Latest Legal News

Son's Casual Employment Proves Expensive for Dad

One area in which problems may not be anticipated is when a family member's status as a 'genuine' employee is disputed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). For any expenditure to be deductible for tax purposes, it must be 'wholly and exclusively' made for...

Everyone Has a Right to Know Who Their Parents Are - DNA Test Case

In a ground-breaking decision that prioritised the rights of the living over those of the dead, the Court of Appeal has opened the way for genetic testing of DNA extracted from a sample taken from a cancer victim before his death in order to clarify the...

Brilliant IT Worker Run Down by Speeding Car Wins £9.5 Million Payout

Road accidents that happen in a split second can wreck lives forever, and that is why it is so important that specialist lawyers are there to help. In one recent case, a brilliant young IT worker who was catastrophically injured when he was run down by a...

Words, Not Intention, Determine Meaning of Contract

When disputes arise over the meaning of a contract, it is usual for the court to look first at what the wording of the contract means and then at the commercial logic of that wording. In a recent case , the dispute essentially turned on whether two...

Planning Law - Take Advice Before You Act

The planning system is very far from straightforward and sensible landowners seek legal advice before tackling it. The point was underlined by one case in which a farmer ended up with a part-built barn and at risk of enforcement action if he completed the...

Pleural Plaques Actionable if Symptomatic, Rules Court

One of the big points of contention in recent years in cases involving exposure to asbestos is the status of a person with 'pleural plaques'. Whilst the exposure that caused the plaques places someone at higher risk of developing a more serious...

Government to Review Law to Wipe Out Trolling

The finding that more than a third of users of the Internet in the UK have been 'trolled' or been the subject of harassment or 'cyber-bullying', sometimes with severe effects on those singled out for online abuse, has led the Government to commission an...

Ageism and the Hazards of Referring to Seniority or Length of Service

References to 'seniority' or 'length of service' can all too easily be read as impermissible references to an employee's age, a point which was made by one case in which a sporting body narrowly defeated its former group marketing director's claim that his...

High Court Focuses on Essentials to Resolve Family Trust Dispute

Even the most careful drafting cannot always succeed in dispelling ambiguity or in making provision for all future eventualities. As a High Court case concerning a family trust showed, however, the courts are always there to act as a neutral umpire in...

Director Who Helped Herself Faces Music

It is hardly surprising that directors of companies that face insolvency often wish to recoup their investments before the balloon goes up. However, as one High Court case concerning a failed furniture retailer showed, they are not entitled to give their...

Care Home Burns Victim Awarded £1.5 Million Compensation

Lightning does sometimes strike twice in the same place and some people very sadly suffer more than their fair share of tragedy. That was certainly so in one case, in which a young man who was being looked after in a care home following a road accident...

Court of Appeal Uses Real World Valuation Principles

An empty office block in Blackpool was given a rateable value (RV) of £490,000 by the local valuation officer, who made the valuation based on the expected rent for which the building could be let. The valuation was based on an assumed demand for a...

What is an 'Actionable Personal Injury'? Supreme Court Sheds Light

Even hidden and symptomless injuries arising from breaches of health and safety rules in the workplace can form the basis of successful compensation claims. The Supreme Court established that point in a guideline ruling that, for the first time, defined the...

Reliance on Accountant Shows Reasonable Care

If you rely on your accountant's advice regarding a tax issue, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will now regard you as having taken 'reasonable care' to get things right and will not impose a penalty. On 14 February, HMRC issued new guidance relating to the...

Seeking to Waive Dividends?

For a person who has no need of the income from a family company, a dividend waiver, which allows other shareholders to receive dividends but not the person who has executed the waiver, can be a useful device. However, the use of dividend waivers can...

Premature Contract Signature Proves Expensive

Signing a contract before you are sure you are willing to complete it can be a huge mistake: judges do not flinch from enforcing valid contracts, as a recent case shows . It involved a man who reneged on a deal to buy a family home for £5 million. He...

Radiotherapy Overdose Victim Awarded £7 Million NHS Compensation

The NHS treats thousands of patients with great skill every day but, when mistakes are made, it is only right that those affected are properly compensated. In one case, a cancer sufferer who was given double the intended dose of radiotherapy following an...

Perceived Disability Discrimination

Under the Equality Act 2010 , direct discrimination occurs when the reason for a person being treated less favourably than another is one of the protected characteristics covered by the Act. This means that someone who does not have a protected...

Police Immunity from Negligence Claims - Supreme Court Landmark Ruling

In a ground-breaking decision, the Supreme Court has dispelled the mistaken belief that the police enjoy a general immunity from being sued in respect of anything they do in the course of investigating or preventing crime. The case concerned a woman in her...

Direct Contact With Both Parents Best Promotes Child Welfare

Family judges know that children normally do best when they have direct contact with both parents. The Court of Appeal underlined that point in a case concerning five ultra-Orthodox Jewish children whose transgender father had been ostracised by the close...

Incomplete Partnership Arrangements Lead to Court Appearance

When new partners are being introduced into a partnership, it is wise to finalise the arrangements quickly in case the partners fall out. Any lack of formality in the business arrangements can lead to trouble, as a recent case shows . The case concerned...

Victim of Hotel Jewellery Theft Wins Substantial Compensation

Thefts from hotel rooms are thankfully not an everyday occurrence, but when such a crime is committed, who, if anyone, is liable to pay compensation can become an issue, especially as the perpetrators, even if caught, frequently turn out to be penniless. In...

Incorrect Procedure Stymies Landlord

It is unusual when a case raises two different but significant points. A recent case dealt with issues raised when a landlord sought to obtain possession by 'peaceable re-entry' and the forfeiture of a lease when ground rent was not being paid. It...

Holiday Accident Leads to Five-Figure Compensation Settlement

A woman travelling on holiday in the USA (where medical costs are extremely high) was injured when a car park boom was lowered in error, causing lacerations to her head that required a visit to hospital and several stitches. The accident happened near the...

Dealing With Breach of Patent

When you discover that a business has breached your patent, what should you do? The answer to this question has two elements. The first is based on what you can do in law and the second is based on business strategy. Firstly, before picking a fight with...