Williamsons Solicitors News Stories

Company in contempt after salesman disobeyed


In a salutary warning to employers that they can be held responsible for actions taken by their staff, even if they are carried out contrary to instructions, a company has been held in contempt of… Read More

International co-operation on tax debt


In a triumph of co-operation between the UK and South African tax authorities, the Court of Appeal has dismissed a challenge to the scope of the Joint Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance… Read More

Judge copied ‘almost all’ his decision


In the context of a £1.8 million debt recovery claim, a senior judge has been heavily criticised by the Court of Appeal for lifting the vast majority of his judgment, word for word, from one of the… Read More

£100 million subsidence claim proceeds


The owners of Britain’s largest privately-owned stately home have achieved a major success in their quest for more than £100 million in compensation to repair damage done to its monumental… Read More

‘Letters of support’ not legally enforceable

Construction site

The central issue before the High Court in a recent case was whether a number of letters of support written by a parent company and sent to the directors of a daughter/subsidiary company were… Read More

Asda refused £300,000 import duty rebate


Asda Stores Limited has failed to persuade the Upper Tribunal that customs duty it was charged on the importation of garment hangers and other ancillary items from outside the European Union took no… Read More

Health and safety high hurdles


In a ruling which underlines that the tough requirements of health and safety rules can be substantially more stringent than duties imposed at common law, the Court of Appeal has upheld a £58,000… Read More

‘Britain’s biggest mosque’ plans rejected


Controversial plans to build Britain’s biggest mosque in east London have been put in jeopardy by a High Court injunction requiring cessation of the site’s use for religious worship. The London… Read More

English judge had Jersey jurisdiction


In a decision which dispels uncertainty over the extent to which English judges can co-operate with overseas courts in the context of insolvency proceedings, the Court of Appeal has acceded to a… Read More

Keyword ad infringed Interflora trade marks


In a ruling of significance to all internet advertisers, the Interflora flower delivery network has achieved a qualified victory in a trade mark infringement claim against Marks and Spencer Plc… Read More

Tenant entitled to rent refund


In circumstances where a tenant of commercial property paid a full quarter’s rent notwithstanding that the lease was terminated pursuant to a break clause midway through that quarter, the tenant was… Read More

Prisoner not an employee


In a ruling which underlines that payment for services does not necessarily imply the existence of an employment relationship, a court has decided that the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) could not be… Read More

Employment rights – ministers of religion


The Supreme Court has ruled that a Methodist Minister was not an employee of the Church and so cannot pursue a claim for unfair dismissal . Hayley Preston became an ordained Minister of the… Read More

Unfairly dismissed teacher wins re-engagement


In circumstances where an education provider was directed by an employment tribunal to re-engage an unfairly dismissed teacher, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has underlined that such a course… Read More

Paternity publication was ‘in the public interest’


In dismissing a breach of privacy action in respect of press reports of a prominent politician’s alleged paternity of a three-year-old girl (AAA) following an adulterous affair, the Court of Appeal… Read More

Disciplinary hearing was too long and arduous


Disciplinary hearings are often arduous but an Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruling has emphasised that wise employers will keep them as stress-free as possible. Where the first day of a hearing… Read More

Blind NHS worker wins discrimination claim


An NHS worker who was ultimately made redundant following a serious deterioration in her sight is due substantial compensation after the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruled that her employers… Read More

Off-road campaign wins ‘green lanes’ battle


In an important ruling for landowners and countryside campaigners, motorcyclists and off-road vehicle enthusiasts have scored a major success in their fight to open up five Dorset ‘green lanes’ to… Read More

Thief fails in claim against accomplice

White van

In a ruling which re-asserts the maxim that no one should be compensated for the consequences of their own criminal act, a thief who sued his accomplice after he was catastrophically injured in a… Read More

Staff vacancies


We are looking for secretarial/support staff to work in our busy Crewkerne office. Written applications, preferably by e-mail, should be addressed to Michael Williamson and be accompanied by a… Read More

Restraints must be ‘reasonable’


In Ashcourt Rowan Financial Planning Limited v Hall, the High Court ruled that a restrictive covenant contained in the employment contract of a senior financial adviser was unenforceable. Ashcourt… Read More

SOCA score $7 million success


The strength of Britain’s anti-money laundering regime has been underlined after the High Court opened the way for seizure of $7 million from a London bank account on the basis that it was the… Read More

Isle of Sark must amend constitution


The channel island of Sark will have to amend its ancient constitution after the High Court ruled that one of its provisions failed to maintain the strict division between legislative, executive and… Read More

Broker breached non-solicitation covenant


An insurance broker who moved from one employer to another, taking his extensive network of clients with him in breach of a restrictive covenant in his employment contract, has been ordered to pay… Read More

Food poisoning - tour operator liable


A woman whose holiday was ruined by a salmonella infection has won £22,000 in damages. Stacey Sewell, 32, was on an all inclusive package holiday with her family at a four star hotel in Gran Canaria… Read More

‘Secondary victim’ of clinical negligence wins £150,000


In a unique settlement that makes clear that ‘secondary victims’ of negligence can also be compensated for their suffering, lawyers have secured a £150,000 pay-out for a widower who ‘drank himself… Read More

No reasons needed to end property maintenance contract

Housing assoc

An adjudicator’s award of almost £400,000 to a building maintenance company whose contract with a housing association was prematurely terminated has been overturned by the High Court on the basis… Read More

