Legal News

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,...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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. ...

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...

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...
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