Legal News

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. ...

Judge Breaks Deadlock Between Unmarried Ex-Couple With Children

When long-term relationships between unmarried couples break down, disentangling their property and financial affairs can be challenging, particularly where children are involved. As one case showed, however, a clean break is often the best option for all...

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...

Don't Even Consider a Foreign Adoption Without Specialist Legal Advice

Adopting children from abroad can complete families and be of great benefit to all concerned. However, as a High Court case showed, it is fraught with legal pitfalls and should not be attempted without first taking specialist legal advice. The case...

High Court Rules on COVID-19 Insurance Test Case

In a welcome development for thousands of small businesses, the High Court has ruled that losses arising from the COVID-19 pandemic are covered by certain business interruption insurance policies. Many businesses have claimed on their business...

Can Contract Adjudications Be Fairly Held During COVID-19 Lockdown?

Speedy and cost-effective dispute resolution is the primary aspiration of the contract adjudication regime – but to what extent can that be fairly achieved during the COVID-19 pandemic? The High Court confronted that issue in a guideline case . A...
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