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What are the Tax Implications of Settling an Employment Tribunal Claim?

When paying money to settle Employment Tribunal (ET) proceedings, employers are not infrequently motivated by a desire to make what they perceive as a nuisance go away – but how should such payments be treated for tax purposes? The First-tier Tribunal...

Interpreting Wills That May Be Ambiguous - High Court Guidance

Even with the most careful drafting, there is always a risk that a will may be capable of bearing more than one meaning. In resolving a family inheritance dispute, the High Court considered the extent to which extraneous evidence of a will-maker's...

Overlooked Homeowners Fall Foul of Ambiguity in Planning Permission

Finding your way around the intricacies of the planning system without professional advice is, for most people, a near impossibility. The point was powerfully made by the case of a couple whose intimate living space was overlooked by a skylight fitted to a...

Wife Sees Off Bankruptcy Trustees' Attempt to Sell Off Her Home

When people dispose of assets shortly before having themselves declared bankrupt, it is inevitable that eyebrows will often be raised. However, as a judge's ruling showed, it is one thing to allege an improper motive and quite another to prove it. The case...

Judge Opens New Chapter in Woman's Life by Dispelling Dark Family Secret

Dark secrets lurking in your family background are likely to cause you untold pain. As one case showed , however, bringing the truth to light in the safe environment of a family court can draw the sting and bring peace to you and future generations. The...

Private Dog Grooming Tutor Denied VAT Exemption

The categories of business that enjoy VAT exemption are highly restricted and any attempt to extend them is likely to encounter stiff opposition from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). That was certainly so in the case of a woman who provided private tuition in...

Judges Have No Power to Rewrite Valid Wills - Guideline High Court Ruling

Judges have no power to rewrite your will after your death so as to achieve a result which, in their view, better reflects your wishes. The High Court made that point in upholding the validity of a Parkinson's disease sufferer's will although, at least in...

Equal Sharing Principle Delivers Fair Result in £6 Million Divorce Case

When it comes to divorce, it is very common for one spouse to argue that he or she should receive the lion's share of the marital wealth. However, as a guideline case concerning an entrepreneurial couple showed , fairness usually demands that an equal...

Judge Laments Heavy Cost of Suburban Boundary Dispute

Apparently trifling neighbours' disputes over a few inches of land have a nasty habit of taking on the proportions of a state trial, with legal costs to match. That was sadly so in a case concerning the positioning of a fence between two suburban gardens. ...

Lawyers Step In to Protect Negligence Victim Prey to Gambling Addiction

The intense vulnerability of many negligence victims requires lawyers to take careful steps to protect them from exploitation by others and the consequences of their own poor decision-making. A case on point concerned a recipient of a seven-figure...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 ,...

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...
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