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Latest News

Tax Evasion Assistance - Changes in the Law

New rules which came into effect on 1 January 2017 will see professionals who deliberately aid clients to evade (not avoid, which is legal) tax saddled with penalties of the higher of £3,000 or 100 per cent of the tax they helped their client evade. ...

Sending Employees to the USA - Some Tax Pitfalls

With Brexit looming and the likelihood that firms will look more seriously at doing business in what appears to be a broadly favourable business environment under the Trump regime, it is worth pointing out that sending employees to the USA to work with...

Carrying Out Building Works? Consult Your Neighbours First!

Disputes between neighbours can be agonising, both emotionally and financially, but taking advice at an early stage can swiftly draw the sting. In one case where matters were allowed to get out of hand, a pensioner was left at risk of losing his home after...

Re-Engagement of Unfairly Dismissed Workers - EAT Gives Guidance

An Employment Tribunal (ET) has the power to direct reinstatement of a worker who has been unfairly dismissed or their re-engagement in another appropriate role. However, as one case involving a veteran nurse illustrates, the practicability of such orders...

Corner Shops Under Residential Development Pressure

Convenience stores are a common sight on urban street corners and provide a much valued service, but they are vulnerable given the ever increasing demand for more new homes. In one case, a shopkeeper failed in a High Court bid to overturn prior approval to...

Massive Increases in Probate Charges on Large Estates on the Way

Probate fees, which rose sharply only three years ago, are about to rise again. Under the present scheme an application for probate by an individual costs £215 and by a solicitor £155, but from May 2017 a new tariff is being introduced which...

New Powers Proposed to Make Family Financial Settlements Effective

The problem of making family financial settlements or court rulings in divorce 'stick' is well known. Following an extensive consultation process, the Law Commission has made proposals designed to improve the situation for those affected when payments are...

Supreme Court Overturns Daughter's Will Claim Award

A surprising Court of Appeal decision that a daughter was a 'dependant' of her estranged mother and thus entitled to benefit from her estate has now been overturned by the Supreme Court. Heather Ilott had been deliberately excluded from the will of her...

New Rules to Prevent Corporate E-Signatures

The law has tried to play 'catch up' with the increasing sophistication of cyber-crime since the advent of the Internet, and new EU regulations implemented in the UK as the Electronic Identification and Trust Services for Electronic Transactions Regulations...

Branded Goods Sold Without Authority Can Lead to Prosecution

It is well known that the sale of counterfeit goods is a criminal offence and prosecutions are by no means unusual. A recent case looked at the position in which goods protected by a registered trade mark are offered for sale with the brand owner's...

Attorney Who Forged Will to Accelerate Inheritance Given Jail Term

When an elderly man died owning both a house and a half share in an attached property with his sister, whose financial affairs were already being administered by a cousin under a power of attorney, the scene was set for the cousin to seize ownership of the...

EAT Criticises Perfunctory Treatment of Sacked Property Manager

In a recent case ( Thomas v BNP Paribas Real Estate Advisory and Property Management UK Limited ), a senior property management company employee who was made redundant in an insensitive and perfunctory manner after more than 40 years' service had his...

Where is a Taxpayer 'Ordinarily Resident'?

The answer to the vital question of whether a taxpayer is 'ordinarily resident' in the UK depends on many factors. In one such case, a billionaire businessman received an £84 million tax bill after HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) refused to accept that...

Housing Association Tenant Pays Price for Unlawful Subletting

Social housing tenants are not normally permitted to sublet their properties. Where it is discovered that they have, an Unlawful Profits Order (UPO) can be made to recover any profit made by the tenant. This is normally based on the difference between the...

Doing a Deal? Professional Drafting Avoids Costly Ambiguity!

There is little point in agreeing to settle a legal dispute if the wording of the deal is so ambiguous that it simply creates further scope for disagreement. In one High Court case that illustrated the need for clear professional drafting , both sides in a...

Bankruptcy Can Be a Fresh Start - But Only For Those Who Cooperate!

Bankruptcy gives debtors the chance to wipe the slate clean and make a fresh start – but such opportunities are only open to those who cooperate with creditors: the law is tireless in its pursuit of those who do not. That point was made by one High...

Company Articles Triumph in Share Valuation Dispute

People tend to think of the articles of association of companies – and often shareholders' agreements – as matters of detail not warranting close attention. However, a recent case shows the importance of having up-to-date knowledge of such...

Backups Not For Sale

Backup copies of software are made routinely, and the sale of software no longer used is also commonplace, despite the fact that in many cases the software licence is not legally transferable. However, what would the position be if the original purchaser...

Court Orders Must Be Obeyed - But Caring Pensioner Was Wrongly Jailed

Disobeying court orders is ultimately punishable by imprisonment – but only as a last resort. In the context of a family case, the Court of Appeal has ruled that a woman in her 70s, who honestly believed that she was doing her best for a vulnerable...

Sacked Maritime Armed Guard Has Compensation Hopes Boosted

Where there is a complaint of misconduct, an employer will not normally be judged to have acted reasonably unless a full and fair investigation into the circumstances is carried out, giving the employee the chance to speak in his or her defence. Where an...
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