Legal News

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...

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...
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