Latest Legal News

Council Tax to Bite on Empty Property

In 2017, 205,293 dwellings in England were left empty for six months or more. With the housing shortage never far from the news agenda, steps to bring unoccupied houses back into use are being taken by the Government. Under the Rating (Property in Common...

Bus Accident Victim Guaranteed Substantial Compensation

The negotiating skills of lawyers who represent accident victims can be just as important as their knowledge of the law. In one case on point, skilful representation on behalf of a woman who was gravely injured when she fell off a bus succeeded in...

Software Company Fails to Lock Out Customer

One aspect of intellectual property (IP) rights that is often not given much thought, but which can be extremely important indeed, is what happens when a licence to use comes to an end. Much computer technology is supplied by licence (it is quite rare for...

Confidentiality - Don't Give In to Threats

If you are facing menacing demands for money, you should take legal advice straight away. In a recent case, the High Court came to the aid of a wealthy married businessman who claimed to have been subjected to blackmail following a brief affair with a work...

Director Address Disclosures - Changes

Recent changes have made it easier for company directors to withhold disclosure of their private addresses in publicly filed documents. Prior to 2009, the usual residential address of all company directors was on file at Companies House in publicly...

Workplace Whistleblowing Protection

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 – often referred to as the 'Whistleblowing' Act – gives workers legal protection when disclosing information relating to crimes, breaches of legal obligations, miscarriages of justice, dangers to health...

Under Financial Pressure? Don't Fall Into Dodgy Lenders' Arms!

Financial pressure can easily lead the unwary into the arms of unscrupulous lenders. One High Court case, in which numerous borrowers found themselves in legal limbo , shows how unwise it is to enter into such transactions without professional advice. A...

Trading With the Public? Do You Understand Your Legal Duties?

Anyone who deals with the public is potentially exposed to liability and that is why it is sensible for traders to seek legal advice specific to their business about the extent of their duties. In one case where that did not happen, a shopkeeper was found...

Supreme Court Rejects Pimlico Plumbers' Appeal in Employment Status Case

There have been a number of recent cases looking at the precise nature of the employment status of those working for employers who like their operatives to appear to clients as their representatives but who operate a model of self-employment. One such 'gig...

Trust Variation for Minors - High Court Holds Sway

Setting up family trusts with minors or those with mental incapacities as beneficiaries is by no means uncommon and it sometimes occurs that such trusts need to be varied for one reason or another. The mechanism for this is the Variation of Trusts Act 1958...

Faulty Electrics Necessitate Lease Interpretation

Many commercial leases provide that the formal document represents the entirety of the agreement, superseding any prior agreements that may have been reached. An important Court of Appeal ruling has, however, made clear that such clauses do not preclude...

Landowners' Duties and Highway Visibility - Court of Appeal Test Case

If landowners allow vegetation to grow up so that it affects visibility on adjacent highways, should they be held liable if accidents occur? In a decision that broke new legal ground, the Court of Appeal has answered that question with a resounding 'no'. ...

Pre-Nuptial Agreement Receives Court Backing

The validity of pre-nuptial agreements depends on legal advice being taken on both sides, equal bargaining positions and overall fairness. In one case, the High Court found that a wife in a big money divorce case was bound by such an agreement and awarded...

Harassment Order Given Against Unknown Abuser

Harassment is very unpleasant and, when a person is subject to a campaign of abuse, it can prove extremely upsetting. Furthermore, it is often quite possible for the abuser to preserve their anonymity. In such circumstances, it might seem that there is...

Do You Understand Your Duties as a Director?

Directors have a wide range of legal duties that do not always coincide with their own interests, and seeking expert legal advice is the best way of ensuring that these are performed. In one case in which that did not happen, two directors of a phoenix...

Girl Struck By Streptococcus Bug Soon After Birth Wins £3.5 Million

Babies are very vulnerable in their first few days of life and, if things go wrong because of negligence on the part of medical personnel, it is only right that compensation is payable. In one case on point, the family of a 15-year-old girl who was struck...

Be Careful Who You Trust With Your Finances

Giving someone else power of attorney over your finances can be a useful means of ensuring that your affairs will be properly managed if you lose the capacity to do so yourself. However, one case in which a war veteran's money was plundered by a man he...

Small Family Company Overturns Pregnancy Discrimination Finding

Quite apart from any breach of sex discrimination law which might occur, it is automatically unfair dismissal if an employer dismisses a female employee for reasons connected with her pregnancy or the birth of her child. In determining whether or not a...

Former Ship Welder Wins Asbestosis Compensation

A former welder who worked for a shipbuilding company for 37 years has received provisional damages after he was diagnosed with asbestosis, a rare long-term lung condition that usually develops many years after the sufferer has been exposed to harmful...

Guesswork Not Enough to Create Tax Liability

When HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) suspect serious tax evasion, they will normally launch a full-scale tax investigation into the person they suspect. They use many tools in such investigations and one of the more common ones is to compare the cost of a...

Package Tour Operator Not Responsible for Tourist's Ordeal

Package tour operators are under a duty to ensure that their clients' holidays are of a reasonable standard, but that does not mean they must bear legal responsibility for incidents abroad that cannot be foreseen or forestalled. The Court of Appeal made that...

Understanding Between Couple Regarding Work Done Creates Legal Obligation

Legal arguments between cohabitants who break up are commonplace. However, a recent case dealt with a lengthy legal dispute between the surviving partner of a gay couple and his deceased partner's family. The couple lived in a property that was owned by...

Patient Who Fell Out of Hospital Bed Wins Seven-Figure Damages

Hospitals can be dangerous places and clinical mishaps are not the only hazard that patients can face. In one case, lawyers representing a woman who fell out of her hospital bed following surgery succeeded in winning her multi-million-pound compensation from...

Agency Law Gives No Recourse to Dumped Software Reseller

Under law which originated in the EU, agents of firms have considerable protection if their agency is terminated, and can normally be compensated. This reflects the commercial reality that agents frequently make a considerable investment in time and money in...

Changing Circumstances Lead to Divorce Settlement Dispute

When a wealthy construction business owner and his wife divorced in 2011, a 'clean break' agreement was made to include the sale of the two properties they owned – the family home in the UK and one in Spain. In the event that neither had been sold, the...