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Independent Legal Advice Proves Decisive in Family Inheritance Dispute

Just because someone is old, frail and vulnerable does not mean that they are incapable of understanding the contents of their will. However, as a High Court ruling in the context of a bitter inheritance dispute showed, the benefits of professional advice...

Ignorance of the Law Is No Defence - Or Is It? Child Benefit Tax Ruling

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) must publicise changes in the tax regime and taxpayers are not obliged to go rooting around its website in an attempt to keep up to date. The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) made that point in finding that a father had a reasonable...

Going Back on Admissions of Liability in Personal Injury Cases - High Court Ruling

Admissions of liability made in personal injury cases are generally binding and only rarely will defendants be permitted to go back on such concessions. The High Court made that point in the case of a young man who claimed to have suffered injury due to a...

COVID-19 and Parental Contact With Children in Care - Guideline Ruling

How, if at all, is the duty of local authorities to allow children in their care reasonable contact with their parents affected by social distancing rules arising from the COVID-19 pandemic? The Court of Appeal confronted that issue in a guideline case . ...

Homelessness and the Need to Make Use of Vacant Investment Properties

Amidst widespread homelessness, owners of investment properties who allow them to stand empty for extended periods can find themselves on the receiving end of compulsory purchase orders (CPOs). Exactly that happened in a case concerning a desirable...

Ambiguity in Widower's Poorly Drafted Will Results in Family Stalemate

The whole point of engaging a professional to draft your will is to make your wishes clear in precise and unambiguous terms. If your will falls below that high standard the result, as a High Court ruling showed , can be family stalemate after you are gone. ...

Securing Damages Isn't Easy, But Lawyers Will Do Their Utmost

Not every personal injury claim can succeed but that is almost never due to any want of trying on the part of victims' legal teams. In a recent case, however, a lorry driver who was gravely injured when an articulated truck and trailer rolled over him had...

Judge Breaks Deadlock Between Unmarried Ex-Couple With Children

When long-term relationships between unmarried couples break down, disentangling their property and financial affairs can be challenging, particularly where children are involved. As one case showed, however, a clean break is often the best option for all...

Object to a Planning Decision? A Lawyer Will Ensure Your Voice Is Heard

If you object to a planning decision, an expert lawyer will ensure that your voice is heard loud and clear. In one case, a woman succeeded in overturning planning permission for the construction of 18 holiday lodges close to her rural home. The local...

Injured in a Road Accident? Don't Be Tempted to Over-Egg the Pudding

The vast majority of compensation claims made by road accident victims are entirely genuine, but there are sadly always some who give in to the temptation to over-egg the pudding when describing their injuries. A High Court ruling in one such case...

High Court Exercises Wisdom of Solomon in Ordering Sale of Family Home

Amidst ever-rising property prices, it can make good sense for friends or relatives to club together to buy a home where they can all live together. As a High Court ruling showed , however, the continuing harmony in human relationships upon which such...

Prison Officer Struck With Broom By Inmate Secures Damages

The psychiatric impact of traumatic workplace incidents can often be far worse than the physical injuries suffered. In a case on point, a prison guard whose mental health suffered severely after an inmate hit him in the face with a broom was awarded more...

COVID-19 - High Court Waives Strict Time Limit in Data Protection Case

The severe disruption to the legal process wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted judges to take a practical approach and, in some cases, to waive strict compliance with procedural rules. The High Court did just that in enabling a local authority to...

Court of Appeal Sanctions 'Informal' Tax Investigations in Landmark Case

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) operate within the constraints of their statutory powers, but their ability to conduct 'informal' enquiries into taxpayers' affairs, without limit of time, has been upheld by the Court of Appeal in a landmark ruling . The case...

Party Guest Injured in Rickshaw Ride 'Put Herself at Obvious Risk'

Parties are no fun unless guests are in high spirits, but those who place themselves in obviously risky situations cannot expect to be compensated for any injuries they suffer. A judge made that point in the case of a young woman who came to grief following...

Don't Even Consider a Foreign Adoption Without Specialist Legal Advice

Adopting children from abroad can complete families and be of great benefit to all concerned. However, as a High Court case showed, it is fraught with legal pitfalls and should not be attempted without first taking specialist legal advice. The case...

Never Accept a Lift From a Drink Driver - High Court Cautionary Tale

Allowing yourself to be driven by someone who you know has been drinking is itself negligent and, if an accident occurs, your right to compensation is likely to be badly affected. The High Court made that point in the case of a young man whose life was...

