Latest Legal News

It is normal for victims of crime to think that the conviction and punishment of the criminal marks the end of the process entirely. However, that is not always the case as, when appropriate, compensation can be sought from the criminal. A good example is a...
Construction disputes are a rich source of argument in the courts, and where the contract affords one party a 'discretion' with regard to its rights or obligations under the contract, disagreement can arise as to when this becomes operative. Recently, an...
Owning a share of the freehold is often cited as a selling point to flat buyers – but tenant democracy is no panacea and there is little advantage to it if residents do not get on. In one case, a dispute between wealthy apartment dwellers over cuts to...
When a business is sold, a 'due diligence' process is normally entered into to make sure that the representations made by the seller to the buyer, on which the buyer's valuation of the business will be based, are true. Failure to be forthright in disclosures...
When the Family Court was asked to consider an application for an adoption order made by a couple, two factors proved crucial in deciding whether it should be granted. The first was that the boy's natural parents could not reasonably be considered able to...
Wills made or varied just before death are a frequent source of dispute and court appearances, and it was just such an occurrence that led to a High Court hearing recently . The case concerned the estate of a woman who died in 2014, two days after making a...
The leases relating to tenancies in blocks of flats and similar buildings will normally require the tenants to make a reasonable contribution towards the 'estate' costs of the property. The estate costs are those which apply to the whole of the premises or...
Elderly people and those who are vulnerable are sadly prime targets for rogue traders, but the law is not powerless when it comes to helping those affected. The successful prosecution of a rogue builder promises more than £200,000 in compensation for...
One of the potential disadvantages of having more than one owner of a property is what to do when they take different views of whether it should be sold. In a recent case, a husband went to court to force the sale of a property he owned with his wife (she...
The time to seek legal advice when you think something may be wrong is when you first have a concern, not later on when you know there is a problem. One reason for this is that there are legal limitation periods for bringing claims, and in claims involving...
Under English law, a person is able (within limits) to decide absolutely to whom their estate should pass. However, many countries have 'forced heirship' laws, under which a deceased person's estate must pass in specified proportions to a particular person...
We have written on numerous occasions of the danger of either failing to leave a will or of not taking professional advice when making your will. Among the difficulties that can arise with DIY wills are challenges by family members who have been excluded...
An argument over a planning permission for a small rural development has necessitated the intervention of the Court of Appeal , which confirmed that a council that failed to follow its own planning guidelines could not grant permission for a development...
One of the advantages of placing your trust in solicitors is that they owe a lifelong duty to maintain the confidentiality of any information you give them. That point was underlined by a High Court case in which a solicitor was banned from taking...
It is not unusual for the cost of litigation – especially where a group of companies is involved – to be paid for in whole or in part by a person or organisation that is not directly involved in the dispute. It should be remembered, however,...
People who seek advantage by going beyond the bounds of planning permission they are given can expect to be taught a very expensive lesson by the courts. However, the law does guarantee the right of a person to have a planning application considered, as was...
When a couple divorced in 2014, the ex-husband was ordered to pay his ex-wife periodical payments of £120,000 per year after he was found to have used a variety of stratagems to make himself appear worse off than he really was. A mere three months...
No amount of careful drafting can be guaranteed to iron out disagreements as to the true meaning of contract terms and when a dispute occurs it may require the intervention of a judge to bring clarity. One case exactly on point concerned a contract for the...
A solicitor's primary duty when drafting a will is to follow faithfully their client's instructions after giving accurate and level-headed advice. In a professional negligence case triggered by the early death of a business tycoon's wife, the High Court...
Many people think that for a libel to occur, the statement made has to be both false and made in public, but in fact that is not so, as a recent libel case confirms . The libellous comments were made by a care worker at a hospital about a colleague in an...
On the basis that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, it is common for liquidators of insolvent companies to assign (transfer the rights to) any claims that they might wish to pursue on behalf of creditors to specialists in the field. One such...
Home ownership is generally regarded as providing safety and long-term security, but this is not always the case as properties can be compulsorily purchased by public authorities to make way for socially beneficial developments. Any householders affected are...
When you appoint a solicitor to be the executor of your will, you can be assured that they will understand their duties and can be relied upon to comply with them. However, as a High Court case showed, the same sadly cannot always be said of friends or...
Planning permissions mean what they say and judges are very reluctant to imply terms into them, even in order to correct flawed drafting. That point was made by the High Court as it opened the way for a former DIY store to be used for food retailing. ...
When a same-sex couple undertook fertility treatment which led to the birth of a baby girl, the intention was that both would be listed as her legal parents. However, due to mistakes made in processing the necessary forms, only one of the couple was shown as...