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Emergency COVID-19 Legislation - Judges Crack the Democratic Whip

Wide-ranging legislative changes that would normally require months, even years, of consultation were rushed through in a matter of days in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A Court of Appeal ruling in a landmark case concerning emergency changes to the...

Teenage Road Accident Victim Receives £11 Million

The consequences of some road traffic accidents are so appalling that no amount of money can ever compensate for them and lawyers can only do their best. In a case on point, a teenager who was aged just two when she suffered life-changing injuries received...

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...

Duty to Warn Analysed by High Court in Context of Cricket Ball Accident

If signs had to be erected to warn against every conceivable risk faced by users of public open spaces, they would form a veritable forest of their own. The point was powerfully made in a High Court case concerning a walker in an urban park who was struck in...

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...

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...

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...

Local Authority Held Two Thirds to Blame for Serious Accident on Icy Road

When sub-zero conditions hit the road network, it is simply not feasible to grit or salt every yard of every highway and byway. However, in a rare decision, the High Court found that, in failing to respond to a clearly heralded risk of ice, a local authority...

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)...

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...

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...

Electrician Receives £4 Million Following TV Studio Fall

Working at height is always potentially hazardous and the consequences of health and safety breaches can be extremely costly in human, financial and reputational terms. That was certainly so in the case of an electrician who received seven-figure...

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?...

Highway Authority Condemned After Fallen Tree Causes Serious Accident

Roadside trees pose a clear health and safety risk in the event of disease, and those who bear responsibility for them are under a duty to inspect their condition regularly. In a case concerning a serious road accident caused by a fallen tree, a judge...

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...

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...

Buying a Home With Your Partner? Legal Advice Today Saves Heartache Later

Couples who buy a home together tend to assume that true love lasts forever and that the property should be owned in equal shares. As a High Court case showed , however, that is one very good reason why they should always consult a solicitor, whose job it...

Health and Safety is All About Realism and Context - High Court Guidance

Discerning whether an employer has breached its health and safety duties following a workplace accident is no mechanistic process and is all about realism and context. The High Court made that point in the case of an engineering technician who broke his hand...

Licensing Houses in Multiple Occupation - Ignorance of the Law is No Defence

Landlords who fail to license houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) commit a serious criminal offence and can expect to be hit hard in the pocket. In making that point, the Upper Tribunal (UT) emphasised that stiff financial penalties are generally required...

Man Struck Down by Hit-and-Run Driver Secures £5.2 Million Damages

Not every accident victim is entirely blameless, but personal injury lawyers do not let that stand in the way of obtaining desperately needed recompense. In one case, a much-loved family man who had been drinking before he was struck down and gravely injured...

Inheritance - Lifetime Promises Can Be Legally As Well As Morally Binding

When it comes to inheritance, the obligation to keep your promises may well be legal as well as moral. In a case on point, a judge followed the demands of conscience in ruling that a hard-working man should inherit the farmland of a close friend who for...

Workman Receives £2 Million Following Water Mains Accident

Discerning where responsibility lies for workplace accidents can be a highly complex matter, but that in no way deters personal injury lawyers from fighting the good fight on behalf of injured clients. In one case, a workman who suffered dreadful injuries...

Risks of Child Vaccination Outweighed By Health Benefits

In the best traditions of a free society, vaccination is not compulsory in the UK and anyone is entitled to withhold consent to being inoculated. In an important ruling, however, the High Court overruled a mother's moral and safety objections to her...

Tax Return Blunder Has Dire Consequences for Public-Spirited Charity Donor

Making a mistake on your tax return can have extremely serious consequences and that is why it is always wise to take professional advice. In a striking case on point, the High Court declined to come to the aid of a public-spirited businessman who donated...

Employer Not Responsible for Consequences of Workplace Practical Joke

Practical jokes in the workplace can have grave consequences which are anything but funny – but to what extent do employers bear legal responsibility for such horseplay? In ruling on a personal injury case, the High Court gave important guidance on...

Cross-Border Child Abduction and Habitual Residence - Guideline Ruling

A parent who wishes to move from one country to another with his or her child must first obtain the consent of the parent left behind. That principle of international law is easily stated but, as a guideline Court of Appeal ruling showed , applying it in a...

Injured in an Accident and Need Justice Now? The Law Can Move Fast

Assessing the value of personal injury claims can be a long and challenging process but, where victims simply cannot wait for compensation, the law can move with surprising speed. In one case, a teenager received multi-million-pound damages not much more...

Upset By Your Neighbours' Building Plans? You Are Far From Powerless

If your neighbours have obtained planning permission for building works to which you object, you may think that is the end of the matter. However, as one case strikingly showed , with the right legal advice you can still win the day. A company obtained...

Don't Leave It Too Late to Put Your Affairs in Order

People often talk about putting their affairs in order but then sit on their hands until it is too late. The serious consequences of delay in seeking legal advice were underlined by a case in which a woman waited until she was resident in a hospice,...

Victim of Work Colleague's Assault Awarded Substantial Compensation

Momentary outbursts of anger can have lifelong consequences and victims should not delay in seeking legal advice. In one case, a man who suffered dreadful injuries when he was punched by a work colleague received substantial compensation. Following an...

Court Urges Peace on Unmarried Couple at War Over Family Business

Unmarried couples should be under no illusions that they have legal rights equivalent to those who have tied the knot. The point could hardly have been more powerfully made than by a case concerning an unmarried former couple whose close-knit life together...

If You Believe You've Been Sold a Pup, Consult a Solicitor Today

If you have paid good money for goods or services and feel that you have not got what you bargained for, you should see a solicitor without delay. A case on point concerned a man who paid about £4,000 for what he believed would be a surgical hair...

Road Accidents - You Don't Have to Be Blameless to Receive Compensation

Identifying where blame lies for road accidents that happen in seconds is often no easy matter. However, as a High Court case showed, expert lawyers are more than capable of cutting through such issues to ensure that their injured clients are justly...

Disappointed Homebuyers Secure Six-Figure Damages From Negligent Surveyor

One good reason why sensible homebuyers engage the services of a surveyor prior to purchase is that, if things go wrong, they at least have someone to sue. In a case on point, a couple who paid £1.2 million for a seaside home which turned out to be...

Mother of Fireman Fatally Injured On Duty Receives £80,000 Compensation

Members of the emergency services are inevitably exposed to danger by the very nature of their jobs, but that in no way lessens their employers' health and safety obligations. In a case on point, the mother of a fireman who died from injuries suffered whilst...

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...
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