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Get an Agreement - Especially Where Family Members Are Involved!

It is normal for money, often considerable sums, to pass between family members. However, when this is done without legal advice, it is only too common for disputes to arise as to whether or not the sums concerned were meant as gifts. Disputes between family...

Good News for Airline Passengers as 'In Writing' Clause Overcome

Almost everyone who has flown much has a story (or more than one) about lost or damaged luggage, and holiday insurance claims regarding these are commonplace. A Finnish man who took a holiday to Malaga found that some items went missing from his luggage on...

Inconsistent Residential Planning Permission Overturned

If you are faced with an unwelcome proposal for development nearby, a recent case shows how tenaciousness and a knowledge of past planning history can help to prevent it. Consistency of decision making is a fundamental principle of planning law and local...

Wife Seeking Divorce Fails to Prove English Domicile

London has gained a reputation as 'the divorce capital of the world' because settlements reached are, by international standards, very generous towards women. It is no surprise, therefore, that the courts in this country are a very popular choice of venue...

Attorney Pays for Lack of Attention

If you accept appointment under a power of attorney, it is essential to understand the responsibilities this entails. A recent case shows what can happen if a less than thorough approach is taken. It dealt with arrangements made by a 95-year-old widower...

When is a Year More Than a Year?

When a landlord appointed agents to manage properties in London, it did so under an agreement for 12 months, which was specified to continue on a yearly basis until terminated by either party giving the required notice. The landlord failed, however, to give...

Planning Application Restricted to Preserve View

On our densely populated island, there is a pressing need for available land to be put to sensible use and, where restrictive covenants lurking in title deeds prevent that happening, they can be modified. In a case on point, a man's desire to provide a...

Unmarried Partners and Widowed Parent's Allowance - Supreme Court Rules

A decision of the Supreme Court announced today has important implications for unmarried partners of people who have died. The case involved a woman from Northern Ireland who was denied Widowed Parent's Allowance (WPA) after her partner of 23 years passed...

Financial Claim Based on Support After Divorce Fails

The usual course of events on divorce is that there is a financial settlement which divides up the family assets as they are at that point in time. This takes into account the expected future income and need for income of the couple who have split up, based...

Landowners' Duties and Highway Visibility - Court of Appeal Test Case

If landowners allow vegetation to grow so that it affects visibility on adjacent highways, should they be held liable if accidents occur? In a decision that broke new legal ground, the Court of Appeal has answered that question with a resounding 'no' . The...

Landlords Caught by Tenant's Environmental Failings

A landlord that ignores the potential for problems caused by the activities of its tenant does so at its peril, as a recent case demonstrated conclusively . It concerned a company that recycled mattresses on a site it rented. It lacked any sort of...

Farmer Acts to Protect Family Promise

Farming families appear regularly in the courts these days, as more and more cases arise that feature undocumented promises that have been made (or are alleged to have been made) by parents but not kept. The law will only enforce such informal arrangements...

Tenants Must Bear Cost of Safety Improvements

Following the Grenfell disaster in 2017, cladding has come under close scrutiny with surveys being carried out as a priority in buildings across the UK. The failure to comply with Building Regulations (Part L1A 2010), which provides a framework for ensuring...

Possible Separation From Mother Intolerable, Rules Court

Relationships that start on the Internet are already leading to some interesting situations. A recent family case involved a British woman who had met a Pakistani man online and married him in the USA, where the couple had two children. Her husband had...

Business Owners - How Secure Are You Against Sudden Eviction?

Business owners that fail to take legal advice and occupy premises on an uncertain basis are always at risk. In a High Court case exactly on point , a business college found itself locked out of its office block and embroiled in a costly dispute with the...

Money in a Bank Account Is Not Property - Guideline Court of Appeal Ruling

Money in a bank account represents the debt due from the bank to the account holder and is not 'property' in the eyes of the law. The Court of Appeal made that point in quashing the convictions of a woman who was accused of abusing her position as a senior...

Disappointed Children Fail to Overturn Will

When a will is made late in life which materially changes how an estate is to be distributed (especially when the new will favours one of a number of children), a dispute following the death is almost inevitable. So it was when an 85-year-old woman made a...

Pre-Nup Upheld When Implications Understood

Family judges will approach pre-nuptial agreements with greater respect following a landmark Court of Appeal ruling in a 'big money' divorce case . The Court agreed with Lord Phillips' opinion in Radmacher v Granatino that failing to honour such...

What Seems Reasonable to You...

It is a common term in a lease for the tenants to have to seek permission from the landlord if they want to do something new to or with the premises they let. Typically, such clauses specify that permission will not be 'unreasonably withheld'. However, what...

New Planning Rules to Benefit Developers

Obtaining planning permission is often a tricky process and the delight in getting permission can be tempered by the local council adding a 'pre-commencement' condition specifying something that must be done. The result is a planning permission granted but...

Unnecessary Risk-Taking Means Tour Operator Not Liable for Accident

With the holiday season upon us, a recent case shows that there are limits to the liability of tour operators when accidents occur, especially when they are the result of rash behaviour. The case involved a man who fell from the balcony of his hotel in...

Witnesses Save the Day for Widow in Will Argument

A divorced man who remarried in his late 50s made a new will in 1998, one year after the marriage, which left his entire estate to his new wife. After he died, a home-made will was discovered, made shortly before his death. This left virtually his entire...

Jail for Husband Who Flouted Court Ruling

Court orders have to be obeyed and those who defy them can ultimately be sent to prison. Exactly that happened in one 'big money' divorce case in which an 83-year-old businessman repeatedly tried to thwart his ex-wife. Following the end of the former...

Landlords - Children Count Too!

When a landlord appealed against his prosecution for breaking a planning enforcement notice with regard to a house in multiple occupation (HMO) he owns, he used a rather novel argument to justify exceeding the limitation on the number of residents of the...

Siblings Pay High Price for Dishonest Assistance to Bankrupt Brother

If family members or friends are facing bankruptcy, it may be tempting to assist them in keeping their assets away from the clutches of creditors. The folly of such conduct was, however, strikingly revealed by a Court of Appeal case concerning a family...
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