Legal News

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Rights of way over land are a constant source of dispute and, because the law relating to land is complex, such disputes all too frequently end up in avoidable court proceedings. A recent case heard by Bristol County Court was brought by a man who claimed...
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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...
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It is not often that the facts about how much of a mortgage was repaid are a matter of dispute, but in a recent case that was what happened and the decision led to a judge being criticised for her unorthodox approach to the evaluation of evidence. A couple...
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There has been much grumbling over the years about the fact that where a tenant occupies multiple floors of a building, those floors will normally be treated as separate premises for the calculation of business rates. This normally produces larger rates...
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According to the Government's GOV.UK website, if you are a company director, you have to file a tax return every year. It says that every UK company director must send in a personal self-assessment tax return annually, and that this must be done even without...
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It is estimated that more than 800,000 Britons now own property abroad. What used to be highly exceptional may now seem rather commonplace, but that is no reason why buyers should relax their vigilance over the process. In particular, it is absolutely vital...
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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...
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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...
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In the same week that a former policeman was convicted of stealing a house and £200,000 from his disabled cousin by abusing a power of attorney in his favour, a judge advanced the case for using a court-appointed deputy to manage the affairs of a...
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Housing developments are almost always controversial and, in deciding whether or not to approve them, planners have to balance environmental and other objections against social and economic benefits. That was certainly so in one case in which the High...
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Disputes between neighbours can blight the lives of all concerned and it is always wise to seek legal advice before matters get out of hand. In one case, an elderly couple face losing their home under the weight of legal bills following a long-running row...
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With an increasingly peripatetic workforce, more and more people are finding that the issue of their fiscal residence has a significant effect on their tax position. The response to this in the UK has been that tax legislation surrounding residence has been...
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It has been revealed that the widely reported case last March in which a wife was not granted a divorce from her husband because she could not demonstrate that his behaviour had been unreasonable will be decided by the Supreme Court. Under English law,...
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Although a worryingly high proportion of the population never make a will, a fairly large number of those who do make more than one. It is sensible to make a new will or add codicils to an existing will if your circumstances change significantly. However,...
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Giving away your assets to the next generation before your death can be an effective means of minimising Inheritance Tax (IHT) liabilities. However, as one tribunal case showed , such gifts have to be absolute and bring you no personal benefit in order to...
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There is a tendency to think that procedural matters are mere formalities and there is no need to be in a rush to dot the i's and cross the t's, but sometimes failing to deal with them promptly can cause significant problems, as a recent case involving a...
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A recent case decided by the High Court will (if not overturned on appeal) have potential implications for some commercial tenants seeking renewals of their tenancies. It involved a dealer in textiles that occupies areas in the ground and basement floors...
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Imprisoning parents is inevitably traumatic for their children, and striking a balance between child welfare and appropriate punishment of criminals is a dilemma confronted by judges every day. However, a Court of Appeal ruling has emphasised that parenthood...
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The dangers of concluding that estranged children who have been disinherited will have no claim against a deceased person's estate were made very clear after a widely reported case decided last year. They have again been highlighted in a recent case in...
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It is a civic duty to assist the courts in the resolution of disputes, and judges have the power to compel reluctant witnesses to give evidence. Exactly that happened in one case in which a solicitor was required to attend court to testify in respect of a...
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A property owner who demolishes an existing dwelling house and replaces it with an entirely new one is entitled to reclaim VAT on the costs of construction – but what happens if part of the original building is retained? A tribunal considered that...
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In a decision of great importance to landlords of student accommodation , a tribunal has found that bedsits with communal facilities are not separate dwellings. The ruling meant that the tribunal had no power to consider an attempt by a group of students to...
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The popular press has made a great deal of a recent Court of Appeal case , reporting that there had been a significant departure from the general principle that the assets built up by a couple during their marriage are to be split more or less equally on...
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The old adage that 'an Englishman's home is his castle' is only partially true and the impact of planning law on a property owner's rights can be far-reaching – even extending to limiting the right of occupation. This is particularly an issue in areas...
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Amidst an ageing population, the role of judges in protecting the weak, vulnerable and infirm is of ever increasing importance. In one case that proves the point, the High Court stepped in to set aside land transfers made by an elderly farmer with dementia...

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