201705.25

Millionaire Father’s Manoeuvring Brought to Nought by High Court

Fathers sadly often try to conceal their true resources from mothers of their children – but family judges are well able to spot such manoeuvring and ensure that justice is done. In one striking case, the High Court described as absurd a multi-millionaire father’s claim to be down to his last £3,500. Despite the relatively…

201705.24

Homelessness – What Is a Reasonable Offer of Accommodation?

Local authorities have a legal duty to provide accommodation to homeless people in priority need – but the demand for public housing is so great that it cannot be satisfied. That impasse was clearly illustrated by a Supreme Court case concerning a traumatised refugee who said that the flat to which she had been allocated…

201705.22

Buying a House? Professional Advice Gives You Peace of Mind

Buying a house is the biggest investment most people ever make and that is why it is so very important to have the assurance of professional advice before proceeding. In one case in which advice received was negligent, a disappointed buyer at least had the comfort of being guaranteed full compensation for her loss. The…

201705.19

Paying Divorce Maintenance? Have Your Financial Circumstances Changed?

A decree absolute, ending a marriage, does not necessarily signal the end of judicial involvement in divorce. As one High Court case showed, financial arrangements can be revisited in the light of changed circumstances, including children growing up, the formation of new relationships and increases and decreases in income. The case concerned a middle-aged NHS…

201705.18

Restrictive Covenant Amended To Enable House Building Plans

Covenants restricting the use of land commonly appear on title deeds, but they often date back many years and take no account of changing circumstances. A tribunal’s ruling, however, has shown that they are not written in stone and can be amended to ensure that scarce land supplies, particularly for housing, are put to good…

201705.18

Rain Is Inevitable But the Damage It Causes is ‘Fortuitous’

As anyone who lives in England knows all too well, rain is inevitable. However, in an important decision for the construction and insurance industries, the High Court has ruled that damage caused by heavy precipitation during a road-building project was nevertheless ‘fortuitous’, and thus covered by an all-risks policy. A company that had been contracted…

201705.17

Kit Kat Shape Cannot Be Trade Mark, Rules Court

The long-running ‘chocolate wars’ between Cadbury and Nestlé over the shape of the Kit Kat has led to a judgment today from the Court of Appeal. The case resulted from an attempt by Nestlé to register the shape of the Kit Kat as a trade mark applying to chocolate products in the UK. Cadbury opposed…

201705.17

Buying a Home Together? Do The Title Deeds Reflect Your Contributions?

Loving couples often contribute together to the cost of buying a home. However, if legal advice is unwisely dispensed with, such arrangements are often not recorded on title deeds and, as one tribunal case showed, that can store up serious trouble for the future. The case concerned a couple who, despite having been through an…

201705.16

Does Your Insurance Cover What You Want It to Cover?

There is no point taking out insurance policies that do not meet your needs and it is well worth taking professional advice to ensure that they are tailored to you. The issue was highlighted by one case concerning two brothers who were in business together and insured each other against death or critical illness. After…

201705.15

Equal Sharing Principle Rigorously Applied in £1 Billion Divorce Case

The equal sharing principle applies in the vast majority of divorce cases nowadays – even where the sums of money involved are truly enormous. In one High Court case exactly on point, a billionaire oil and gas trader was ordered to pay his ex-wife a total of more than £450 million. Despite difficulties in their…

201705.11

Record Fine for Nuisance Calls

The Information Commissioner has fined a firm that made nearly 100 million automated nuisance calls over an 18-month period £400,000 after receiving more than a thousand complaints. This is the largest such fine levied to date. Keurboom Marketing made the calls seeking to create leads for firms regarding personal payment insurance (PPI) mis-selling and compensation…