Legal News

High Court Relieves Family of Consequences of Badly Drafted Trust Deed

Trust deeds can be an effective means of managing family wealth and minimising tax liabilities but, as a High Court decision strikingly showed , any mistakes in their drafting can have serious repercussions for generations to come. The case concerned a...

Can Wild Animals Ever Be Owned By Anyone? Novel High Court Ruling

It may seem obvious that no one can own a wild animal. However, in a novel case of interest to property professionals – and anglers – the High Court has ruled that there are nevertheless property rights in wild fish held in captivity in a...

Court Orders Must Be Obeyed

Public confidence in the civil justice system would collapse if court orders were not rigorously enforced – however agonising complying with them may be. The point was made by a case in which a divorcee who refused to move out of her home of 25 years...

Court of Appeal Acts to Save Entrenched Litigants From Themselves

The whole purpose of the civil justice system is to achieve just and final resolution of frequently intractable disputes – and, as a guideline Court of Appeal decision in an inheritance case made plain, that includes saving litigants from themselves...

A Contract Is What it Says

When you enter into a contract, you are agreeing to be bound by what it says, not by what you think it means. Only rarely, such as when the meaning would make no commercial sense, will the court substitute its own view of the meaning of the contract if the...

Growing Number of Cohabiting Couples Leaves More Families Open to Risk

Cohabiting couples are the fastest-growing family type in the UK, according to newly released figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The ONS reports that the number of cohabiting couple families continues to grow faster than the number of...

Company Pays Crushing Price for Failing to File its Accounts On Time

The consequences of a company being struck off the Companies House register – even temporarily for nothing more than an administrative failure – can be catastrophic. In a case on point, a company that suffered that fate sacrificed the profits it...

LPA - Bank Practice

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a document that may be used so that the finances or other issues of a person who cannot deal with them themselves may be attended to by a trusted third party – normally a solicitor or a family member. When an LPA...

Where, If Anywhere, Do the Jet Set Call Home? High Court Gives Guidance

Very rich people often live jet set lifestyles of ceaseless travel, so pinning down the country in which they are domiciled can be a serious challenge. The High Court faced exactly that difficulty in a case concerning the acrimonious breakdown of a...

Reached an Important Agreement? Get a Lawyer to Record It in Writing

Agreements are frequently reached behind closed boardroom doors, but a failure to engage a professional to record them, contemporaneously and in writing, can cause serious problems down the line. That was certainly so in one case concerning the tax...

Big Money Divorce Engages Family Judge in Company Valuation

Companies are notoriously difficult to value, and particular problems can arise when they form the principal assets to be divided in divorce proceedings. In a big money case on point, the High Court bridged a huge gulf between the value placed by a wife...

Widow Pays for Delay in Seeking Provision From Her Husband's Estate

If you feel that you have suffered a wrong of any kind, a delay in taking legal action can put paid to your chances of obtaining justice. A widow who was left nothing in her deceased husband's will found that out to her cost when her hopes of obtaining...

Hotel Under Duty to Protect Guests Against Third-Party Criminal Acts

Can businesses owe a duty to protect customers on their premises from the criminal acts of others? In a test case concerning a horrific attack on three hotel guests , the High Court has ruled that, in certain circumstances, the answer to that question is...

Divorced Overseas? English Family Judges Can Still Help You!

If you have been divorced abroad but are habitually resident in this country, English family judges have the power to ensure that you receive a fair share of the marital assets. In a case on point , the High Court awarded a woman whose marriage was...

Lack of Due Diligence Gives Company Buyer Four Days in Court

When the sale of a company is taking place, it is usual for warranties to be given regarding how the company being sold has conducted its affairs prior to the sale. Making sure these are accurate is essential. In a recent case, the purchaser of a company...

Informal Agreement Leads Family to Court of Appeal

Disputes within families are very common indeed and one of the issues the courts see over and over again is where there is a family 'understanding' that ends in a disagreement. In a recent case , the result of one such dispute is that an 82-year-old woman...

Court Returns Two-Year-Old to Land of Birth When Parents' Marriage Collapses

For a UK court to have jurisdiction over a family law case, it is necessary to show that at least one party to it has habitual residence in the UK. In a recent case, an Israeli woman divorcing her Israeli husband sought a declaration that their two-year-old...

Owner of Fire-Damaged Factory Triumphs in High Court Insurance Dispute

Almost all businesses are insured against fire damage but, when the worst happens, insurers are understandably anxious to make sure they do not pay out any more than they have to. That situation provides fertile ground for dispute, which was certainly so...

Time of the Essence in Overturning Agreements Made Under Duress

We have often stressed the importance of obtaining high-quality legal advice in any dispute and starting any necessary legal action as soon as possible, and a recent divorce dispute illustrates why . It involved a couple who were divorced in 2015. The...

Breach of Trust Brings Jail for Fraudulent Trustee

Yet another sad case reported recently shows the wisdom of appointing only those who are absolutely trustworthy and/or insured professionals as trustees over your assets. The court heard how a trustee appointed to safeguard the assets of a 17-year-old boy...

Court Appearance May Not Mean Public Disclosure

The principle of open courts is highly valued in the UK legal system. However, it is often a worry to people engaged in legal proceedings concerning family or marital issues that by going to court their family's private affairs will become public knowledge. ...

New Company Disclosure Requirements On the Way

The trend towards full disclosure and openness continues unabated in business, and new regulations are being mooted which will increase the amount of disclosure required of UK-registered companies regarding their principals. Currently, even the smallest...

Pension Trustees Owe No Duty of Care to Employer

Many directors of companies are also trustees of the company pension scheme. Sometimes, their duties as a director and as a scheme trustee can be difficult to reconcile. In a recent case, a company alleged that two directors who were trustees of the firm's...

Half of Estate Value Goes in Fees When Will Lost and Family in Dispute

When a person is appointed executor of an estate, they are given a reasonable period to progress the estate administration but cannot procrastinate without adverse consequences being likely. When a woman died intestate in 2012, she left behind a house and...

Ignore Court Orders At Your Peril

A wealthy Omani man who failed to pay to his ex-wife the financial settlement ordered by the court, or to cooperate with disclosure orders, faces arrest if he attempts to return to the UK. When the couple's marriage broke up, they were divorced under Omani...
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