Legal News

If HMRC Don't Get it Right

You may be forgiven for thinking that the authorities always follow proper procedures, but that is not the case, and when they fail, their actions may not be legally valid. In a recent case, a series of errors put a taxpayer and HM Revenue and Customs...

Recalcitrant Husband Banned From Paying His Lawyers Until Arrears Cleared

It is commonplace for one spouse to control the family finances and, while relations are amicable, this usually causes few issues. However, if the relationship falls apart and separation or divorce is in train, this is often no longer the case. When a...

Lack of Will Leads to Family Dispute in Court

When a man's first wife died, he inherited her share of the property they had owned jointly. At the time, he was living with his third wife, and the couple remained together for a further 28 years until his death in 1990. He died without making a will and...

The Sky Above and the Earth Below

A recent case may raise alarm bells for anyone thinking about adding a basement to a property which is divided. It involved a terraced house which was converted into two flats. The top two floors of the property were owned by the freeholder. The owner of...

Ombudsman Acts Against Slipshod Council

When people need to go into care, the local councils that end up supporting the care costs are well known for their doggedness in attempting to ensure that the person being cared for supplies as much of the funding as possible. This will often involve a...

Relief for Families as Missing Persons Act to Come Into Force

Legislation that will give families of people who go missing the ability to administer their affairs is to come into effect: but not until July 2019. The Bill received the Royal Assent as long ago as April 2017, but the need for secondary regulations and...

Vaccinations Protect Child's Welfare

There has been a massive amount of disinformation put about over the years (and, apparently, recently promoted by the Russian security services) regarding the effects of various vaccinations on children. One result is that some parents are deeply wary of...

Leaving Your ISA to Your Family

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) have many advantages over normal savings accounts – chiefly that the investment income earned on them is tax free and gains within them are not subject to Capital Gains Tax. They are, not surprisingly, widely regarded...

Your Home May Be Your Castle But Planning Rules Must Be Obeyed

The widespread belief that 'an Englishman's home is his castle' can all too easily lead the unwary into breaching planning rules. That was certainly so in a case concerning a householder who found herself in serious trouble after splitting her home into...

Capital and Income Losses Mean Different Things for Tax

When an investment is made in a capital asset that subsequently becomes valueless, the loss can normally be used to reduce future liabilities to Capital Gains Tax when a capital asset is sold at a profit. There are also rules which permit trading expenses...

Child Contact Disputes Can Be Defused by Mediation - But Take Advice Soon

If parents engaged in child contact disputes take up entrenched positions, it is very nearly always the child that suffers most. Such disputes can often be defused by taking legal advice at an early stage in order to promote dialogue and an amicable...

Timeshare Credit Agreements Worth £47 Million May Be Unenforceable

Lending money to the public is, for obvious reasons, a heavily regulated activity and, as a case concerning timeshare properties showed , any involvement by those who are not authorised to carry out such activity can render credit agreements entirely...

Keep Your Records Safe

The High Court of Justice is a very expensive place to resolve a family dispute, as is evidenced by a recent case which pitted members of a farming family against each other : it shows beyond doubt the importance of documenting decisions and retaining the...

Credibility of Witness Defeats Adverse Possession Claim

The law allows people who occupy land over a long period and use it as their own, without anyone else asserting ownership rights to it, to apply to have their title to it registered at the Land Registry. This is normally called 'squatter's rights' and...

Don't Be Caught in a Pension Scam

Scams of all shapes and sizes are becoming depressingly frequent and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned against the rising tide of pensions scams that leave people facing years of misery in retirement as a result of passing their pension funds...

Wife Must Pay for Her Own Mistakes

The Supreme Court recently decided a case which made clear some of the limits that apply when financial issues were resolved within a consent order at the time of a divorce but where circumstances have changed over time and one spouse seeks to have the...

Court Accepts £6 Million Distribution to Attorney

When a person's affairs are being managed by someone else under a lasting power of attorney (LPA), there are strict rules about what the attorney can and cannot do with the assets placed under their control. The attorney is expected to safeguard the...

Care Not a Deprivation of Liberty

Care orders for children that result in them being taken away from their parents are not made lightly. When a 14-year-old girl was assessed as having 'a range of complex therapeutic needs' that made constant supervision and care essential, the decision was...

Grand Design Couple Triumph in Capital Gains Tax Test Case

Those who make a profit on the sale of their principal private residence do not have to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on it. However, as a test case concerning a couple who built their own home showed, that apparently simple statement disguises a hinterland of...

Long-Term Partner Wins Right to Stay in House

Those who doubt the legal advantages of getting married should take note of a case in which an elderly man was left facing homelessness after his partner's unexpected death and had to go to court to seek reasonable provision from her estate. The unmarried...
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