Legal News

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Those who make a profit on the sale of their principal private residence do not have to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on it. However, as a test case concerning a couple who built their own home showed, that apparently simple statement disguises a hinterland of...
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Those who doubt the legal advantages of getting married should take note of a case in which an elderly man was left facing homelessness after his partner's unexpected death and had to go to court to seek reasonable provision from her estate. The unmarried...
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With burgeoning numbers of students and a continuing housing shortage, residential property for letting has been a popular investment for several years. Many such investments are in houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and landlords of large HMOs (which are...
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Many blocks of flats are managed by a residents' association, which has the great advantage of affording tenants democratic rights of self-determination. However, as a decision of the Upper Tribunal (UT) showed, such bodies bear onerous, and often complex,...
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The law that allows someone who was dependent on a deceased person during their lifetime to make a claim against their estate if there is no, or inadequate, provision for them in the will is one of long standing (the Inheritance (Provision for Family and...
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We all make mistakes…and when a contract is set up the terms of which clearly do not reflect what was intended, the court can be asked to rectify it. A recent case shows that that approach can also be taken with regard to incorrectly drafted trust...
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The Supreme Court judges' decision to prevent a wife from divorcing her husband , which was made 'without enthusiasm', is expected to lead to calls for a rapid change in the law. The case arose after a wife's application for a divorce was opposed by her...
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When the Finance Act 2006 came into force, it introduced a ten-year charge on discretionary trusts containing 'relevant property'. Most discretionary trusts that were started after 21 March 2006, other than those covered by specific exemptions, will carry...
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Under draft legislation now in Parliament (the Registration of Overseas Entities Bill), the Government is intending to establish a register of the beneficial ownership of properties in the UK where the property is owned by an overseas entity. The general...
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Construction works on neighbouring properties can make your life a misery but, with the right legal advice, you may be able to do something about them. In a case on point, the High Court came to the aid of a woman whose rental property was deprived of light...
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When an estate is to be administered, an application for probate must first be made if the deceased left a will. Once probate is granted, the process can begin. However, the mere granting of probate does not mean that all is said and done on the matter, as a...
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The perceived generosity of English judges in big money divorce cases has made the UK the venue of choice for some – but anathema for others. However, as one case showed, judicial priorities have more to do with fairness than finance. The case...
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Signing leases is a serious business and both landlords and tenants are expected to live with their terms, however onerous they may be. However, as a High Court case illustrated, judges have the power to rectify terms if an obvious mistake has been made. A...
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In a unanimous judgment, the Supreme Court has ruled that a bakery in Northern Ireland's refusal to make a cake bearing a slogan in support of same-sex marriage was not discriminatory. The legal battle began four years ago after Ashers bakery, a family-run...
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If you are approaching pension age, unless you are one of the increasingly few with a salary-related pension scheme, you would be wise to take professional advice before you take any irrevocable action. The decisions taken at certain points in managing your...
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One of the dilemmas the courts face from time to time is how to achieve the right balance between individual privacy and the public's right to know about things. In a recent case , a patient who had made a complaint against a GP sought publication of the...
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Japanese knotweed is a very considerable pest – 'indisputably the UK's most aggressive, destructive and invasive plant', according to the Environment Agency –as it can cause damage to buildings, spreads easily and is difficult to eradicate. As...
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One of the requirements for a will to be accepted as valid is that the person who makes it must have 'knowledge and approval' of its contents...in other words, they must understand what the will says and what it means in practice. It might seem, therefore,...
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Anyone who has bought a new build property will be familiar with a 'snag list' of items that should be rectified. Normally these don't present too many issues, but when the snags are significant, and the new build is one in which there is a landlord who is...
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It is normal for money, often considerable sums, to pass between family members. However, when this is done without legal advice, it is only too common for disputes to arise as to whether or not the sums concerned were meant as gifts. Disputes between family...
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Despite strong representations from the professional community, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have decided that they will stick with a 30-day initial payment requirement for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on residential property gains for disposals after April...
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Almost everyone who has flown much has a story (or more than one) about lost or damaged luggage, and holiday insurance claims regarding these are commonplace. A Finnish man who took a holiday to Malaga found that some items went missing from his luggage on...
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If you are faced with an unwelcome proposal for development nearby, a recent case shows how tenaciousness and a knowledge of past planning history can help to prevent it. Consistency of decision making is a fundamental principle of planning law and local...
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London has gained a reputation as 'the divorce capital of the world' because settlements reached are, by international standards, very generous towards women. It is no surprise, therefore, that the courts in this country are a very popular choice of venue...
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If you accept appointment under a power of attorney, it is essential to understand the responsibilities this entails. A recent case shows what can happen if a less than thorough approach is taken. It dealt with arrangements made by a 95-year-old widower...

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