201711.30

Cohabitee Triumphs in Bereavement Damages Test Case

In a landmark decision that will be greeted with joy by Britain’s 3.2 million cohabiting couples, the Court of Appeal has ruled that the exclusion of unmarried partners from entitlement to damages for bereavement is incompatible with their human rights. The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 enables a lump sum – currently £12,980 – to be…

201711.30

What Does ‘Molestation’ Mean? Court of Appeal Test Case

Non-molestation orders are an effective means by which the courts protect the vulnerable – but what exactly does ‘molestation’ mean? The Court of Appeal tackled that issue in a family case concerning a little girl in long-term foster care whose desperate parents persisted in trying to make contact with her. The mother and the father,…

201711.30

Extended Criminal Record Certificates – A Balance Must Be Struck

Those who work with children or vulnerable adults are required to have extended criminal record certificates (ECRCs) so that prospective employers can judge whether they are fit to perform such sensitive roles. However, as one Court of Appeal case showed, a careful balance has to be struck between disclosure of information and the serious blight…

201711.29

Affordable Homes in Rural Areas – Court of Appeal Ruling

Housing developments in the countryside are almost always controversial, but those living in rural areas need affordable homes like anyone else. The Court of Appeal tackled that apparent dichotomy in quashing planning permission for construction of six affordable homes on the outskirts of a small village. The project was the brainchild of a local couple…

201711.28

Should we have “no fault” divorce?

Recent surveys indicate divorce affects more than 100,000 families in England and Wales every year. If separating couples want to get divorced before two years of separation, they cannot do so without blaming each other. They must submit a petition detailing how the other is ‘at fault’. A study led by Professor Liz Trinder, Exeter…

201711.28

Don’t Sue the Wrong Defendant – See a Solicitor Today!

Rule number one of civil litigation is to make sure that you sue the right defendant. As one case showed, however, the complexity of modern corporate structures means that professional advice is needed to select the correct target. When a shop lease came to an end, the landlord launched proceedings with a view to making…

201711.27

Is It OK to Hold Ticket-Only Events in Public Parks? Judges Say ‘Yes’

Public parks are frequently rented out by local authorities as ticket-only venues for concerts and other entertainments – but is there any legal basis for that practice? Following an important test case, the Court of Appeal has answered that question in the affirmative. The case concerned a public park that, by operation of the Open…

201711.24

Investor Wins Compensation from Finance Professionals Who Let Him Down

Investors inevitably take risks but are entitled to expect that finance professionals in charge of their portfolios will follow their instructions and manage their exposure. That certainly did not happen in one High Court case in which a businessman’s seven-figure investment shrank by more than half over a five-year period. A successful businessman had invested…

201711.24

Company Targeted in Online Smear Campaign Wins £10,000 Damages

Companies’ reputations matter to them and, when they are publicly smeared, the law is far from powerless to protect them. In one case, a company that was on the receiving end of an online campaign of vilification won £10,000 in libel damages. The company provided hydraulic hose replacement services and operated a nationwide network of…

201711.23

Property Owners – Don’t Lose Your Title Deeds!

Title deeds to property often lie mouldering and forgotten for many years, but the consequences of losing them can be severe. In a case that stands as a warning to the untidy, misplaced documents left a businessman facing an alleged squatter’s challenge to his ownership of a house. The squatter claimed that he had occupied…