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Trouble With the Neighbours? See a Lawyer Before It Gets Out of Hand!

One secret of a happy life is to get on well with your neighbours and taking legal advice is often the best way of defusing rows before they get out of hand. The point was resoundingly made by a case in which escalating boundary and right of way disputes...

Luxury Car Maker Defeated in David v Goliath Trade Mark Dispute

Trade marks are a powerful means of protecting your unique brand, even against much larger or more prestigious potential competitors. In one case, a small clothing company which sold its wares under the name 'Bentley' scored a High Court win over household...

Fraudster Warning From HMRC as Self-Assessment Deadline Looms

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are warning self-assessment customers to be on alert for potential scams, as the 31 January tax return deadline approaches. HMRC's dedicated Customer Protection team is tasked with identifying and shutting down scams but the...

Cryptoassets Are Property - Judicial Authority

The legal position of 'cryptoassets' – those which exist in electronic form and are held on distributed ledgers, bitcoins being the best-known example – has not been certain in the past. However, a recent legal statement by the Chancellor of the...

Landlord Fends Off Leasehold Enfranchisement Risk - Supreme Court Ruling

Most leases contain covenants that forbid tenants from doing certain things without their landlords' consent, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld. The meaning and effect of such provisions came under Supreme Court analysis in an important test...

Failing to Keep Accurate Accounts is Like a Red Rag to the Tax Authorities

Failing to take professional advice and keep accurate accounts is like holding a red rag up to the HM Revenue and Customs bull. In a case on point, an international businessman who claimed to keep details of his income and expenditure 'in his brain' was...

Facing a Business Crisis? Don't Forget Your Employees' Rights!

It is only too easy for businesses dealing with office politics, poor trading or cashflow difficulties to take their eye off the ball when it comes to their employees' rights. As an Employment Tribunal (ET) decision strikingly showed, however, it is...

High Court Assists Husband in Drawing a Line Under His Divorce

Litigation can be long and bitter, but it is the prime objective of the justice system to eventually bring it to a satisfactory end. In a case on point, the High Court came to the aid of a husband in drawing a line under his divorce . The case concerned a...

Rival Products' Purple Packaging Triggers High Court Row

Consumers do not always read labels, so the packaging of a product, and its colour in particular, can be crucial in establishing brand loyalty. In a guideline case, the High Court considered whether the purple livery shared by rival pharmaceutical products...

Judge upholds Will in dementia dispute

For a Will to be valid, the testator (the one making the Will) must be ‘of sound mind’ at the time of making and signing the Will. This means that they must be capable of understanding and approving of the contents and effects of the Will. With...

Computer Guru Wins Big VAT Rebate on Luxury Cars Used for Business

VAT can be reclaimed on motor vehicles that are used, and made available for use, solely for business purposes – but that can be extremely difficult to prove. In one case, however, a computer specialist was granted a £20,805 VAT rebate after...

Field Owner Sees Off Neighbour's Squatters' Rights Claim

Landowners who neglect or fail to make use of their properties put themselves at risk of losing them to squatters. In a recent case on this subject, a woman faced a neighbour's claim that he was entitled to her field, having cut the grass for years. The...

Two Innocent Victims of the Same Fraud - Where Does the Loss Fall?

It is a sad fact that sophisticated fraudsters can intercept emails or other digital traffic in order to divert payments away from their intended recipients – but where should losses arising from such deceit fall where there is more than one innocent...

Neighbourhood Plans - Court Postpones Local Referendum in Legal First

Neighbourhood plans are an increasingly common means by which local people are given the chance to express their views on the future character and appearance of the areas where they live. However, in a legal first, the High Court ordered postponement of a...

Employee or Contractor? Broadcast Journalist Receives £400,000 Tax Bill

Establishing a company to act as an intermediary between yourself and the clients to whom you provide your services can have substantial tax advantages. As a case involving a broadcast journalist showed, however, such arrangements are pointless if the...

Divorce is Often Bitter, But Maintaining a Sense of Proportion is Crucial

Amidst the emotional and financial destruction that can arise from divorce, keeping a sense of proportion is crucial. The Court of Appeal made that point in lamenting a former couple's expenditure of more than £500,000 in legal costs fighting over an...

Underpaid Live-in Porter Wins Over £100,000 in Guideline Case

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) on the face of it imposes a straightforward duty to pay a minimum sum for every hour worked. However, as an important Court of Appeal ruling showed, it is not always as simple as that and a failure to understand the...

Is Your Will Out of Date? Execute a New One Before It's Too Late!

Allowing your will to become out of date stores up trouble for your loved ones. That was strikingly so in one case in which a successful businessman suffered a stroke before he could make a new will taking account of his changed financial and personal...

Estate Agency Fined £80,000 for Exposing 18,000 Tenants' Data to Hackers

Businesses that store their clients' personal data are under a strict legal duty to keep it secure and any failure to do so is likely to have serious financial and reputational consequences. An estate agency whose negligence and technical ineptitude left the...

Court Steps In to Protect Security of 370,000 Pension Annuity Holders

Millions of people who invest their pension pots in annuities can ultimately rely on the law to guarantee their financial security. In a case on point, the High Court overruled financial regulators and refused to sanction the transfer of about 370,000...
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