Legal News

High Court Dementia Ruling - Judge Acts to Protect Widow

Amidst an ageing population, the role of judges in protecting the weak, vulnerable and infirm is of ever increasing importance. In one case that proves the point, the High Court stepped in to set aside land transfers made by an elderly farmer with dementia...

Failing to Plan Ahead Creates Problems for Family Companies

Although no one likes to think about their own death, failing to be prepared for all eventualities can cause chaos in family companies, which are often dependent for their success on the skills of a small number of people. The point could hardly have been...

Court Unsympathetic When Mum Takes Law Into Own Hands

No matter how much you may be tempted, taking the law into your own hands is not a good idea. When a mother who was divorcing her husband in Hawaii obtained the agreement of the US court to take the couple's children, aged 9 and 11, back to the UK for a...

Don't Litigate Without a Lawyer to Tell You When You're Wrong!

One reason why it is rarely advisable to represent yourself in litigation is that you need a good lawyer to tell you when you are wrong. That point could hardly have been more clearly made than by a case in which a widower claimed that his sister had made...

Small Data Protection Glitch Produces Big Financial Loss

When a local council published information in connection with a family's planning application for building works, it failed to think through the consequences of its actions. The result was that it placed sensitive personal data in the public domain. The...

Skulduggery in Divorce Proceedings Will Do You No Good

Resorting to skulduggery in divorce proceedings is sadly common but almost never does either side any good. That was certainly so in one case in which a man surreptitiously took documents from his ex-wife's home and sought – unsuccessfully – to...

Free Advice Given and No Contract? You May Be Liable

Any professional will know that there are many people who like to have free advice, and whilst this is seldom proffered in a social setting such as the pub, it is normal for friends to give one another advice. It was therefore unremarkable when a couple who...

Court Rejects Will in a Crisp Packet

Unfulfilled hopes of substantial inheritance are commonplace, both in fact and fiction, but not often do they lead to such ham-fisted attempts at forgery as that shown by a disappointed widow after her husband left her just £25,000 of his...

Mothers Denied Child Residence Orders

When a couple split up, it is very common for one of them to wish to move away, often to the area where they grew up or have family. This can create significant issues as far as the children are concerned and disputes in such cases are common. In a recent...

Average British person commits 32 crimes a year

Although 98% of British people consider themselves law-abiding citizens, on average we each commit 32 crimes a year. This is according to new research carried out by BT TV. This “crime wave” includes such offences as failing to pay for 5p...

Failure to Comply With Regulation Brings Jail for Moneylenders

Commercial moneylending is, with good reason, heavily regulated to ensure that unfair advantage is not taken of vulnerable borrowers. In one case that made that clear, two men who provided over £750,000 in finance to taxi drivers without any legal...

Managing the Affairs of Missing People Law Passed

With the general election hogging the headlines, the passing of the Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017 , which received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017, went almost unreported. Although the date on which the Act will come into force has not yet been...

Court Unwilling to Force Family Home Sale

Taking legal advice when borrowing for any purpose is important, as a recent case in which a wife faced the possibility of the sale of her home when her husband was made bankrupt shows. When he faced financial difficulties in 2005, the husband raised a...

Government Bank Sale Tendering Dispute - High Court Ruling

Public tendering exercises almost inevitably leave unsuccessful bidders dissatisfied but the courts will only intervene if there is a legal flaw in the process. A consortium behind a failed bid to acquire a government-owned bank found that out when the High...

Car Bonnet Will is Valid, Rules Court

There are a number of requirements that must be met for a will to be valid and one of these is that the signing of the will must be witnessed by two people who are not beneficiaries. A recent case before the High Court turned on that point. It was brought...

Failure to Take Advice Proves Costly in Family Arrangement

No matter how much you may trust relatives or close friends, you should never sign important documents without independent legal advice. In one case that proves the point, a man put his name to a deed that was put before him by his brother but which...

Power of Attorney Fees Fall

With the recent furore over the Government's proposed increase in the cost of obtaining probate on larger estates, currently on ice owing to lack of parliamentary time in the run up to the General Election, it is nice to see that the direction of change in...

High Court Rules on Fall-Out From Wine Company Insolvency

Insolvency proceedings that arise in the midst of an ongoing trading relationship can sometimes result in large sums of money remaining in limbo for a significant period. In one such case, the High Court ruled on the correct destination of more than 870,000...

High Court Encourages Social Workers to Make Use of Facebook

In the Internet era, it is wholly acceptable to use Facebook or other social media to make contact with those who have to be notified of family proceedings. The High Court made that point after being forced to abandon an adoption hearing due to a failure...

Cocktail of Drugs Not Sufficient to Overturn Will

Disputes about the validity of wills frequently centre on allegations that the deceased lacked 'mental capacity' when they created a will. In a recent case, the court had to consider whether a man who died less than two months after writing a will was...

Engineers Must Pay for Defective Design of Seaside Storm Culvert

Contract arbitrators' decisions are meant to be final and challenging them is always an uphill struggle. This point was illustrated by one case in which the High Court upheld a six-figure award to a local authority in respect of a defectively designed...

Giving Up Your Career to Get Married? Think Twice!

A person who voluntarily prioritises their marriage over their working life may not be entitled to compensation for the earnings foregone if their relationship ends in divorce. The Court of Appeal made that point in ruling on the case of a former headteacher...

Cartel Whistleblower Avoids Massive Fine

Being in a cartel is unlawful and is a risky business – especially when one of the cartel members blows the whistle on the others. In such circumstances, the whistleblower can receive immunity from punishment, leaving the other members to carry the...

Assets of Elderly Are Target of Wrongdoers

Where there is money, there is opportunity for wrongdoing and a steady stream of cases show that vigilance is needed to prevent the assets of the deceased or elderly being misappropriated. In one case, three cleaners of a deceased South Wales man claimed to...

Divorce: Asset Division Not Always Equal

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...
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