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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...

Director Held Personally Liable for Multi-Million-Pound Missing Trader Fraud

Where a company becomes involved in the fraudulent evasion of tax, the corporate veil will rarely protect its directors from personal liability. An elderly businessman found that out to his cost when he received a seven-figure bill that was likely to...

Returning Expatriate Couple Pay the Price for Brexit

Brexit has for years been a constant topic of conversation, but some of its potentially serious consequences remain largely unknown outside specialist legal circles. That was certainly so in the case of a retired couple who were perturbed to receive a...

Land Adjoining the Highway and Occupiers' Liability - Court of Appeal Ruling

To what extent, if any, do occupiers of land bordering highways owe a duty of care to road users? The Court of Appeal considered that important issue in the tragic case of a mother who drowned when she veered off a road into a reservoir. The woman was said...

Divorce - Fairly Dividing Marital Assets is Not a Blame Game

The question of who is to blame for the breakdown of a marriage is often uppermost in divorcees' minds, but it is hardly ever relevant when it comes to fairly dividing up assets. The High Court made that point in the case of a husband who kept two families ...

Disabled Teenager Receives £100,000 Following Inappropriate Restraint

Lightning can, sadly, strike the same individual twice, with the result that those who are already intensely vulnerable have their plight worsened by the negligence of others. That point was demonstrated by the case of a disabled teenager who suffered a...

Update Your Will Today - This is What Can Happen If You Don't

Family relationships can become increasingly complex over time, particularly where marital breakdown intervenes, and that is why it is so important to keep your will up to date. As one case showed, a failure to take that sensible course can positively invite...

High Court Apportions Responsibility for Catastrophic Motorway Crash

Where orderly lines of motorway traffic descend into chaos in not much more than the blink of an eye, it can be very hard to discern where responsibility for an accident lies. However, as one case showed, judges are well up to the task. The case concerned a...

Relationship Broken Down? Do You Understand the Legal Consequences?

When a relationship between partners who jointly own their home breaks down, one of them may move out leaving the other in sole occupation. That is a commonplace scenario but, as a High Court case showed, it can give rise to legal and financial issues that...

Tax Avoidance Schemes, No Matter How Intricate, May Not Be Effective

There is nothing unlawful about tax avoidance schemes but, however intricate and apparently foolproof they may be, their effectiveness can never be guaranteed. A businessman found that out to his cost after one such scheme failed to shield him from a...

Driving Within the Speed Limit May Still Be Too Fast - High Court Ruling

Excessive speed causes more road accidents than anything else and, depending on the prevailing conditions, even a motorist who is driving within the speed limit may be going too fast. The High Court made that point in finding a veteran cab driver 50 per cent...

Disinherited Widow Can Pursue Reasonable Provision Claim Despite Delay

If someone on whom you depend financially dies without reasonably providing for you in their will, you should contact a solicitor straight away. In a High Court case on point , a delay in seeking legal advice very nearly stymied a disinherited widow's claim...

Suffered a Tripping Accident? You May Be Entitled to Justice

Almost everyone has had the experience of tripping on an uneven pavement and, in the majority of cases, pedestrians just pick themselves up and move on. As a High Court case showed, however, lawyers perform a vital role in ensuring that those unlucky enough...

High Court Exercises Inherent Power to Order Children's Return to England

Many families have one foot in the UK and another abroad and that can give rise to parental disagreement as to where their children should live. Wherever in the world British children may be, however, family judges in this country have an inherent power to...

Litigation - You Need a Lawyer to Navigate the Procedural Minefield

The litigation process can, to a non-lawyer, appear to be a maze of procedural rules replete with traps for the unwary. In one case, a woman's claim against a builder went wrong almost from the start when she failed to pay a court fee on time. Following a...

Minimally Conscious Accident Victim Receives Seven-Figure Award

Accidents at work can have devastating consequences and it is very often true that no amount of money can ever make up for the pain and suffering involved. A case concerning a man in a minimally conscious state showed, however, that specialist lawyers can at...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Deduction of Accommodation Costs from Income Tax - Guideline Ruling

You are only able to deduct accommodation and other expenses from your Income Tax liabilities if they have been wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred in the performance of the duties of your employment. That is a very high hurdle but, as a tax...

Lawyers Praised for Achieving Excellent Settlement of Road Accident Claim

Lawyers are not detectives, but the roles they play in discerning the causes of road traffic accidents are often surprisingly similar. That was certainly so in a case concerning a young man who was seen staggering around in the road moments before he was...
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