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SDLT Relief Takes Immediate Effect in England and Northern Ireland

A temporary Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) relief measure has taken immediate effect in England and Northern Ireland after being announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in his summer economic statement. The measure has been introduced by the Government to try and...

Warehouse Torched By Rioters - Owner of Destroyed Stock Wins £5 Million

Civil unrest is thankfully rare in Britain, but it does occur and anyone who suffers loss as a result should contact a solicitor without delay. In a case on point, a company that lost stock worth millions in a blazing warehouse at the height of the August...

Parking Fine Imposed on Private Landowner Triggers High Court Test Case

A fine imposed on a householder for parking her Land Rover on her own land put the conflict between private ownership and public access to the road network in high relief and provided the subject matter for an important High Court test case . For many...

High Court Annuls Overseas Marriage After Ruling 'Wife' a Bigamist

In order to be divorced you obviously have to be validly married, and bigamy remains a surprisingly common occurrence. In one case, the High Court found that a couple's overseas wedding did not render them husband and wife – because she was already...

Disinherited Daughter's Bid for a Share of Her Father's Estate Rejected

If someone upon whom you depend financially dies leaving you nothing in his or her will, judges have the power to ensure that you do not go empty-handed. As a High Court case showed, however, that power will only be exercised in your favour if your need for...

COVID-19 Crisis - Judge Rules Derogation From Human Rights 'Essential'

The COVID-19 pandemic represents a public emergency which is threatening the life of the nation. A High Court judge wrote those words in reaching the momentous conclusion that, whilst the crisis persists, derogation from certain fundamental human rights is...

Are Parents Obliged to Control Unruly Children? High Court Test Case

To say that parents bear a moral responsibility to ensure that their children behave themselves in public is uncontroversial – but are they also under a legal duty to do so? The High Court addressed that issue in ruling that the sins of an allegedly...

Infrastructure Projects and Access to Private Land - High Court Test Case

Public authorities engaged in nationally significant infrastructure projects have the power to enter private land to carry out necessary surveys. An important High Court ruling in the context of the proposed construction of a road tunnel near Stonehenge...

Neighbours Succeed in Blocking Controversial Garage Extension

If a neighbour obtains planning permission for a building project to which you object, that does not always mean you just have to grin and bear it. In a case on point, objectors to a householder's plans to extend his garage succeeded in blocking his proposal...

Time Invested in Making a Will Is Time Invested Wisely

If you die without making a will, there is a real risk that your loved ones may be left high and dry. In one case, a man who said that he was grieving over his partner's death found himself bereft of legal rights and locked out of the flat they once shared. ...

Tenants Win Right to Acquire Subsoil and Airspace in Guideline Case

Qualifying apartment dwellers have a right to acquire the freehold of the buildings where they live, but does that extend to the subsoil beneath the premises and the airspace above? The Court of Appeal addressed that critical issue in a guideline decision....

Channel Islands Are Not 'Overseas Countries' - Guideline Divorce Ruling

The Channel Islands may be separated from the UK mainland by miles of water, but they are not overseas countries. In an unusual case, that simple fact was enough to defeat a woman's claim for a pension-sharing order following her divorce in Jersey. After...

When Is a New Home Complete? DIY Housebuilders Win £14,000 VAT Rebate

One of the benefits of building your own home is that you can claim back VAT paid on materials used in the project – but rebate applications have to be made within three months of the property's completion. That time limit came under analysis in a case...

Eminent Retired Judge's Intellect Weighs in Favour of His Will's Validity

Even people of the greatest intellect can be affected by diminished mental ability in old age and that is one good reason why it makes sense to execute a professionally drafted will sooner rather than later. A case on point concerned an eminent former judge...

Do Your Medical Records Stay Confidential Forever?

Your privacy rights will die with you, but that does not mean that just anyone will be permitted access to your medical records after you are gone. The extent to which such records should remain under wraps post mortem was analysed in a High Court test case...

Cruelly Deceitful Husband Ordered to Pay Betrayed Ex-Wife £2.25 Million

Where blame, if any, attaches for the breakdown of a marriage is generally irrelevant when it comes to dividing assets following divorce. However, as a cruelly deceitful husband discovered to his cost, bad behaviour can have consequences in that it is hardly...

Reinstatement Value - Factory Fire Triggers Insurance Test Case

Many insurance policies state that amounts payable in the event of loss or damage to property will be calculated on a reinstatement basis – but what exactly does that mean? The Court of Appeal considered that fundamental issue in the context of a...

Lordship of the Manor Almost Scuppers Residential Development

Lordships of the manor, whilst sounding grand, are often viewed as arcane titles with little real significance in terms of property rights. However, that is not always so and, in one High Court case, a lordship which was bought for just £100 almost...

Children Born Out of Wedlock Receive Shares of £1.29 Million Trust Fund

Few people nowadays care whether a child is born within wedlock, but the law is in some respects behind the times. In a ground-breaking ruling, however, the High Court has opened the way for illegitimate members of an extended family to receive shares of a...

Validity of Marriage - Court of Appeal Takes Rigorous Approach

The full rigour of formalities that must be gone through in order to solemnise a marriage have been upheld in a landmark case. The Court of Appeal found that a ceremony performed in a restaurant which was not registered as an authorised wedding venue was a...

When Do Two Offices Become One for Rating Purposes?

Are adjacent commercial properties in common occupation, but divided by a service area, to be treated as one unit or two for business rates purposes? The Upper Tribunal (UT) has tackled that thorny issue in a case that clarified the law and will have...

In Dispute With a Neighbour? Legal Advice Can Help Draw the Sting

Disputes with neighbours have a way of getting horribly out of hand, but legal advice taken at an early stage can help to draw the venom and save incalculable heartache and money in the long run. A case on point concerned flat dwellers who for years engaged...

Couple Pay for Pursuing 'Speculative' Professional Negligence Claim

Those who engage in speculative litigation on the basis of weak evidence can expect to be hit hard in the pocket. In a case on point, a couple who sued a friendly architect after she provided them with free assistance in re-landscaping their garden found...

It Always Makes Good Sense to Appoint a Professional Executor

Most people would consider it an honour to be chosen as executor of a friend's or relative's will. However, as a High Court ruling showed , the legal responsibilities that go with such a role can be extremely onerous and it usually makes better sense to...

Gender-Neutral Sharing of Assets on Divorce is Not Always That Simple

A gender-neutral and non-discriminatory approach to divorce generally requires an equal division of marital assets – but it is not always that simple. In one big-money case, complexities arose in respect of the husband's inherited assets and his wish...
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