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Legal News

Government to Review Law to Wipe Out Trolling

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...

Ageism and the Hazards of Referring to Seniority or Length of Service

References to 'seniority' or 'length of service' can all too easily be read as impermissible references to an employee's age, a point which was made by one case in which a sporting body narrowly defeated its former group marketing director's claim that his...

High Court Focuses on Essentials to Resolve Family Trust Dispute

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...

Director Who Helped Herself Faces Music

It is hardly surprising that directors of companies that face insolvency often wish to recoup their investments before the balloon goes up. However, as one High Court case concerning a failed furniture retailer showed, they are not entitled to give their...

Court of Appeal Uses Real World Valuation Principles

An empty office block in Blackpool was given a rateable value (RV) of £490,000 by the local valuation officer, who made the valuation based on the expected rent for which the building could be let. The valuation was based on an assumed demand for a...

Reliance on Accountant Shows Reasonable Care

If you rely on your accountant's advice regarding a tax issue, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will now regard you as having taken 'reasonable care' to get things right and will not impose a penalty. On 14 February, HMRC issued new guidance relating to the...

Seeking to Waive Dividends?

For a person who has no need of the income from a family company, a dividend waiver, which allows other shareholders to receive dividends but not the person who has executed the waiver, can be a useful device. However, the use of dividend waivers can...

Perceived Disability Discrimination

Under the Equality Act 2010 , direct discrimination occurs when the reason for a person being treated less favourably than another is one of the protected characteristics covered by the Act. This means that someone who does not have a protected...

Premature Contract Signature Proves Expensive

Signing a contract before you are sure you are willing to complete it can be a huge mistake: judges do not flinch from enforcing valid contracts, as a recent case shows . It involved a man who reneged on a deal to buy a family home for £5 million. He...

Direct Contact With Both Parents Best Promotes Child Welfare

Family judges know that children normally do best when they have direct contact with both parents. The Court of Appeal underlined that point in a case concerning five ultra-Orthodox Jewish children whose transgender father had been ostracised by the close...

Incomplete Partnership Arrangements Lead to Court Appearance

When new partners are being introduced into a partnership, it is wise to finalise the arrangements quickly in case the partners fall out. Any lack of formality in the business arrangements can lead to trouble, as a recent case shows . The case concerned...

Victim of Hotel Jewellery Theft Wins Substantial Compensation

Thefts from hotel rooms are thankfully not an everyday occurrence, but when such a crime is committed, who, if anyone, is liable to pay compensation can become an issue, especially as the perpetrators, even if caught, frequently turn out to be penniless. In...

Incorrect Procedure Stymies Landlord

It is unusual when a case raises two different but significant points. A recent case dealt with issues raised when a landlord sought to obtain possession by 'peaceable re-entry' and the forfeiture of a lease when ground rent was not being paid. It...

Dealing With Breach of Patent

When you discover that a business has breached your patent, what should you do? The answer to this question has two elements. The first is based on what you can do in law and the second is based on business strategy. Firstly, before picking a fight with...

Government Consults on Aspects of the Parental Bereavement Bill

The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill was introduced into Parliament as a Private Members' Bill in July 2017. The Bill is being supported by the Government and is now wending its way through Parliament. The aim of the Bill is to give parents who...

Mistaken Belief Overturns Estate Split Agreement

When the male partner of a cohabiting couple died, apparently without leaving a will, after they had lived together for more than 40 years, his estate was administered according to the laws of intestacy, with the result that no provision was made for his...

Video Surveillance at Work

Two recent decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) have looked at a worker's right to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to respect for private and family life. In such cases, the ECHR...

Non-Residents Beware - Ignorance of UK Tax Law is No Excuse

About 900,000 UK citizens are long-term residents abroad, and it is no particular surprise that they may be less careful about managing their UK tax affairs than those who live in the UK. Many foreign residents retain UK properties, and when these are sold a...

Copyright Law Still Applies on the Web

The idea that the Internet is a free-for-all is nothing more than a persistent myth and the consequences of publishing copyright material online without permission can be severe. In one case, a television news broadcaster found itself in hot water after...

No Pay, No Passport?

In a consultation paper published just before the December holiday season , the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which is the Government department that deals with child maintenance payment arrangements, outlined significant powers that would enable...
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