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Making a Will? Don't Forget Your Moral Obligations

You are in principle entitled to bequeath your worldly wealth to whoever you choose. However, as a High Court decision made clear, the law will intervene if you ignore your moral obligations when making your will. A successful motor dealer and property...

Council Clamps Down on Overcrowded Flats - Landlords Take Note!

The burgeoning demand for rented accommodation has encouraged some landlords to create flats which are not large enough to swing a proverbial cat. However, as a decision of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) strikingly showed, local authorities have the power to...

New Statutory Instrument Boosts Intestate Entitlement

A change to intestacy law recently announced by the government has increased the sum of money that spouses and civil partners of people who die without having made a will are entitled to receive. The change has been introduced via a statutory instrument...

Adoption Only Justified If Nothing Else Will Do

Adoption of children outside their natural families is always a last resort and will only be permitted if nothing else will do. The Court of Appeal made that point in coming to the aid of a couple whose son was taken from their care when he was just two...

HS2 Compulsory Land Acquisition - Court of Appeal Cautionary Tale

If you receive notice that your commercial property is to be compulsorily purchased to make way for a public infrastructure project, the only wise course is to take legal advice immediately. A Court of Appeal case concerning the HS2 railway project ...

Dispute With Builder Leads to Costly Outcome for Homeowner

If you are involved in a dispute with your builder, taking sound legal advice is by far the best means of ensuring that matters do not get out of hand. One householder who failed to take that sensible course found himself embroiled in costly legal...

Court Breaks Impasse Between Warring Brothers in Farmland Dispute

Co-ownership of land by family members can be intensely problematic if they do not see eye to eye as to the use to which it should be put. A High Court case on point focused on a naturalist's ambition to 'rewild' farmland he and his brother had jointly...

High Court Backs Big Money Divorce Wife's Pursuit of Fraudulent Husband

It is hardly surprising that confidential or privileged documents which have or may have been illegitimately obtained cannot be used in evidence. However, as the High Court made clear in the context of a big money divorce case , that rule does not apply...

Commercial Landlords Not Liable for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Outbreak

Do landlords of commercial premises continue to be occupiers of the premises, thus owing a duty of care to tenants' visitors? In a guideline case concerning an outbreak of carbon monoxide poisoning at a beauty school, the High Court has answered that...

Letting Your Land Go to Rack and Ruin is an Invitation to Squatters

Letting your land stand vacant, going to rack and ruin, inevitably carries the risk that a squatter will obtain title to it. A woman who inherited a small but strategic strip of land from her builder father came within an ace of suffering that fate. The...

Court of Appeal Allows Will Dispute to Proceed

There is a general principle that a person may leave their estate to anyone they wish, but legislation exists – the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 – to allow people dependent on a deceased person to claim against the...

Government Issues Bailiff and Enforcement Officer Scam Warning

The Government is warning people to be on alert for fraudsters posing as court bailiffs and enforcement officers on the telephone. After claiming to be County Court bailiffs, High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEOs) or Certificated Enforcement Agents (CEAs),...

Forfeiture of Commercial Leases - Court of Appeal Test Case

Commercial tenants whose rights are trampled upon by their landlords are far from powerless and should seek legal advice right away. A shopkeeper who did just that after his lease was unlawfully forfeited and his stock seized won the right to substantial...

Couple Subjected to Race Discrimination By Adoption Agency Win Damages

Race discrimination may not be intentional, but it can be deeply hurtful and, with the right legal advice, victims can both express their disgust and secure compensation. In a striking case on point , a Sikh couple who were rejected as potential adopters...

Lack of Legal Advice Leads to Dispute Over Property

Couples can sometimes be tempted to enter into property transactions together without taking legal advice, on the basis that the love and trust between them will last forever. However, a High Court ruling strikingly showed how misguided such assumptions can...

High Court Resolves Family Row Over Funeral Arrangements

What exactly is a will? The High Court addressed that fundamental issue in resolving a bitter family dispute in respect of where a much-loved son and husband should be buried. Following the man's death from cancer, his mother insisted that he should be...

Adoption is Always a Last Resort - Troubled Mum Achieves Redemption

One of the hardest tasks that family judges have to undertake is to remove children from the care of parents who are incapable of looking after them. However, as one case showed , adoption of children outside their natural families is only ever a last...

Scaffolding Triggers Commercial Tenant's 'Peaceful Enjoyment' Complaint

Included in almost every commercial lease is a covenant which confers on the tenant a right to peacefully enjoy the premises. One such provision came under close High Court analysis in the case of a dentist whose practice was encased in scaffolding whilst...

Family's Informal Occupation of Farmhouse Triggers High Court Dispute

Allowing people to occupy your property on the basis of a handshake is an invitation to misunderstandings and costly dispute. The point was proved by a case in which the trustee of an agricultural estate found himself in court after he informally permitted a...

Buyer of Crash-Damaged Ferrari Awarded His Money Back By Judge

If you have been deceived by a salesman into paying too much for dodgy goods, you should see a lawyer right away. The disappointed buyer of a crash-damaged Ferrari sports car who did just that was awarded his money back by a judge. The buyer was attracted...

High Court Orders Restaurant Chain to Complete Commercial Lease

Does an agreement to enter into a commercial lease come to an end if the identity of the prospective landlord changes? The High Court tackled that thorny issue in a case concerning new-build restaurant premises. A restaurant chain agreed with pension...

Promises, Promises - Always Get a Lawyer to Put Them in Writing!

The trouble with informally agreeing with your loved ones what is to happen to your assets after you are gone is that you may not have considered all eventualities, and disputes can arise as to what has and has not been promised. Exactly that lay at the root...

Family Judge Blocks Attempt at Divorce Tourism in Big Money Case

English judges are respected around the world – but they are not the sole arbiters of fairness and the decisions of foreign courts must be respected. A family judge made that point in shutting the door on divorce tourism and refusing a Russian...

Trouble With the Neighbours? See a Lawyer Before It Gets Out of Hand!

One secret of a happy life is to get on well with your neighbours and taking legal advice is often the best way of defusing rows before they get out of hand. The point was resoundingly made by a case in which escalating boundary and right of way disputes...

Cryptoassets Are Property - Judicial Authority

The legal position of 'cryptoassets' – those which exist in electronic form and are held on distributed ledgers, bitcoins being the best-known example – has not been certain in the past. However, a recent legal statement by the Chancellor of the...
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