Legal News

High Court Detects Apparent Bias in Residential Planning Decision

Justice should not only be done but should be seen to be done. That phrase may be somewhat hackneyed but, as a High Court planning case showed , it is a golden rule that serves to root out even the appearance of bias in official decision-making. The case...

Judge Unravels Agatha Christie-Style Plot to Detect Will Forgery

Agatha Christie would struggle to imagine the plots of some inheritance disputes that come before the courts. That was certainly so in one case in which a judge found that a son resorted to forgery in concocting a bogus will after his mother died. Prior...

Neighbours Encroaching on Your Right of Way? Consult a Lawyer Today

Many homes or businesses are only accessible via neighbours' land and that can prove fertile ground for dispute. However, as a High Court case showed , expert lawyers are adept at ensuring their clients' unhindered use of rights of way. A couple's home and...

Court Upholds Planning Consent for Heliport Close to Fuel Storage Depots

Few human activities are entirely risk free but, when deciding whether to authorise potentially hazardous developments, planning professionals have to keep the worst-case scenario well in mind. In a case on point, the High Court opened the way for...

Father's Failure to Make a Will Plunges His Widow Into Legal Difficulties

One of the best things you can do for your loved ones is to sign a professionally drafted will. As a High Court case showed , failing to take that easy and cost-effective step is to risk plunging those closest to you into legal difficulties after you are...

Homeowner Pays Price for Unauthorised Subterranean Leisure Development

Judges play a crucial enforcement role in the planning process and those who fail to comply with their orders can expect stern punishment. In one case, a homeowner who breached planning control when he built a huge subterranean leisure facility under his...

Break Clauses in Commercial Leases - What Does 'Vacant Possession' Mean?

Commercial leases frequently stipulate that premises are to be handed back to the landlord 'with vacant possession' – but what exactly does that mean? The Court of Appeal pondered the issue in a case concerning an office block that was stripped back...

Court Honours Woman's Intentions by Correcting Clerical Error in Her Will

Even the most carefully drafted will can contain inadvertent clerical errors that leave room for doubt as to the document's true meaning. As a High Court ruling showed , however, judges happily have the power to correct such mistakes so as to ensure that...

Deemed Commercial Tenancy Inferred from Possession and Payment of Rent

Even in the absence of a formal lease, the existence of a tenancy can in some cases be inferred from an occupier's exclusive possession of premises and the payment of rent. The Upper Tribunal (UT) did just that in opening the way for a company to seek...

Making a Will? This is Why You Should Appoint a Professional Executor

Family relationships can be red in tooth and claw and appointing relatives, rather than a professional, as executors of your will can prove a costly mistake. That was certainly so in one case, where bitter litigation between siblings resulted in legal costs...

Embarking on a Property Development? Consulting a Solicitor is Step One

Before embarking on any form of property development it is absolutely vital to seek a lawyer's confirmation that you are entitled to proceed. The point was underlined by the case of a couple who knocked down their home and replaced it with a block of flats...

Tower Block Owners Granted Pre-Emptive Anti-Urban Exploring Injunction

Commercial property owners are increasingly plagued by so-called 'urban explorers' who risk life and limb by scaling high-rise buildings for the entertainment of an online audience. As a High Court ruling showed , however, judges can take effective –...

Don't Delay Making a Will Until You Feel the Hand of Mortality Upon You

Far too many people put off making a will until ill health strikes and reminds them of their mortality. In a striking case on point, the High Court ruled that a will signed by a prosperous farmer when he was in his 80s and suffering from dementia was not...

Has Your Property Been Compulsorily Purchased? Don't Sit on Your Hands

If your property has been compulsorily purchased by a public authority to make way for an infrastructure project, you should be entitled to compensation. As one case showed , however, such claims are subject to a strict time limit and lodging them at the...

Wealthy Father Under No Obligation to Maintain His Healthy Adult Daughters

Parents generally owe no legal duty financially to maintain their adult children. That principle proved decisive in the case of a businessman who was worth almost £2.2 million when he died, but who left not a penny to his daughters. Having enjoyed a...
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