Legal News

British Child's Inheritance of Italian Property Creates Legal Quandary

Where a British child inherits foreign property, tricky legal issues can arise. However, as one case showed, English judges are well able to deal with such difficulties by applying the overriding principle that the child's welfare is always paramount. The...

Alleged Victim of Push Payment Fraud Fends Off Winding Up Petition

So-called 'push payment' frauds – often involving bogus emails providing false bank account details – can be very convincing and represent a scourge on individuals and businesses alike. In a High Court case, a company alleged to have suffered one...

Creating a Family Trust? Are You Sure It Reflects Your True Intentions?

Rather than giving money to your children directly, you may choose for a variety of good reasons to provide for them by way of a discretionary trust. Such a step is a serious matter, however, and as a High Court case underlined , it is extremely difficult...

Aircraft Lease Arbitration Clause Comes Under High Court Microscope

Arbitration clauses are commonplace in commercial contracts and generally provide a relatively swift and cost-effective route to resolving disputes without resort to full-blown litigation. Their correct interpretation can, however, present a challenge and...

Clerical Errors in Your Will or Codicil Can Create Discord After You Are Gone

Even apparently obvious or trifling clerical errors in a will or codicil may provide fertile ground for dispute and that is why it is so important to have such documents drafted by a professional. In a High Court case on point , a straightforward...

Commercial Contracts Undermined by Lockdown - Where Do Losses Fall?

Lockdowns put into force in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have rendered many commercial contracts unprofitable if not entirely inoperable. In a guideline case, the High Court considered where unforeseen losses arising under a local authority contract ...

Racing Driver's Inaccurate Will Leaves His Heirs with Unwelcome Headache

The task of administering your estate after your death will be made all the harder if your will is not drafted with the precision that only a professional can provide. That was certainly so in one case concerning a retired racing driver's will which failed...

Going into Business with a Friend? Never Dispense with Legal Advice

If you are going into business with a friend or family member you trust, you may think there is no need to consult a solicitor so that arrangements between you can be formalised in writing. A High Court ruling, however, showed exactly why that is such a...

High Court Uncovers Blatant Forgery as Will Dispute Tears Family Apart

If an elderly man had listened to his solicitor's repeated advice to make a will, his children would have avoided a sea of trouble after his death. His failure to do so resulted in a bitter High Court dispute and a judge's finding that one of his daughters...

Whether Contracting with Friend or Foe, Legal Formality Always Matters

Even experienced businesspeople are all too often tempted to dispense with legal formality and do oral deals with those they know and trust. As a High Court case underlined , however, friendships have a nasty habit of turning sour and such arrangements are...

Making a Will? Appointing a Professional Executor Can Save Strife and Money

The trouble with appointing loved ones as executors of your will is that they are likely to be grief-stricken and there can be no guarantee that they will get on. A High Court decision showed that appointing a professional to perform the task is often the...

Legacies and Entitlement to Means-Tested Benefits - High Court Ruling

When making a will, most people would wish to provide for loved ones in need. As a High Court case showed , however, means testing of many state benefits creates a very real risk of such good intentions coming to nought and that is one very good reason why...

High Court Ruling Underlines the Benefits of English Arbitration Clauses

As a guideline High Court decision emphasised , the greatest advantage of including English arbitration clauses in commercial contracts is that they prevent litigation from proliferating around the world and focus dispute resolution on a single,...

Court Enforces Exclusive English Jurisdiction Clause in Insurance Dispute

The high reputation of the Commercial Court in London for efficiency and impartiality is such that English jurisdiction clauses are a ubiquitous feature of contracts signed around the world. They can be of crucial significance if disputes arise and, as one...

Trust and Estate Numbers Dip for Fifth Consecutive Year

HM Revenue and Customs have reported a decline in the number of trusts and estates in the UK for the fifth year in a row. Between 2018 and 2019, the total number of trusts and estates in the UK fell by 2 per cent to 151,000. The wealth management vehicles...

Buying a Business? Always Engage a Professional to Carry Out Due Diligence

Dispensing with professional advice and buying a business on nothing more secure than a handshake is a recipe for disaster. That was certainly so in the case of an entrepreneur who found himself in a sea of trouble after purchasing the assets of a company...

Inheritance - Lifetime Promises Can Be Legally As Well As Morally Binding

When it comes to inheritance, the obligation to keep your promises may well be legal as well as moral. In a case on point, a judge followed the demands of conscience in ruling that a hard-working man should inherit the farmland of a close friend who for...

Businessman Fends Off 'Shadow Director' Claim Following Immigration Raid

It is a simple matter to identify registered directors of any English company – the information is readily available from Companies House or online – but putting a name to de facto or shadow directors is more of a challenge. The High Court...

Don't Leave It Too Late to Put Your Affairs in Order

People often talk about putting their affairs in order but then sit on their hands until it is too late. The serious consequences of delay in seeking legal advice were underlined by a case in which a woman waited until she was resident in a hospice,...

Directors Who Invest in Other Businesses - Watch Out for Conflicts of Interest

Directors are generally required to devote their time and effort to the companies they serve and to avoid making investments which might conflict with their best interests. The High Court analysed the extent of those duties in resolving a dispute between...

Independent Legal Advice Proves Decisive in Family Inheritance Dispute

Just because someone is old, frail and vulnerable does not mean that they are incapable of understanding the contents of their will. However, as a High Court ruling in the context of a bitter inheritance dispute showed, the benefits of professional advice...

Which Nation's Laws Apply to International Flights - High Court Guidance

As international airline passengers lounge comfortably in their seats, the last thing on their minds may be the legal system that applies to the aircraft at any one time as it passes through the airspace of one nation after another. That question was,...

Ambiguity in Widower's Poorly Drafted Will Results in Family Stalemate

The whole point of engaging a professional to draft your will is to make your wishes clear in precise and unambiguous terms. If your will falls below that high standard the result, as a High Court ruling showed , can be family stalemate after you are gone. ...

Estate Agency Boss Handed Directorship Ban Over Price-Fixing Cartel

Where free markets fail to operate, individual consumers are bound to suffer. The lengths to which regulators will go in stamping out anti-competitive conduct, even at a local level, was underlined by a High Court case concerning a cartel between estate...

High Court Exercises Wisdom of Solomon in Ordering Sale of Family Home

Amidst ever-rising property prices, it can make good sense for friends or relatives to club together to buy a home where they can all live together. As a High Court ruling showed , however, the continuing harmony in human relationships upon which such...
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