Latest News

What is an 'Existing Building'? - Tax Tribunal Clarifies the Law

A property owner who demolishes an existing dwelling house and replaces it with an entirely new one is entitled to reclaim VAT on the costs of construction – but what happens if part of the original building is retained? A tribunal considered that...

Equality of Division of Assets on Divorce Abolished? Hardly

The popular press has made a great deal of a recent Court of Appeal case , reporting that there had been a significant departure from the general principle that the assets built up by a couple during their marriage are to be split more or less equally on...

Court Upholds Restrictions on Holiday Homes

The old adage that 'an Englishman's home is his castle' is only partially true and the impact of planning law on a property owner's rights can be far-reaching – even extending to limiting the right of occupation. This is particularly an issue in areas...

High Court Dementia Ruling - Judge Acts to Protect Widow

Amidst an ageing population, the role of judges in protecting the weak, vulnerable and infirm is of ever increasing importance. In one case that proves the point, the High Court stepped in to set aside land transfers made by an elderly farmer with dementia...

Private Investors - Beware of Wolves in Sheep's Clothing!

There have always been wolves in sheep's clothing ready to take unfair advantage of private investors and they can be difficult to spot without professional advice. In one case, a company that participated in the sale of coloured diamonds to the public at...

Using Fansites? Take Care What You Say

Among football fans it is very well known that the owners and supporters of Blackpool FC are not on good terms. It is also common knowledge that comments on fan websites can be very immoderate at times. However, a recent case shows that no matter how deep...

Court Unsympathetic When Mum Takes Law Into Own Hands

No matter how much you may be tempted, taking the law into your own hands is not a good idea. When a mother who was divorcing her husband in Hawaii obtained the agreement of the US court to take the couple's children, aged 9 and 11, back to the UK for a...

You Can Make Your Council Tidy Up Bad Housing

Unoccupied and decaying properties can have a serious impact on the neighbourhood and can become a focus for vandalism and anti-social behaviour. However, as one case showed , local authorities have a range of powers to deal with such eyesores, even if...

Don't Litigate Without a Lawyer to Tell You When You're Wrong!

One reason why it is rarely advisable to represent yourself in litigation is that you need a good lawyer to tell you when you are wrong. That point could hardly have been more clearly made than by a case in which a widower claimed that his sister had made...

Small Pension Pots - Planning Possibilities

People aged over 55 who have only a small (less than £30,000) pension pot in a defined benefit (final salary) scheme or in some instances in a defined contribution scheme paying only a small pension – but not where the pension pot has been used...

Insurer Must Pay Missing Driver Claim

When a person has an accident involving a car and a claim results, it is usually dealt with by the insurer of the driver concerned. If the driver is not insured or is untraced, a procedure exists to ensure a claim can still go ahead, only in this case the...

Skulduggery in Divorce Proceedings Will Do You No Good

Resorting to skulduggery in divorce proceedings is sadly common but almost never does either side any good. That was certainly so in one case in which a man surreptitiously took documents from his ex-wife's home and sought – unsuccessfully – to...

Court Rejects Rerun Argument in Property Dispute

Problems with covenants affecting land are common and sometimes a dispute can resurface years after it seems to have been settled. In a recent instance, a landowner was successful in reopening the battle over a covenant after persuading the court it was...

HMRC's Tough Approach to Penalty Rejected by Tribunal

Just how tough HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) can be was illustrated by a recent case in which they imposed a penalty of £1,300 for the late filing of a tax return by a businesswoman who, as well as running her own business, was also caring for her...

Court Rejects Will in a Crisp Packet

Unfulfilled hopes of substantial inheritance are commonplace, both in fact and fiction, but not often do they lead to such ham-fisted attempts at forgery as that shown by a disappointed widow after her husband left her just £25,000 of his...

Mired In Debt? Get Professional Advice You Can Rely On

The position of those in debt is normally far from hopeless and much can be done to save them from penury. However, they are particularly vulnerable and, as a decision of the Upper Tribunal (UT) showed , the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) tries its...

Mothers Denied Child Residence Orders

When a couple split up, it is very common for one of them to wish to move away, often to the area where they grew up or have family. This can create significant issues as far as the children are concerned and disputes in such cases are common. In a recent...

High Court Blocks 'Super-Basement' Extension Plans

Basement extensions are increasingly popular, particularly in areas where property prices are high, but are not always looked upon favourably by neighbours. In one case, an objector obtained legal advice and succeeded in blocking plans for a three-storey...

Average British person commits 32 crimes a year

Average British person commits 32 crimes a year Although 98% of British people consider themselves law-abiding citizens, on average we each commit 32 crimes a year. This is according to new research carried out by BT TV. This “crime wave”...

HMRC Provide Calculator for New IHT Relief

Like many pieces of tax legislation, the 'additional threshold' (AT) for Inheritance Tax (IHT) – which, in simple terms, limits the potential IHT charge on high-value residential properties – is a lot more complicated than it looks at first...
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