Latest Legal News

Court Steps In to Protect Security of 370,000 Pension Annuity Holders

Millions of people who invest their pension pots in annuities can ultimately rely on the law to guarantee their financial security. In a case on point, the High Court overruled financial regulators and refused to sanction the transfer of about 370,000...

Loyalty Bonuses Taxable, Rules Upper Tribunal

Investors using the popular online financial investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) may not have heard that the 'loyalty bonuses' they receive from HL have been deemed by the Upper Tribunal (UT) to be taxable income in the hands of the recipients and...

Couple Overcome 'One House' Restriction to Build New Home in Their Garden

New homes built in the grounds of existing residences make a valuable contribution to meeting burgeoning housing demand. However, as a decision of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) showed , restrictions lurking in antique title deeds can stand in the way of...

If a Loved One's Will Does Not Meet Your Needs, Don't Delay in Seeking Advice

If a loved one upon whom you depend financially fails to make reasonable provision for you in his or her will, judges have the power to put that right. However, there are time limits that apply to such proceedings and that is why it is vital to consult a...

Vulnerable Witnesses Could Be Given Greater Protection in Civil Courts

Responses to a report from the Civil Justice Council (CJC) setting out proposed measures to better support and protect vulnerable witnesses and parties in civil proceedings are due to be considered following public consultation. The CJC wants to ensure 'a...

High Court Relieves Family of Consequences of Badly Drafted Trust Deed

Trust deeds can be an effective means of managing family wealth and minimising tax liabilities but, as a High Court decision strikingly showed , any mistakes in their drafting can have serious repercussions for generations to come. The case concerned a...

Facing a Tax Investigation? Don't Bury Your Head in the Sand!

If you are facing an investigation by the tax authorities, your very first step should be to seek professional advice. One taxpayer who sadly chose not to take that course, instead burying his head in the sand, narrowly escaped a six-figure back-tax bill. ...

Planning Building Work? Get Legal Advice

When a property development involving a building that is listed or in a conservation area is undertaken, it is reasonable for the contractor employed to do the work to assume that the employer has used due diligence to obtain the necessary planning consents....

Court of Appeal Acts to Save Entrenched Litigants From Themselves

The whole purpose of the civil justice system is to achieve just and final resolution of frequently intractable disputes – and, as a guideline Court of Appeal decision in an inheritance case made plain, that includes saving litigants from themselves...

HMRC Miss Tax Avoidance Target By Raising Assessments Too Late

When HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) find out that tax has been under-declared, the response is normally to raise a 'discovery assessment' to collect the tax due. This is usually the result of a period of investigation, and penalties and interest are also...

Missing Persons - Steps to Take

Surprisingly, nearly 250,000 people go missing in the UK every year. Leaving aside the heartache and worry this causes, until recent changes in the law it also created an appalling position for family members trying to deal with the affairs of the person who...

Inveterate Trespasser Rightly Jailed for Contempt, Court of Appeal Rules

It is in the nature of litigation that the losing party frequently feels that the judge was wrong and the outcome unjust. However, a case in which a householder repeatedly lost his liberty , and ultimately his home, due to his defiance of court orders shows...

LPA - Bank Practice

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a document that may be used so that the finances or other issues of a person who cannot deal with them themselves may be attended to by a trusted third party – normally a solicitor or a family member. When an LPA...

Raising Cash on the Security of Your Home? Always See a Lawyer First

Many vulnerable people who fall into debt are tempted to raise cash on the security of their homes. However, a case in which an elderly couple came within an ace of losing the roof over their heads stands as a warning to all that such arrangements should...

No Going Back on Gift Freely Made

A recent case decided by the Scottish Courts shows the wisdom of not making irrevocable decisions that you may later come to regret. It involved a woman who gifted her house to her daughter and son-in-law, retaining a tenancy for life over the property....

Mental Capacity - Court of Protection Authorises Non-Consensual Caesarean Birth

Where people lack the mental capacity to make important decisions for themselves, judges will step in to ensure that their best interests are served, as was demonstrated by an unusual case in which the Court of Protection (CoP) authorised the planned...

Stamp Duty Land Tax Dodge Backfires

When a couple wished to avoid paying Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on the purchase of a property, they hit on what looked to them like a great idea. Instead of buying the property outright, they paid for it in two stages…a deposit, plus the purchase of...

Widow Pays for Delay in Seeking Provision From Her Husband's Estate

If you feel that you have suffered a wrong of any kind, a delay in taking legal action can put paid to your chances of obtaining justice. A widow who was left nothing in her deceased husband's will found that out to her cost when her hopes of obtaining...

Don't Even Think About Doing a Property Deal Without Legal Advice

Property purchases are, for the majority of people, the highest-value deals they ever enter into and that is why they should never be undertaken in haste or without expert legal advice. A case in which an amateurish, home-made agreement led to years of...

Pension Scheme That Failed to Consider Wife's Claim Called to Account

It is usual for occupational pension schemes to allow the spouse or partner of a scheme member to receive a reduced pension in the event that the member predeceases them. Normally, the appropriate beneficiary is set out in the scheme rules. With defined...

Estate and Dependants Receive Damages for Fatal Crash

When there is a fatal accident involving a person with dependants, a claim for compensation may be able to be made not only by the estate of the deceased person but also by their dependants, whether children or adults. In a recent case , the estate and...

Restrictive Covenants Can Go Undetected - Use an Expert Conveyancer!

Covenants that restrict the use to which properties can be put lurk undetected within many title deeds and can have a dramatic impact on a property's value. That was certainly so in the case of one unfortunate couple who said that tight restrictions applying...

Informal Agreement Leads Family to Court of Appeal

Disputes within families are very common indeed and one of the issues the courts see over and over again is where there is a family 'understanding' that ends in a disagreement. In a recent case , the result of one such dispute is that an 82-year-old woman...

Tax Investigations - Judge Authorises Disclosure of Credit Card Bills

To what extent are the tax authorities entitled to delve into what would otherwise be your private financial information? The High Court tackled that issue in authorising disclosure of a wealthy businessman's credit card statements to HM Revenue and...

Be Careful What You Post

Although the final result was not financial ruin for the defendant, a recent case illustrates how unwise it is to vent one's spleen on social media. It involved a firm of solicitors that had been involved in the sale of 'off plan' properties in Cyprus. This...