Legal News

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Is Your Will Out of Date?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Allowing your will to become out of date stores up trouble for your loved ones.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...

High Court Umpires Fierce Row Over Pharmaceuticals Company's Future

Shareholder disagreements as to the direction a company should take are generally fought out behind closed doors. However, as a High Court case concerning the future of a troubled pharmaceuticals company showed, judges are always there to act as umpires...

If a Loved One's Will Does Not Meet Your Needs, Don't Delay in Seeking Advice

If a loved one upon whom you depend financially fails to make reasonable provision for you in his or her will, judges have the power to put that right. However, there are time limits that apply to such proceedings and that is why it is vital to consult a...

High Court Relieves Family of Consequences of Badly Drafted Trust Deed

Trust deeds can be an effective means of managing family wealth and minimising tax liabilities but, as a High Court decision strikingly showed , any mistakes in their drafting can have serious repercussions for generations to come. The case concerned a...

Can Wild Animals Ever Be Owned By Anyone? Novel High Court Ruling

It may seem obvious that no one can own a wild animal. However, in a novel case of interest to property professionals – and anglers – the High Court has ruled that there are nevertheless property rights in wild fish held in captivity in a...

Court of Appeal Acts to Save Entrenched Litigants From Themselves

The whole purpose of the civil justice system is to achieve just and final resolution of frequently intractable disputes – and, as a guideline Court of Appeal decision in an inheritance case made plain, that includes saving litigants from themselves...

A Contract Is What it Says

When you enter into a contract, you are agreeing to be bound by what it says, not by what you think it means. Only rarely, such as when the meaning would make no commercial sense, will the court substitute its own view of the meaning of the contract if the...

Company Pays Crushing Price for Failing to File its Accounts On Time

The consequences of a company being struck off the Companies House register – even temporarily for nothing more than an administrative failure – can be catastrophic. In a case on point, a company that suffered that fate sacrificed the profits it...

LPA - Bank Practice

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a document that may be used so that the finances or other issues of a person who cannot deal with them themselves may be attended to by a trusted third party – normally a solicitor or a family member. When an LPA...

Reached an Important Agreement? Get a Lawyer to Record It in Writing

Agreements are frequently reached behind closed boardroom doors, but a failure to engage a professional to record them, contemporaneously and in writing, can cause serious problems down the line. That was certainly so in one case concerning the tax...

Widow Pays for Delay in Seeking Provision From Her Husband's Estate

If you feel that you have suffered a wrong of any kind, a delay in taking legal action can put paid to your chances of obtaining justice. A widow who was left nothing in her deceased husband's will found that out to her cost when her hopes of obtaining...

Hotel Under Duty to Protect Guests Against Third-Party Criminal Acts

Can businesses owe a duty to protect customers on their premises from the criminal acts of others? In a test case concerning a horrific attack on three hotel guests , the High Court has ruled that, in certain circumstances, the answer to that question is...

Lack of Due Diligence Gives Company Buyer Four Days in Court

When the sale of a company is taking place, it is usual for warranties to be given regarding how the company being sold has conducted its affairs prior to the sale. Making sure these are accurate is essential. In a recent case, the purchaser of a company...

Informal Agreement Leads Family to Court of Appeal

Disputes within families are very common indeed and one of the issues the courts see over and over again is where there is a family 'understanding' that ends in a disagreement. In a recent case , the result of one such dispute is that an 82-year-old woman...

Owner of Fire-Damaged Factory Triumphs in High Court Insurance Dispute

Almost all businesses are insured against fire damage but, when the worst happens, insurers are understandably anxious to make sure they do not pay out any more than they have to. That situation provides fertile ground for dispute, which was certainly so...

Breach of Trust Brings Jail for Fraudulent Trustee

Yet another sad case reported recently shows the wisdom of appointing only those who are absolutely trustworthy and/or insured professionals as trustees over your assets. The court heard how a trustee appointed to safeguard the assets of a 17-year-old boy...

New Company Disclosure Requirements On the Way

The trend towards full disclosure and openness continues unabated in business, and new regulations are being mooted which will increase the amount of disclosure required of UK-registered companies regarding their principals. Currently, even the smallest...

Pension Trustees Owe No Duty of Care to Employer

Many directors of companies are also trustees of the company pension scheme. Sometimes, their duties as a director and as a scheme trustee can be difficult to reconcile. In a recent case, a company alleged that two directors who were trustees of the firm's...

Half of Estate Value Goes in Fees When Will Lost and Family in Dispute

When a person is appointed executor of an estate, they are given a reasonable period to progress the estate administration but cannot procrastinate without adverse consequences being likely. When a woman died intestate in 2012, she left behind a house and...

Just Because You Agree Doesn't Mean the Court Will

It is common in legal disputes for the two sides to agree to suspend the court proceedings for a period so that they can get as much agreed between them as possible, and gather their evidence and prepare their arguments over what remains in dispute without...
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