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Legal Articles

Dec 16

Delay Denies Financial Support for Divorcee

It is not uncommon for affection and trust to survive the end of a marriage – but legal advice is still almost always required to ensure a fair outcome. In...

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Dec 16

Charitable Principle Not Enough

It seems trite to say that the law is what the law is, but in cases where a decision is reached that is correct under the law but which seems...

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Dec 16

Undisclosed Assets on Break-Up Cause Problems for Executor

When a couple break up, a financial settlement is normally agreed between them as part of the proceedings and that, usually, is that. However, in a recent case involving civil partners...

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Dec 16

Failure to Prove Trust Relationship Stymies Effort to Block Sale of Property

A surprising number of cases are brought to court each year in which allegations are made that the true ownership of an asset is something other than the 'paper' ownership,...

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Dec 16

Fertility Clinic Blunder Led to Mother Adopting Her Own Child

The requirements of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 are strict and any procedural error by fertility clinics can cause untold legal complications and misery. That was certainly so...

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Dec 16

Will Your Property Be an IHT Trap?

Data published recently show that the new £100,000 additional 'private residence' exemption for Inheritance Tax (IHT), which is due to be introduced in April 2017 and will increase thereafter, could...

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Nov 16

Claims for Injury in Packed Bus Accident Rejected

When two football supporters travelling in a bus packed with fans made personal injury claims after the vehicle was involved in a collision, the result was a bill for them...

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Nov 16

Need to Ensure Will Understood Emphasised in Court Ruling

There are a number of criteria which must apply in order for a will to be valid and one of the most important is that the person making the will...

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Nov 16

Court Stresses Need for Facts in Child Residence Dispute

Divorces with an international dimension are often complex and, where the question arises as to which parent will look after children and in which country, the courts are often involved. When...

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Nov 16

Right to Daylight Confirmed by High Court

The law relating to the right to daylight is more complicated than one would think, bearing in mind that there is, in principle, a general right to light. Perhaps surprisingly to...

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Nov 16

Tax Avoidance Schemes – Take Care

Entering into tax avoidance schemes is not for the faint-hearted and, once embarked upon, they can be very difficult to leave. In one case, participants in two such schemes failed...

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Nov 16

Bankruptcy Trustees Overcome Block on House Sale Due to Disability

When the father of a disabled girl was made bankrupt, largely through a series of events outside his control, his trustees in bankruptcy sought a court order for the sale...

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Nov 16

Everyone Makes Mistakes

When a businessman died, he left his substantial and complex business affairs in the hands of his executors – his brother, his widow and his accountant. As his business had...

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Nov 16

Insolvency No Bar to Liability for Support Payments

A recent decision of the High Court will come as a comfort to those whose ex-spouses have fallen into arrears with their child maintenance payments. It involved a man who was...

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Nov 16

Park Bench Agreement Leads to Legal Battle

The Court of Appeal has taken the unusual step of concluding that a verbal agreement reached by a couple on a park bench should determine the outcome of a dispute...

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Nov 16

When is a Loss Not a Loss?

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is a complex tax, but the guiding principle is straightforward. It taxes gains on the disposal of non-trading assets. For a person, profits on trading transactions...

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Nov 16

Are Your Elderly Relatives Safe Against Fraudsters?

Elderly people are often vulnerable to fraudsters and that is why it is essential to ensure that they have access to proper legal advice. In one case that proves the...

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Oct 16

Subjected to Groundless Litigation? You Could Win Compensation!

A ground-breaking Supreme Court decision has for the first time opened the way for compensation claims by those who are subjected to groundless civil proceedings which have been brought maliciously...

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Oct 16

Defiant Divorcee Who Refused to Leave Matrimonial Home Punished

Obedience to court orders is not voluntary and judges possess a battery of powers to enforce compliance. In one case, a divorcee who barricaded himself into his former matrimonial home...

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Oct 16

My Home Is My Pension

Returns on private sector pensions have been in the doldrums for a long time, and with interest rates (on which annuity rates depend) firmly stuck at historically low levels, an...

