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Civil Litigation Updates

Inheritance Tax Charity Exemption Does Not Extend to Overseas Trusts

Published on: 10 October 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

In a decision of importance to charities and to any British citizen who is domiciled abroad, but who has assets in the UK, the Court of Appeal has ruled that £600,000 in Inheritance Tax (IHT) was properly charged on a woman’s bequest of over £1.8 million for the benefit of elderly Jersey residents.

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High Court Considers Fallout from $1 Billion Russian Bank Collapse

Published on: 08 August 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

The civil courts in London are favoured by litigants from around the world and, in a case which underlined their international repute, the High Court’s assistance was called upon to recover funds allegedly defrauded in a $1 billion Russian banking scandal.

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Fatal Accident Compensation Boosted by Supreme Court Ruling

Published on: 25 February 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

In a classic example of the law moving on to meet the ever-changing requirements of modern life, the Supreme Court has corrected a legal anomaly which had for many years resulted in the loved ones of fatal accident victims being under-compensated.

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Guidance on Reasonable Adjustments to Ensure a Fair Hearing

Published on: 21 February 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Employment Tribunals frequently deal with allegations of disability discrimination in the workplace and are themselves under a duty to ensure that their procedures match up to the requirements of equality rules. In one case, those exacting standards were found to have been met in a case involving an autistic litigant.

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High Court Ruling Reveals Downsides of the Corporate Veil

Published on: 08 February 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Everyone knows that the corporate veil has the advantage of shielding directors from personal liability – however, far fewer people are aware of its downsides. In one case which illustrated that point, a businessman who dealt with a bank entirely through his company failed to establish that he was himself the bank’s customer.

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Government Shift in Whiplash Claims Policy Upheld

Published on: 21 December 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Businesses which suffer due to shifts in government policy are not without recourse. However, one matter involving the introduction of a centralised means of instructing medical experts in whiplash cases underlined that the public interest will generally prevail.

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Crocodile Handbag Owner Scores Victory for Individual Rights

Published on: 18 May 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Rules may be rules, but their rigid application by the state, without consideration of individual circumstances, is unlawful. In a case which illustrated the point, a woman whose designer crocodile-skin handbag was seized by the UK Border Force (UKBF) has scored a triumph over officialdom.

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Pestered by Unsolicited Marketing? Your Complaints Will be Heard

Published on: 22 February 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Members of the public who are pestered by aggressive and unsolicited marketing will be interested to hear that the Government has wide powers to protect consumers against those responsible for the irritating flood of cold calls and junk mail.

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Legal Aid Cuts Impact on Family Justice

Published on: 13 January 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

In a case which highlighted the impact of legal aid cuts on the family justice system, a teenager who faced being cross-examined in court by a man accused of sexually abusing her will instead be questioned by a lawyer following a judge's decision that HM Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) must foot the bill.

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Controversial Employment Tribunal Fees Are Lawful

Published on: 16 December 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Controversial charges imposed on those who use Employment Tribunals (ETs) have been approved by the High Court – despite a trade union’s plea that they discriminate against the poor, weak and vulnerable, rendering their employment rights illusory.

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Saudi Prince Faces $6 Million Bill for Standing on Protocol

Published on: 10 December 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

A Saudi Arabian prince who said that he was prevented by ‘protocol’ from engaging in extraordinarily bitter commercial litigation in London has been landed with a multi-million-dollar bill as a consequence of his failure to co-operate with the legal process.

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Insurer Bites Back (Unsuccessfully)

Published on: 09 October 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Insurer Bites Back (Unsuccessfully)

In an example of the increasingly tough stance insurers are taking towards what they regard as fraudulent or seriously overstated claims, Zurich Insurance has recently applied to have a claimant jailed for contempt of court.

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Criminal Legal Aid Reforms Thrown Into Disarray

Published on: 24 September 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

In a stunning victory for hundreds of criminal law firms – and a huge embarrassment for the Government – the High Court has struck down a cornerstone of the Lord Chancellor’s controversial reforms of the criminal legal aid system.

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‘Partner’ or ‘Employee’? – High Court Rules

Published on: 10 August 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

In treading the vexed borderland between ‘partnership’ and ‘employment’, the High Court has ruled that the former head of a law firm’s property department should not be exposed to a £1 million claim brought by a group of angry former clients.

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Defiance of Court Orders Does Not Go Unpunished!

