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Clubbing Together with a Friend to Buy a Home? See a Lawyer First

It makes sense for friends to club together so that they can buy properties they would be unable to afford by themselves. However, a cautionary High Court ruling showed that such arrangements are only wise if lawyers are consulted so that all concerned...

Low-Paid Workers' Union Triumphs in COVID-19 Health and Safety Test Case

Many low-paid workers who have an essential role in keeping the nation moving are at particularly high risk from the COVID-19 pandemic. In a ground-breaking decision, the High Court came to their aid in ruling that the Government is obliged under European...

Legacies and Entitlement to Means-Tested Benefits - High Court Ruling

When making a will, most people would wish to provide for loved ones in need. As a High Court case showed , however, means testing of many state benefits creates a very real risk of such good intentions coming to nought and that is one very good reason why...

High Court Ruling Underlines the Benefits of English Arbitration Clauses

As a guideline High Court decision emphasised , the greatest advantage of including English arbitration clauses in commercial contracts is that they prevent litigation from proliferating around the world and focus dispute resolution on a single,...

Commercial Tenants - How Well Do You Understand Your Obligations?

Before signing up to a commercial lease, tenants should always take expert legal advice to ensure they truly understand the obligations they are taking on. The point was powerfully made by a case in which the insurance provisions of a lease became the focus...

Parents Who Simply Cannot Cope Don't Deserve Condemnation

Through no fault of their own, some parents are simply incapable of providing the care and stability that all children need whilst growing up. As one case showed , however, the approach of family judges is not to condemn but to seek solutions that enable...

Succession Planning Good, Age Discrimination Bad - EAT Ruling

Any organisation that does not have an effective system of succession planning in place must face an uncertain future. As a ruling of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) underlined, however, it is all too easy for such arrangements to be infected...

High Court Acts to Free Mentally Ill Woman from Corrosive Relationship

Family lawyers work hand in hand with local authorities and medical professionals to protect vulnerable people from the controlling and coercive behaviour of others. In a striking case on point, the High Court authorised effective steps to be taken to free...

Couple Overturn Capital Gains Tax Demands Raised on Sale of Their Home

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are big battalions by anyone's standards, but their word is not law and, with expert legal assistance, they can sometimes be proved wrong. In one case, a couple succeeded in overturning six-figure Capital Gains Tax (CGT)...

Advent of Artificial Intelligence Poses Fundamental Questions in Patents Case

Is the capacity to invent an exclusively human quality? Or has the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) rendered that proposition obsolete? Those fundamental issues took centre stage in a unique High Court patents case . A pioneer in the field of AI...

Court Enforces Exclusive English Jurisdiction Clause in Insurance Dispute

The high reputation of the Commercial Court in London for efficiency and impartiality is such that English jurisdiction clauses are a ubiquitous feature of contracts signed around the world. They can be of crucial significance if disputes arise and, as one...

Thwarted by Planners? Persistence and Legal Advice Can Still Win the Day

Obtaining authorisation for construction projects can be extremely demanding, but a combination of persistence and the right legal advice will often win the day. In a case on point, a householder whose hopes of building a garden room were time and again...

Commercial Pregnancy Ultrasound Scanning Granted Medical VAT Exemption

The question of whether particular services are exempt from VAT is a perennial bone of contention which can have major financial and business consequences. That was certainly so in a case concerning the commercial provision of ultrasound scanning services ...

Trust and Estate Numbers Dip for Fifth Consecutive Year

HM Revenue and Customs have reported a decline in the number of trusts and estates in the UK for the fifth year in a row. Between 2018 and 2019, the total number of trusts and estates in the UK fell by 2 per cent to 151,000. The wealth management vehicles...

The Law Has Sharp Teeth When Tackling Breaches of Planning Control

Those who treat planning rules as a mere inconvenience in the belief that they can breach them with impunity are operating under an illusion . The Court of Appeal made that point in upholding heavy fines imposed on a property company and its sole active...

Divorce and the Increasing Use of Arbitration - Court of Appeal Test Case

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic it has become even more popular to seek resolution of financial issues arising from divorce via private arbitration rather than formal court proceedings – but to what extent are arbitration awards binding and enforceable?...

ET Recognises Stoicism as a Protected Philosophical Belief

Stoicism is a 2,300-year-old system of ethics which guided the steps of such giants of classical history as Seneca and the emperor Marcus Aurelius. Its adherents may nowadays be few and far between, but an Employment Tribunal (ET) has ruled that it...

Has Your Privacy Been Violated? You Don't Have to Put Up With It

For many people there is almost nothing more painful than having their private affairs aired on the internet or in publicly available print. As a High Court decision showed , however, specialist lawyers know exactly how to deal with such intrusions. The...

Mormon Church Wrests Control of 'Confusing' Domain Name

If attracting internet traffic is important to you, obtaining professional advice is crucial to maintaining the distinctive character of your website. In an unusual case on point, the Mormon Church took effective action to wrest control of a domain name ...

Saturation Diver Can Deduct Physical Fitness Expenses from Income Tax

Self-employed people are only permitted to deduct from their Income Tax bills those expenses that are incurred 'wholly and exclusively' for the purposes of their trade or occupation. That is a very demanding test but, in a guideline case, it was passed by a...
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