Legal News

Trust is No Replacement for Legal Advice

Sadly, not all relationships that get off to a good start last, and it is vital to seek legal advice before entering into any financial arrangements, even with those who are closest to you. That point was clearly made by a case in which a woman attempted to...

Placing Trust in a Family Member Proves Unwise (Again)

Even the most apparently trustworthy people can sometimes turn out to be anything but and that is one good reason why it is sensible to appoint a solicitor as executor of your will. In one case that proved the point, an ex-police officer took advantage of...

Cohabitants Entitled to Bereavement Damages

The legal implications of cohabitation are often poorly understood by those who choose to live together outside of marriage or civil partnership, and the lack of protection for cohabitants often comes as an unpleasant surprise to many, especially when a...

Pre-Trial Skirmishing Can Be as Important as the Main Event

In commercial litigation, many of the most important battles are fought before the trial even starts and those who drag their feet or fail to comply with judicial directions can find themselves hamstrung when it comes to the main event. Exactly that happened...

Failure to Point Out Business Decline Proves Costly

When a business is sold, a 'due diligence' process is normally entered into to make sure that the representations made by the seller to the buyer, on which the buyer's valuation of the business will be based, are true. Failure to be forthright in disclosures...

Family Attachment a Critical Factor in Adoption

When the Family Court was asked to consider an application for an adoption order made by a couple, two factors proved crucial in deciding whether it should be granted. The first was that the boy's natural parents could not reasonably be considered able to...

Casting Aspersions to Change Inheritance Proves Unsuccessful

Wills made or varied just before death are a frequent source of dispute and court appearances, and it was just such an occurrence that led to a High Court hearing recently . The case concerned the estate of a woman who died in 2014, two days after making a...

Act When You Think You May Have a Claim, Not When You Know For Certain

The time to seek legal advice when you think something may be wrong is when you first have a concern, not later on when you know there is a problem. One reason for this is that there are legal limitation periods for bringing claims, and in claims involving...

Certain Inheritance Can Be Financial Resource in Divorce Settlement

Under English law, a person is able (within limits) to decide absolutely to whom their estate should pass. However, many countries have 'forced heirship' laws, under which a deceased person's estate must pass in specified proportions to a particular person...

Informal Wills on the Way?

We have written on numerous occasions of the danger of either failing to leave a will or of not taking professional advice when making your will. Among the difficulties that can arise with DIY wills are challenges by family members who have been excluded...

If You Help Fund a Claim You May Be Liable if it Fails

It is not unusual for the cost of litigation – especially where a group of companies is involved – to be paid for in whole or in part by a person or organisation that is not directly involved in the dispute. It should be remembered, however,...

Judge Sees Through Attempt to Hide Assets

When a couple divorced in 2014, the ex-husband was ordered to pay his ex-wife periodical payments of £120,000 per year after he was found to have used a variety of stratagems to make himself appear worse off than he really was. A mere three months...

Business Tycoon's Wife Well Served by Lawyers Who Drafted Her Will

A solicitor's primary duty when drafting a will is to follow faithfully their client's instructions after giving accurate and level-headed advice. In a professional negligence case triggered by the early death of a business tycoon's wife, the High Court...

Insolvency and Assignment of Causes of Action - High Court Ruling

On the basis that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, it is common for liquidators of insolvent companies to assign (transfer the rights to) any claims that they might wish to pursue on behalf of creditors to specialists in the field. One such...

Take Care When Appointing a Non-Lawyer as Your Executor

When you appoint a solicitor to be the executor of your will, you can be assured that they will understand their duties and can be relied upon to comply with them. However, as a High Court case showed, the same sadly cannot always be said of friends or...

Court Corrects Parenthood Bungle

When a same-sex couple undertook fertility treatment which led to the birth of a baby girl, the intention was that both would be listed as her legal parents. However, due to mistakes made in processing the necessary forms, only one of the couple was shown as...

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right

When a contract is breached and one party suffers a loss as a result, they are normally entitled to be compensated for their loss by the party that has breached the contract. Whilst there are a number of ways the breach can be dealt with by the courts, the...

Failure to Use Solicitor for Will Leads to Challenge

Charities are generally thought of as being mild and benevolent organisations and in many ways they are, but some can also be very aggressive when they are expecting to receive money from an estate and their hopes are dashed. The extent to which some will...

Government Must Prove its Case to Obtain Deportation

Marriages of convenience are normally entered into in order to give one of the spouses the right to remain in the UK. At present, EU citizens normally have the right to remain in the UK. However, that right can be removed if it is shown that it has been...

Letting Agency Fined for Breaches of Consumer Rights Legislation

Professionals who deal directly with the public are subject to a battery of consumer protection rules and failing to comply with them can be costly, both in financial and reputational terms. In one case, a letting agency that neglected to display a list of...

Ignoring Advice Not Path to Success

There really is little point in instructing lawyers to represent you if you do not then listen to their advice. In one case which illustrates this , two women dispensed with the services of not just one but two legal teams, after they were advised to...

Banter Doesn't Create a Contract

The trouble with light-hearted discussions of important business matters in a social context is that none of those present can really be sure whether any agreements apparently reached are serious or merely a joke. Exactly that happened in one case in which...

Executors and Taxes

An executor of an estate is personally responsible for his or her actions, so as well as there being significant duties, on occasions the role can also involve significant risks. One example of this would be where an executor completes the estate...

Family Proceedings - Anonymity Orders v Freedom of Expression

Family courts routinely grant anonymity to children involved in care proceedings, but that inevitably has an effect on parents and others who might wish to publicise their objections to judicial orders. Exactly that issue arose in one case in which a...

Company Credit Status Must Stand Alone

You may think that if people of substance are behind a business you have a dispute with, this acts as a source of comfort that any sum you are awarded against the company is likely to be met, but that is not necessarily the case, as a recent dispute shows. ...
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