Legal News

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In 2017, 205,293 dwellings in England were left empty for six months or more. With the housing shortage never far from the news agenda, steps to bring unoccupied houses back into use are being taken by the Government. Under the Rating (Property in Common...
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If you are facing menacing demands for money, you should take legal advice straight away. In a recent case, the High Court came to the aid of a wealthy married businessman who claimed to have been subjected to blackmail following a brief affair with a work...
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Financial pressure can easily lead the unwary into the arms of unscrupulous lenders. One High Court case, in which numerous borrowers found themselves in legal limbo , shows how unwise it is to enter into such transactions without professional advice. A...
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Setting up family trusts with minors or those with mental incapacities as beneficiaries is by no means uncommon and it sometimes occurs that such trusts need to be varied for one reason or another. The mechanism for this is the Variation of Trusts Act 1958...
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Many commercial leases provide that the formal document represents the entirety of the agreement, superseding any prior agreements that may have been reached. An important Court of Appeal ruling has, however, made clear that such clauses do not preclude...
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The validity of pre-nuptial agreements depends on legal advice being taken on both sides, equal bargaining positions and overall fairness. In one case, the High Court found that a wife in a big money divorce case was bound by such an agreement and awarded...
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Harassment is very unpleasant and, when a person is subject to a campaign of abuse, it can prove extremely upsetting. Furthermore, it is often quite possible for the abuser to preserve their anonymity. In such circumstances, it might seem that there is...
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Giving someone else power of attorney over your finances can be a useful means of ensuring that your affairs will be properly managed if you lose the capacity to do so yourself. However, one case in which a war veteran's money was plundered by a man he...
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Legal arguments between cohabitants who break up are commonplace. However, a recent case dealt with a lengthy legal dispute between the surviving partner of a gay couple and his deceased partner's family. The couple lived in a property that was owned by...
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When a wealthy construction business owner and his wife divorced in 2011, a 'clean break' agreement was made to include the sale of the two properties they owned – the family home in the UK and one in Spain. In the event that neither had been sold, the...
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When a tenant wishes to assign a lease, it is usual for the landlord's consent to be required, and that consent can be withheld if there are sufficiently good grounds for so doing. In a recent case, a landlord was asked by a tenant to agree to the...
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Although they may not know it, many householders are banned by restrictions in their title deeds from using their properties for commercial purposes. Recently, a man who converted his garage into a dog grooming parlour discovered why he should have sought...
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You may think that because a firm has an email address, you can serve a writ or other legal document on them by sending it via email…and so you can, but not unless the firm has agreed to that. It took a visit to the Supreme Court to resolve the...
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The dangers inherent in adopting a casual approach to one's will were starkly illustrated in a case that considered the validity of three 'templated' wills written by an elderly woman within a period of four years. The woman had three children and two...
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When a person is not capable of looking after themselves, the Secretary of State has the power to appoint someone else to do so. A recent court case shows that failing to do so in a balanced way can have adverse consequences and saw a judge condemn the...
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Divorces where there is an international dimension often present specific issues, and a recent case involving a couple who had been living in Australia before they separated is no exception, leading ultimately to a hearing in the Supreme Court . The...
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If your tenancy agreement contains a 'no pets' policy, the fact that your pet does not cause any issues for other tenants will not prevent your landlord from enforcing its removal. In a recent case, the High Court ruled that a couple had been lawfully...
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Litigating without using a qualified solicitor to assist you is strictly for the foolhardy. The point could hardly have been more clearly made than by a case in which a man who wished to have his criminal record erased from the Internet sued the wrong...
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Remarriages are a common source of disagreement and acrimony among family members and dementia is an increasingly prevalent issue, so it is unsurprising that when both were present, the result was a legal dispute in which the Court of Protection had to...
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Sometimes, what seem to be quite simple questions have to be decided in court. In a recent case, the issue was who owned the money in a joint bank account when one of the account holders died. Simple question or not, it was argued all the way to the Court...
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When tenants discovered that their landlord had bought insurance over their flats, including the structure of the building, when they had already purchased insurance cover for themselves, the resulting argument ended up in the Upper Tribunal (UT) . The...
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In a ground-breaking decision that prioritised the rights of the living over those of the dead, the Court of Appeal has opened the way for genetic testing of DNA extracted from a sample taken from a cancer victim before his death in order to clarify the...
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The planning system is very far from straightforward and sensible landowners seek legal advice before tackling it. The point was underlined by one case in which a farmer ended up with a part-built barn and at risk of enforcement action if he completed the...
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The finding that more than a third of users of the Internet in the UK have been 'trolled' or been the subject of harassment or 'cyber-bullying', sometimes with severe effects on those singled out for online abuse, has led the Government to commission an...
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Even the most careful drafting cannot always succeed in dispelling ambiguity or in making provision for all future eventualities. As a High Court case concerning a family trust showed, however, the courts are always there to act as a neutral umpire in...

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