Legal News

What You Do as Well as What You Agree in Writing Matters

It is a common misconception that contracts have to be agreed in writing or orally to be binding. However, a contract can also be valid if it is performed…even if the documentation requires that it must be formally agreed to be valid. A recent case...

Fertility Clinic Blunder Led to Mother Adopting Her Own Child

The requirements of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 are strict and any procedural error by fertility clinics can cause untold legal complications and misery. That was certainly so in one case in which a form-filling error led to a woman...

Need to Ensure Will Understood Emphasised in Court Ruling

There are a number of criteria which must apply in order for a will to be valid and one of the most important is that the person making the will fully understands its implications. A recent case concerned the will of a man who had a long history of...

Court Stresses Need for Facts in Child Residence Dispute

Divorces with an international dimension are often complex and, where the question arises as to which parent will look after children and in which country, the courts are often involved. When making these decisions, the courts will always put the child's...

Swift Justice Sees Director Receive £105,000 Bill

It is regrettably not unheard of for directors to flout their duties and help themselves to company money to which they are not entitled. However, one High Court case showed that professionally managed litigation can be a swift means of catching up with...

Everyone Makes Mistakes

When a businessman died, he left his substantial and complex business affairs in the hands of his executors – his brother, his widow and his accountant. As his business had been run with his brother, it was agreed that the two families' respective...

Insolvency No Bar to Liability for Support Payments

A recent decision of the High Court will come as a comfort to those whose ex-spouses have fallen into arrears with their child maintenance payments. It involved a man who was behind with child maintenance payments payable to the Child Support Agency when he...

Winding Up Petitions and Validation Orders - High Court Guidance

From the moment a winding up petition is presented against a company, any payments that it makes become legally void if a winding up order is granted. However, what happens if supplies are made to that company before the supplier is aware of the winding up...

Are Your Elderly Relatives Safe Against Fraudsters?

Elderly people are often vulnerable to fraudsters and that is why it is essential to ensure that they have access to proper legal advice. In one case that proves the point, a widow in her 80s was persuaded by a charming conman to transfer her £500,000...

Defiant Divorcee Who Refused to Leave Matrimonial Home Punished

Obedience to court orders is not voluntary and judges possess a battery of powers to enforce compliance. In one case, a divorcee who barricaded himself into his former matrimonial home in order to prevent its enforced sale was given ten days to move out...

Trustees' Duties of Disclosure to Will Beneficiaries

Beneficiaries often have to wait for many years after a person's death to inherit under a will – but to what extent do they have a right to be kept informed of what is being done with the relevant funds in the interim? The High Court gave important...

In Business With a Friend? Don't Dispense With Formalities

When entering into a business partnership with someone you also consider to be a soulmate, putting in place formal agreements with them can seem inappropriate. However, personal relationships can turn sour and, in one case, the equity in a buy-to-let...

Getting Divorced - Honesty is the Best Policy

It is a sad fact that divorcing couples frequently try to hide assets from each other, but such manoeuvrings rarely succeed and can have very unfortunate consequences. In one recent case , a husband's dishonest attempt to evade his commitments to his...

High Court Brings Clarity to Multi-Million-Pound Consultancy Contract

One might expect contracts between sophisticated business entities to be couched in precise and unambiguous terms. That is not always the case, however, and the High Court's intervention was required to bring clarity to a jurisdiction clause in a...

Trustees Who Act in Good Faith Protected by Court

Beneficiaries are frequently unsatisfied with the actions (or often, the lack of action) of the executors of estates or administrators of family trusts, and the animosities that can arise are compounded if the beneficiaries feel they are being kept in the...

Social Workers Wield Great Power - But the Courts Are Watching!

Social workers can wield immense power over people's lives – but one case clearly shows how carefully their activities are regulated by the courts. A local authority was ordered to pay damages of £45,000 to a mother and two young children after...

Disloyal Director Pays Price for Serving Her Own Agenda

Directors are under a duty to act in good faith and to do all that they reasonably can to promote the success of the companies they serve. Breaching those obligations can be costly, as one businesswoman found out after the High Court ruled that she had...

Out-Of-Date Family Trust Varied to Recognise Same-Sex Spouses

Family trusts often date back many years, and those who drafted them could not have been expected to foresee all the dramatic social changes that have happened since pen was put to paper. In one case, the High Court's intervention was required to vary a...

Need Overcomes Equality Claim in Divorce Settlement

With new guidance having been issued regarding the interpretation of 'need' for the purpose of financial settlements on divorce, a recent case shows how the courts have been moving away from a rigid adherence to the principle of 'equality' in the division...

Roles Split When Stress Makes Attorney Unreliable

Appointing an attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is normally a sensible precaution. The procedure allows one's financial affairs (and, if required, matters relating to health and welfare) to be entrusted to others if you are unable to manage...

But We Agreed, Didn't We?

Contract law abounds with disputes over whether a binding contract has been created at a point in time, and many cases have been heard in which one side to the dispute alleges that a contract has been made whilst the other claims that an 'agreement to agree'...

Non-Molestation Breach Conviction Quashed Due to Misdirection

Harassment is an unfortunate fact in some relationship breakdowns. In a bid to reduce the incidence of harassment and molestation following splits, the Family Law Act 1996 made it a criminal offence to breach a non-molestation order, rather than a contempt...

Will Change Fight Can Go Ahead

Divorce is seldom straightforward, especially as regards the negotiation of the financial settlement. The lengths that some people will go to in order to disguise their assets or prevent assets from passing to their ex-spouse are also considerable. When...

ICO Warns Rogue Directors Not to Expect an Easy Ride

Not all action against directors when a company goes broke is initiated by the Insolvency Service. Recently, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) issued a warning to rogue directors that it will take strong measures to enforce the payment of fines it...

Changes to Company Reporting Requirements

The annual return, a fixture of the company reporting cycle for decades, is being replaced by a simpler 'confirmation statement'. The main impact of the change is that the confirmation statement will not require information that has not changed to be...
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