Published on: 07 September 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

It is vitally important that defiance of court orders does not go unpunished and judges have a panoply of powers to enforce compliance. In one debt recovery action, two businessmen who repeatedly disobeyed an order requiring them to give full disclosure of their assets were given a month to fall into line or go to prison.

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High Court Ensures Equality of Arms in Big Money Family Case

Published on: 07 August 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

It is not unusual for there to be very substantial differences in the financial resources available to opposing sides in litigation. However, one family case involving a hugely rich father and the mother of his child, who had no money of her own, showed that the courts will bend over backwards to ensure equality of arms.

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Are You Being Sued? Swift Action is Imperative!

Published on: 24 February 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

If you suffer the misfortune of being sued, swift action is imperative and good legal advice will ensure that you do not freeze in the headlights. In one case which made that point, a building contractor who responded to a client’s breach of contract claim in dilatory fashion ended up being heavily penalised in legal costs.

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Personal Service of Bankruptcy Petitions – High Court Guidance

Published on: 09 February 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Personal Service of Bankruptcy Petitions – High Court Guidance

Legal documents that are not properly served on those who are affected by them are often not worth the paper they are written on. In one guideline decision of interest to anyone involved in the debt recovery field, the High Court analysed the nature of personal service in the context of a bankruptcy case.

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Supreme Court Cracks Down on Litigation Manoeuvring

Published on: 30 December 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Supreme Court Cracks Down on Litigation Manoeuvring

In a stern decision of which all litigants should take careful note, the Supreme Court cracked the whip and underlined that tactical manoeuvring and failures to comply with case management orders will not be tolerated.

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Overturning Arbitration Awards Presents a Very High Hurdle

Published on: 17 December 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Contracting parties who submit their disputes to arbitration agree in advance to abide by the result. Such agreements do not oust the power of the High Court to intervene to put right any injustice, but obtaining such relief represents a very high hurdle, as one case involving a substantial distribution contract illustrated.

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Delay Stymies €7.3 Million Debt Appeal

Published on: 21 April 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Legal action is almost always subject to strict time limits and failure to seek prompt professional advice can have catastrophic consequences. In one case, a woman’s hopes of challenging a €7.3 million debt claim against her were stymied by a three-week delay in her lodging an appeal.

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Sotheby’s Cleared of Negligence in ‘Caravaggio Painting’ Row

Published on: 21 January 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

A man who accused auction house Sotheby’s of negligently selling a painting which could have been by Italian baroque master Caravaggio for just £42,000 has had his hopes of multi-million-pound compensation dashed by the High Court.

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Businessman Jailed for ‘Crash for Cash’ Contempt

Published on: 18 December 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

In a case which represents a major toughening of the judicial approach to ‘crash for cash’ frauds, a businessman who invented a sham road shunt in an attempt to win more than £130,000 in damages has received a 12-month jail term for his contempt of court.

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Wheelchairs, Buses and Disability Discrimination

Published on: 15 December 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Wheelchairs, Buses and Disability Discrimination

In a test case which helps to define the outer limits of disability discrimination, the Court of Appeal has ruled that a bus company was not obliged to have in place a policy requiring mothers with pushchairs to make way for wheelchair users.

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Bereft Amateur Investor Left it Too Late to Sue

Published on: 09 November 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

Bereft Amateur Investor Left it Too Late to Sue

In a telling reminder to amateur investors that they should seek legal advice straight away if they feel let down by their financial advisers, a woman who lost a chunk of her life savings in a misguided bid to make them grow will go uncompensated after she left it too late to sue.

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Time for a financial check up?

Following the loans written off by Wonga is your business suffering from debts owed?  Lydia Stuart-Banks provides some help guidance.

Law Firm Targeted by Ex-Client Wins Anti-Harassment Order

Published on: 02 October 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

A law firm which was targeted by a dissatisfied former client – who embarked on an Internet campaign of vilification which threatened to gravely damage its reputation – has been granted an anti-harassment injunction against him.

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Fridge Freezer Not to Blame for House Fire

Published on: 10 September 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

A homeowner who blamed a devastating house fire on an alleged electrical fault in a commonplace fridge freezer had his hopes of winning compensation from its manufacturer dashed by a judge – who ruled that there was ‘nothing wrong’ with the two-year-old appliance.

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Disappointed Job Applicant Accused of Blackmail

Published on: 28 July 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Civil Litigation Updates | News and Updates

A restaurateur who was bitterly disappointed not to be offered a job by a leading IT company has ended up being hit with a High Court injunction after he got hold of confidential information and was accused of blackmail.

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