201709.22

Amateur Historical Research Is No Replacement for Legal Advice

Many amateur historians enjoy pawing over old title deeds but, when it comes to discerning rights in respect of land, there is no replacement for professional advice. In one case, a homeowner carried out extensive research but was barking up the wrong tree when he claimed a right of way over his neighbour’s land. The…

201709.21

Buying a Houseboat? See A Lawyer First or Face That Sinking Feeling!

Buying a houseboat can be just as tricky as purchasing a house and, in both cases, legal advice is absolutely essential so that you can be sure you get what you pay for. In one case exactly on point, two couples paid almost £2 million for luxury houseboats before realising that they had no residential…

201709.21

Manipulative Mother Blamed Innocent Boyfriend for Baby Girl’s Injuries

Witnesses in litigation – particularly in emotionally charged family cases – sadly do not always tell the truth. However, as one case concerning injuries suffered by a baby girl showed, judges are highly experienced in detecting lies told under oath. Social workers became involved after the girl, who was only a few months old, suffered…

201709.19

Court of Appeal Warns Against Legalistic Approach to Planning Decisions

When making planning decisions, local councillors are entitled to use common sense and local knowledge and it is not for judges to take a legalistic approach and second guess their conclusions. The Court of Appeal made that point in opening the way for conversion of a large apple storage barn into four executive homes. There…

201709.19

Consumer Claims Agglomeration Legitimate – Landmark High Court Ruling

In a ground-breaking decision, the High Court has upheld the legitimacy of the growing number of companies that specialise in taking over legal claims by disgruntled consumers and pursuing them, en bloc, against alleged wrongdoers. The case concerned one such company that had taken assignment from a number of members of the public of their…

201709.18

Thieving Women’s Institute Treasurer Deserved Deterrent Sentence

Most charities rely heavily on voluntary workers but it should never be assumed that benevolence equates to honesty. In one case, the treasurer of a Women’s Institute branch fleeced the organisation of more than £17,000 over an eight-year period. The middle-aged woman abused her position of trust to siphon the branch’s funds into her own…

201709.15

Equal Division Is the Norm in Divorce – But There Are Exceptions

Equal division of assets is the norm in modern divorce cases – but judges do not take a formulaic approach and there are exceptions to the rule. In one case, a wife was awarded just 37 per cent of a £9.4 million pot on the basis that her husband was already a millionaire when they…

201709.15

Noisy Neighbours? You Don’t Have To Put Up With Them!

Noise nuisance is a serious blight on people’s lives but, with the right legal advice, you do not have to put up with it. In one case, a tower block resident was handed a stiff prison sentence after making a vulnerable neighbour’s life a misery. After receiving complaints about the tenant, his social housing landlord…

201709.13

New ‘Vento’ Bands

Following a consultation, the Presidents of the Employment Tribunal have issued revised guidance on the amount of compensation payable for injury to feelings in discrimination cases (the ‘Vento’ bands). In future, the guidance will be subject to revision on an annual basis, without the need for further consultation, with the first review taking place in…

201709.12

Evidence Overkill Incurs Judge’s Wrath

The general rule with regard to legal costs in litigation is that the winner’s legal fees are paid by the loser. However, in a recent case a judge who thought that a firm had gone too far by producing 2,000 pages of ‘largely irrelevant’ evidence produced a scathing commentary, including the comment that ‘the practices…

201709.12

The Calculation of Personal Injury Compensation Payments

When a compensation award is made to the victim of an accident, the actual amount of the settlement is adjusted to take into account the interest the claimant can expect to earn by investing it. This is achieved by applying a ‘discount rate’, or ‘Ogden rate’ to the sum awarded. Traditionally, the percentage rate applied…