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Waiver of Contractual Rights by Conduct - Instructive High Court Ruling

Strict contractual rights, no matter how clearly defined, may be impliedly waived by conduct. That principle came under High Court analysis in a dispute concerning stalled plans for the construction of a space age engine testing centre. Trustees of a unit...

Has COVID-19 Cost You Your Job? Consult a Solicitor Without Delay

Numerous businesses have sadly gone bust during the COVID-19 pandemic and, if you are amongst the many thousands of employees left high and dry, you should consult a solicitor without delay. A retail worker who did just that was awarded 90 days' pay by an...

High Court Grants Breathing Space to Commercial Tenant Hit by Pandemic

Many commercial tenants who are experiencing cash-flow crises due to the COVID-19 pandemic have been constrained to stop paying rent and are racing to restructure their debts – but where does that leave their landlords? The High Court squarely...

UK Internet Entrepreneur Wins £75,000 Libel Damages from Overseas Website

The advent of the internet means that spotless professional reputations, built up over decades, can be traduced at the click of a button. As one case showed, however, if you are on the receiving end of such treatment, you don't have to take it lying down. ...

Can It Be Discriminatory to Make Disabled Job Hunters Apply Online?

An increasing number of employers require job applicants to fill out online forms and to submit their CVs and covering letters digitally. They should, however, take careful note of a case concerning a dyspraxia sufferer who categorised such an approach as an...

Property Investment Company Pays for 'Deliberate' VAT Return Default

Almost every business owner understands that feeling of desperation arising from cashflow problems. As a case concerning VAT due on a commercial property sale showed, however, treating tax liabilities as a can to be kicked down the road is never a sensible...

'Simple' Clause in Commercial Property Lease Triggers High Court Dispute

Commercial property leases can be long and complex documents, but it is often their most apparently simple clauses that give rise to dispute. That was certainly so in a High Court case concerning an airport hotel owner who was required to pay for its gas...

Never Personally Guarantee a Corporate Loan Without Legal Advice

Providing personal guarantees as security for corporate loans is for many businesspeople simply a price that has to be paid to achieve commercial success. As a High Court case showed , however, signing such a document is a momentous step that should never...

NHS Trust Pays Price for Manager's Practical Joke on Stressed Employee

Horseplay in any working environment is laden with risk for employers and that is certainly true of practical jokes. An Employment Tribunal (ET) resoundingly made that point in awarding almost £10,000 in compensation to an NHS worker who fell victim to...

High Court Aids Record Industry to Stamp Out Stream Ripping

The internet brings many benefits, but the widespread provision of software used in wholesale copyright infringement is decidedly not one of them. The High Court powerfully made that point in assisting record companies to stamp out the latest manifestation...

Digital News Publisher Tastes Defeat in VAT Zero-Rating Test Case

Those who draft legislation cannot possibly foresee technological advances that may transform society in the future. In a case on point , the Court of Appeal considered whether VAT zero-rating, afforded to newspapers since pre-internet days, should be...

Thinking of Signing a Lease Without Legal Advice? Just Don't Do It

Entering into a lease, whether commercial or residential, without taking legal advice is, to say the least, highly unwise. A landowner who fell into that trap put himself at serious risk of an unwanted tenant moving into his newly built home. The man bought...

Policies Restricting Employee Social Media Usage Can Be Legally Fraught

Policies which seek to restrain employees' inappropriate use of social media may seem sensible but they can be fraught with legal difficulties and require careful drafting by a professional. In a case on point, a vehicle paint sprayer who was unfairly...

Alleged Victim of Push Payment Fraud Fends Off Winding Up Petition

So-called 'push payment' frauds – often involving bogus emails providing false bank account details – can be very convincing and represent a scourge on individuals and businesses alike. In a High Court case, a company alleged to have suffered one...

High Court Contract Dispute Focuses on Online Gambling Domain Name

Internet domain names often change hands for large sums of money and disputes in respect of their ownership are an increasing source of litigation. A High Court ruling in one such case concerned a domain name which had strategic potential in the online...

Commercial Buildings Need to Be Practical - But Aesthetics Matter Too

Commercial buildings are not just boxes and, to many tenants, aesthetics are just as important as practicality. The High Court made that point in ordering a landlord to carry out multi-million-pound repairs to an iconic glass tower block. One of the...

Poor Record-Keeping is a Recipe for Dispute with the Tax Authorities

Sensible businesspeople understand that failing to keep proper accounting records and paper trails of transactions is an invitation to dispute with the tax authorities. In a case on point, a property developer came within an ace of incurring a substantial...

Equality and Diversity Training Needs Regular Refreshment to Be Effective

The provision of workplace equality and diversity training can afford employers a powerful defence in employment proceedings. As one case showed, however, such training is wont to become stale in employees' minds over time and is unlikely to be viewed as...

Aircraft Lease Arbitration Clause Comes Under High Court Microscope

Arbitration clauses are commonplace in commercial contracts and generally provide a relatively swift and cost-effective route to resolving disputes without resort to full-blown litigation. Their correct interpretation can, however, present a challenge and...

Vacant Possession and Commercial Lease Break Clauses - High Court Ruling

When exercising a break clause in a commercial lease, tenants are usually required to deliver up a property with vacant possession – but what exactly does that mean? The High Court confronted that issue in a case concerning a recording studio which...

Racism on the Shop Floor - Employers Can Expect to Carry the Can

Some shop floors are rough and ready places where foul language abounds, but if a worker makes a racist or other discriminatory comment it is likely to be the employer who ends up carrying the legal can. An Employment Tribunal (ET) ruling underlined the...

Inner Workings of Online Property Platforms Analysed in Shares Sale Row

Purchasers of private companies sadly often feel that they have been sold a pup, but making such an assertion is a great deal easier than proving it. That was certainly so in a case concerning the acquisition of a commercial lettings agency in which the High...

Mistaken £450,000 VAT Payment Triggers Construction Industry Dispute

The vexed distinction between building works that qualify for VAT zero-rating and those that do not can be puzzling even for construction industry professionals. A case on point focused on the tricky legal consequences of almost £450,000 in VAT having...

Commercial Contracts Undermined by Lockdown - Where Do Losses Fall?

Lockdowns put into force in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have rendered many commercial contracts unprofitable if not entirely inoperable. In a guideline case, the High Court considered where unforeseen losses arising under a local authority contract ...

Houses in Multiple Occupation - A Cautionary Tale for Errant Landlords

Pressure on the housing market has led to the conversion of many redundant office buildings into flats and the number of such projects is likely to be greatly increased by shifting work patterns brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. A Court of Appeal...