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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...

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...
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