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Latest News

Developing Others' Ideas Can Itself Be Novel and Inventive

Patents that merely repeat pre-existing ideas are invalid – there has to be something novel about an invention to secure patent protection. However, that does not mean that developments based on the work of others cannot themselves be novel and...

Probate Charges Increase Likely to Be Delayed

The Government has acknowledged that the upcoming general election makes it unlikely that probate fees will increase significantly in May as planned, as there will not be time for Parliament to pass the legislation. The planned changes to the fees payable...

Charity Report Highlights Need for Trustee Vigilance

The need for charities to exercise strict controls over the disbursement of significant sums was made clear in a recent report by the Charity Commissioners into a small charity. The charity, which operated to promote active sports among the disabled,...

Claiming VAT on Cars - New Cases Give Hope

Anyone who has tried to recover the VAT on the purchase of a car, particularly an expensive one, will know that few things are as likely to prompt a VAT query. The conditions under which such a claim can be made are strict (see the Value Added Tax (Input...

Definitive Plan Decides Boundary Dispute

Boundary disputes are commonplace and, unless skilfully mediated, can often spiral out of control, ending up in legal action the cost of which far exceeds the value of the land under dispute. One of the more important principles in such disputes is often a...

Landlord Repairs Must Be Reasonable, Not Most Economical

A long leasehold tenant has had mixed fortunes in opposing a charge for more than £55,000 after her council landlord undertook a major programme of repairs to the block in which she lives. Under the terms of her lease, the council was required to keep...

Tax Penalties Avoided for Those Affected by IT Glitch

With HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) pressing ahead with plans to make 'customers' deal with them only digitally, it is good to see that when a system issue with the EE network meant that some of the company's customers were unable to access the HMRC website...

Court of Appeal Rejects Pimlico Plumbers' Appeal in Employment Status Case

There have been a number of recent cases looking at the precise nature of the employment status of those working for employers who like their operatives to appear to clients as their representatives but who operate a model of self-employment. In Aslam and...

Court Enforces Pre-Nuptial Agreement

When the marriage of a wealthy couple broke up, the English court had the opportunity to consider the impact of two pre-nuptial agreements the couple had made before they wed. The couple, both Swedes, married in 2000 and had had two children by the time...

Knife-Edge Timing Solves £2.4 Million Construction Contract Dispute

In a striking piece of knife-edge timing, a property developer has convinced the High Court that it was reassigned rights under a construction contract just before a multi-million-pound dispute was placed before an adjudicator. The decision means that the...

Problems for Family Unaddressed as People Still Shun Wills

The latest research from National Savings and Investments shows that a staggering 64 per cent of adults in the UK have not made a will, and that 38 million adults have made no arrangements for their retirement or provision for long-term care, although half...

Driver Need Not Enforce Wheelchair Space on Bus, Rules Court

The Supreme Court has ruled on the long-running dispute between First Bus and a disabled passenger who sued the bus company after a driver declined to intervene when a passenger occupying the wheelchair space refused to move. The disabled passenger, who...

Customer Details Email Leads to Fine for Ex-Employee

When an employee left her recruitment agency employer, she took the dubious step of emailing to her private email address the personal data of about 100 of her clients and contacts. She subsequently used the data to contact them in connection with her new...

Failure to Reveal All Proves Costly for Developer

The standard pre-contract enquiries made by a solicitor when a client is intending to purchase a property include querying whether there are any disputes which may affect the value of the property being purchased. When a woman bought a flat in a block of...

Type 2 Diabetes and the Definition of Disability

Whilst people suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis or HIV are automatically deemed to be disabled for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 , in the case of other illnesses, whether or not a worker is disabled will depend on whether or not their...

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

In spite of the Equal Pay Act 1970 , which prohibited less favourable treatment between men and women in terms of pay and conditions, and subsequent equality laws, there is still a significant gap between the pay of men and women in the UK. To try to...

Woman Aged 96 Wins £223,000 for Negligent Investment Advice

The complexities of financial advice can be bamboozling, particularly for the elderly, but one High Court case – in which a 96-year-old woman won more than £220,000 in damages in respect of negligent advice – strikingly showed that expert...

English Jurisdiction Clauses - Court of Appeal Cracks Down

English law is well-developed, written in the universal business language and the English judicial system has a deserved reputation for fairness. It is not surprising, therefore, that vast numbers of international contracts incorporate English jurisdiction...

Court Corrects Bureaucratic Nightmare for Family

One of the most important roles played by judges is to protect individuals against unlawful treatment by the state. In one unique example, the High Court came to the aid of a couple who found themselves caught in a legal nightmare after their twins were...

Solicitor Evidence Crucial in Proving Will Valid

A recent case shows the importance of involving a solicitor in the preparation of a will, especially where it is considered that an attempt to invalidate it on the grounds of lack of mental capacity may be made. It involved an elderly man who changed his...
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