Legal News

Depressed Supermarket Worker Wins Disability Discrimination Payout

Disability is a broad legal concept and encompasses not just physical incapacity but also mental ill health and all of its consequences. In one case, a supermarket worker whose short temper was a symptom of his depressive illness won more than £6,000...

What is an 'Existing Building'? - Tax Tribunal Clarifies the Law

A property owner who demolishes an existing dwelling house and replaces it with an entirely new one is entitled to reclaim VAT on the costs of construction – but what happens if part of the original building is retained? A tribunal considered that...

Smoking and Compensation for Asbestos Exposure - Striking a Balance

It is hard to believe that 60 years ago doctors appeared in advertisements recommending a particular brand of cigarette, but the harmful effects of smoking on health were simply not known about back then. At the same time, thousands of people were exposed to...

Student Bedsits Are Not 'Separate Dwellings'

In a decision of great importance to landlords of student accommodation , a tribunal has found that bedsits with communal facilities are not separate dwellings. The ruling meant that the tribunal had no power to consider an attempt by a group of students to...

Equality of Division of Assets on Divorce Abolished? Hardly

The popular press has made a great deal of a recent Court of Appeal case , reporting that there had been a significant departure from the general principle that the assets built up by a couple during their marriage are to be split more or less equally on...

Widow Wins Accident Damages Claim

Not all cases in which settlements are received are straightforward. Sometimes, achieving a fair outcome requires doggedness and determination. A recent claim involved an accident in which a 91-year-old man sustained multiple fractures when he was hit by a...

GDPR Guide and Steps to Take

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a comprehensive data protection regime which will start to be enforced in the UK in May 2018. The penalties for non-compliance can be very substantial – for serious breaches, up to 4 per cent of global...

Court Upholds Restrictions on Holiday Homes

The old adage that 'an Englishman's home is his castle' is only partially true and the impact of planning law on a property owner's rights can be far-reaching – even extending to limiting the right of occupation. This is particularly an issue in areas...

Police Officer Wins Over £12,000 for Flea Bite

A freedom of information request regarding compensation paid to police officers emphasises that employees who are injured at work will be entitled to damages if their employer is responsible for their injuries. One case concerned a police officer employed...

Workplace Disciplinary Action - Does the Penalty Fit the Offence?

When it comes to workplace disciplinary action, it is vital for employers to ensure that the penalty fits the offence. In one striking case where that certainly did not happen, a bus driver who was unfairly dismissed for shooting a red light after 37 years'...

High Court Dementia Ruling - Judge Acts to Protect Widow

Amidst an ageing population, the role of judges in protecting the weak, vulnerable and infirm is of ever increasing importance. In one case that proves the point, the High Court stepped in to set aside land transfers made by an elderly farmer with dementia...

Court of Appeal Applies Commercial Clarity to Contract Terms

Large construction or maintenance projects rarely proceed without at least a few surprises and the contracts for such projects are generally drafted with such eventualities in mind. One often-used technique is to use minimum performance level agreements,...

Spinal Tuberculosis Victim Wins Right to Seven-Figure Settlement

General practitioners are most patients' first port of call and mistakes they make can have devastating consequences. In one case, a man who was left paralysed by spinal tuberculosis won the right to substantial damages after a GP negligently failed to refer...

Private Investors - Beware of Wolves in Sheep's Clothing!

There have always been wolves in sheep's clothing ready to take unfair advantage of private investors and they can be difficult to spot without professional advice. In one case, a company that participated in the sale of coloured diamonds to the public at...

Bingo Hall Toilet Roll Dispenser 'Not a Hazard', Judge Rules

Companies that deal with the public have a wide-ranging duty to protect them from foreseeable risks of injury. However, in one case, a judge ruled that a toilet roll dispenser in a bingo hall lavatory did not constitute a predictable hazard. A woman was...

Using Fansites? Take Care What You Say

Among football fans it is very well known that the owners and supporters of Blackpool FC are not on good terms. It is also common knowledge that comments on fan websites can be very immoderate at times. However, a recent case shows that no matter how deep...

Failing to Plan Ahead Creates Problems for Family Companies

Although no one likes to think about their own death, failing to be prepared for all eventualities can cause chaos in family companies, which are often dependent for their success on the skills of a small number of people. The point could hardly have been...

Place Name Trade Mark Prevents Confusion

Newspapers periodically contain stories about the restrictions on use of terms that are geographically well known, for example the restriction on the use of the word 'Champagne' to describe sparkling wine. In addition to geographical restrictions, proper...

Former Printer Wins Hearing Loss Damages

A man from Lancaster has won compensation for hearing loss in a case that serves as a reminder of the dangers of working in noisy environments. Nicholas Edwards worked for the same company for 15 years, first as a printer and later as a paste mixer and...

Court Unsympathetic When Mum Takes Law Into Own Hands

No matter how much you may be tempted, taking the law into your own hands is not a good idea. When a mother who was divorcing her husband in Hawaii obtained the agreement of the US court to take the couple's children, aged 9 and 11, back to the UK for a...

Prison Officer Wins Substantial Damages for Psychiatric Injuries

Workplace disciplinary proceedings can be extremely stressful and it is foreseeable that dragging them out unnecessarily can cause psychiatric harm to employees. In one case, a prison officer who had serious allegations of sexual misconduct hanging over him...

The Role of Companions at Disciplinary and Grievance Hearings

Under the Employment Relations Act 1999 a worker has the right to be accompanied by a fellow worker or trade union representative at an internal disciplinary or grievance procedure hearing, provided the request is reasonable in the circumstances. A worker...

You Can Make Your Council Tidy Up Bad Housing

Unoccupied and decaying properties can have a serious impact on the neighbourhood and can become a focus for vandalism and anti-social behaviour. However, as one case showed , local authorities have a range of powers to deal with such eyesores, even if...

Don't Litigate Without a Lawyer to Tell You When You're Wrong!

One reason why it is rarely advisable to represent yourself in litigation is that you need a good lawyer to tell you when you are wrong. That point could hardly have been more clearly made than by a case in which a widower claimed that his sister had made...

SIPPs and Your Business Property

The Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) was introduced in order to give people far more control over how their pension pots are invested and have proven to be very popular with pension savers. One common use of the SIPP in a business context is to sell...
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