Legal News

Father Who Disinherited Daughter Lacked Capacity to Make a Valid Will

You are perfectly entitled to write your children or other close family members out of your will, but such a course can be an invitation to dispute after you are gone. That was certainly so in a High Court case concerning a man who left everything he owned...

Business Relationship Fallen Apart? The Law Can Help Pick Up the Pieces

No matter how long and successful a business relationship may be, there is always a risk that it may end acrimoniously. Such disputes can be intractable and, as a High Court ruling showed , there are times when only the law can provide closure. The case...

What Does 'Survivor' Mean? High Court Resolves Inheritance Doubts

Words are not numbers and even the most careful draftsperson cannot guarantee that the meaning of a will is always clear beyond doubt. As a High Court case showed , however, judges are adept at resolving ambiguities so that the true intentions of testators...

Commercial Negotiations - Talk is Cheap But Writing is Binding

Commercial negotiations often involve many meetings and any amount of talk, but the question of whether anything has actually been agreed is a common source of dispute. As a High Court case showed, the only real way to avoid such discord is to engage a...

Dying With Your Affairs in Disarray is a Poisoned Legacy for Your Loved Ones

Not every life is profitable, at least in financial terms, and it is important to remember that your debts do not die with you. A High Court ruling showed the serious problems that dying insolvent, without putting your affairs in order, can create for your...

Bidding at an Auction? Do You Understand Your Legal Obligations?

There are few things more thrilling than bidding at an auction, but raising your paddle has very real legal consequences. A case on point concerned a businessman who mistakenly believed that he was acting solely on behalf of a company when he bought two...

Judge Unravels Agatha Christie-Style Plot to Detect Will Forgery

Agatha Christie would struggle to imagine the plots of some inheritance disputes that come before the courts. That was certainly so in one case in which a judge found that a son resorted to forgery in concocting a bogus will after his mother died. Prior...

Suspension on Award of Fire Brigade Safety Equipment Contract Maintained

If you feel that you have been treated unfairly in a public contract tendering exercise, you are anything but powerless and should take legal advice straight away. A High Court case on point concerned the award of a contract for the supply of protective...

Father's Failure to Make a Will Plunges His Widow Into Legal Difficulties

One of the best things you can do for your loved ones is to sign a professionally drafted will. As a High Court case showed , failing to take that easy and cost-effective step is to risk plunging those closest to you into legal difficulties after you are...

COVID-19 - Procurement Dispute Focuses on Award of Face Masks Contract

The means by which the government procured urgent supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic have been the subject of fevered debate. However, as one case underlined , it is a feature of a free society that...

Court Honours Woman's Intentions by Correcting Clerical Error in Her Will

Even the most carefully drafted will can contain inadvertent clerical errors that leave room for doubt as to the document's true meaning. As a High Court ruling showed , however, judges happily have the power to correct such mistakes so as to ensure that...

Negotiating is One Thing, But Completing a Binding Contract is Quite Another

Commercial negotiations may proceed for many months and involve any number of meetings, messages and phone calls. However, as a High Court ruling showed , the question of whether a binding contract has been completed very often hinges on whether a signature...

Making a Will? This is Why You Should Appoint a Professional Executor

Family relationships can be red in tooth and claw and appointing relatives, rather than a professional, as executors of your will can prove a costly mistake. That was certainly so in one case, where bitter litigation between siblings resulted in legal costs...

High Court Acts to Protect Rights of Minority Shareholder in Family Business

Family-run enterprises represent an enduring and highly effective business model – but only for so long as trust and affection between board members persists. In one case, discord between a father and son required High Court intervention to restore...

Don't Delay Making a Will Until You Feel the Hand of Mortality Upon You

Far too many people put off making a will until ill health strikes and reminds them of their mortality. In a striking case on point, the High Court ruled that a will signed by a prosperous farmer when he was in his 80s and suffering from dementia was not...

Wealthy Father Under No Obligation to Maintain His Healthy Adult Daughters

Parents generally owe no legal duty financially to maintain their adult children. That principle proved decisive in the case of a businessman who was worth almost £2.2 million when he died, but who left not a penny to his daughters. Having enjoyed a...

Director Oblivious to Record-Keeping Duties Receives Seven-Year Ban

One of the most important duties required of a company director is to keep, maintain, preserve and, if necessary, deliver up adequate accounting records. The High Court resoundingly made that point in imposing a seven-year directorship disqualification on...

'Both' or 'Each'? - One Mistranscribed Word Triggers £6.4 Million Will Dispute

Will drafting is an exact science, requiring years of professional training, and a single mischosen or out-of-place word can have very serious consequences. Exactly that happened in a High Court case concerning the mistaken use of the word 'both' –...

Anti-Competitive Practices - Musical Instrument Supplier Receives £5 Million Fine

There will always be some who view anti-competitive business practices as an easy route to profits, but those who engage in them can expect deterrent punishments. In one case, a supplier of musical instruments was fined over £5 million for fostering a...

This Is What Happens If You Wait Until Sickness Strikes Before Making a Will

Making a will when you are close to death and without professional assistance is an effective means of fostering dispute between your loved ones after you are gone. As a High Court case strikingly showed , that is particularly so if you intend to leave your...

Waiver of Contractual Rights by Conduct - Instructive High Court Ruling

Strict contractual rights, no matter how clearly defined, may be impliedly waived by conduct. That principle came under High Court analysis in a dispute concerning stalled plans for the construction of a space age engine testing centre. Trustees of a unit...

Making a Will? Don't Forget Those Entitled to Look to You for Support

When making your will, it is vital to remember those who have a right to look to you for financial support. As a High Court case showed, a failure to meet your duties to your dependants is highly likely to trigger a costly dispute – and ultimately...

This is Why You Shouldn't Put Off Making a Will Until Advanced Old Age

You are never too old to make a will, but failing to consult a solicitor before you reach advanced old age can be a positive invitation to dispute amongst your loved ones after you are gone. That was certainly so in the case of a woman who was 94 when she...

Never Personally Guarantee a Corporate Loan Without Legal Advice

Providing personal guarantees as security for corporate loans is for many businesspeople simply a price that has to be paid to achieve commercial success. As a High Court case showed , however, signing such a document is a momentous step that should never...

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...
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