Latest News

When Is a New Home Complete? DIY Housebuilders Win £14,000 VAT Rebate

One of the benefits of building your own home is that you can claim back VAT paid on materials used in the project – but rebate applications have to be made within three months of the property's completion. That time limit came under analysis in a case...

Education Provider Left High and Dry in 'No Oral Variation' Contract Row

Many commercial contracts contain clauses which state that they can only be varied in writing. Such provisions offer the advantage of certainty and, as a company that provided educational services to a government agency discovered to its cost, they mean what...

Not Every Workplace Complaint Qualifies for Whistleblowing Protection

Workplace whistleblowers who, in the public interest, disclose what they believe to be wrongdoing are protected by the full force of the law. As an instructive tribunal ruling underlined, however, not every complaint of flawed working practices or procedures...

Eminent Retired Judge's Intellect Weighs in Favour of His Will's Validity

Even people of the greatest intellect can be affected by diminished mental ability in old age and that is one good reason why it makes sense to execute a professionally drafted will sooner rather than later. A case on point concerned an eminent former judge...

Twelve-Month Delay for IR35 Tax Reforms

Controversial changes to the IR35 off-payroll working rules have been shelved until April 2021, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The government is delaying the reforms for a year to help businesses and individuals, but says the move is 'a deferral...

Always Take Independent Professional Advice Before Investing Your Money

Fraudulent investment schemes are perennially tempting to the unwary and it really does make sense to take independent professional advice before parting with your money. In one case, the High Court found compelling evidence that hundreds of small investors...

Digital Comms Company Fined £100,000 Over Unsolicited Marketing Texts

Direct marketing messages that appear uninvited on mobile phones are viewed as a plague by many and those responsible for sending them can expect to be hit hard in the pocket. In one case, a digital communications company received a six-figure fine after...

Do Your Medical Records Stay Confidential Forever?

Your privacy rights will die with you, but that does not mean that just anyone will be permitted access to your medical records after you are gone. The extent to which such records should remain under wraps post mortem was analysed in a High Court test case...

HSE Support for Hand Sanitiser Manufacturers

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has taken steps to support hand sanitiser manufacturers as UK production increases to tackle the coronavirus. Spurred by unprecedented demand for biocidal hand sanitiser products during the coronavirus outbreak, the HSE...

Cruelly Deceitful Husband Ordered to Pay Betrayed Ex-Wife £2.25 Million

Where blame, if any, attaches for the breakdown of a marriage is generally irrelevant when it comes to dividing assets following divorce. However, as a cruelly deceitful husband discovered to his cost, bad behaviour can have consequences in that it is hardly...

Reinstatement Value - Factory Fire Triggers Insurance Test Case

Many insurance policies state that amounts payable in the event of loss or damage to property will be calculated on a reinstatement basis – but what exactly does that mean? The Court of Appeal considered that fundamental issue in the context of a...

Lordship of the Manor Almost Scuppers Residential Development

Lordships of the manor, whilst sounding grand, are often viewed as arcane titles with little real significance in terms of property rights. However, that is not always so and, in one High Court case, a lordship which was bought for just £100 almost...

Children Born Out of Wedlock Receive Shares of £1.29 Million Trust Fund

Few people nowadays care whether a child is born within wedlock, but the law is in some respects behind the times. In a ground-breaking ruling, however, the High Court has opened the way for illegitimate members of an extended family to receive shares of a...

Disability Discrimination Victim Secures Over £4.7 Million in Compensation

The consequences of discrimination in the workplace can be truly devastating and compensation awards to victims can be very substantial. In one case, a disabled bank worker who was stricken by a severe depressive disorder after suffering disability...

Validity of Marriage - Court of Appeal Takes Rigorous Approach

The full rigour of formalities that must be gone through in order to solemnise a marriage have been upheld in a landmark case. The Court of Appeal found that a ceremony performed in a restaurant which was not registered as an authorised wedding venue was a...

Facing a Legal Claim? Sitting On Your Hands is Simply Not an Option

If you are on the receiving end of a legal claim, sitting on your hands is simply not an option and you should seek advice straight away. In a case on point, a property company which signally failed to engage in court proceedings was hit with a very...

When Do Two Offices Become One for Rating Purposes?

Are adjacent commercial properties in common occupation, but divided by a service area, to be treated as one unit or two for business rates purposes? The Upper Tribunal (UT) has tackled that thorny issue in a case that clarified the law and will have...

Professional Gambler Fends Off £290,000 Income Tax Demand

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are always on the lookout for unexplained cash earnings which have not been declared for tax. However, in one case, a former professional gambler was relieved of a six-figure Income Tax bill after convincing the First-tier...

In Dispute With a Neighbour? Legal Advice Can Help Draw the Sting

Disputes with neighbours have a way of getting horribly out of hand, but legal advice taken at an early stage can help to draw the venom and save incalculable heartache and money in the long run. A case on point concerned flat dwellers who for years engaged...

Inducing Breaches of Contract - Court of Appeal Clarifies the Law

Anyone who induces an employee to breach his or her contract is guilty of a civil wrong and can expect financial consequences – but what amounts to a state of mind sufficient to make a person liable for such a wrong? The Court of Appeal tackled that...
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