Legal News

Transatlantic Child Maintenance Storm Breaks Over One-Day-Old Baby

Some relationships sadly do not survive the prospect of impending parenthood and that can result in children being born into the teeth of a legal storm. In one case, a little girl was only one day old when she became the subject of child maintenance...

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...

Given a Raw Deal by a Divorce Judge? Don't Just Sit on Your Hands

Many divorcees feel that judges have given them a raw deal when dividing up marital assets. They may or may not be right about that but, as one case strikingly showed , it makes much better sense for them to seek swift professional advice than to sit on...

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...

COVID-19 - Troubled Mother Permitted Skin-to-Skin Contact with Her Baby

Contact arrangements between children in care and their parents often raise vexed issues, but all the more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a case concerning a mother who was denied skin-to-skin contact with her newborn baby, however, the High Court bent...

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,...

Parents Who Simply Cannot Cope Don't Deserve Condemnation

Through no fault of their own, some parents are simply incapable of providing the care and stability that all children need whilst growing up. As one case showed , however, the approach of family judges is not to condemn but to seek solutions that enable...

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...

Divorce and the Increasing Use of Arbitration - Court of Appeal Test Case

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic it has become even more popular to seek resolution of financial issues arising from divorce via private arbitration rather than formal court proceedings – but to what extent are arbitration awards binding and enforceable?...

Buying a Home With Your Partner? Legal Advice Today Saves Heartache Later

Couples who buy a home together tend to assume that true love lasts forever and that the property should be owned in equal shares. As a High Court case showed , however, that is one very good reason why they should always consult a solicitor, whose job it...

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...

Cross-Border Child Abduction and Habitual Residence - Guideline Ruling

A parent who wishes to move from one country to another with his or her child must first obtain the consent of the parent left behind. That principle of international law is easily stated but, as a guideline Court of Appeal ruling showed , applying it in a...

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,...

Court Urges Peace on Unmarried Couple at War Over Family Business

Unmarried couples should be under no illusions that they have legal rights equivalent to those who have tied the knot. The point could hardly have been more powerfully made than by a case concerning an unmarried former couple whose close-knit life together...

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...

COVID-19 and Parental Contact With Children in Care - Guideline Ruling

How, if at all, is the duty of local authorities to allow children in their care reasonable contact with their parents affected by social distancing rules arising from the COVID-19 pandemic? The Court of Appeal confronted that issue in a guideline case . ...

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. ...
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