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Performance of Employment Contract 'Tainted by Illegality' - Cautionary Tale

There is nothing wrong with an employee being paid in a tax-efficient manner. As an Employment Tribunal (ET) ruling showed, however, where such arrangements stray into the realms of unlawful evasion the consequences are likely to be severe. The case...

Accident Victim Plunged Into Apathy Receives Millions in Recompense

Accident victims' injuries can be subtle and not apparent to the casual observer but that does not make them any less devastating. In one case, a young man who sank into a life of apathy due to catastrophic head injuries sustained in a road collision...

Family Judge Heeds Teenage Foster Child's Wish to Change His Surname

Children do not, as a matter of law, have capacity to make important decisions for themselves – but that does not mean that their wishes and feelings are irrelevant. In an unusual case on point, the High Court gave effect to a teenage foster child's...

Inheritance - Daughter's Lies Trigger Rare Finding of Fraudulent Calumny

Sick and vulnerable people can be prone to the malign, even fraudulent, influence of relatives or others who are intent on maximising their inheritance. However, as a High Court case showed , such conduct is unlikely to go undetected. The case concerned a...

Triple Killer Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity Can Claim Compensation

The fundamental principle of law that no one should be permitted to profit from their own wrongdoing is very easy to state but can be far more challenging to apply in practice. That was certainly so in a unique High Court case concerning a man who was in the...

What is an 'Annoyance'? High Court Defines the Correct Legal Test

Restrictive covenants that forbid property owners from causing annoyance, nuisance or disturbance to their neighbours commonly appear in title deeds – but how are they to be interpreted? In the context of a dispute between residents of a housing...

Double Taxation Treaties - Wealthy South African Relieved of £10 Million Bill

Rich individuals often have their feet firmly planted in more than one country and that can give rise to disputes as to where they should be taxed. In a guideline case, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) considered the position of an extremely wealthy man with...

Help for Road Accident Victim Left All Alone in the World

Some of the most seriously injured accident victims have no close family or friends to look after them and are essentially alone in the world. However, as a High Court case showed, that in no way deters personal injury lawyers from battling for justice on...

Family Judge Labours to Achieve Fairness Between Debt-Laden Divorcees

So-called 'big money' divorces may grab the headlines, but lower-value disputes can often be the hardest to resolve. In a case on point, a family judge laboured to meet the reasonable needs of a divorcing couple whose debts far exceeded their modest...

Make a Will and Appoint a Professional Executor - Two Ways to Avoid Conflict

There is ultimately only so much that you can do to prevent your loved ones falling out over inheritance issues after you are gone. However, as a High Court decision showed, the threat of bad blood developing can be greatly reduced by making an expertly...

Man Who Fell Through Pub Roof Skylight Receives £250,000 Award

Some personal injury claims pose a much greater challenge than others but, even in the toughest cases, specialist lawyers can achieve life-changing results. That was certainly so in the case of a young man who suffered catastrophic injuries when he fell...

Buying Land? Have You Fully Understood Any Restrictions on its Use?

When buying land it is vital to have a full understanding of any restrictions on the use to which it can be put. In a striking case on point, a couple were caught unawares by one such restriction and had their hopes of constructing an equestrian training...

Farmer Towing 'Hidden Death Trap' Wholly to Blame for Catastrophic Accident

A farmer at the wheel of a tractor on a narrow country lane owes precisely the same duty of care to pedestrians as an ordinary driver on a motorway. In a case on point, the High Court ruled that a farmer's inattention and excessive speed was the entire cause...

Lending Money to a Friend, No Matter How Trusted, Carries Serious Risks

No matter how much you respect and trust your friends, lending them money can be fraught with risk and should never be done without first taking professional advice. A case on point concerned a couple who lent £210,000 to a neighbour to help him fund...

'Challenging' Road Accident Claim Settled for £450,000

Some personal injury cases throw up huge challenges for lawyers. However, a case in which a six-figure settlement of a road accident victim's claim was achieved showed that there are few hurdles that cannot be overcome. The middle-aged man was riding his...

Overseas Surrogacy Can Be a Legal Quagmire - Always Seek Expert Advice

Overseas surrogacy arrangements are an effective means of completing families. As a High Court ruling showed , however, they are notoriously replete with legal pitfalls and should never be entered into without first taking professional advice. The case...

What are the Tax Implications of Settling an Employment Tribunal Claim?

When paying money to settle Employment Tribunal (ET) proceedings, employers are not infrequently motivated by a desire to make what they perceive as a nuisance go away – but how should such payments be treated for tax purposes? The First-tier Tribunal...