Abuse Victims' Compensation Rights Survive the Perpetrator's Death

The potential liability of criminals to pay compensation to their victims does not come to an end with their death. In a unique High Court case, that principle was applied to the estate of a paedophile who died leaving a net estate worth almost £4.7...

Property Investors - Make Sure Your Money is Secured From the Outset

Investing in property is very far from being risk free but usually has the advantage that monies advanced are secured against real 'bricks and mortar' assets. The crucial importance of ensuring that enforceable security is in place before parting with your...

Family Dispute Underlines Wisdom of Making a Professionally Drafted Will

Family disputes frequently focus on inheritance and can inflict immense anxiety and pain on all concerned. A case concerning a young man who died tragically when he stepped in front of a train, however, showed that the best way to avoid such conflict is to...

Road Accident Victim Awarded £225,000 Damages From Taxi Driver

Finger-pointing and protestations of innocence are commonplace in the aftermath of serious road accidents. However, as a High Court case concerning a head-on crash in which an elderly woman was badly injured showed, judges are adept at weighing up the...

Giving With Warm Hands to Minimise Inheritance Tax - High Court Ruling

The most straightforward means of minimising Inheritance Tax (IHT) payable on your estate is to give away your assets with warm hands when you are still hale and hearty. However, such gifts will bring no tax advantages at all unless they are absolute and...

Want to Adopt a Child From Overseas? Beware the Legal Pitfalls

Adopting children from overseas is fraught with legal pitfalls and those who attempt to do so without first taking expert advice expose themselves to heartbreak. In one case, however, the High Court came to the aid of a British woman who adopted a little...

Injured Whilst On Holiday Abroad? You Need Specialist Legal Advice

Obtaining fair compensation for holidaymakers who are injured abroad can pose real difficulties. The case of a pensioner who was reduced to a shadow of his former self following a road accident in Spain, however, showed that English lawyers are well equipped...

Let Down By Your Builder? Consult a Solicitor Without Delay

Home renovations are a notoriously frequent source of dispute and, if you feel that you have been let down by a builder, you should consult a solicitor straight away. In a case on point, a householder won a £200,000 asset freezing order against a...

Home-Made Wills May Save a Few Pounds But Store Up Trouble for the Future

Home-made wills may save you a few pounds in the short term, but dispensing with legal advice greatly increases the risk of painful disputes arising after you are gone. That was certainly so in the case of a desperately ill man who left the whole of his...

Tempted to Fire Off a Social Media Post in Anger? Don't Do It

Social media posts fired off in anger can have grave legal consequences even if they are swiftly taken down. In an extreme case on point, a man who revealed his niece's history of mental illness and self-harm to the world online was ordered to pay her...

Elderly Cyclist Knocked Down By Negligent Driver Receives £950,000

Accident victims should never be put off seeking compensation merely because they are advanced in years. In one case, a man in his 70s whose autumn years were blighted by injuries suffered when he was knocked off his bicycle by a negligent driver received...

Tribunal Comes to Aid of Dutiful Son Penalised for Late Payment of Tax

Prioritising prompt payment of your tax bills can be tough, particularly when there are other compelling and unforeseen demands on your limited resources. In a case on point, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) came to the aid of a man who dipped into his tax...

Secret Marriage Leads to Legal Complications - High Court Ruling

It is not only in the realms of fiction that lovers choose to marry in secret, away from the gaze of their disapproving families. A highly unusual High Court case , however, showed the legal difficulties that can arise from such arrangements. The case...

HSE Fatal Injury Statistics 2019/2020

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published provisional statistics for fatal workplace injuries in Great Britain for the year 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020. A total of 111 workers were fatally injured at work in Great Britain in 2019/2020, a...

Renting Out Your Home on Airbnb? Are You Sure You're Entitled to Do So?

Tenants should take professional advice before renting out their homes to short-term paying guests via Airbnb, Booking.com or other internet booking sites. In a case on point, a couple who failed to take that sensible step placed themselves in jeopardy by...

Making a Will? Have You Considered Your Loved Ones' Real Needs?

For many parents, the objective of a will is to ensure even-handed treatment of loved ones, particularly children. However, as a High Court case strikingly showed, some may be more needy than others and that too should be taken into account. The case...

