Legal News

As a recent case shows , whilst there is legislation which, in certain circumstances, allows leaseholders to obtain the right to manage the buildings they occupy, the process is replete with traps and it makes sense to proceed in such cases only with the...
Penal contractual terms that seek to impose exorbitant or unconscionable obligations are generally not worth the paper they are written on. The High Court found one such term unenforceable in the context of a side letter to a retail lease. A tenant had...
In general, there is a presumption that on divorce the assets will be split more or less equally, but that is based on case law interpretation of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 , not statute. Currently, a Bill in the House of Lords (the Divorce (Financial...
Calculation of commercial rents is more of an art than a science and disputes are sadly common. However, as one case involving a Polish-themed bar in Central London showed, judges are always there to promote peace if negotiations fail. Following the grant...
Will disputes can be extremely bitter and the kind of skulduggery depicted in fiction sadly sometimes reflects reality. In one case, the High Court found that a well-respected accountant had forged his mother's will in order to gain control of business...
The Government has acknowledged that the upcoming general election makes it unlikely that probate fees will increase significantly in May as planned, as there will not be time for Parliament to pass the legislation. The planned changes to the fees payable...
The need for charities to exercise strict controls over the disbursement of significant sums was made clear in a recent report by the Charity Commissioners into a small charity. The charity, which operated to promote active sports among the disabled,...
Boundary disputes are commonplace and, unless skilfully mediated, can often spiral out of control, ending up in legal action the cost of which far exceeds the value of the land under dispute. One of the more important principles in such disputes is often a...
A long leasehold tenant has had mixed fortunes in opposing a charge for more than £55,000 after her council landlord undertook a major programme of repairs to the block in which she lives. Under the terms of her lease, the council was required to keep...
When the marriage of a wealthy couple broke up, the English court had the opportunity to consider the impact of two pre-nuptial agreements the couple had made before they wed. The couple, both Swedes, married in 2000 and had had two children by the time...
The latest research from National Savings and Investments shows that a staggering 64 per cent of adults in the UK have not made a will, and that 38 million adults have made no arrangements for their retirement or provision for long-term care, although half...
The Supreme Court has ruled on the long-running dispute between First Bus and a disabled passenger who sued the bus company after a driver declined to intervene when a passenger occupying the wheelchair space refused to move. The disabled passenger, who...
The standard pre-contract enquiries made by a solicitor when a client is intending to purchase a property include querying whether there are any disputes which may affect the value of the property being purchased. When a woman bought a flat in a block of...
One of the most important roles played by judges is to protect individuals against unlawful treatment by the state. In one unique example, the High Court came to the aid of a couple who found themselves caught in a legal nightmare after their twins were...
A recent case shows the importance of involving a solicitor in the preparation of a will, especially where it is considered that an attempt to invalidate it on the grounds of lack of mental capacity may be made. It involved an elderly man who changed his...
A landlord who decided to go ahead with a property development after the planners had turned it down ended up significantly worse off after he was successfully prosecuted. Having had his application to turn his existing property into nine flats rejected,...
A recent case in which a litigant who waited more than a year to file its final defence against a claim had its late submissions rejected by the court is a reminder that tardiness in legal proceedings can have serious consequences. After receiving the...
Disputes between neighbours can be agonising, both emotionally and financially, but taking advice at an early stage can swiftly draw the sting. In one case where matters were allowed to get out of hand, a pensioner was left at risk of losing his home after...
Convenience stores are a common sight on urban street corners and provide a much valued service, but they are vulnerable given the ever increasing demand for more new homes. In one case, a shopkeeper failed in a High Court bid to overturn prior approval to...
Probate fees, which rose sharply only three years ago, are about to rise again. Under the present scheme an application for probate by an individual costs £215 and by a solicitor £155, but from May 2017 a new tariff is being introduced which...
The problem of making family financial settlements or court rulings in divorce 'stick' is well known. Following an extensive consultation process, the Law Commission has made proposals designed to improve the situation for those affected when payments are...
A surprising Court of Appeal decision that a daughter was a 'dependant' of her estranged mother and thus entitled to benefit from her estate has now been overturned by the Supreme Court. Heather Ilott had been deliberately excluded from the will of her...
When an elderly man died owning both a house and a half share in an attached property with his sister, whose financial affairs were already being administered by a cousin under a power of attorney, the scene was set for the cousin to seize ownership of the...
Social housing tenants are not normally permitted to sublet their properties. Where it is discovered that they have, an Unlawful Profits Order (UPO) can be made to recover any profit made by the tenant. This is normally based on the difference between the...
There is little point in agreeing to settle a legal dispute if the wording of the deal is so ambiguous that it simply creates further scope for disagreement. In one High Court case that illustrated the need for clear professional drafting , both sides in a...