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Donating Shares to Charity - Tax Tribunal Resolves Valuation Impasse

It makes perfect sense that the market value of shares given to charity is deductible from the donor's tax liabilities. However, as an important tax tribunal ruling showed , discerning exactly what that value is can be very far from straightforward. The...

Think Hard Before Changing Your Will - High Court Cautionary Tale

Keeping your will up to date is a very good idea, but making changes that are likely to disappoint members of your family who might expect to inherit can be a recipe for dispute after you are gone. That was certainly so in a High Court case concerning a...

Companies and the Concealment of Land Ownership - High Court Ruling

A bewildering array of corporate structures is all too commonly used to conceal the real ownership of property. However, as a High Court case showed, judges are well versed at finding their way through the maze and uncovering the true position. The case...

Judge Overturns Divorce Decree Based on Wife's Forged Signature

Court orders are sometimes obtained by improper means, but when the truth emerges – as it almost always does – those responsible are bound to pay a crushing price. That was certainly so in the case of a businessman who obtained a divorce on the...

Lasting Powers of Attorney - Why it Makes Sense to Appoint a Professional

Many people very sensibly confer lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) on others so that their affairs can be properly managed in the event that they lose the ability to do so themselves. However, as a High Court ruling underlined , it often makes good sense to...

High Court Aids Ship Designer in 'Blatant' Breach of Confidentiality Case

Trade secrets are the lifeblood of many businesses and the law will provide powerful assistance in protecting them. That was certainly so in the case of a ship design company whose confidential information was blatantly misused by a prospective client. ...

Absentee Tenant Pays High Price for Failing to Leave Forwarding Address

Absentee or non-resident tenants who do not leave their landlords with a forwarding address place themselves in acute legal danger. In one case, a tenant who failed to take that sensible step suffered forfeiture of her 140-year lease due to her non-payment...

Employment and an Egregious Case of Pregnancy/Maternity Discrimination

Employers who discriminate against pregnant women or new mothers can expect to reap a bitter harvest of financial and reputational damage. An Employment Tribunal (ET) made that point in describing a woman's suspension and dismissal whilst on maternity leave...

Tax Ruling - TV Presenter's Personal Service Company Falls Foul of IR35

Media personalities, IT professionals and others often obtain perfectly legitimate tax advantages by providing their services as independent contractors via their own private companies. As one case showed, however, the tax authorities are making...

Criminal Defence Costs Incurred Solely for Purposes of Trade

Only expenses that are incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of trade can be deducted from a business's tax liabilities. That threshold is, to say the least, a demanding one but, as a First-tier Tribunal (FTT) ruling showed, it is not...

High Court Declares 'Illiterate' Business Tycoon's £100 Million Will Invalid

Your assets are your own and, when making your will, you have complete freedom to leave them to whomever you choose. As a case concerning a business tycoon's £100 million estate showed , however, a will signed without the testator having knowledge and...

COVID-19 - Premier League Triumphs in $200 Million TV Rights Dispute

The COVID-19 pandemic caused grave disruption to the 2019/2020 Premier League season – but it did not fundamentally change the format of the competition. That was the conclusion the High Court reached in the context of a $200 million contract dispute ...

Teenager's Wishes and Feelings Prevail in Finely Balanced Adoption Case

Children may not have the capacity to make important decisions for themselves, but that does not mean that family judges ignore their wishes and feelings. In a highly unusual case on point, a 17-year-old girl was granted her adamant wish to be adopted by...

Affordable Housing Shortage Proves Decisive in High Court Planning Case

The chronic shortage of affordable homes is a powerful driver in favour of permitting building projects that might otherwise be considered objectionable. The High Court made that point in upholding planning permission for residential development of a...

Internet Piracy - Gaming Giant Nintendo Granted Websites Blocking Order

Companies that spend vast sums on developing products have every right to feel aggrieved when they are subjected to wholesale internet piracy. The High Court made that point in coming to the aid of video gaming giant Nintendo. Since the launch of its...

Houses in Multiple Occupation - Landlords Overturn Rent Repayment Order

Landlords who rent out houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) without a required licence are exposed to the double whammy of criminal prosecution and the prospect of having to repay rent to their tenants. As an unusual Upper Tribunal (UT) ruling showed ,...

Fear of COVID-19 is Not a Philosophical Belief

A fear of contracting COVID-19 or infecting others with the virus is both worthy of respect and readily understandable. However, an Employment Tribunal (ET) has ruled in a novel case that it does not amount to a philosophical belief ( X v Y ). The case...

Moral and Legal Obligations are Different - Family Inheritance Dispute

There can be a world of difference between a moral obligation and a legal one. The High Court made that point in rejecting a daughter's claim that part of her deceased mother's stake in a residential property was held on trust for her. By the unequivocal...

The Legal Status of Property Guardians - Court of Appeal Clarifies the Law

The practice of permitting so-called property guardians to occupy premises in order to protect them against trespassers and vandals is now widespread – but what is their status in law? The Court of Appeal considered that issue in a guideline case . ...

Employers are Generally Entitled to Fruits of Their Employees' Creativity

Inventive employees can find it galling that copyright in their creative works generally belongs not to them but to their employers. As one case made plain, however, that is one of the sacrifices that has to be made in return for a regular salary. The case...
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