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Director Who Helped Herself Faces Music

It is hardly surprising that directors of companies that face insolvency often wish to recoup their investments before the balloon goes up. However, as one High Court case concerning a failed furniture retailer showed, they are not entitled to give their...

Court of Appeal Uses Real World Valuation Principles

An empty office block in Blackpool was given a rateable value (RV) of £490,000 by the local valuation officer, who made the valuation based on the expected rent for which the building could be let. The valuation was based on an assumed demand for a...

Incomplete Partnership Arrangements Lead to Court Appearance

When new partners are being introduced into a partnership, it is wise to finalise the arrangements quickly in case the partners fall out. Any lack of formality in the business arrangements can lead to trouble, as a recent case shows . The case concerned...

Incorrect Procedure Stymies Landlord

It is unusual when a case raises two different but significant points. A recent case dealt with issues raised when a landlord sought to obtain possession by 'peaceable re-entry' and the forfeiture of a lease when ground rent was not being paid. It...

Refusal to Cooperate Spells Trouble

Being made bankrupt is never a welcome experience, but failing to comply with reasonable requests of the Official Receiver can make matters even worse. Once a person is made bankrupt, they are required to deliver a statement of affairs within 21 days and to...

In Principle Planning Permission

One of the bugbears of UK planning law has always been that a lot of work has to be done before a planning application can be considered because an outline planning application must be made, except for certain proposed brownfield developments. The process...

Serving Companies with Legal Documents - High Court Guidance

Although companies are independent entities in law, they can only act through natural persons and serving a company with a legal document can therefore be tricky. The point was illustrated by a High Court ruling that effective service of arbitration...

Property Rights Wrangle Ends Up in Court

Dense tangles of rights of way, easements and other property rights are inevitable in the rabbit warren of heavily populated cities and are a common source of strife. Feelings ran particularly high in one High Court case concerning toilet facilities shared...

Pre-Trial Skirmishing Can Be as Important as the Main Event

In commercial litigation, many of the most important battles are fought before the trial even starts and those who drag their feet or fail to comply with judicial directions can find themselves hamstrung when it comes to the main event. Exactly that happened...

Absolute Discretion Has Limits

Construction disputes are a rich source of argument in the courts, and where the contract affords one party a 'discretion' with regard to its rights or obligations under the contract, disagreement can arise as to when this becomes operative. Recently, an...

Failure to Point Out Business Decline Proves Costly

When a business is sold, a 'due diligence' process is normally entered into to make sure that the representations made by the seller to the buyer, on which the buyer's valuation of the business will be based, are true. Failure to be forthright in disclosures...

Charges Must Be Reasonable to be Reasonably Incurred

The leases relating to tenancies in blocks of flats and similar buildings will normally require the tenants to make a reasonable contribution towards the 'estate' costs of the property. The estate costs are those which apply to the whole of the premises or...

Act When You Think You May Have a Claim, Not When You Know For Certain

The time to seek legal advice when you think something may be wrong is when you first have a concern, not later on when you know there is a problem. One reason for this is that there are legal limitation periods for bringing claims, and in claims involving...

Follow Proper Planning Procedures or Else

An argument over a planning permission for a small rural development has necessitated the intervention of the Court of Appeal , which confirmed that a council that failed to follow its own planning guidelines could not grant permission for a development...

If You Help Fund a Claim You May Be Liable if it Fails

It is not unusual for the cost of litigation – especially where a group of companies is involved – to be paid for in whole or in part by a person or organisation that is not directly involved in the dispute. It should be remembered, however,...

Contract Terms Clarified by Court

No amount of careful drafting can be guaranteed to iron out disagreements as to the true meaning of contract terms and when a dispute occurs it may require the intervention of a judge to bring clarity. One case exactly on point concerned a contract for the...

Insolvency and Assignment of Causes of Action - High Court Ruling

On the basis that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, it is common for liquidators of insolvent companies to assign (transfer the rights to) any claims that they might wish to pursue on behalf of creditors to specialists in the field. One such...

Council's Drafting Error Opens Way for Change of Use

Planning permissions mean what they say and judges are very reluctant to imply terms into them, even in order to correct flawed drafting. That point was made by the High Court as it opened the way for a former DIY store to be used for food retailing. ...

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right

When a contract is breached and one party suffers a loss as a result, they are normally entitled to be compensated for their loss by the party that has breached the contract. Whilst there are a number of ways the breach can be dealt with by the courts, the...
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