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COVID-19 - Retailer Unlawfully Refused Government Financial Support

If you run a business and feel that you were wrongly denied government financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic, you should contact a solicitor straight away. A small fashion retailer who did just that succeeded in a High Court challenge . The...

Is Data Centre 'White Space' Subject to Business Rates? Question Answered

In order to be subject to non-domestic rates, a commercial space must be capable of beneficial occupation for the purpose for which it is intended. In a guideline case, a tribunal considered whether that criterion is met by so-called 'white space' in the...

Contract Adjudications - One Dispute or More? High Court Gives Guidance

It is established law that contract adjudicators do not have authority to consider more than one dispute at a time. However, as a High Court ruling made plain, there is a potential conflict between that rule and the public policy imperative to encourage...

Employer's Hardline Anti-Corruption Policy Passes Legal Test

Many businesses, particularly those that deal with governmental authorities, sensibly have anti-corruption policies in place. One such policy came under close analysis in an employment case concerning a golfing trip provided to a public official ( Thompson...

Is Your Lease Under Threat of Forfeiture? Don't Delay Consulting a Solicitor

Tenants who fail to pay their rent on time place themselves in real danger of having their leases forfeited. As a Court of Appeal ruling showed , that risk exists no matter how small the arrears and no matter how short the delay in payment may be. The case...

Employee or Self-Employed Partner? Guideline Tax Tribunal Ruling

When discerning whether an individual is an employee or a self-employed partner in a professional firm, judges look beyond the label attached to their engagement and focus on the reality of the relationship. A tax tribunal ruling provided a prime example of...

Penal Clause 'Cunningly Concealed' in Telecommunications Contract

Onerous terms and conditions cunningly hidden amidst the small print of a contract are likely to be viewed as entirely worthless by a judge. The High Court made that point in trenchantly criticising a contract presented by a mobile phone and...

Employment Contracts and the Implication of Terms by Custom and Practice

Workers wishing to discern the extent of their entitlements need usually do no more than read their employment contracts. As one case showed, the occasions when further rights are to be implied into a contract, having been established by custom and practice,...

High Court Steps In to Unwind Former Friends' Joint Property Venture

Friends who go into business together sadly often forget that personal relationships do not always stand the test of time. Trust alone does not provide a firm foundation for such ventures and, as a High Court ruling showed, legal formality at the outset...

Film Studios Faced by Piracy Scourge Granted Internet Blocking Orders

Wholesale copyright infringement – otherwise known as piracy – has been a feature of the internet almost since its inception. In coming decisively to the aid of six major film and television studios, however, the High Court showed that...

Would Your Workplace Disciplinary Procedures Withstand ET Scrutiny?

Workplace disciplinary hearings should always be conducted on the assumption that the fairness of the procedure followed is in future likely to be rigorously tested by an Employment Tribunal (ET). A case on point concerned an adult education worker who was...

Company Accounts Cannot Be Retrospectively Adjusted for Convenience

A company's accounts cannot be retrospectively adjusted to meet the convenience of its directors. The High Court made that point in ruling that the reclassification of a director's loan account just before a company entered liquidation was of no legal...

Overflying Jets - RAF Fends Off Unlawful Noise Nuisance Claim

Noise pollution may blight people's lives, but it by no means always amounts to an unlawful nuisance for which compensation is payable. The High Court resoundingly made that point in a case concerning a holiday park frequently overflown by noisy RAF jets. ...

Maternity Discrimination Victim Receives Substantial Compensation

Maternity leave should be a period of joy and tranquillity but, all too often, it is marred by discrimination. As an Employment Tribunal (ET) decision showed, however, employers who treat new mothers unfavourably can expect to pay a high reputational and...

Received an Adverse Tax Decision? Don't Delay Seeking Professional Advice

If you are on the receiving end of an adverse tax decision, any delay in seeking legal advice can be fatal to your cause. In a case on point, an importer of mobility scooters came dangerously close to losing its right of appeal against six-figure tax...

Business Relationship Fallen Apart? The Law Can Help Pick Up the Pieces

No matter how long and successful a business relationship may be, there is always a risk that it may end acrimoniously. Such disputes can be intractable and, as a High Court ruling showed , there are times when only the law can provide closure. The case...

Commercial Premises - Where Does the Burden of COVID-19 Losses Fall?

Where the COVID-19 pandemic rendered the use of commercial premises illegal or unviable, should the resulting losses fall on the landlord or the tenant? The High Court pondered that burning issue in a decision of vital importance to property professionals...

AI Machines May Take Over, But Not Yet - Landmark Patents Ruling

Artificial intelligence may be advanced but, at least so far as patent law is concerned, it has yet to overcome the human monopoly on inventiveness. The point was made by a Court of Appeal test case concerning devices that were said to have been invented by...

COVID-19 Lockdowns No Excuse for Sub-Standard Redundancy Processes

The COVID-19 lockdowns plunged thousands of businesses into dire financial straits but, as an Employment Tribunal (ET) ruling showed, the unprecedented crisis in no way relieved hard-pressed employers of their legal obligation to manage redundancy processes...

Commercial Negotiations - Talk is Cheap But Writing is Binding

Commercial negotiations often involve many meetings and any amount of talk, but the question of whether anything has actually been agreed is a common source of dispute. As a High Court case showed, the only real way to avoid such discord is to engage a...

Royal Park Boathouse Can't Be Removed by Departing Contractor

Those who are awarded public contracts very often make substantial investments in property and equipment so that they can perform their obligations – but who owns the product of such investments? The High Court considered that issue in a case...

Whistleblowing Nurse's Dismissal 'Grossly Unfair'

There are few things more serious in an employment context than sacking a whistleblower for performing a valuable public service. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) made that point in the case of a highly regarded nurse who was treated grossly unfairly for...

Bidding at an Auction? Do You Understand Your Legal Obligations?

There are few things more thrilling than bidding at an auction, but raising your paddle has very real legal consequences. A case on point concerned a businessman who mistakenly believed that he was acting solely on behalf of a company when he bought two...

Hotel Management Company Director Pays Personal Price for VAT Default

If your company is trading in default of its tax obligations, the corporate veil may very well afford you no protection against the financial consequences. The sole director and shareholder of a hotel management company that failed to register for VAT found...

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...