Forestry management and ‘Public Open Space’


In a ruling which helps to define the concept of ‘public open space’, the High Court has rejected a challenge to a tree preservation order (TPO) brought by the owners of a landed estate who objected… Read More

Precautionary approach to Health and Safety

Cannabis factory

The tough obligations placed upon employers by health and safety regulations have been underlined by a case in which a police constable won compensation after cutting her thumb whilst dismantling a… Read More

Importer saddled with duty and tax


In a cautionary tale for international traders, an importer of child bicycle seats from China has been held liable for thousands of pounds in additional import duty and VAT after the Upper Tribunal… Read More

Police officer wins discrimination claim

Police car

A police officer is due substantial compensation after the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld a ruling that he was discriminated against, harassed and victimised in the workplace. The officer… Read More

Baby buggy patent declared invalid


A valuable patent protecting a transformable seat inlet for a child’s or doll’s pram has been declared invalid by the Patents County Court on the basis that its design did not involve an inventive… Read More

No compensation for Northern Rock investors

Smashed piggy bank

Investors who lost billions of pounds when Northern Rock was nationalised to save the banking system from collapse will go without a penny in compensation after the Court of Appeal ruled by a… Read More

Limits on state intrusion into family life


In directing that a four-month-old boy be removed from foster care and placed with his mother in prison, the Court of Appeal has emphasised that state intrusion into family life must be kept to a… Read More

‘Free’ internet photos?


The dangers of downloading and making use of apparently ‘free’ photographs and other potentially copyright material from the internet have been illustrated by a case in which a professional… Read More

VAT tribunal defines ‘payment’


A businessman has succeeded in overturning a £500,000 VAT assessment on the basis that it was issued outside the three-year time limit set out in section  80(4) of the VAT Act 1994. In ruling on the… Read More

Eco-energy tycoon fights off ex-wife’s claim

Wind turbine

A former New Age traveller turned eco-energy mogul has fought off his ex-wife's bid for a £2 million slice of his huge fortune more than 20 years after they divorced. The Court of Appeal ruled that… Read More

Flora and fauna reprieve


A village campaign group has won its High Court fight to block plans for a lorry park and industrial units close to a river which is home to rare flora and fauna and is recognised as a site of… Read More

Court refuses to re-open divorce


In the context of a ‘big money’ divorce, a wife has failed to convince the High Court that the financial aspects of the case should be re-opened – despite a judicial finding that her husband… Read More

Tax tribunal saves academic’s pension


A freelance academic will qualify for a full state pension despite having failed to pay Class 2 national insurance contributions (NICs) for more than 20 years. Having relied upon professional… Read More

Diplomat unfairly treated by Foreign Office

Palm trees

A former senior diplomat has won the right to substantial government compensation after the High Court ruled that he was unjustifiably removed from his prestigious overseas posting on the basis of… Read More

Betting exchange customers not ‘bookmakers’


In a ruling of great financial significance to the gambling and racing industries, the Court of Appeal has ruled that sophisticated customers of Betfair and other online betting exchanges do not fit… Read More

Shop worker's widower compensated


The husband of a former Woolworths employee who died of an asbestos-related disease in 2010 has won compensation from the defunct retailer’s insurers. Betty Westhead had worked at the Woolworths… Read More

Businessman’s death-bed codicil upheld

Last will

The validity of a codicil signed by a businessman in hospital, seven weeks before he died, has been upheld. The High Court ruled that former chartered surveyor Leslie Stolkin had testamentary… Read More

Calling all Equitable Life policyholders

Equitable Life

It has been 12 years since the collapse of insurer Equitable Life, which had more than a million members. In that time, the financial pieces have been picked up and a compensation pot of £370… Read More

US bank ‘sweetheart’ deal attacked


A deal between the tax authorities and banking giant, Goldman Sachs, has caused ‘grave public disquiet’ and should be declared unlawful, it has been argued at the High Court. The unprecedented case… Read More

Overseas assets – HMRC set to swoop


HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have announced that a clutch of Caribbean tax havens – Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands – are to supply them… Read More

‘Energy from waste’ plant approved


Despite concerns being raised in respect of flood risks, pollution and the potential impact on colonies of rare bats, newts and butterflies, the High Court has opened the way for development of a… Read More

Rights against insurers delayed


A new law which aims to help those claiming against insolvent companies has been delayed, probably until 2014. The Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010 will allow a person with a claim… Read More

Anti-psychotic drug patent ruled invalid


A long-standing and valuable patent, protecting sustained release versions of a market leading anti-psychotic drug, has been declared invalid due to the absence of any inventive steps in formulation… Read More

Flat owner wins website dispute


A property investor who built up reputation and goodwill in a website that he used to market a luxury apartment for rent in Gleneagles, the home of golf, has triumphed in a dispute with a rival… Read More

Mum put child on ‘wrong booster’ seat


In a cautionary tale for all parents of young children, an 'excellent and caring mother' who put her three-year-old daughter on an unsuitable car booster cushion prior to a road accident has been… Read More

Covent Garden wins porterage dispute

Covent garden

Covent Garden Market employers have won a long-running employment dispute with five registered porters who argued that they were entitled to be paid porterage fees for the work of their unregistered… Read More

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