Latest News

Architect Who Left the Door Open Not Liable for Catastrophic Cinema Blaze

The first step in proving negligence is to establish the existence of a duty of care. A High Court case in which a firm of architects was cleared of liability in respect of a catastrophic fire provided a prime example of that principle in operation. An...

Ignorance of the Law Is No Defence - Or Is It? Child Benefit Tax Ruling

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) must publicise changes in the tax regime and taxpayers are not obliged to go rooting around its website in an attempt to keep up to date. The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) made that point in finding that a father had a reasonable...

British Gymnastics Scores 10 Out of 10 in Trade Mark Infringement Dispute

Not everyone is particularly observant or attentive and the names of businesses and other organisations do not have to be identical in order to sow confusion in the public mind. The High Court made that point in upholding a trade mark infringement claim ...

COVID-19 and Parental Contact With Children in Care - Guideline Ruling

How, if at all, is the duty of local authorities to allow children in their care reasonable contact with their parents affected by social distancing rules arising from the COVID-19 pandemic? The Court of Appeal confronted that issue in a guideline case . ...

Which Nation's Laws Apply to International Flights - High Court Guidance

As international airline passengers lounge comfortably in their seats, the last thing on their minds may be the legal system that applies to the aircraft at any one time as it passes through the airspace of one nation after another. That question was,...

Homelessness and the Need to Make Use of Vacant Investment Properties

Amidst widespread homelessness, owners of investment properties who allow them to stand empty for extended periods can find themselves on the receiving end of compulsory purchase orders (CPOs). Exactly that happened in a case concerning a desirable...

Ambiguity in Widower's Poorly Drafted Will Results in Family Stalemate

The whole point of engaging a professional to draft your will is to make your wishes clear in precise and unambiguous terms. If your will falls below that high standard the result, as a High Court ruling showed , can be family stalemate after you are gone. ...

Privacy v Public Justice - Transgender Claimant Wins Anonymity Order

It is a fundamental feature of any free society that justice must be done in public, but how does that principle sit with the right of individuals not to have sensitive details of their private lives exposed to the public glare? The Employment Appeal...

Judge Breaks Deadlock Between Unmarried Ex-Couple With Children

When long-term relationships between unmarried couples break down, disentangling their property and financial affairs can be challenging, particularly where children are involved. As one case showed, however, a clean break is often the best option for all...

High Court Overturns Planning Consent for Demolition of Pub Skittle Alley

Where local authorities choose not to follow the advice of their professional planning officers, the resulting decisions are likely to come under particularly close judicial scrutiny. That was certainly so in one case concerning a proposed development which...

Object to a Planning Decision? A Lawyer Will Ensure Your Voice Is Heard

If you object to a planning decision, an expert lawyer will ensure that your voice is heard loud and clear. In one case, a woman succeeded in overturning planning permission for the construction of 18 holiday lodges close to her rural home. The local...

Estate Agency Boss Handed Directorship Ban Over Price-Fixing Cartel

Where free markets fail to operate, individual consumers are bound to suffer. The lengths to which regulators will go in stamping out anti-competitive conduct, even at a local level, was underlined by a High Court case concerning a cartel between estate...

High Court Exercises Wisdom of Solomon in Ordering Sale of Family Home

Amidst ever-rising property prices, it can make good sense for friends or relatives to club together to buy a home where they can all live together. As a High Court ruling showed , however, the continuing harmony in human relationships upon which such...

Boss's Ignorant Response to Employee's Progressive Condition Proves Costly

Employers who fail to provide support and understanding to sick workers can expect to pay a high price, both in financial and reputational terms. An Employment Tribunal (ET) made that point in awarding substantial compensation to a coffee bar employee whose...

COVID-19 - High Court Waives Strict Time Limit in Data Protection Case

The severe disruption to the legal process wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted judges to take a practical approach and, in some cases, to waive strict compliance with procedural rules. The High Court did just that in enabling a local authority to...

Cakes v Confectionery - Tribunal Laments Confused State of VAT Rules

In ruling that vegan sweet treats targeted at health food shops should be subject to VAT at the standard rate, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) lamented the long-standing confusion in the law when it comes to distinguishing between confectionery and cakes. The...

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...
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