Legal News

Under English law, a person is able (within limits) to decide absolutely to whom their estate should pass. However, many countries have 'forced heirship' laws, under which a deceased person's estate must pass in specified proportions to a particular person...
An argument over a planning permission for a small rural development has necessitated the intervention of the Court of Appeal , which confirmed that a council that failed to follow its own planning guidelines could not grant permission for a development...
We have written on numerous occasions of the danger of either failing to leave a will or of not taking professional advice when making your will. Among the difficulties that can arise with DIY wills are challenges by family members who have been excluded...
One of the advantages of placing your trust in solicitors is that they owe a lifelong duty to maintain the confidentiality of any information you give them. That point was underlined by a High Court case in which a solicitor was banned from taking...
People who seek advantage by going beyond the bounds of planning permission they are given can expect to be taught a very expensive lesson by the courts. However, the law does guarantee the right of a person to have a planning application considered, as was...
When a couple divorced in 2014, the ex-husband was ordered to pay his ex-wife periodical payments of £120,000 per year after he was found to have used a variety of stratagems to make himself appear worse off than he really was. A mere three months...
No amount of careful drafting can be guaranteed to iron out disagreements as to the true meaning of contract terms and when a dispute occurs it may require the intervention of a judge to bring clarity. One case exactly on point concerned a contract for the...
A solicitor's primary duty when drafting a will is to follow faithfully their client's instructions after giving accurate and level-headed advice. In a professional negligence case triggered by the early death of a business tycoon's wife, the High Court...
Many people think that for a libel to occur, the statement made has to be both false and made in public, but in fact that is not so, as a recent libel case confirms . The libellous comments were made by a care worker at a hospital about a colleague in an...
Home ownership is generally regarded as providing safety and long-term security, but this is not always the case as properties can be compulsorily purchased by public authorities to make way for socially beneficial developments. Any householders affected are...
When you appoint a solicitor to be the executor of your will, you can be assured that they will understand their duties and can be relied upon to comply with them. However, as a High Court case showed, the same sadly cannot always be said of friends or...
Planning permissions mean what they say and judges are very reluctant to imply terms into them, even in order to correct flawed drafting. That point was made by the High Court as it opened the way for a former DIY store to be used for food retailing. ...
When a same-sex couple undertook fertility treatment which led to the birth of a baby girl, the intention was that both would be listed as her legal parents. However, due to mistakes made in processing the necessary forms, only one of the couple was shown as...
Most leaseholders would like to obtain the right to manage their own premises. However, as one tribunal case shows , there are many potential pitfalls, so seeking professional legal advice is always a wise precaution. The four qualifying tenants of a block...
Charities are generally thought of as being mild and benevolent organisations and in many ways they are, but some can also be very aggressive when they are expecting to receive money from an estate and their hopes are dashed. The extent to which some will...
Under UK law, it is compulsory for all vehicles that are used on public roads to be insured, and third-party liability insurance, which covers accidental injury to others, is the legal minimum. There is even a compensation scheme, funded by UK insurance...
Aesthetic opinions differ dramatically and, in planning disputes, one property owner's dream is very often anathema to another. That was certainly so in one case in which the Court of Appeal opened the way for the demolition and replacement of a...
Marriages of convenience are normally entered into in order to give one of the spouses the right to remain in the UK. At present, EU citizens normally have the right to remain in the UK. However, that right can be removed if it is shown that it has been...
Rights of way over land are a constant source of dispute and, because the law relating to land is complex, such disputes all too frequently end up in avoidable court proceedings. A recent case heard by Bristol County Court was brought by a man who claimed...
There really is little point in instructing lawyers to represent you if you do not then listen to their advice. In one case which illustrates this , two women dispensed with the services of not just one but two legal teams, after they were advised to...
It is not often that the facts about how much of a mortgage was repaid are a matter of dispute, but in a recent case that was what happened and the decision led to a judge being criticised for her unorthodox approach to the evaluation of evidence. A couple...
There has been much grumbling over the years about the fact that where a tenant occupies multiple floors of a building, those floors will normally be treated as separate premises for the calculation of business rates. This normally produces larger rates...
It is estimated that more than 800,000 Britons now own property abroad. What used to be highly exceptional may now seem rather commonplace, but that is no reason why buyers should relax their vigilance over the process. In particular, it is absolutely vital...
An executor of an estate is personally responsible for his or her actions, so as well as there being significant duties, on occasions the role can also involve significant risks. One example of this would be where an executor completes the estate...
Family courts routinely grant anonymity to children involved in care proceedings, but that inevitably has an effect on parents and others who might wish to publicise their objections to judicial orders. Exactly that issue arose in one case in which a...