Teenager Injured in Fatal Road Crash Receives Over £3.7 Million

Road accidents that happen in the blink of an eye can have consequences that last a lifetime, which is why it is so important that victims are properly compensated. In one case, a young woman who suffered devastating injuries in a crash which cost her...

Tempted By an Exotic Investment Scheme? Is It Too Good to Be True?

It is easy to be tempted by exotic investment schemes that promise spectacular returns. However, as a High Court case strikingly showed , they are often too good to be true and it is always wise to get an independent professional to check them out before...

Seeking a Just Outcome? Always Consult a Qualified Solicitor

Vulnerable negligence victims sadly often fall into the clutches of unqualified people who hold themselves out as professionals with expertise in pursuing compensation claims. A High Court ruling served as a warning to all that practising law is for lawyers...

Lawyers Win the Ruck in Seeking Justice for Injured Rugby Player

One of the most crucial aspects of a personal injury lawyer's work is to gather all the information required to build a successful case. The difficulty of that task was shown by a case involving a professional rugby player who claimed to have been injured...

Divorce - Home-Maker Wife Compensated for Sacrificing Her Career

Despite the drive towards achieving economic equality between the sexes, it remains common for women to give up their promising careers to support their husbands and devote themselves to child rearing and home-making. An important High Court ruling ...

High-Profile Homeowners Can Divert Footpath Away From Their Garden

Ramblers love footpaths, but the same cannot be said for landowners concerned to protect their privacy and security. That was certainly so in one case in which homeowners with a high media profile won the right to divert a footpath which crossed their...

Worker Who Tripped Over No Entry Sign Awarded £35,000

Despite stringent health and safety rules, accidents at work remain a frequent occurrence and those who suffer injury should consult a solicitor without delay. In one case, a worker who tripped over a no entry sign, installed to deter employees from taking...

High Court Acts to Rescue Company After Sole Shareholder's Death

If you are an entrepreneur and own your own company, that is all the more reason why you should take professional advice regarding the consequences that might arise on your death. In an unusual High Court case on point , a farm contracting business was left...

Grandfather Run Down on Pelican Crossing Receives Six-Figure Damages

No amount of compensation can fully recompense those whose lives are ruined by dangerous drivers, but it can at least give them security for the future. In one case, a grandfather who was struck down on a pelican crossing after a motorist shot a red light...

Court Permits Wife Who Unlawfully Killed Her Husband to Inherit His Assets

Few would quarrel with the long-standing rule of law that anyone who unlawfully kills another is barred from benefiting, financially or otherwise, from his or her crime. In a unique decision, however, the High Court waived that rule in the case of an...

Children's Wishes and Feelings Prevail in Bitter Paternity Dispute

In the throes of family breakdown, parents often focus on their own personal battles – but it is the best interests of their children that are always uppermost in family judges' minds. In a case on point, the wishes and feelings of two teenagers ...

Holidaymaker Who Tripped Over Sun Lounger Awarded Substantial Damages

Holidaymakers who suffer accidents abroad can face an uphill struggle to obtain just compensation, but specialist English lawyers are well equipped to rise to the challenge. In one case, a woman who was injured when she tripped over a sun lounger at a hotel...

Trusts Are Handy But Can Be Hazardous - Always Take Advice

Trusts can be an invaluable means of providing for vulnerable loved ones, but they need careful handling by a professional if they are not to have serious unforeseen consequences. In a case on point, the High Court came to the aid of a retired GP whose...

COVID-19 - Are Remote Court Hearings Fair? Judge Tackles the Issue

Thanks to telephone conferencing and video link technology, delivery of civil justice has continued almost unabated during the COVID-19 pandemic – but are remote hearings fair? A judge considered that fundamental issue in ruling that a clinical...

SDLT Relief Takes Immediate Effect in England and Northern Ireland

A temporary Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) relief measure has taken immediate effect in England and Northern Ireland after being announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in his summer economic statement. The measure has been introduced by the Government to try and...

Parking Fine Imposed on Private Landowner Triggers High Court Test Case

A fine imposed on a householder for parking her Land Rover on her own land put the conflict between private ownership and public access to the road network in high relief and provided the subject matter for an important High Court test case . For many...

High Court Annuls Overseas Marriage After Ruling 'Wife' a Bigamist

In order to be divorced you obviously have to be validly married, and bigamy remains a surprisingly common occurrence. In one case, the High Court found that a couple's overseas wedding did not render them husband and wife – because she was already...
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