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Government Makes Tendering Process Easier

The complexity and length of the tendering process for government contracts has for many years operated as a significant deterrent for small businesses that might otherwise wish to compete for lucrative public sector contracts. Recognising this issue, the...

Tax Domicile - HMRC Upping the Ante?

With an increasingly peripatetic workforce, more and more people are finding that the issue of their fiscal residence has a significant effect on their tax position. The response to this in the UK has been that tax legislation surrounding residence has been...

Parental Bereavement Bill Published

Employers are not currently required to give paid leave to grieving parents. Section 57A(1) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 gives employees the right to take a reasonable amount of time off to take action which is necessary for dependants – for...

Do You Know Who Actually Owns the Patents You Depend On?

A great many companies depend on patents for their profitability, and doubts over ownership of intellectual property (IP) rights can put their very survival in jeopardy. This point was illustrated in a case that concerned a number of patents in respect of...

Denied Divorce Case Heading to Supreme Court

It has been revealed that the widely reported case last March in which a wife was not granted a divorce from her husband because she could not demonstrate that his behaviour had been unreasonable will be decided by the Supreme Court. Under English law,...

Mutual Will Voids Thirteen Later Wills

Although a worryingly high proportion of the population never make a will, a fairly large number of those who do make more than one. It is sensible to make a new will or add codicils to an existing will if your circumstances change significantly. However,...

Furnished Holiday Lettings Face Tax Attack

The United Kingdom has very favourable Inheritance Tax (IHT) treatment for the owners of business assets used in a trade and, in general, the value of these will be outside the charge to IHT on death provided certain criteria are met. The IHT relief...

Only Gifts Without Reservation Are Effective in Minimising IHT

Giving away your assets to the next generation before your death can be an effective means of minimising Inheritance Tax (IHT) liabilities. However, as one tribunal case showed , such gifts have to be absolute and bring you no personal benefit in order to...

Breach of Contract - Court Takes Commercial Approach

Making the right decisions in the immediate aftermath of a breach of contract is of critical importance and, at such knife-edge moments, legal advice is essential. That point could hardly have been more clearly made than by a High Court case concerning an...

Don't Delay in Completing 'Formalities'

There is a tendency to think that procedural matters are mere formalities and there is no need to be in a rush to dot the i's and cross the t's, but sometimes failing to deal with them promptly can cause significant problems, as a recent case involving a...

'Pre-Pack' Administration and TUPE

Whilst the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) operate to protect the employment rights of employees when there is a relevant transfer of a business or part of a business, Regulation 8(7) provides that where the...

Landlord's Motivation for Work Not in Point, Rules Court

A recent case decided by the High Court will (if not overturned on appeal) have potential implications for some commercial tenants seeking renewals of their tenancies. It involved a dealer in textiles that occupies areas in the ground and basement floors...

Parenthood is Not a Trump Card to Avoid Imprisonment

Imprisoning parents is inevitably traumatic for their children, and striking a balance between child welfare and appropriate punishment of criminals is a dilemma confronted by judges every day. However, a Court of Appeal ruling has emphasised that parenthood...

Estranged Daughter Gains Share of Late Father's Estate

The dangers of concluding that estranged children who have been disinherited will have no claim against a deceased person's estate were made very clear after a widely reported case decided last year. They have again been highlighted in a recent case in...

Recovery of Cross-Border Debts

Firms and people who fail to pay their bills are a significant nuisance for any business, but when the debtor is abroad, there may be a temptation to give up. Although recovery of debts from those who live overseas requires determination, English judges are...

GDPR - ICO Consults on Written Contracts

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will apply to all EU member states from 25 May 2018, data processors have new responsibilities and liabilities in their own right, and both controllers and processors may be liable to pay damages or...

Everyone Has a Civic Duty to Assist Judges in Resolving Disputes

It is a civic duty to assist the courts in the resolution of disputes, and judges have the power to compel reluctant witnesses to give evidence. Exactly that happened in one case in which a solicitor was required to attend court to testify in respect of a...

Court Robust in Protection of Motor Giant Trade Mark

Motor giant BMW, challenging a decision over the use of its trade mark with which it disagreed, has won its appeal in the Court of Appeal . The dispute was over the use of BMW trade marks by a small London garage business, Technosport, which repairs and...

Depressed Supermarket Worker Wins Disability Discrimination Payout

Disability is a broad legal concept and encompasses not just physical incapacity but also mental ill health and all of its consequences. In one case, a supermarket worker whose short temper was a symptom of his depressive illness won more than £6,000...

What is an 'Existing Building'? - Tax Tribunal Clarifies the Law

A property owner who demolishes an existing dwelling house and replaces it with an entirely new one is entitled to reclaim VAT on the costs of construction – but what happens if part of the original building is retained? A tribunal considered that...
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