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Family Judges Won't Let Children Be Used as Pawns in Divorce Proceedings

Concerns that children may be used as pawns amidst the cut and thrust of divorce proceedings are often expressed by one side or the other. However, a High Court ruling in the context of a big money case showed that family judges are aware of such risks and...

Has Your Property Been Compulsorily Purchased? Don't Sit on Your Hands

If your property has been compulsorily purchased by a public authority to make way for an infrastructure project, you should be entitled to compensation. As one case showed , however, such claims are subject to a strict time limit and lodging them at the...

Health and Safety Supervisor Sacked for Diligently Doing His Job Vindicated

Employees who are tasked with enforcing health and safety rules often encounter stiff resistance from colleagues who are reluctant to embrace change. As a case concerning a sacked railway maintenance supervisor showed, however, such employees enjoy special...

Wealthy Father Under No Obligation to Maintain His Healthy Adult Daughters

Parents generally owe no legal duty financially to maintain their adult children. That principle proved decisive in the case of a businessman who was worth almost £2.2 million when he died, but who left not a penny to his daughters. Having enjoyed a...

Cautionary Tale Illustrates the Necessity of Professional Tax Advice

A Court of Appeal case concerning a businessman who was on the receiving end of an unexpected six-figure tax demand served as a cautionary tale that graphically illustrated the importance of seeking specialist advice before entering into commercial deals...

Insurer Entitled to Refuse Cover Following Loss of £190,000 Rolex Watch

Failing to accurately respond to insurers' questions when taking out a policy is highly likely to render your cover worthless. A businessman found that out to his cost after losing a £190,000 Rolex watch whilst on a skiing trip. The man launched...

Director Oblivious to Record-Keeping Duties Receives Seven-Year Ban

One of the most important duties required of a company director is to keep, maintain, preserve and, if necessary, deliver up adequate accounting records. The High Court resoundingly made that point in imposing a seven-year directorship disqualification on...

Changes in the Tax Regime - Public Information Campaigns Have Limitations

The tax regime is subject to constant change and it is generally up to taxpayers to keep their knowledge up to date in a fluid landscape. However, as a case concerning tax charged on high-income recipients of Child Benefit showed , HM Revenue and Customs...

Commercial Leases and Opting Out of Security of Tenure - Test Case Ruling

Commercial landlords and tenants may contract out of the security of tenure provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 , but only if certain conditions are met. One of those conditions came under close analysis by the Court of Appeal in a ruling that...

Restrictions on Property Use Can Be Limited by Human Lifespans

Restrictions on the use to which properties can be put often lurk in old title deeds. As one case showed , however, some of them only endure as long as a human lifetime whilst others have no such shelf life and continue to have effect indefinitely. The...

Father Excluded from Babysitting Role Wins Sex Discrimination Damages

When recruiting staff, you may have a particular type of candidate in mind, but that is precisely the mindset that can give rise to discrimination. A company that advertised on social media for 'mothers' to work as babysitters fell into exactly that trap and...

COVID-19 - Do Diving Asset Values Justify Unwinding Divorce Settlements?

The value of many assets has been devastated by COVID-19 – but is that a good enough reason for setting aside divorce settlements agreed before the pandemic struck? A family judge considered that issue in a guideline case . The case concerned a...

Supreme Court Takes a 'Real-World' Approach to Rates Avoidance Schemes

When assessing whether tax mitigation schemes are effective, judges must interpret legislation in the real world and with regard to the likely intentions of Parliament. The Supreme Court made those points in a test case concerning schemes designed to avoid...

'Both' or 'Each'? - One Mistranscribed Word Triggers £6.4 Million Will Dispute

Will drafting is an exact science, requiring years of professional training, and a single mischosen or out-of-place word can have very serious consequences. Exactly that happened in a High Court case concerning the mistaken use of the word 'both' –...

Anti-Competitive Practices - Musical Instrument Supplier Receives £5 Million Fine

There will always be some who view anti-competitive business practices as an easy route to profits, but those who engage in them can expect deterrent punishments. In one case, a supplier of musical instruments was fined over £5 million for fostering a...

Judge Declines to Authorise COVID-19 Vaccination of Dementia Sufferer

Whether or not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is a matter of personal choice. A family judge robustly made that point in declining to authorise vaccination of a care home resident suffering from acute dementia who had fiercely objected to the procedure....

You Are Entitled to Rely on Professional Tax Advice - Even If it is Wrong

Professional tax advice, however carefully considered, cannot always be correct, but you are generally entitled to rely on it. A tribunal made that point in relieving a retired executive of a tax bill that would have had a devastating impact on his...

Carers, Home Working and Discrimination - Guideline Ruling

The COVID-19 pandemic has massively increased the prevalence of home working but, for some, working away from the office is far more than just a preference. In a guideline case on point, an Employment Tribunal (ET) emphasised the rights of carers who work...

Family Judge Deeply Regrets Wealthy Ex-Couple's Inability to Compromise

Judges often plead with divorcing couples to bury the hatchet rather than subject themselves to the financial and emotional self-harm of litigation. As a High Court case showed , however, such good advice is sadly not always heeded. The case concerned a...

Is It Acceptable to Poke Fun at a Competitor? High Court Tackles the Issue

Bad blood often exists between trade rivals, but is it an acceptable business practice for them to poke fun at one another? The High Court tackled that issue in the context of a trade mark dispute between tech giant Apple and Swiss watch manufacturer...
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