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High Court Relieves Family of Consequences of Badly Drafted Trust Deed

Trust deeds can be an effective means of managing family wealth and minimising tax liabilities but, as a High Court decision strikingly showed , any mistakes in their drafting can have serious repercussions for generations to come. The case concerned a...

Legal Landscape is Complex When Tenants Seek to Buy Freehold of Flats

Flat tenants in certain circumstances have the right to band together and acquire the freehold of the blocks in which they live. However, as a High Court decision showed , the process of doing so is replete with legal pitfalls and those who fail to take...

Court Orders Must Be Obeyed

Public confidence in the civil justice system would collapse if court orders were not rigorously enforced – however agonising complying with them may be. The point was made by a case in which a divorcee who refused to move out of her home of 25 years...

Planning Building Work? Get Legal Advice

When a property development involving a building that is listed or in a conservation area is undertaken, it is reasonable for the contractor employed to do the work to assume that the employer has used due diligence to obtain the necessary planning...

Court of Appeal Acts to Save Entrenched Litigants From Themselves

The whole purpose of the civil justice system is to achieve just and final resolution of frequently intractable disputes – and, as a guideline Court of Appeal decision in an inheritance case made plain, that includes saving litigants from...

High Court Overturns Planning Decision for Bungalows Development

It may come as a surprise to many that local authorities are under no statutory obligation to give reasons for their planning decisions . However, as a High Court case concerning a residential development showed , a lack of explanation can render such...

Missing Persons - Steps to Take

Surprisingly, nearly 250,000 people go missing in the UK every year. Leaving aside the heartache and worry this causes, until recent changes in the law it also created an appalling position for family members trying to deal with the affairs of the person who...

Growing Number of Cohabiting Couples Leaves More Families Open to Risk

Cohabiting couples are the fastest-growing family type in the UK, according to newly released figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The ONS reports that the number of cohabiting couple families continues to grow faster than the number of...

Inveterate Trespasser Rightly Jailed for Contempt, Court of Appeal Rules

It is in the nature of litigation that the losing party frequently feels that the judge was wrong and the outcome unjust. However, a case in which a householder repeatedly lost his liberty , and ultimately his home, due to his defiance of court orders shows...

LPA - Bank Practice

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a document that may be used so that the finances or other issues of a person who cannot deal with them themselves may be attended to by a trusted third party – normally a solicitor or a family member. When an LPA...

Agricultural Tenancies Are Complex - Always Seek Professional Advice

When a farmer dies, close relatives are in certain circumstances entitled to succeed to any agricultural tenancies he or she held. However, strict time limits and other procedural rules apply to the exercise of that right, which is why bereavement should not...

Where, If Anywhere, Do the Jet Set Call Home? High Court Gives Guidance

Very rich people often live jet set lifestyles of ceaseless travel, so pinning down the country in which they are domiciled can be a serious challenge. The High Court faced exactly that difficulty in a case concerning the acrimonious breakdown of a...

No Going Back on Gift Freely Made

A recent case decided by the Scottish Courts shows the wisdom of not making irrevocable decisions that you may later come to regret. It involved a woman who gifted her house to her daughter and son-in-law, retaining a tenancy for life over the property....

Mental Capacity - Court of Protection Authorises Non-Consensual Caesarean Birth

Where people lack the mental capacity to make important decisions for themselves, judges will step in to ensure that their best interests are served, as was demonstrated by an unusual case in which the Court of Protection (CoP) authorised the planned...

Refused Planning Permission? You Are Entitled to Know the Reason Why

A fundamental principle of good government is that anyone on the receiving end of an adverse decision is entitled to know why it was made. In a case on point, the High Court came to the aid of a housing developer who could only speculate as to the reason...

Big Money Divorce Engages Family Judge in Company Valuation

Companies are notoriously difficult to value, and particular problems can arise when they form the principal assets to be divided in divorce proceedings . In a big money case on point, the High Court bridged a huge gulf between the value placed by a wife...

Widow Pays for Delay in Seeking Provision From Her Husband's Estate

If you feel that you have suffered a wrong of any kind, a delay in taking legal action can put paid to your chances of obtaining justice. A widow who was left nothing in her deceased husband's will found that out to her cost when her hopes of obtaining...

Don't Even Think About Doing a Property Deal Without Legal Advice

Property purchases are, for the majority of people, the highest-value deals they ever enter into and that is why they should never be undertaken in haste or without expert legal advice. A case in which an amateurish, home-made agreement led to years of...

Reasonable Endeavours Clauses Can Have Teeth

Unreasonable delay in fulfilling the terms of a contract is an unwise policy, as a recent dispute that ended up in the Court of Appeal shows. When a developer wished to build an ice-skating rink, its first priority was to secure a clear title to the...

Divorced Overseas? English Family Judges Can Still Help You!

If you have been divorced abroad but are habitually resident in this country, English family judges have the power to ensure that you receive a fair share of the marital assets. In a case on point , the High Court awarded a woman whose marriage was...

Estate and Dependants Receive Damages for Fatal Crash

When there is a fatal accident involving a person with dependants, a claim for compensation may be able to be made not only by the estate of the deceased person but also by their dependants, whether children or adults. In a recent case , the estate and...

Restrictive Covenants Can Go Undetected - Use an Expert Conveyancer!

Covenants that restrict the use to which properties can be put lurk undetected within many title deeds and can have a dramatic impact on a property's value . That was certainly so in the case of one unfortunate couple who said that tight restrictions...

Contract Adjudications are an Alternative to Litigation, Not an Addition

Contract adjudications can provide a swift and cost-effective alternative to litigation. Adjudication decisions are not immune from error but, as a High Court case showed , they are meant to be final and those who challenge them face an uphill struggle. ...

Informal Agreement Leads Family to Court of Appeal

Disputes within families are very common indeed and one of the issues the courts see over and over again is where there is a family 'understanding' that ends in a disagreement. In a recent case , the result of one such dispute is that an...

Court Returns Two-Year-Old to Land of Birth When Parents' Marriage Collapses

For a UK court to have jurisdiction over a family law case, it is necessary to show that at least one party to it has habitual residence in the UK. In a recent case, an Israeli woman divorcing her Israeli husband sought a declaration that their...
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