Legal News

'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...

Directors Must Subsume Their Interests to Those of the Company

Directors are obliged to put their own interests to one side in making decisions for the benefit of the companies they serve. The Court of Appeal emphasised that point in the case of a businessman who executed an unauthorised transfer of a company's...

High Court Resolves Family Row Over Funeral Arrangements

What exactly is a will? The High Court addressed that fundamental issue in resolving a bitter family dispute in respect of where a much-loved son and husband should be buried. Following the man's death from cancer, his mother insisted that he should be...

The Truth Will Out! Judge Rules £12 Million Loan Contracts Worthless

Judges are sadly familiar with attempts to hoodwink them, but the great advantage of the litigation process is that, in the vast majority of cases, the truth will out. In a case on point, the High Court dismissed a £12 million claim after ruling a...

Promises, Promises - Always Get a Lawyer to Put Them in Writing!

The trouble with informally agreeing with your loved ones what is to happen to your assets after you are gone is that you may not have considered all eventualities, and disputes can arise as to what has and has not been promised. Exactly that lay at the root...

Judge upholds Will in dementia dispute

For a Will to be valid, the testator (the one making the Will) must be ‘of sound mind’ at the time of making and signing the Will. This means that they must be capable of understanding and approving of the contents and effects of the Will. With...

Two Innocent Victims of the Same Fraud - Where Does the Loss Fall?

It is a sad fact that sophisticated fraudsters can intercept emails or other digital traffic in order to divert payments away from their intended recipients – but where should losses arising from such deceit fall where there is more than one innocent...

Is Your Will Out of Date? Execute a New One Before It's Too Late!

Allowing your will to become out of date stores up trouble for your loved ones. That was strikingly so in one case in which a successful businessman suffered a stroke before he could make a new will taking account of his changed financial and personal...
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