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COVID-19 - Carer Sacked After Visiting Pub Wins Unfair Dismissal Claim

The pressure put on many employment relationships by COVID-19 was illustrated by the case of a care worker who was sacked by her vulnerable charge's mother after she went to the pub in the very early stages of the pandemic ( Meynell v Stephenson ). The...

COVID-19 - Court Authorises Cessation of Father's Life-Sustaining Treatment

It often falls to judges to address the most dreadful consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. That was certainly so in a case where the Court of Protection found that keeping a much-loved husband and father on life support would merely serve to prolong his...

Negotiating is One Thing, But Completing a Binding Contract is Quite Another

Commercial negotiations may proceed for many months and involve any number of meetings, messages and phone calls. However, as a High Court ruling showed , the question of whether a binding contract has been completed very often hinges on whether a signature...

Deemed Commercial Tenancy Inferred from Possession and Payment of Rent

Even in the absence of a formal lease, the existence of a tenancy can in some cases be inferred from an occupier's exclusive possession of premises and the payment of rent. The Upper Tribunal (UT) did just that in opening the way for a company to seek...

Making a Will? This is Why You Should Appoint a Professional Executor

Family relationships can be red in tooth and claw and appointing relatives, rather than a professional, as executors of your will can prove a costly mistake. That was certainly so in one case, where bitter litigation between siblings resulted in legal costs...

'Seriously Incompetent' Company Director Receives Four-Year Disqualification

Many companies admirably soldier on through cash flow difficulties, but it is the mark of a competent director to know when to pull the plug. A businessman who left that decision far too late was banned for four years from being a director or otherwise...

Inaccuracies In Your Tax Return Are Serious - Seek Professional Advice

Any inaccuracy when filling in your tax return can have severe consequences, so it really does make sense to seek professional assistance. The point was powerfully made by the case of a financier who narrowly escaped a stiff financial penalty after failing...

Exonerated Parents of Bruised Baby Boy Receive Judicial Apology

When children suffer unexplained injuries, few would quarrel with social workers and medical professionals taking a precautionary approach. However, as a family judge's ruling showed , the cloud of suspicion that often hangs over parents in such cases is...

Pandemic or No Pandemic, Redundancy Exercises Must Be Open and Fair

Thousands of businesses left struggling by the COVID-19 pandemic have had little choice but to shed staff. However, as an Employment Tribunal (ET) ruling showed, the legal requirement that redundancy exercises must be transparent and fair has remained in...

Refusal to Restore Car Used in Cross-Channel Smuggling Trip 'Unreasonable'

UK Border Force officers wield a battery of powers designed to combat smuggling – but they must not be exercised unreasonably. The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) made that point in coming to the aid of a woman whose family car was loaded with over 300...

High Court Acts to Protect Rights of Minority Shareholder in Family Business

Family-run enterprises represent an enduring and highly effective business model – but only for so long as trust and affection between board members persists. In one case, discord between a father and son required High Court intervention to restore...

Embarking on a Property Development? Consulting a Solicitor is Step One

Before embarking on any form of property development it is absolutely vital to seek a lawyer's confirmation that you are entitled to proceed. The point was underlined by the case of a couple who knocked down their home and replaced it with a block of flats...

Naming a New Business? Watch Out for Others' Intellectual Property Rights

When christening a new business, it is vitally important to get a professional to check that the name you have chosen does not tread on anyone else's intellectual property rights. In one case, a bitter harvest was reaped by a jewellery designer who failed...

Tower Block Owners Granted Pre-Emptive Anti-Urban Exploring Injunction

Commercial property owners are increasingly plagued by so-called 'urban explorers' who risk life and limb by scaling high-rise buildings for the entertainment of an online audience. As a High Court ruling showed , however, judges can take effective –...

Don't Delay Making a Will Until You Feel the Hand of Mortality Upon You

Far too many people put off making a will until ill health strikes and reminds them of their mortality. In a striking case on point, the High Court ruled that a will signed by a prosperous farmer when he was in his 80s and suffering from dementia was not...

Detriment for Engaging in Industrial Action - Landmark Human Rights Ruling

The law protects workers against detrimental treatment for taking part in the activities of independent trade unions – but such activities have long been interpreted as not including strikes or other forms of industrial action. That legal position has,...

What Is a 'Couple'? Landmark Adoption Ruling Answers the Question

A 'couple' is defined in law as two people living as partners in an enduring family relationship – but what exactly does that mean in a world that has witnessed a metamorphosis in human relationships during the last few decades? The High Court...

HMRC in Bid to 'Help Taxpayers Get Their Offshore Tax Right'

The government is currently reviewing responses to its public consultation on helping taxpayers get their offshore tax right before it progresses to drafting new legislation on the issue. The consultation, which closed on 15 June, focused on how HM...

Mutual Obligation, Substitution and Control - Guideline IR35 Ruling

When deciding whether a worker is employed or self-employed for tax purposes, the principal factors taken into account are mutuality of obligation, the level of control in the relationship and a person's ability to substitute someone else to perform their...

Family Judges Won't Let Children Be Used as Pawns in Divorce Proceedings

Concerns that children may be used as pawns amidst the cut and thrust of divorce proceedings are often expressed by one side or the other. However, a High Court ruling in the context of a big money case showed that family judges are aware of such risks and...
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