Legal News

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...

Family Dispute Underlines Wisdom of Making a Professionally Drafted Will

Family disputes frequently focus on inheritance and can inflict immense anxiety and pain on all concerned. A case concerning a young man who died tragically when he stepped in front of a train, however, showed that the best way to avoid such conflict is to...

Spotlight on Corporate Democracy as Small Shareholders Take Crushing Loss

Concerns that small shareholders are the victims of a deficit in corporate democracy, having little influence over the direction taken by the companies in which they invest, were highlighted by a High Court case concerning a troubled mining company. Tens of...

Home-Made Wills May Save a Few Pounds But Store Up Trouble for the Future

Home-made wills may save you a few pounds in the short term, but dispensing with legal advice greatly increases the risk of painful disputes arising after you are gone. That was certainly so in the case of a desperately ill man who left the whole of his...

When Does a Contract Dispute Crystallise? Guideline High Court Ruling

Contract adjudicators only have jurisdiction to resolve disputes after the points in issue have crystallised. The difficulty of discerning exactly when that point has been reached was underlined by a High Court case concerning a delayed laboratory...

Making a Will? Have You Considered Your Loved Ones' Real Needs?

For many parents, the objective of a will is to ensure even-handed treatment of loved ones, particularly children. However, as a High Court case strikingly showed, some may be more needy than others and that too should be taken into account. The case...

'Pay Now, Argue Later' - High Court Enforces Contract Adjudicator's Award

Contract adjudicators' awards, even if disputed, must generally be satisfied straight away. That principle – often referred to as 'pay now, argue later' – was applied by the High Court in ordering an immediate six-figure payment to a small...

Court Permits Wife Who Unlawfully Killed Her Husband to Inherit His Assets

Few would quarrel with the long-standing rule of law that anyone who unlawfully kills another is barred from benefiting, financially or otherwise, from his or her crime. In a unique decision, however, the High Court waived that rule in the case of an...

Liquidators Succeed in Pursuit of Retail Chain's 'Disappeared' Assets

Any civilised system of civil justice affords those who are accused of wrongdoing a fair opportunity to defend themselves in court. However, as a High Court ruling in a corporate insolvency case showed, disobeying judicial orders can place even that...

Disinherited Daughter's Bid for a Share of Her Father's Estate Rejected

If someone upon whom you depend financially dies leaving you nothing in his or her will, judges have the power to ensure that you do not go empty-handed. As a High Court case showed, however, that power will only be exercised in your favour if your need for...

Time Invested in Making a Will Is Time Invested Wisely

If you die without making a will, there is a real risk that your loved ones may be left high and dry. In one case, a man who said that he was grieving over his partner's death found himself bereft of legal rights and locked out of the flat they once shared. ...

Are You Contracting With a Principal or an Agent? The Distinction Matters

When entering into a contract with a limited company, it is vital to know whether it is acting as principal, in its own right, or as an agent for someone else. Exactly that issue arose in a High Court case concerning a ship renovation agreement . A...

Education Provider Left High and Dry in 'No Oral Variation' Contract Row

Many commercial contracts contain clauses which state that they can only be varied in writing. Such provisions offer the advantage of certainty and, as a company that provided educational services to a government agency discovered to its cost, they mean what...

Eminent Retired Judge's Intellect Weighs in Favour of His Will's Validity

Even people of the greatest intellect can be affected by diminished mental ability in old age and that is one good reason why it makes sense to execute a professionally drafted will sooner rather than later. A case on point concerned an eminent former judge...

HSE Support for Hand Sanitiser Manufacturers

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has taken steps to support hand sanitiser manufacturers as UK production increases to tackle the coronavirus. Spurred by unprecedented demand for biocidal hand sanitiser products during the coronavirus outbreak, the HSE...

Children Born Out of Wedlock Receive Shares of £1.29 Million Trust Fund

Few people nowadays care whether a child is born within wedlock, but the law is in some respects behind the times. In a ground-breaking ruling, however, the High Court has opened the way for illegitimate members of an extended family to receive shares of a...

Facing a Legal Claim? Sitting On Your Hands is Simply Not an Option

If you are on the receiving end of a legal claim, sitting on your hands is simply not an option and you should seek advice straight away. In a case on point, a property company which signally failed to engage in court proceedings was hit with a very...

It Always Makes Good Sense to Appoint a Professional Executor

Most people would consider it an honour to be chosen as executor of a friend's or relative's will. However, as a High Court ruling showed , the legal responsibilities that go with such a role can be extremely onerous and it usually makes better sense to...

Communications Company Fined £7 Million for Overcharging Error

Utility providers are subject to tight regulation in order to ensure free competition and fair dealing with the public, and if they break the rules – even inadvertently – they can expect heavy financial penalties. In one case, a communications...

Making a Will? Don't Forget Your Moral Obligations

You are in principle entitled to bequeath your worldly wealth to whoever you choose. However, as a High Court decision made clear, the law will intervene if you ignore your moral obligations when making your will. A successful motor dealer and property...

Sale of Defective Refrigeration Unit Triggers Guideline High Court Ruling

If you have bought goods that turn out to be unfit for purpose, the general rule is that you are entitled not only to your money back but also to compensation for additional losses arising. A case on point concerned a refrigeration unit which failed,...

Court Breaks Impasse Between Warring Brothers in Farmland Dispute

Co-ownership of land by family members can be intensely problematic if they do not see eye to eye as to the use to which it should be put. A High Court case on point focused on a naturalist's ambition to 'rewild' farmland he and his brother had jointly...

Golf Clubs Maker Heavily Fined for Anti-Competitive Internet Sales Ban

The ever-increasing dominance of the internet as a sales medium was the focus of a landmark Court of Appeal case in which a bespoke golf club manufacturer that banned its authorised dealers from selling its products online was fined over £1 million...

Court of Appeal Allows Will Dispute to Proceed

There is a general principle that a person may leave their estate to anyone they wish, but legislation exists – the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 – to allow people dependent on a deceased person to claim against the...
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