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Inheritance - Daughter's Lies Trigger Rare Finding of Fraudulent Calumny

Sick and vulnerable people can be prone to the malign, even fraudulent, influence of relatives or others who are intent on maximising their inheritance. However, as a High Court case showed , such conduct is unlikely to go undetected. The case concerned a...

What is an 'Annoyance'? High Court Defines the Correct Legal Test

Restrictive covenants that forbid property owners from causing annoyance, nuisance or disturbance to their neighbours commonly appear in title deeds – but how are they to be interpreted? In the context of a dispute between residents of a housing...

Double Taxation Treaties - Wealthy South African Relieved of £10 Million Bill

Rich individuals often have their feet firmly planted in more than one country and that can give rise to disputes as to where they should be taxed. In a guideline case, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) considered the position of an extremely wealthy man with...

Family Judge Labours to Achieve Fairness Between Debt-Laden Divorcees

So-called 'big money' divorces may grab the headlines, but lower-value disputes can often be the hardest to resolve. In a case on point, a family judge laboured to meet the reasonable needs of a divorcing couple whose debts far exceeded their modest...

Make a Will and Appoint a Professional Executor - Two Ways to Avoid Conflict

There is ultimately only so much that you can do to prevent your loved ones falling out over inheritance issues after you are gone. However, as a High Court decision showed, the threat of bad blood developing can be greatly reduced by making an expertly...

Buying Land? Have You Fully Understood Any Restrictions on its Use?

When buying land it is vital to have a full understanding of any restrictions on the use to which it can be put. In a striking case on point, a couple were caught unawares by one such restriction and had their hopes of constructing an equestrian training...

Lending Money to a Friend, No Matter How Trusted, Carries Serious Risks

No matter how much you respect and trust your friends, lending them money can be fraught with risk and should never be done without first taking professional advice. A case on point concerned a couple who lent £210,000 to a neighbour to help him fund...

Overseas Surrogacy Can Be a Legal Quagmire - Always Seek Expert Advice

Overseas surrogacy arrangements are an effective means of completing families. As a High Court ruling showed , however, they are notoriously replete with legal pitfalls and should never be entered into without first taking professional advice. The case...

What are the Tax Implications of Settling an Employment Tribunal Claim?

When paying money to settle Employment Tribunal (ET) proceedings, employers are not infrequently motivated by a desire to make what they perceive as a nuisance go away – but how should such payments be treated for tax purposes? The First-tier Tribunal...

Interpreting Wills That May Be Ambiguous - High Court Guidance

Even with the most careful drafting, there is always a risk that a will may be capable of bearing more than one meaning. In resolving a family inheritance dispute, the High Court considered the extent to which extraneous evidence of a will-maker's...

Overlooked Homeowners Fall Foul of Ambiguity in Planning Permission

Finding your way around the intricacies of the planning system without professional advice is, for most people, a near impossibility. The point was powerfully made by the case of a couple whose intimate living space was overlooked by a skylight fitted to a...

Wife Sees Off Bankruptcy Trustees' Attempt to Sell Off Her Home

When people dispose of assets shortly before having themselves declared bankrupt, it is inevitable that eyebrows will often be raised. However, as a judge's ruling showed, it is one thing to allege an improper motive and quite another to prove it. The case...

Judge Opens New Chapter in Woman's Life by Dispelling Dark Family Secret

Dark secrets lurking in your family background are likely to cause you untold pain. As one case showed , however, bringing the truth to light in the safe environment of a family court can draw the sting and bring peace to you and future generations. The...

Private Dog Grooming Tutor Denied VAT Exemption

The categories of business that enjoy VAT exemption are highly restricted and any attempt to extend them is likely to encounter stiff opposition from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). That was certainly so in the case of a woman who provided private tuition in...

Judges Have No Power to Rewrite Valid Wills - Guideline High Court Ruling

Judges have no power to rewrite your will after your death so as to achieve a result which, in their view, better reflects your wishes. The High Court made that point in upholding the validity of a Parkinson's disease sufferer's will although, at least in...

Equal Sharing Principle Delivers Fair Result in £6 Million Divorce Case

When it comes to divorce, it is very common for one spouse to argue that he or she should receive the lion's share of the marital wealth. However, as a guideline case concerning an entrepreneurial couple showed , fairness usually demands that an equal...

Judge Laments Heavy Cost of Suburban Boundary Dispute

Apparently trifling neighbours' disputes over a few inches of land have a nasty habit of taking on the proportions of a state trial, with legal costs to match. That was sadly so in a case concerning the positioning of a fence between two suburban gardens. ...

Lawyers Step In to Protect Negligence Victim Prey to Gambling Addiction

The intense vulnerability of many negligence victims requires lawyers to take careful steps to protect them from exploitation by others and the consequences of their own poor decision-making. A case on point concerned a recipient of a seven-figure...

Donating Shares to Charity - Tax Tribunal Resolves Valuation Impasse

It makes perfect sense that the market value of shares given to charity is deductible from the donor's tax liabilities. However, as an important tax tribunal ruling showed , discerning exactly what that value is can be very far from straightforward. The...

Think Hard Before Changing Your Will - High Court Cautionary Tale

Keeping your will up to date is a very good idea, but making changes that are likely to disappoint members of your family who might expect to inherit can be a recipe for dispute after you are gone. That was certainly so in a High Court case concerning a...
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