Latest News

Judge Overturns Divorce Decree Based on Wife's Forged Signature

Court orders are sometimes obtained by improper means, but when the truth emerges – as it almost always does – those responsible are bound to pay a crushing price. That was certainly so in the case of a businessman who obtained a divorce on the...

Lasting Powers of Attorney - Why it Makes Sense to Appoint a Professional

Many people very sensibly confer lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) on others so that their affairs can be properly managed in the event that they lose the ability to do so themselves. However, as a High Court ruling underlined , it often makes good sense to...

Absentee Tenant Pays High Price for Failing to Leave Forwarding Address

Absentee or non-resident tenants who do not leave their landlords with a forwarding address place themselves in acute legal danger. In one case, a tenant who failed to take that sensible step suffered forfeiture of her 140-year lease due to her non-payment...

Tax Ruling - TV Presenter's Personal Service Company Falls Foul of IR35

Media personalities, IT professionals and others often obtain perfectly legitimate tax advantages by providing their services as independent contractors via their own private companies. As one case showed, however, the tax authorities are making...

High Court Declares 'Illiterate' Business Tycoon's £100 Million Will Invalid

Your assets are your own and, when making your will, you have complete freedom to leave them to whomever you choose. As a case concerning a business tycoon's £100 million estate showed , however, a will signed without the testator having knowledge and...

Teenager's Wishes and Feelings Prevail in Finely Balanced Adoption Case

Children may not have the capacity to make important decisions for themselves, but that does not mean that family judges ignore their wishes and feelings. In a highly unusual case on point, a 17-year-old girl was granted her adamant wish to be adopted by...

Houses in Multiple Occupation - Landlords Overturn Rent Repayment Order

Landlords who rent out houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) without a required licence are exposed to the double whammy of criminal prosecution and the prospect of having to repay rent to their tenants. As an unusual Upper Tribunal (UT) ruling showed ,...

Moral and Legal Obligations are Different - Family Inheritance Dispute

There can be a world of difference between a moral obligation and a legal one. The High Court made that point in rejecting a daughter's claim that part of her deceased mother's stake in a residential property was held on trust for her. By the unequivocal...

Father Probably Responsible for Fatal Poisoning - Family Judge's Findings

Before deciding where a child's best interests lie, family judges often have to conduct detailed inquiries into the character and conduct of their parents. In a unique case on point , a judge ruled that a father was probably responsible for the fatal...

Do You Object to a Neighbour's Development Plans? Consult a Solicitor

If a neighbour has been granted planning permission for a development to which you object, you would be forgiven for thinking that there is nothing more you can do about it. As one case showed, however, with the benefit of expert legal advice that is by no...

Director Held Personally Liable for Multi-Million-Pound Missing Trader Fraud

Where a company becomes involved in the fraudulent evasion of tax, the corporate veil will rarely protect its directors from personal liability. An elderly businessman found that out to his cost when he received a seven-figure bill that was likely to...

Returning Expatriate Couple Pay the Price for Brexit

Brexit has for years been a constant topic of conversation, but some of its potentially serious consequences remain largely unknown outside specialist legal circles. That was certainly so in the case of a retired couple who were perturbed to receive a...

Divorce - Fairly Dividing Marital Assets is Not a Blame Game

The question of who is to blame for the breakdown of a marriage is often uppermost in divorcees' minds, but it is hardly ever relevant when it comes to fairly dividing up assets. The High Court made that point in the case of a husband who kept two families ...

Update Your Will Today - This is What Can Happen If You Don't

Family relationships can become increasingly complex over time, particularly where marital breakdown intervenes, and that is why it is so important to keep your will up to date. As one case showed, a failure to take that sensible course can positively invite...

Relationship Broken Down? Do You Understand the Legal Consequences?

When a relationship between partners who jointly own their home breaks down, one of them may move out leaving the other in sole occupation. That is a commonplace scenario but, as a High Court case showed, it can give rise to legal and financial issues that...

Tax Avoidance Schemes, No Matter How Intricate, May Not Be Effective

There is nothing unlawful about tax avoidance schemes but, however intricate and apparently foolproof they may be, their effectiveness can never be guaranteed. A businessman found that out to his cost after one such scheme failed to shield him from a...

Disinherited Widow Can Pursue Reasonable Provision Claim Despite Delay

If someone on whom you depend financially dies without reasonably providing for you in their will, you should contact a solicitor straight away. In a High Court case on point , a delay in seeking legal advice very nearly stymied a disinherited widow's claim...

High Court Exercises Inherent Power to Order Children's Return to England

Many families have one foot in the UK and another abroad and that can give rise to parental disagreement as to where their children should live. Wherever in the world British children may be, however, family judges in this country have an inherent power to...

Litigation - You Need a Lawyer to Navigate the Procedural Minefield

The litigation process can, to a non-lawyer, appear to be a maze of procedural rules replete with traps for the unwary. In one case, a woman's claim against a builder went wrong almost from the start when she failed to pay a court fee on time. Following a...

Late Payment of Tax - There Is Such a Thing as a Reasonable Excuse

Those who pay their taxes late can expect punishment – but there is such a thing as a reasonable excuse. In one case, a man who failed to notify the tax authorities of his obligation to pay the High Income Child Benefit Charge was relieved of...
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