fire Off a Social Media Post in Anger? Don't Do It

Social media posts fired off in anger can have grave legal consequences even if they are swiftly taken down. In an extreme case on point, a man who revealed his niece's history of mental illness and self-harm to the world online was ordered to pay her...

Fairness Demands Transparent Decision-Making - High Court Planning Case

Planning decisions can radically affect people's lives and livelihoods and that is why they have to be taken openly and transparently. The High Court made that point in overturning planning permission granted for a major redevelopment in a creative...

Tribunal Comes to Aid of Dutiful Son Penalised for Late Payment of Tax

Prioritising prompt payment of your tax bills can be tough, particularly when there are other compelling and unforeseen demands on your limited resources. In a case on point, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) came to the aid of a man who dipped into his tax...
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