Latest Legal News

High-Profile Homeowners Can Divert Footpath Away From Their Garden

Ramblers love footpaths, but the same cannot be said for landowners concerned to protect their privacy and security. That was certainly so in one case in which homeowners with a high media profile won the right to divert a footpath which crossed their...

High Court Acts to Rescue Company After Sole Shareholder's Death

If you are an entrepreneur and own your own company, that is all the more reason why you should take professional advice regarding the consequences that might arise on your death. In an unusual High Court case on point , a farm contracting business was left...

Court Permits Wife Who Unlawfully Killed Her Husband to Inherit His Assets

Few would quarrel with the long-standing rule of law that anyone who unlawfully kills another is barred from benefiting, financially or otherwise, from his or her crime. In a unique decision, however, the High Court waived that rule in the case of an...

Trusts Are Handy But Can Be Hazardous - Always Take Advice

Trusts can be an invaluable means of providing for vulnerable loved ones, but they need careful handling by a professional if they are not to have serious unforeseen consequences. In a case on point, the High Court came to the aid of a retired GP whose...

SDLT Relief Takes Immediate Effect in England and Northern Ireland

A temporary Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) relief measure has taken immediate effect in England and Northern Ireland after being announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in his summer economic statement. The measure has been introduced by the Government to try and...

Parking Fine Imposed on Private Landowner Triggers High Court Test Case

A fine imposed on a householder for parking her Land Rover on her own land put the conflict between private ownership and public access to the road network in high relief and provided the subject matter for an important High Court test case . For many...

Disinherited Daughter's Bid for a Share of Her Father's Estate Rejected

If someone upon whom you depend financially dies leaving you nothing in his or her will, judges have the power to ensure that you do not go empty-handed. As a High Court case showed, however, that power will only be exercised in your favour if your need for...

COVID-19 Crisis - Judge Rules Derogation From Human Rights 'Essential'

The COVID-19 pandemic represents a public emergency which is threatening the life of the nation. A High Court judge wrote those words in reaching the momentous conclusion that, whilst the crisis persists, derogation from certain fundamental human rights is...

Neighbours Succeed in Blocking Controversial Garage Extension

If a neighbour obtains planning permission for a building project to which you object, that does not always mean you just have to grin and bear it. In a case on point, objectors to a householder's plans to extend his garage succeeded in blocking his proposal...

Time Invested in Making a Will Is Time Invested Wisely

If you die without making a will, there is a real risk that your loved ones may be left high and dry. In one case, a man who said that he was grieving over his partner's death found himself bereft of legal rights and locked out of the flat they once shared. ...

COVID-19 Crisis Forces Change to UK IHT Payments and Returns Processes

HMRC are scrapping cheques for the payment and repayment of Inheritance Tax (IHT) and temporarily accepting printed signatures on IHT returns, as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The introduction of new ways of processing IHT and returns is to reduce...

When Is a New Home Complete? DIY Housebuilders Win £14,000 VAT Rebate

One of the benefits of building your own home is that you can claim back VAT paid on materials used in the project – but rebate applications have to be made within three months of the property's completion. That time limit came under analysis in a case...

Eminent Retired Judge's Intellect Weighs in Favour of His Will's Validity

Even people of the greatest intellect can be affected by diminished mental ability in old age and that is one good reason why it makes sense to execute a professionally drafted will sooner rather than later. A case on point concerned an eminent former judge...

Always Take Independent Professional Advice Before Investing Your Money

Fraudulent investment schemes are perennially tempting to the unwary and it really does make sense to take independent professional advice before parting with your money. In one case, the High Court found compelling evidence that hundreds of small investors...

Do Your Medical Records Stay Confidential Forever?

Your privacy rights will die with you, but that does not mean that just anyone will be permitted access to your medical records after you are gone. The extent to which such records should remain under wraps post mortem was analysed in a High Court test case...

Lordship of the Manor Almost Scuppers Residential Development

Lordships of the manor, whilst sounding grand, are often viewed as arcane titles with little real significance in terms of property rights. However, that is not always so and, in one High Court case, a lordship which was bought for just £100 almost...

Children Born Out of Wedlock Receive Shares of £1.29 Million Trust Fund

Few people nowadays care whether a child is born within wedlock, but the law is in some respects behind the times. In a ground-breaking ruling, however, the High Court has opened the way for illegitimate members of an extended family to receive shares of a...

Professional Gambler Fends Off £290,000 Income Tax Demand

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are always on the lookout for unexplained cash earnings which have not been declared for tax. However, in one case, a former professional gambler was relieved of a six-figure Income Tax bill after convincing the First-tier...

In Dispute With a Neighbour? Legal Advice Can Help Draw the Sting

Disputes with neighbours have a way of getting horribly out of hand, but legal advice taken at an early stage can help to draw the venom and save incalculable heartache and money in the long run. A case on point concerned flat dwellers who for years engaged...

Couple Pay for Pursuing 'Speculative' Professional Negligence Claim

Those who engage in speculative litigation on the basis of weak evidence can expect to be hit hard in the pocket. In a case on point, a couple who sued a friendly architect after she provided them with free assistance in re-landscaping their garden found...

It Always Makes Good Sense to Appoint a Professional Executor

Most people would consider it an honour to be chosen as executor of a friend's or relative's will. However, as a High Court ruling showed , the legal responsibilities that go with such a role can be extremely onerous and it usually makes better sense to...

Inheritance Tax Mitigation Scheme Ends in Abject Failure

If offered the opportunity to shelter their homes against future Inheritance Tax (IHT) liabilities whilst retaining the right to live in them rent free, most people would jump at the chance. However, as one case strikingly showed, that holy grail of tax...

Overlooking is Not a Private Nuisance - Landmark Court of Appeal Ruling

If you are a property occupier and have noise, dust, noxious smells, vibrations or other forms of nuisance inflicted upon you by a neighbour, the law will provide you with a remedy. However, the Court of Appeal has ruled in a landmark case that that...

Making a Will? Don't Forget Your Moral Obligations

You are in principle entitled to bequeath your worldly wealth to whoever you choose. However, as a High Court decision made clear, the law will intervene if you ignore your moral obligations when making your will. A successful motor dealer and property...

When Is a Property 'Completed'? DIY House Builder Wins VAT Rebate

DIY house builders are entitled to refunds of VAT they pay on materials used in their projects. However, as a decision of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) showed , seeking such rebates is far from straightforward and a strict time limit applies. A man applied...