Latest News

Flat Owner Not Liable for Pre-existing Structural Issues

When building owners carry out works on their property, are they liable for damage to adjoining properties that results from pre-existing structural issues? The Court of Appeal recently provided welcome clarification on that question . The owner of a...

Challenge to Will's Validity Rejected by High Court

The best way to ensure your assets will be distributed as you wish is to have your will professionally drafted by a qualified solicitor. In a recent case, a challenge to the validity of an elderly man's will was dismissed by the High Court. The man had...

Defiance of Family Court Orders Will Always End Badly

Custodial sentences very rarely come into play in the family courts. Where there have been repeated breaches of court orders, however, judges may have little choice but to clamp down. This was illustrated in the High Court during committal proceedings that...

Divorce - Alleged Bigamy Raised in Financial Remedies Dispute

The issue of bigamy and its potential impact on a person's ability to seek financial remedies in a divorce came under the legal spotlight recently . A husband made an application to strike out his wife's financial remedies claim on the basis that she had...

FCA Warns Social Media Influencers Over Adverts

Influencers on social media, and anyone involved in advertising and promoting products, would be well advised to make sure they are aware of their legal responsibilities. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published guidance on financial promotions...

Court Explores Alleged 'Grave Risk' in Child Abduction Case

Cross-jurisdictional disputes surrounding child custody can be complex but, in cutting through the complexities, the courts will always focus on the welfare of the children involved, as was evidenced in a High Court case centred on a child abduction . A...

Tenant Succeeds in Reducing Service Charges

A case recently decided by the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) serves as a reminder to tenants to check the terms of their leases and to monitor the service charges they are asked to pay. The tenant of a ground-floor flat sought a determination of liability to...

Marks & Spencer Claims Planning Victory at High Court

A High Court challenge brought by Marks & Spencer (M&S) has resulted in victory for the retailer. M&S contested a decision by the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to turn down planning permission for the...

Court of Appeal Overturns Will Dispute Ruling

Unfortunately, will disputes can sometimes be drawn out long after the passing of the person who bequeathed their assets. This was so in a contentious probate battle which progressed to the Court of Appeal after a High Court judgment was challenged. The...

Valuable Diamond is Crux of Assets Dispute in Court

The division of matrimonial assets is often the cause of protracted legal proceedings, where parties differ on what is due to whom. In a recent Family Court case , the question of whether or not a £2 million diamond formed part of such assets was the...

Ignoring Court Orders Will Always Result in Sanction

Failing to comply with court orders to bring children back to the UK, in instances where one parent has taken them abroad without the permission of the other, can come at a heavy cost. This point was underlined in a recent contempt hearing at the High Court...

Prisoner Unlawfully Evicted from Housing Association Flat Wins Damages

The concept of unlawful eviction may bring to mind a picture of a malign landlord changing the locks and throwing a vulnerable tenant onto the street. However, a case in which a serving prisoner's protected tenancy was wrongfully terminated during his...

Relationship Status Put Under Spotlight in Divorce Case

Divorce proceedings are rarely cut and dry, especially where the passage of time adds complexity to matters. This was certainly so in a recent case that required a Family Court judge to rule on the validity of a decree nisi . The case centred on the...

Will Execution - Remote Witnessing Legislation Expires

A legal amendment that was made during the COVID-19 pandemic allowing the witnessing of wills to take place via videoconferencing has officially expired. As of 31 January 2024, the Wills Act 1837 (Electronic Communications) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Order...

Psychotherapy Condition Leads to Contact Order Appeal

Wherever possible, the courts will do what they can to support contact between parents and children but, in some instances, that contact comes with conditions attached. The nature of such conditions was the cause of contention in recent appeal proceedings...

Beware of Builders Offering Cut-Price Work - Court of Appeal Cautionary Tale

Every householder should understand the dire risks involved in opening their doors to those promising to carry out cut-price building work. A Court of Appeal decision provided distressing examples of almost the worst that can happen . A householder...

Should Original Wills Still be Stored in Paper Form? MoJ Consults Legal Profession

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has launched a consultation on the storage and retention of original will documents by HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS). The consultation is intended as a means to challenge the current system of will storage and look at...

Family Court Transparency Pilot is Extended

The Courts and Tribunals Judiciary has announced the extension of a groundbreaking Family Court reporting pilot. The Transparency Implementation Group Reporting Pilot is being extended to 16 more courts across the country, after an initial run at the family...

Court Ruling Underlines the Importance of Biodiversity in Planning Decisions

One of the positive effects of the green revolution is that biodiversity is now a vital factor in many planning decisions. As a High Court case showed , however, it is perfectly possible for an otherwise inappropriate commercial or industrial development to...

Failing to Make a Professionally Drafted Will Risks Tearing Your Family Apart

Many grieving families have sadly been torn apart by a loved one's failure to make a professionally drafted will. Exactly that happened in a High Court case concerning two brothers who fell out bitterly over which of them should take charge of...

Grown Up Kids Staying On in the Family Home? What Does That Mean in Law?

Loving parents often allow their adult children to remain living in the family home for as long as they wish, in the expectation that they will, in due course, fly the nest. In a case that will ring a bell with thousands of families, the High Court...

High Court Considers Limits on the Right of Parents to Name Their Children

Parents have a right to name their children and, in modern Britain, the options open to them are almost limitless. However, as a High Court ruling showed , there are rare occasions when a parental choice of forename may conflict with a child's welfare. The...

Under-Insured Commercial Property Occupier Wins Seven-Figure Damages

Fire is an ever-present threat to occupiers of commercial property and, all too often, they only discover after the ash has settled that they are under-insured. In one such case, however, the High Court came to the aid of a gifts retailer which lost...

Inheritance - High Court Shows Compassion in 'Mercy Killing' Case

Where one person unlawfully kills another, the killer usually forfeits their right to inherit any part of the victim's property. As a High Court ruling in an exceptionally sad case showed , however, that general rule may be tempered by compassion in cases...

Always Seek Legal Expertise to Help Ensure Your Wishes Are Fulfilled

Having your will drafted by a professional involves only modest expense and has the great advantage of reducing the risk of your bequests being successfully challenged after you are gone. In a case on point, the High Court gave full legal effect to a...
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