Latest News

Unnecessary Risk-Taking Means Tour Operator Not Liable for Accident

With the holiday season upon us, a recent case shows that there are limits to the liability of tour operators when accidents occur, especially when they are the result of rash behaviour. The case involved a man who fell from the balcony of his hotel in...

Witnesses Save the Day for Widow in Will Argument

A divorced man who remarried in his late 50s made a new will in 1998, one year after the marriage, which left his entire estate to his new wife. After he died, a home-made will was discovered, made shortly before his death. This left virtually his entire...

Jail for Husband Who Flouted Court Ruling

Court orders have to be obeyed and those who defy them can ultimately be sent to prison. Exactly that happened in one 'big money' divorce case in which an 83-year-old businessman repeatedly tried to thwart his ex-wife. Following the end of the former...

Inheritance Tax - 'Hope Value' Relevant to Property Valuations

When valuing a property for Inheritance Tax (IHT) purposes, is it legitimate to take into account its potential for enlargement or improvement – so-called 'hope value'? In a guideline ruling, the Upper Tribunal (UT) has answered that question in the...

Siblings Pay High Price for Dishonest Assistance to Bankrupt Brother

If family members or friends are facing bankruptcy, it may be tempting to assist them in keeping their assets away from the clutches of creditors. The folly of such conduct was, however, strikingly revealed by a Court of Appeal case concerning a family...

Will Wishes Rescinded by Court

One powerful reason why you should always seek legal advice before making your will is to ensure you meet your responsibilities to those who depend on you financially. In one case on point, the High Court effectively rewrote the will of a wealthy landowner ...

Future Earning Capacity Not a Matrimonial Asset

The Court of Appeal has made an important decision in a divorce case in which the main argument was over the availability of future income to fund maintenance payments in divorce settlements. The couple involved are both accountants and the husband is at...

Council Tax to Bite on Empty Property

In 2017, 205,293 dwellings in England were left empty for six months or more. With the housing shortage never far from the news agenda, steps to bring unoccupied houses back into use are being taken by the Government. Under the Rating (Property in Common...

Confidentiality - Don't Give In to Threats

If you are facing menacing demands for money, you should take legal advice straight away. In a recent case, the High Court came to the aid of a wealthy married businessman who claimed to have been subjected to blackmail following a brief affair with a work...

Under Financial Pressure? Don't Fall Into Dodgy Lenders' Arms!

Financial pressure can easily lead the unwary into the arms of unscrupulous lenders. One High Court case, in which numerous borrowers found themselves in legal limbo , shows how unwise it is to enter into such transactions without professional advice. A...

Trust Variation for Minors - High Court Holds Sway

Setting up family trusts with minors or those with mental incapacities as beneficiaries is by no means uncommon and it sometimes occurs that such trusts need to be varied for one reason or another. The mechanism for this is the Variation of Trusts Act 1958...

Pre-Nuptial Agreement Receives Court Backing

The validity of pre-nuptial agreements depends on legal advice being taken on both sides, equal bargaining positions and overall fairness. In one case, the High Court found that a wife in a big money divorce case was bound by such an agreement and awarded...

Harassment Order Given Against Unknown Abuser

Harassment is very unpleasant and, when a person is subject to a campaign of abuse, it can prove extremely upsetting. Furthermore, it is often quite possible for the abuser to preserve their anonymity. In such circumstances, it might seem that there is...

Be Careful Who You Trust With Your Finances

Giving someone else power of attorney over your finances can be a useful means of ensuring that your affairs will be properly managed if you lose the capacity to do so yourself. However, one case in which a war veteran's money was plundered by a man he...

Understanding Between Couple Regarding Work Done Creates Legal Obligation

Legal arguments between cohabitants who break up are commonplace. However, a recent case dealt with a lengthy legal dispute between the surviving partner of a gay couple and his deceased partner's family. The couple lived in a property that was owned by...

Changing Circumstances Lead to Divorce Settlement Dispute

When a wealthy construction business owner and his wife divorced in 2011, a 'clean break' agreement was made to include the sale of the two properties they owned – the family home in the UK and one in Spain. In the event that neither had been sold, the...

Working From Home? Do You Have the Right?

Although they may not know it, many householders are banned by restrictions in their title deeds from using their properties for commercial purposes. Recently, a man who converted his garage into a dog grooming parlour discovered why he should have sought...

Email Address Not Enough for Serving Claim

You may think that because a firm has an email address, you can serve a writ or other legal document on them by sending it via email…and so you can, but not unless the firm has agreed to that. It took a visit to the Supreme Court to resolve the...

High Street Store Will Invalid, Rules Court

The dangers inherent in adopting a casual approach to one's will were starkly illustrated in a case that considered the validity of three 'templated' wills written by an elderly woman within a period of four years. The woman had three children and two...

Judge Criticises Council and DWP for Usurping Attorney's Powers

When a person is not capable of looking after themselves, the Secretary of State has the power to appoint someone else to do so. A recent court case shows that failing to do so in a balanced way can have adverse consequences and saw a judge condemn the...
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