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Late Payment of Tax - There Is Such a Thing as a Reasonable Excuse

Those who pay their taxes late can expect punishment – but there is such a thing as a reasonable excuse. In one case, a man who failed to notify the tax authorities of his obligation to pay the High Income Child Benefit Charge was relieved of...

Is Data Centre 'White Space' Subject to Business Rates? Question Answered

In order to be subject to non-domestic rates, a commercial space must be capable of beneficial occupation for the purpose for which it is intended. In a guideline case, a tribunal considered whether that criterion is met by so-called 'white space' in the...

Facing a Bank's Formal Demand for Payment? You Are Not Powerless

When faced with a bank's formal demand for payment, individual debtors can feel that there is little they can do but comply. However, as a High Court ruling showed , with the right legal advice they are very far from powerless. A bank served a man with a...

Accident Partially Your Own Fault? You Could Still Receive Recompense

If you believe that an accident was partially your own fault, you could be forgiven for thinking that compensation is out of your reach. As a High Court case concerning a catastrophically injured pedestrian showed, however, any such assumption may well be...

Busy Midwife's Momentary Lapse Caused Baby Boy's Catastrophic Injuries

Medical professionals often have to make swift judgment calls on the basis of limited information that sadly do not always turn out to be right. In a case on point, a judge found that a midwife's failure to ask a crucial question during an anguished phone...

Ambiguous Wills - Court of Appeal Gives Effect to Deceased's Intentions

Where words used in a will are ambiguous, judges will strive to interpret them in a way that gives effect to the deceased's intentions. An instructive Court of Appeal decision on point hinged on the little-known fact that the Channel Islands are not...

Contract Adjudications - One Dispute or More? High Court Gives Guidance

It is established law that contract adjudicators do not have authority to consider more than one dispute at a time. However, as a High Court ruling made plain, there is a potential conflict between that rule and the public policy imperative to encourage...

Can the COVID-19 Crisis Justify Reopening Financial Orders in Divorce?

Can the economic havoc wreaked by the COVID-19 pandemic justify the re-drawing of final financial orders made following a divorce? The High Court has ruled in a guideline case that the answer to that question is 'probably not'. The case concerned a couple...

Employer's Hardline Anti-Corruption Policy Passes Legal Test

Many businesses, particularly those that deal with governmental authorities, sensibly have anti-corruption policies in place. One such policy came under close analysis in an employment case concerning a golfing trip provided to a public official ( Thompson...

Drain Cleaner Incident - High Court Takes Hard Line on Evidence Disclosure

Experienced litigators will tell you that much of their most important work goes on in the background, long before a case comes before a judge for trial. That was certainly so in a case concerning death and catastrophic injury alleged to have been caused by...

Determined DIY Builders Score Important Victory Over HMRC

You may understandably feel overawed by the might of the tax authorities but, with the law on your side, the balance of power is far more even than you might think. In a case on point, a couple struck an important blow for the cohort of determined people who...

Birth Injuries Girl Aged Nine Receives £30 Million Award

Damages awards to clinical negligence victims who suffer brain injuries during their birth are nowadays commonly measured in tens of millions of pounds. As a High Court case made clear, however, they amount to no more than fair compensation and every penny...

Is Your Lease Under Threat of Forfeiture? Don't Delay Consulting a Solicitor

Tenants who fail to pay their rent on time place themselves in real danger of having their leases forfeited. As a Court of Appeal ruling showed , that risk exists no matter how small the arrears and no matter how short the delay in payment may be. The case...

High Court Aids Widow Left in Precarious Position by Husband's Death

If someone on whom you depended for support has died without making reasonable financial provision for you, you should consult a solicitor without delay. In a case on point, the High Court came to the aid of a widow who was left largely reliant on benefits...

Employee or Self-Employed Partner? Guideline Tax Tribunal Ruling

When discerning whether an individual is an employee or a self-employed partner in a professional firm, judges look beyond the label attached to their engagement and focus on the reality of the relationship. A tax tribunal ruling provided a prime example of...

Victim of Polish Road Accident Can Pursue His Damages Claim in England

The concept of 'domicile' is notoriously difficult to pin down, but there is no doubting its central importance to many aspects of the law. A case on point concerned a personal injury claim brought by a young man who was attending a wedding in Poland when he...

Parking Obstruction of Rights of Way - The Legal Principles Explained

The parking of cars along shared access routes is all too often a source of acrimony between neighbours. A High Court ruling provided a clear explanation of the legal principles commonly applied when resolving such disputes. The case concerned a lane that...

Penal Clause 'Cunningly Concealed' in Telecommunications Contract

Onerous terms and conditions cunningly hidden amidst the small print of a contract are likely to be viewed as entirely worthless by a judge. The High Court made that point in trenchantly criticising a contract presented by a mobile phone and...

Loved Ones of Asbestos Victim Awarded Almost £800,000

Damages awarded to those whose lives have been blighted through exposure to asbestos reflect the pain and suffering endured. In one case, the loved ones of a family man who experienced dreadful agony prior to his death from asbestos-related cancer received...

High Court Clamps Down on Standardised Online Divorce Petitions

The advent of so-called 'no fault' divorce is on the horizon but, until then, a great many divorce petitions will continue to be issued on the basis of unreasonable behaviour by one party or the other. As a High Court ruling underlined , the requirement to...

Employment Contracts and the Implication of Terms by Custom and Practice

Workers wishing to discern the extent of their entitlements need usually do no more than read their employment contracts. As one case showed, the occasions when further rights are to be implied into a contract, having been established by custom and practice,...

Clinical Negligence - Seeking Recompense is Both Just and Necessary

There is no such thing as entirely risk-free surgery and, if things go wrong, payment of compensation to those who suffer is not only just but necessary. In one case, a woman who suffered catastrophic damage to her bile duct during a laparoscopic operation...

Cowboy Builders Can Expect Stern Punishment - Court of Appeal Ruling

Cowboy builders who rip off householders are a well-known blight on society. As a Court of Appeal ruling showed , however, judges are well abreast of their activities and culprits can expect severe punishment, up to and including imprisonment. The case...

Seven-Figure Damages for Man Injured in Balcony Fall

A case concerning a man who suffered life-changing injuries in a fall from a balcony served as a reminder of the duty owed by property owners to keep their tenants and visitors reasonably safe. The middle-aged man was on the balcony of a flat when a...

High Court Steps In to Unwind Former Friends' Joint Property Venture

Friends who go into business together sadly often forget that personal relationships do not always stand the test of time. Trust alone does not provide a firm foundation for such ventures and, as a High Court ruling showed, legal formality at the outset...