Interpreting Wills That May Be Ambiguous - High Court Guidance

Even with the most careful drafting, there is always a risk that a will may be capable of bearing more than one meaning. In resolving a family inheritance dispute, the High Court considered the extent to which extraneous evidence of a will-maker's...

Driver Distracted by Mobile Phone Liable for Horrific Freight Train Collision

Judges often have to steel themselves to make tough decisions. In one such case, the High Court reluctantly concluded that a motorist was distracted by her mobile phone and bore at least partial responsibility for a collision with a freight train in which a...

Overlooked Homeowners Fall Foul of Ambiguity in Planning Permission

Finding your way around the intricacies of the planning system without professional advice is, for most people, a near impossibility. The point was powerfully made by the case of a couple whose intimate living space was overlooked by a skylight fitted to a...

Wife Sees Off Bankruptcy Trustees' Attempt to Sell Off Her Home

When people dispose of assets shortly before having themselves declared bankrupt, it is inevitable that eyebrows will often be raised. However, as a judge's ruling showed, it is one thing to allege an improper motive and quite another to prove it. The case...

Judge Opens New Chapter in Woman's Life by Dispelling Dark Family Secret

Dark secrets lurking in your family background are likely to cause you untold pain. As one case showed , however, bringing the truth to light in the safe environment of a family court can draw the sting and bring peace to you and future generations. The...

Absence of Trunk Road Hard Shoulder Triggers Catastrophic Accident

Road accidents that happen in the blink of an eye can have lifelong consequences and that is why awards in such cases frequently run well into seven figures. In a case on point, a young man who was catastrophically injured in a collision after his car broke...

Private Dog Grooming Tutor Denied VAT Exemption

The categories of business that enjoy VAT exemption are highly restricted and any attempt to extend them is likely to encounter stiff opposition from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). That was certainly so in the case of a woman who provided private tuition in...

Brexit Triggers Jurisdictional Dispute in Alpine Skiing Accident Case

The sun came up as usual the day after Brexit but, from a legal point of view, much has changed. The point was made by a personal injury claim in respect of a skiing accident in France that was issued in England shortly after transitional arrangements...

Judges Have No Power to Rewrite Valid Wills - Guideline High Court Ruling

Judges have no power to rewrite your will after your death so as to achieve a result which, in their view, better reflects your wishes. The High Court made that point in upholding the validity of a Parkinson's disease sufferer's will although, at least in...

Proving Fundamental Dishonesty in Personal Injury Cases Requires Full Evidence

It is increasingly common for accident victims to be accused of fundamental dishonesty in exaggerating their compensation claims. However, as a judge's ruling in the case of a delivery driver who tripped on a garage forecourt showed, those who make such...

Equal Sharing Principle Delivers Fair Result in £6 Million Divorce Case

When it comes to divorce, it is very common for one spouse to argue that he or she should receive the lion's share of the marital wealth. However, as a guideline case concerning an entrepreneurial couple showed , fairness usually demands that an equal...

Judge Laments Heavy Cost of Suburban Boundary Dispute

Apparently trifling neighbours' disputes over a few inches of land have a nasty habit of taking on the proportions of a state trial, with legal costs to match. That was sadly so in a case concerning the positioning of a fence between two suburban gardens. ...

Lawyers Step In to Protect Negligence Victim Prey to Gambling Addiction

The intense vulnerability of many negligence victims requires lawyers to take careful steps to protect them from exploitation by others and the consequences of their own poor decision-making. A case on point concerned a recipient of a seven-figure...

Donating Shares to Charity - Tax Tribunal Resolves Valuation Impasse

It makes perfect sense that the market value of shares given to charity is deductible from the donor's tax liabilities. However, as an important tax tribunal ruling showed , discerning exactly what that value is can be very far from straightforward. The...

A Drunk Driver's Passengers May Themselves Be Negligent - Cautionary Tale

Those who allow themselves to be driven by motorists who are obviously drunk are likely to be held at least partially responsible for their own injuries if the journey ends in disaster. The Court of Appeal made that point in a guideline case. The case...

Think Hard Before Changing Your Will - High Court Cautionary Tale

Keeping your will up to date is a very good idea, but making changes that are likely to disappoint members of your family who might expect to inherit can be a recipe for dispute after you are gone. That was certainly so in a High Court case concerning a...

