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Commercial Premises - Where Does the Burden of COVID-19 Losses Fall?

Where the COVID-19 pandemic rendered the use of commercial premises illegal or unviable, should the resulting losses fall on the landlord or the tenant? The High Court pondered that burning issue in a decision of vital importance to property professionals...

Property Dispute Looming? Now is the Moment to Seek Professional Advice

A word out of place can lead to the sacrifice of valuable legal rights and that is why it is vital to seek professional advice the moment a potential dispute looms on the horizon. The point was made by the case of a couple who faced a challenge to their...

AI Machines May Take Over, But Not Yet - Landmark Patents Ruling

Artificial intelligence may be advanced but, at least so far as patent law is concerned, it has yet to overcome the human monopoly on inventiveness. The point was made by a Court of Appeal test case concerning devices that were said to have been invented by...

Divorced Abroad? You Can Still Get a Fair Financial Deal in England

It may come as a surprise but, even if you have been divorced abroad, there is a great deal that an English family lawyer can do to ensure you receive a fair financial deal. In one case, the High Court came to the aid of a woman whose marriage to an...

COVID-19 Lockdowns No Excuse for Sub-Standard Redundancy Processes

The COVID-19 lockdowns plunged thousands of businesses into dire financial straits but, as an Employment Tribunal (ET) ruling showed, the unprecedented crisis in no way relieved hard-pressed employers of their legal obligation to manage redundancy processes...

What Does 'Survivor' Mean? High Court Resolves Inheritance Doubts

Words are not numbers and even the most careful draftsperson cannot guarantee that the meaning of a will is always clear beyond doubt. As a High Court case showed , however, judges are adept at resolving ambiguities so that the true intentions of testators...

Commercial Negotiations - Talk is Cheap But Writing is Binding

Commercial negotiations often involve many meetings and any amount of talk, but the question of whether anything has actually been agreed is a common source of dispute. As a High Court case showed, the only real way to avoid such discord is to engage a...

Building Your Own Home? You Need Professional Tax Advice

So-called DIY builders who 'construct' their own homes can reclaim VAT incurred in doing so. As one case showed, however, there is a very great difference between the ordinary English usage of that word and its meaning in VAT legislation. The case concerned...

Royal Park Boathouse Can't Be Removed by Departing Contractor

Those who are awarded public contracts very often make substantial investments in property and equipment so that they can perform their obligations – but who owns the product of such investments? The High Court considered that issue in a case...

International Child Abduction - Children's Welfare is Always Paramount

Where one parent moves abroad with his or her children, leaving the other behind, the result can be an international tug of war. As a High Court ruling showed , when called upon to play the part of referee in such contests, the paramount focus of family...

Whistleblowing Nurse's Dismissal 'Grossly Unfair'

There are few things more serious in an employment context than sacking a whistleblower for performing a valuable public service. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) made that point in the case of a highly regarded nurse who was treated grossly unfairly for...

Dying With Your Affairs in Disarray is a Poisoned Legacy for Your Loved Ones

Not every life is profitable, at least in financial terms, and it is important to remember that your debts do not die with you. A High Court ruling showed the serious problems that dying insolvent, without putting your affairs in order, can create for your...

Bidding at an Auction? Do You Understand Your Legal Obligations?

There are few things more thrilling than bidding at an auction, but raising your paddle has very real legal consequences. A case on point concerned a businessman who mistakenly believed that he was acting solely on behalf of a company when he bought two...

Seeking Investment Advice? Only Authorised Practitioners Can Be Trusted

When seeking investment advice, it is vital to only use the services of authorised practitioners who are highly qualified and regulated by law. As a High Court case showed , it is otherwise all too easy to fall into a fraudster's clutches. A woman was...

Hotel Management Company Director Pays Personal Price for VAT Default

If your company is trading in default of its tax obligations, the corporate veil may very well afford you no protection against the financial consequences. The sole director and shareholder of a hotel management company that failed to register for VAT found...

Homeowner Mis-Sold Solar Panels Awarded Thousands in Compensation

If you buy goods that fail to live up to a salesman's hyperbole, you may be entitled to compensation and should consult a solicitor immediately. In one case, a homeowner who had solar panels installed in the forlorn hope that they would pay for themselves...

High Court Detects Apparent Bias in Residential Planning Decision

Justice should not only be done but should be seen to be done. That phrase may be somewhat hackneyed but, as a High Court planning case showed , it is a golden rule that serves to root out even the appearance of bias in official decision-making. The case...

Family Judge Gives Girl in Foster Care a New Double-Barrelled Surname

Surnames reflect family heritage and most people view them as an essential part of their identities as human beings. A family judge made that point in choosing a new double-barrelled surname for a little girl so that she would no longer bear a nominal...

Indirect Consumer Confusion - Bourbon Supplier Wins Trade Mark Battle

The average consumer is not a fool, but trade mark law is all about mistakes and unwitting assumptions they might be expected to make. The Court of Appeal made that point in a case concerning competing brands of bourbon . A supplier of luxury bourbon held...

Judge Unravels Agatha Christie-Style Plot to Detect Will Forgery

Agatha Christie would struggle to imagine the plots of some inheritance disputes that come before the courts. That was certainly so in one case in which a judge found that a son resorted to forgery in concocting a bogus will after his mother died. Prior...
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