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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...

Severe Menopausal Symptoms Can Amount to a Disability, ET Rules

The word 'disability' may summon images of people suffering from grave physical incapacity but, in employment law terms, it has a much broader meaning than that. In an employment case on point, a woman who was suffering from the ill effects of the menopause...

Writer's Ex-Partner Wins Recognition as Co-Author of Hollywood Screenplay

Professional writers often receive assistance and inspiration from friends, family and others, but to what extent, if any, should their contributions be recognised in law? The High Court addressed that issue in the context of a broken relationship between...

Guideline Land Registration Ruling Focuses on Former Industrial Site

One might think that an inspection of the Land Register would be a conclusive and straightforward means of identifying the owner of any particular property. However, an unusual case concerning a former industrial site showed that these matters can be...

Employer Brought to Book for Maternity/Pregnancy Discrimination

Employers who are found to have discriminated on the grounds of pregnancy or maternity will swiftly be brought to book. That was certainly so in the case of a tanning salon worker who learnt that she was being made redundant out of the blue on the very day...

Maker of 'Shapewear' Jeans Blocks 'Rip-Off' Product from the Market

There is nothing more galling than witnessing competitors profiting at your expense by ripping off your original ideas and designs. As a High Court case concerning a novel variety of 'body-enhancing' jeans showed , however, intellectual property lawyers are...

What Exactly Is a 'Property Developer'? Tax Tribunal Confronts the Issue

It might be thought that the meaning of the phrase 'property developer' is as clear as a bell. However, in a tax case of great significance to corporate property owners , its precise definition proved challenging to say the least. The case concerned the...

Going into Business with a Friend? Never Dispense with Legal Advice

If you are going into business with a friend or family member you trust, you may think there is no need to consult a solicitor so that arrangements between you can be formalised in writing. A High Court ruling, however, showed exactly why that is such a...

High Court Scotches Housing Development Close to Historic Manor House

Britain glories in its listed buildings and other heritage assets and planning policies require that great weight be given to their preservation. The High Court made that point in scotching a proposal to build 73 new homes on a site adjacent to a 13th...

Whistleblowing - Not Every Disclosure Deserves Protection

In order to qualify for legal protection, whistleblowers must genuinely believe that the disclosures they make to their employers are justified and in the public interest. The Court of Appeal underlined the point in a case concerning a banker who was sacked...

Live Boxing Events Organiser Granted 'Dynamic' Internet Blocking Order

Organisers of sporting and other events who derive much of their income from pay-per-view or subscription live streaming are fighting a constant war against internet piracy. As a High Court case showed , with the assistance of judges and the legal...

Commercial Tenant Pays Price for Leaving Site Contaminated by Asbestos

Most commercial leases require tenants to leave premises in a decent state of repair on their departure and failing to comply with such an obligation can have serious financial consequences. That was certainly so in the case of a light industrial site on...

Financier's 'Utility Token' Golden Hello Triggers Employment Test Case

Online trading in a wide range of cryptocurrencies, tokens and vouchers has taken off in the past few years and the law faces a stiff challenge in keeping up with such developments. An employment case on point concerned a financier who was promised 10,000...

Whether Contracting with Friend or Foe, Legal Formality Always Matters

Even experienced businesspeople are all too often tempted to dispense with legal formality and do oral deals with those they know and trust. As a High Court case underlined , however, friendships have a nasty habit of turning sour and such arrangements are...

Rightmove Fails in 'Confusingly Similar' Website Complaint

If your potential clients are being diverted to a website bearing a confusingly similar name to your own, you may have grounds for legal complaint. However, as a case concerning leading online estate agency Rightmove Group Ltd showed, asserting such...

The Law Cracks Down on £35 Million 'Mafia-type' VAT/Duty Evasion Fraud

The immense profits that can be made from the fraudulent evasion of VAT and import duties makes it an attractive proposition for organised criminals. However, as a case concerning wine imports showed , HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are wise to such...

Children's Activity Lake Planning Permission Survives Noise Objections

The noise of playing children screaming and shouting is purgatory to some but, in a High Court case, such concerns were not enough to convince a judge that planning permission for an adventure activity lake in the grounds of a historic manor house should...

Low-Paid Workers' Union Triumphs in COVID-19 Health and Safety Test Case

Many low-paid workers who have an essential role in keeping the nation moving are at particularly high risk from the COVID-19 pandemic. In a ground-breaking decision, the High Court came to their aid in ruling that the Government is obliged under European...

High Court Ruling Underlines the Benefits of English Arbitration Clauses

As a guideline High Court decision emphasised , the greatest advantage of including English arbitration clauses in commercial contracts is that they prevent litigation from proliferating around the world and focus dispute resolution on a single,...

Commercial Tenants - How Well Do You Understand Your Obligations?

Before signing up to a commercial lease, tenants should always take expert legal advice to ensure they truly understand the obligations they are taking on. The point was powerfully made by a case in which the insurance provisions of a lease became the focus...