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Oct 16

Trustees' Duties of Disclosure to Will Beneficiaries

Beneficiaries often have to wait for many years after a person's death to inherit under a will – but to what extent do they have a right to be kept...

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Oct 16

IHT – Don't Forget Annual Reliefs

Inheritance Tax (IHT) is an increasingly significant problem for many people, but it is also sometimes described as a 'voluntary tax' because it is a tax that, with proper forward...

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Oct 16

Injured Abroad? Local Law Applies

In the UK, a person who is injured by an uninsured driver can claim compensation from the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB), which is funded by a levy on all motor...

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Oct 16

Getting Divorced – Honesty is the Best Policy

It is a sad fact that divorcing couples frequently try to hide assets from each other, but such manoeuvrings rarely succeed and can have very unfortunate consequences. In one recent...

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Oct 16

Work Done on Your Home? Contractual Clarity is Key!

Building work on private homes is very often carried out on an informal basis without clear contractual terms in place. However, one High Court case vividly shows that such an...

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Oct 16

Trustees Who Act in Good Faith Protected by Court

Beneficiaries are frequently unsatisfied with the actions (or often, the lack of action) of the executors of estates or administrators of family trusts, and the animosities that can arise are...

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Sep 16

Proper Planning Must Be Comprehensive

Many wills involve a degree of planning for Inheritance Tax (IHT) as well as just the appropriate division of the estate, but for any plan to be effective, it is...

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Sep 16

Social Workers Wield Great Power – But the Courts Are Watching!

Social workers can wield immense power over people's lives – but one case clearly shows how carefully their activities are regulated by the courts. A local authority was ordered to...

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Sep 16

Online 'Nazi' Slurs Bring Film Maker Libel Damages

The dangers of 'letting fly' on the Internet are legion and not sufficiently appreciated by some. Freedom of expression is not an absolute right, as one Internet blogger discovered to...

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Sep 16

Out-Of-Date Family Trust Varied to Recognise Same-Sex Spouses

Family trusts often date back many years, and those who drafted them could not have been expected to foresee all the dramatic social changes that have happened since pen was...

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Sep 16

Leasehold Details Can Prove Costly for Retirees

With an ageing population, purpose-built retirement properties are becoming more and more prevalent. It is important when considering the purchase of such a property to look very carefully at the...

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Sep 16

Complaints Mount on Pension Liberation Advice

For some years now, pensions have been made increasingly flexible, and the Government recently introduced greater choice as to how savers can use their pension pots on retirement. The cornerstone of...

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Sep 16

Need Overcomes Equality Claim in Divorce Settlement

With new guidance having been issued regarding the interpretation of 'need' for the purpose of financial settlements on divorce, a recent case shows how the courts have been moving away...

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Sep 16

Roles Split When Stress Makes Attorney Unreliable

Appointing an attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is normally a sensible precaution. The procedure allows one's financial affairs (and, if required, matters relating to health and welfare)...

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Sep 16

Community Rejects Eyesore Wind Turbines

Wind farms can be seen for miles around and their visual impact on nearby heritage assets can frequently prove decisive in planning terms. That was certainly so in one case...

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Sep 16

Exceptional Cases Justify Experimental Care

In a unique decision, which will give hope to people who have family members being denied experimental treatments by the NHS on costs grounds, the NHS has been ordered to...

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Aug 16

Non-Molestation Breach Conviction Quashed Due to Misdirection

Harassment is an unfortunate fact in some relationship breakdowns. In a bid to reduce the incidence of harassment and molestation following splits, the Family Law Act 1996 made it a...

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Aug 16

Will Change Fight Can Go Ahead

Divorce is seldom straightforward, especially as regards the negotiation of the financial settlement. The lengths that some people will go to in order to disguise their assets or prevent assets...

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Aug 16

Administering Estates – Procedures and Pitfalls

A recent survey has shown that more than one in ten people who are thought to have died intestate (i.e. without leaving a will) may actually have made a will...

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Aug 16

Extending Your Home? Do You Need Planning Permission?

