Latest News

Employee Copyright Agreement Achieved Legitimate Aim

Many employers require their staff to sign copyright agreements by which they give up their intellectual property rights to designs or other works created in the course of their employment. In an important decision concerning a luxury leather goods...

Probate Charges to be Increased for Larger Estates

Proposals to link the cost of being granted probate over an estate valued at more than £5,000 (currently fixed at £215 for those applying individually or £155 if applying through a solicitor) to the value of the estate were announced in...

All Change for VAT on Vouchers

If your business issues vouchers, you should be aware that the VAT regime will change significantly on 1 January 2019. From that time, the VAT treatment of a voucher will depend on whether it is a 'single purpose' voucher or a 'multi-purpose' voucher. A...

Leasehold Reform Consultation Ends

The leasehold system in the UK has been crying out for reform for years, and the Government has decided to tackle the issues through the medium of a new consultation paper called 'Fixing our broken housing market'. The chief target for the Government has...

International Litigation Poses Challenges That Make Legal Advice Essential

Modern litigation spans the globe and issues concerning cross-border service of documents and jurisdiction often raise difficulties that make specialist legal advice essential. That was certainly so in a High Court privacy case with a strong international...

Late Appeal is Void Appeal for Property Owner

When the owner of a property that had been designated as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) by his local council in 2001 chose to challenge that ruling some 15 years later, the council refused to review the decision. The property owner claimed to have had...

If HMRC Don't Get it Right

You may be forgiven for thinking that the authorities always follow proper procedures, but that is not the case, and when they fail, their actions may not be legally valid. In a recent case, a series of errors put a taxpayer and HM Revenue and Customs...

Recalcitrant Husband Banned From Paying His Lawyers Until Arrears Cleared

It is commonplace for one spouse to control the family finances and, while relations are amicable, this usually causes few issues. However, if the relationship falls apart and separation or divorce is in train, this is often no longer the case. When a...

Director Who Flouted Ban Given Jail Sentence

Ignoring a court ruling is a foolish strategy at any time – as a man who continued to act as a director after having been banned from doing so found recently. In 2011, the man had agreed to a four-year ban after being involved in the running of a...

Lack of Will Leads to Family Dispute in Court

When a man's first wife died, he inherited her share of the property they had owned jointly. At the time, he was living with his third wife, and the couple remained together for a further 28 years until his death in 1990. He died without making a will and...

Confidential Information Leakage Stopped by Injunction

One of the biggest dangers when a senior employee leaves an organisation is the ease with which they can spirit away confidential information of importance to the business. Data is a critical asset for many businesses, and as well as the sanctions which may...

The Sky Above and the Earth Below

A recent case may raise alarm bells for anyone thinking about adding a basement to a property which is divided. It involved a terraced house which was converted into two flats. The top two floors of the property were owned by the freeholder. The owner of...

Job Interviews and the Risks of Asking Off the Cuff Discriminatory Questions

Questions asked of job applicants at interview should be carefully considered in advance and formulated with the benefit of legal advice. In one case where that signally did not happen, a 67-year-old man who was turned down for a park attendant's job...

Ombudsman Acts Against Slipshod Council

When people need to go into care, the local councils that end up supporting the care costs are well known for their doggedness in attempting to ensure that the person being cared for supplies as much of the funding as possible. This will often involve a...

Forfeiture for Rent Arrears - Commercial Landlords Take Note!

In a decision that will be essential reading for property professionals, the High Court has ruled that landlords who invoke the statutory commercial rent arrears recovery (CRAR) regime may thereby waive any right they have to forfeit leases. Landlords who...

Relief for Families as Missing Persons Act to Come Into Force

Legislation that will give families of people who go missing the ability to administer their affairs is to come into effect: but not until July 2019. The Bill received the Royal Assent as long ago as April 2017, but the need for secondary regulations and...

Typhoon Disruption is Reasonable Excuse for Late Tax Payment

It is fair to say that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) take a hard line when it comes to non-payment or late payment of taxes due. Unless the taxpayer can show a 'reasonable excuse' (which in practical terms means a really compelling reason) for the delay,...

Court of Appeal Rules Uber Drivers Are Workers

The Court of Appeal has ruled that drivers who use online taxi company Uber's app are 'workers' within the meaning of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA), rather than self-employed contractors, but has given the company permission to appeal to the...

Modern Slavery Compliance Regime to be Tightened Up?

There are estimated to be more than 40 million people who are victims of 'modern slavery' at any given time. A quarter of them are children, and the number of victims in the UK was estimated to be between 10,000 and 13,000 in 2013, although the National...

Vaccinations Protect Child's Welfare

There has been a massive amount of disinformation put about over the years (and, apparently, recently promoted by the Russian security services) regarding the effects of various vaccinations on children. One result is that some parents are deeply wary of...
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