Judge Overturns Divorce Decree Based on Wife's Forged Signature

Court orders are sometimes obtained by improper means, but when the truth emerges – as it almost always does – those responsible are bound to pay a crushing price. That was certainly so in the case of a businessman who obtained a divorce on the...

Lasting Powers of Attorney - Why it Makes Sense to Appoint a Professional

Many people very sensibly confer lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) on others so that their affairs can be properly managed in the event that they lose the ability to do so themselves. However, as a High Court ruling underlined , it often makes good sense to...

Insurers' Liability in Respect of Rogue Surgeon's Crimes Limited to £10 Million

The activities of rogue surgeon Ian Paterson, who subjected hundreds of women to incomplete or entirely unnecessary mastectomies, gave rise to a Court of Appeal ruling of great significance to the insurance industry. Over a period of about 14 years,...

Accident at Work Victim Receives £2.6 Million Award

Accidents at work can have life-changing consequences and, if they are someone else's fault, it is only right that full compensation is paid. In one case, a young man who was dreadfully injured when he was run over by a colleague received seven-figure...

Absentee Tenant Pays High Price for Failing to Leave Forwarding Address

Absentee or non-resident tenants who do not leave their landlords with a forwarding address place themselves in acute legal danger. In one case, a tenant who failed to take that sensible step suffered forfeiture of her 140-year lease due to her non-payment...

Tax Ruling - TV Presenter's Personal Service Company Falls Foul of IR35

Media personalities, IT professionals and others often obtain perfectly legitimate tax advantages by providing their services as independent contractors via their own private companies. As one case showed, however, the tax authorities are making...

No Concessions Made in Achieving £5 Million Road Crash Settlement

In striving to achieve the best possible financial outcome for their clients, personal injury lawyers have to know when to compromise and when to dig in their heels. In a case on point, a seven-figure settlement was negotiated for a gravely injured road...

High Court Declares 'Illiterate' Business Tycoon's £100 Million Will Invalid

Your assets are your own and, when making your will, you have complete freedom to leave them to whomever you choose. As a case concerning a business tycoon's £100 million estate showed , however, a will signed without the testator having knowledge and...

Teenager's Wishes and Feelings Prevail in Finely Balanced Adoption Case

Children may not have the capacity to make important decisions for themselves, but that does not mean that family judges ignore their wishes and feelings. In a highly unusual case on point, a 17-year-old girl was granted her adamant wish to be adopted by...

Dental Practice Owner Owed Patient a Non-Delegable Duty of Care

There is such a thing as a duty of care that cannot be delegated to others. The Court of Appeal made that point in finding that the owner of a dental practice bore personal responsibility for a patient's wellbeing although he played no part in her treatment....

Houses in Multiple Occupation - Landlords Overturn Rent Repayment Order

Landlords who rent out houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) without a required licence are exposed to the double whammy of criminal prosecution and the prospect of having to repay rent to their tenants. As an unusual Upper Tribunal (UT) ruling showed ,...

Nightclub Dancer Compensated Following Vicious Assault by Customer

Public-facing businesses are under a clear legal duty to protect their personnel from the risk of assault by customers. In a case on point, a nightclub dancer who was viciously attacked by a client was awarded substantial compensation after a culpable delay...

Moral and Legal Obligations are Different - Family Inheritance Dispute

There can be a world of difference between a moral obligation and a legal one. The High Court made that point in rejecting a daughter's claim that part of her deceased mother's stake in a residential property was held on trust for her. By the unequivocal...

Father Probably Responsible for Fatal Poisoning - Family Judge's Findings

Before deciding where a child's best interests lie, family judges often have to conduct detailed inquiries into the character and conduct of their parents. In a unique case on point , a judge ruled that a father was probably responsible for the fatal...

Road Accident Victim Sees Off 'Fundamental Dishonesty' Accusation

It is increasingly common for motor insurers to attack road accident compensation claims as fundamentally dishonest. However, a High Court case in which a young woman was awarded seven-figure damages underlined the great care with which judges scrutinise...

Do You Object to a Neighbour's Development Plans? Consult a Solicitor

If a neighbour has been granted planning permission for a development to which you object, you would be forgiven for thinking that there is nothing more you can do about it. As one case showed, however, with the benefit of expert legal advice that is by no...

Negligent Jockey Held Liable for Fellow Competitor's Catastrophic Injury

Competitors in almost every active sport voluntarily accept a risk of injury. As a High Court case concerning a catastrophic horse racing accident showed, however, that does not excuse participants from bearing liability for negligence. The case concerned a...
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