Planning rules relating to home extensions are complex but a householder's victory in a High Court test case is expected to make it significantly easier for some people to enlarge...

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Aug 16

Mental Capacity – Simplified System for Deprivation of Liberty Planned

The complexity of the law relating to people of diminished mental capacity has long been a bone of contention and, with an ageing population, the courts are being increasingly tied...

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Aug 16

Delusions and Dementia Do Not Invalidate Will

Many cases arise each year in which the validity of a will is challenged on the ground that the will's creator (the testator) was not of sound mind when it...

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Aug 16

Taking Children From Their Natural Parents Is Always a Last Resort

Not many people would disagree with the position that children should only be taken from their natural parents as a last resort and this is the view of the court...

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Aug 16

Moving In With Your Partner? Take Advice First

Entering into informal property transactions without the benefit of legal advice is a recipe for disaster, as a young man found out when his relationship with his girlfriend ended acrimoniously...

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Aug 16

Right to Refuse Treatment and Mental Illness

The right to die or to refuse medical treatment is a complex issue that has been the subject of debate for many years. It presents considerable legal, as well as...

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Aug 16

Is Your Investment Protected?

It may be thought that if an investment is entered into using a UK-based firm, that investment is covered by one of the statutory schemes established to protect investors. However,...

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Aug 16

Baseless Will Challenge Leads to Costs Consequences

The dangers of trying to upset the provisions of a properly drafted will were made clear in a recent case in which the daughter of a wealthy man insisted on...

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Jul 16

Contractor's Failure to Fix Should Leave Blame Unchanged

Owning a property at the top of a slope that was unstable presented a couple with obvious challenges, but when these were compounded by problems caused by leakage of water...

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Jul 16

Ex-Husband Discovers Why Court Orders Must Be Obeyed

It is inevitable that those in receipt of court orders often consider them to be unjust – but that is never an excuse for failing to obey them. The High...

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Jul 16

Regulators Make Sure That Debt Counsellors Can Be Trusted

It is a comfort to consumers that those who advise the public on money matters are tightly regulated and can be swiftly shut down if they fail to come up...

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Jul 16

Gift-Giving – Guidance for Attorneys and Deputies

When a person can no longer manage their own financial affairs, these will be managed either by their attorney (if a power of attorney has been made) or by their...

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Jul 16

High Court Backs Rectification of Potentially Disastrous Trust Creation

Few businesses have the emotional ties that characterise a family farming business and it is no wonder therefore that families often take considerable steps to prevent a family farm from...

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Jul 16

Rushing Into Property Purchase Proves Costly

People often complain about the length of time it takes to complete property deals. However, one Court of Appeal case, in which a contract for sale was signed on the...

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Jul 16

Divorce Settlements Are Not Always Set in Stone

Divorce settlements are designed to provide certainty and finality so that people can get on with the rest of their lives. However, an important Court of Appeal decision has underlined...

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Jul 16

Making a Will? You Can Make Whatever Bequests You Wish!

It seems only right that people can do what they want with their own money and can make whatever bequests they wish in their wills. In one case which underlined...

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Jul 16

Traffic Noise Blight Householders Win £125,000 Compensation

It is often thought that if a planning decision with which you are unhappy goes ahead and the development takes place, you must simply grin and bear it. This is...

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Jun 16

Jersey Tax Avoidance Scheme Runs Aground

The lengths to which people go to avoid paying taxes are sometimes surprising, and the schemes that are created to facilitate tax avoidance come under close scrutiny from HM Revenue...

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Jun 16

Sixteen Old Enough to Banish Parental Knowledge

The respective rights of children and their parents has long been a tricky subject for the courts. A recent case on this topic involved a couple's adopted 16-year-old child, who...

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Jun 16

'Know Your Client' Failure Costs Firm

Although clients often regard as a nuisance the extensive 'know your client' procedures that are required by financial institutions and professional firms, the importance of strict adherence is clear, as...

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Jun 16

High Court Puts Right £400,000 IHT Blunder

Even the most sensible attempts at tax planning can be undone by changes in the law and achieve the exact opposite of the intended objective. However, one High Court case...

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