Latest News

Overseas Surrogacy Can Be a Legal Quagmire - Always Seek Expert Advice

Overseas surrogacy arrangements are an effective means of completing families. As a High Court ruling showed , however, they are notoriously replete with legal pitfalls and should never be entered into without first taking professional advice. The case...

Christening a New Business? It's Madness Not to Seek Professional Advice

When christening a new business it is madness not to take professional advice so as to ensure that you are not transgressing anyone else's intellectual property rights. A case on point concerned a modest Chinese takeaway that shared the same name as an...

What are the Tax Implications of Settling an Employment Tribunal Claim?

When paying money to settle Employment Tribunal (ET) proceedings, employers are not infrequently motivated by a desire to make what they perceive as a nuisance go away – but how should such payments be treated for tax purposes? The First-tier Tribunal...

What is a Detriment? EAT Ruling Clearly Sets Out the Correct Legal Test

The question of whether someone has suffered a 'detriment' is the central issue in a great many employment cases where discrimination or victimisation is alleged. In an important decision, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has given authoritative guidance...

Interpreting Wills That May Be Ambiguous - High Court Guidance

Even with the most careful drafting, there is always a risk that a will may be capable of bearing more than one meaning. In resolving a family inheritance dispute, the High Court considered the extent to which extraneous evidence of a will-maker's...

Overlooked Homeowners Fall Foul of Ambiguity in Planning Permission

Finding your way around the intricacies of the planning system without professional advice is, for most people, a near impossibility. The point was powerfully made by the case of a couple whose intimate living space was overlooked by a skylight fitted to a...

Incorporation of English Jurisdiction Clause Arguably 'Went Without Saying'

In a novel decision of interest to the international trading community, the High Court ruled it arguable that an English jurisdiction clause was incorporated in a petroleum supply contract notwithstanding that the alleged deal was done informally over the...

Rugby Club's Expansion Plans Not Inhibited by 1922 Restrictive Covenant

Land is often sold subject to restrictive covenants that inhibit the use to which it can be put. As a guideline Court of Appeal ruling showed , however, the distinction between restrictions that provide a personal benefit to the vendor alone and those that...

Wife Sees Off Bankruptcy Trustees' Attempt to Sell Off Her Home

When people dispose of assets shortly before having themselves declared bankrupt, it is inevitable that eyebrows will often be raised. However, as a judge's ruling showed, it is one thing to allege an improper motive and quite another to prove it. The case...

Judge Opens New Chapter in Woman's Life by Dispelling Dark Family Secret

Dark secrets lurking in your family background are likely to cause you untold pain. As one case showed , however, bringing the truth to light in the safe environment of a family court can draw the sting and bring peace to you and future generations. The...

Tech Company Failed to Make Reasonable Adjustments for Cancer Sufferer

Corporate reorganisations arising from a change in ownership very often result in a need to reduce staff numbers. However, as one case showed, it is vital to conduct redundancy exercises fairly and openly and with careful regard to the particular needs of...

Private Dog Grooming Tutor Denied VAT Exemption

The categories of business that enjoy VAT exemption are highly restricted and any attempt to extend them is likely to encounter stiff opposition from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). That was certainly so in the case of a woman who provided private tuition in...

Risk of Industrial Action is a Fact of Business Life - Court of Appeal Ruling

Strike action that grounded an airline's planes did not amount to an 'extraordinary circumstance' that justified passengers being denied compensation after their flights were cancelled. In reaching that conclusion, the Court of Appeal observed that...

Accurate Record-Keeping Saves Clothing Traders from Swingeing VAT Bills

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigations can be a daunting and potentially very costly experience for any business. However, as a tax tribunal ruling showed, clear and comprehensive record-keeping is the best defence. The case concerned two traders in...

Judges Have No Power to Rewrite Valid Wills - Guideline High Court Ruling

Judges have no power to rewrite your will after your death so as to achieve a result which, in their view, better reflects your wishes. The High Court made that point in upholding the validity of a Parkinson's disease sufferer's will although, at least in...

Design Rights - Tourist Hoodies and T-Shirts Lack Novelty, High Court Rules

For a design to qualify for protection as intellectual property, it must both be novel and have individual character. In a guideline case, the High Court found that the design of Union Jack-emblazoned hoodies and T-shirts, targeted at the London tourist...

Equal Sharing Principle Delivers Fair Result in £6 Million Divorce Case

When it comes to divorce, it is very common for one spouse to argue that he or she should receive the lion's share of the marital wealth. However, as a guideline case concerning an entrepreneurial couple showed , fairness usually demands that an equal...

Empty Cinema Blaze Triggers Landmark Court of Appeal Ruling

When marketing commercial premises, they obviously have to be made available for inspection by prospective buyers, tenants or their representatives – but to what extent, if any, do such visitors owe the property owner a duty of care? The Court of...

Judge Laments Heavy Cost of Suburban Boundary Dispute

Apparently trifling neighbours' disputes over a few inches of land have a nasty habit of taking on the proportions of a state trial, with legal costs to match. That was sadly so in a case concerning the positioning of a fence between two suburban gardens. ...

Agency Workers Have No Right to Apply for Vacant Permanent Positions

Agency workers have a right to be informed by those who hire them of permanent positions that become vacant – but are they also entitled to apply for such posts? Following an important test case, the Court of Appeal has answered that question...
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