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Latest News

Tax Net to Loosen for Trusts, Tighten for Offshore Affairs

In the recent Budget, the Government committed itself to a review of the operation of trust taxation in the UK. Since reforms were introduced in 2006 to counter what appear to have been little-used tax avoidance schemes, trusts have been used less often...

Certain Inheritance Can Be Financial Resource in Divorce Settlement

Under English law, a person is able (within limits) to decide absolutely to whom their estate should pass. However, many countries have 'forced heirship' laws, under which a deceased person's estate must pass in specified proportions to a particular person...

Informal Wills on the Way?

We have written on numerous occasions of the danger of either failing to leave a will or of not taking professional advice when making your will. Among the difficulties that can arise with DIY wills are challenges by family members who have been excluded...

Solicitors Are Under a Lifelong Duty to Guard Client Confidentiality

One of the advantages of placing your trust in solicitors is that they owe a lifelong duty to maintain the confidentiality of any information you give them. That point was underlined by a High Court case in which a solicitor was banned from taking...

Minor Drafting Error Corrected - £1 Million Saved

Under Inheritance Tax (IHT) law, certain types of trust have a ten-yearly charge to IHT on the value of the trust assets. The legislation, which imposes IHT of 6 per cent on the 'relevant property' in the trust settlement, was introduced in 2006 and applied...

Council Must Consider Planning Application

People who seek advantage by going beyond the bounds of planning permission they are given can expect to be taught a very expensive lesson by the courts. However, the law does guarantee the right of a person to have a planning application considered, as was...

Judge Sees Through Attempt to Hide Assets

When a couple divorced in 2014, the ex-husband was ordered to pay his ex-wife periodical payments of £120,000 per year after he was found to have used a variety of stratagems to make himself appear worse off than he really was. A mere three months...

Business Tycoon's Wife Well Served by Lawyers Who Drafted Her Will

A solicitor's primary duty when drafting a will is to follow faithfully their client's instructions after giving accurate and level-headed advice. In a professional negligence case triggered by the early death of a business tycoon's wife, the High Court...

Libel by Internal Email Proves Expensive

Many people think that for a libel to occur, the statement made has to be both false and made in public, but in fact that is not so, as a recent libel case confirms . The libellous comments were made by a care worker at a hospital about a colleague in an...

Planning to Participate in a Tax Avoidance Scheme? Read This First!

Anyone tempted to participate in a tax avoidance scheme would be wise to take note of one case in which a businessman complained in vain that he had been subject to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) inquiries for almost seven years, with no end in sight. The...

Facing Compulsory Purchase of Your Home?

Home ownership is generally regarded as providing safety and long-term security, but this is not always the case as properties can be compulsorily purchased by public authorities to make way for socially beneficial developments. Any householders affected are...

Take Care When Appointing a Non-Lawyer as Your Executor

When you appoint a solicitor to be the executor of your will, you can be assured that they will understand their duties and can be relied upon to comply with them. However, as a High Court case showed, the same sadly cannot always be said of friends or...

Court Corrects Parenthood Bungle

When a same-sex couple undertook fertility treatment which led to the birth of a baby girl, the intention was that both would be listed as her legal parents. However, due to mistakes made in processing the necessary forms, only one of the couple was shown as...

HMRC Fail in IHT Challenge on Livery

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have challenged a number of property-based trading businesses, seeking to deprive them of the Inheritance Tax (IHT) and Capital Gains Tax advantages that are normally available. In a recent case, HMRC sought to persuade the...

Flat Tenants - Taking Over Management Can Be a Legal Minefield

Most leaseholders would like to obtain the right to manage their own premises. However, as one tribunal case shows , there are many potential pitfalls, so seeking professional legal advice is always a wise precaution. The four qualifying tenants of a block...

Failure to Use Solicitor for Will Leads to Challenge

Charities are generally thought of as being mild and benevolent organisations and in many ways they are, but some can also be very aggressive when they are expecting to receive money from an estate and their hopes are dashed. The extent to which some will...

Insurance Extension on the Cards?

Under UK law, it is compulsory for all vehicles that are used on public roads to be insured, and third-party liability insurance, which covers accidental injury to others, is the legal minimum. There is even a compensation scheme, funded by UK insurance...

Government Must Prove its Case to Obtain Deportation

Marriages of convenience are normally entered into in order to give one of the spouses the right to remain in the UK. At present, EU citizens normally have the right to remain in the UK. However, that right can be removed if it is shown that it has been...

Mis-Sold an Interest Rate Hedging Product? Don't Miss the Time Limit for a Claim

Mis-selling of interest rate hedging products (IRHPs) by lenders has caused acute financial pain to a great many businesses and individuals and, as one High Court case shows , you should contact us immediately if you have the slightest suspicion that you...

Change of Use Over Time Leads to Four-Day Court Battle

Rights of way over land are a constant source of dispute and, because the law relating to land is complex, such disputes all too frequently end up in avoidable court proceedings. A recent case heard by Bristol County Court was brought by a man who claimed...
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