Williamsons Solicitors News Stories

One or more supplies? VAT tribunal gives guidance

Static caravans

In a guideline ruling which helps to identify the somewhat wavy line between single and multiple supplies of goods for VAT purposes, the First-Tier Tribunal (FTT) has ruled that verandahs attached… Read More

Court uncovers developer's fraud

Flat blocks

In a ruling which vividly illustrates the power of cross-examination, the High Court has found that a property developer misappropriated large sums in the course of a luxury flats project and has… Read More

Erb’s palsy boy wins £462,500


Lawyers representing a ‘courageous’ schoolboy who was left with a paralysed right arm due to nerve damage suffered during his hospital birth have achieved a £462,500 settlement of his claim against… Read More

Debt-ridden couple refused bankruptcy in England


A couple who are facing debts in excess of €70 million in Ireland following the collapse of their property investment business have failed to convince the Court of Appeal that they should be… Read More

Court to define Housing Act ‘accommodation’

Care home

In a case of significance to social landlords and local authority housing departments, lawyers representing a gravely disabled woman are arguing that she should be viewed as homeless on the basis… Read More

Court cracks down on ‘safe haven’ divorcees


In underlining the increasingly tough stance of the English courts when it comes to divorcees who live abroad to escape their legal obligations, the Court of Appeal has rejected a businessman’s… Read More

Iranian bank embargo overturned


In overturning an embargo on an Iranian bank doing business within the UK market, the Supreme Court has ruled that there was neither a rational basis for singling it out nor any sufficient… Read More

Defective freezing injunction overturned


In the context of a ‘big money’ divorce, the High Court has overturned an emergency asset freezing injunction granted to a wife after finding that she had breached her duty of candour in her… Read More

Supreme Court blow to off-street parking


In an important ruling for residential and commercial property owners – particularly those who enjoy the benefit of off-street car parking - the Supreme Court has defined the circumstances in which… Read More

Building company was insured for crane collapse


In construing exclusion clauses under a public and product liability insurance policy, the High Court has reassured a construction company (the company) that it will be covered for its potentially… Read More

Court declines to rule on Spanish strikes


In an important ruling which gives useful guidance on the extent of the international jurisdiction of the English courts, the High Court has refused to intervene in a bitter labour dispute between… Read More

Council not liable for rampaging youth


In a sign-post ruling which gives useful guidance in respect of compensation claims brought under the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA), a young man (the claimant) who sued a local authority (the… Read More

Ruined after insurers refuse to pay out

Victorian house

A businessman whose magnificent home was gutted by fire will not receive a penny in compensation after the High Court ruled that his insurance policy was not worth the paper it was written on. The… Read More

Employee to pay £60,000 costs of ‘misconceived’ claim


A woman who pursued misconceived allegations against her employers and others during a costly tribunal hearing which lasted 20 days has been ordered to contribute an estimated £60,000 to the heavy… Read More

Court guidance on human trafficking victims


In giving guidance to criminal courts on the correct treatment of human trafficking victims who are forced into crime, the Court of Appeal has upheld four conviction challenges and emphasised that… Read More

Pension scheme administrators beware!


In a warning shot to administrators of registered pension schemes, a chartered accountant who was caught unawares when a £100,000 unauthorised payment was made from a scheme for which he was… Read More

Parks police unfair dismissal claims arrested


In a ruling which usefully defines the term ‘constable’ in the context of employment law, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that two members of a local authority’s parks police service… Read More

Supreme Court - scope of arbitration clauses


In an important ruling to those engaged in overseas trade, the Supreme Court has underlined the long-standing and well recognised jurisdiction of the English courts to restrain foreign proceedings… Read More

Failing businesses must still pay rates


In a stark reminder that even failing businesses have to pay non-domestic rates, the owner of a disused hotel and conference centre has failed to convince the Upper Tribunal (UT) that it should be… Read More

Criminal record checks – rules relaxed


A new system has come into force which relaxes the rules regarding the disclosure of past convictions and cautions when checks are carried out on job applicants by the Disclosure and Barring Service… Read More

Court gives guidance on ‘sequential test’

Building site

In opening the way for development of a superstore on the outskirts of a Shropshire town, the High Court has given important guidance on the correct application of the ‘sequential test’ when… Read More

High tide for the Commons Act?


Landowners must be even more astute to the risk that the development potential and value of their holdings could be adversely affected by public access rights after the Court of Appeal rejected… Read More

Home owner wins mortgage advice test case


In a case which re-defined the scope of the financial services compensation scheme, a woman who re-mortgaged her home and invested almost everything she had in the doomed Spanish property market on… Read More

Dismissed pastor must quit church home


A senior pastor who refused to move out of his church-owned home subsequent to his dismissal for having an extra-marital affair with a member of his congregation has been ordered to leave by the… Read More

Judicial review a last resort


In emphasising that judicial review is a remedy of last resort, the Court of Appeal has ruled that a judge was ‘plainly wrong’ to entertain a challenge to findings made against a bank’s finance… Read More

No sovereign immunity for foreign princes


In a guideline case, two Middle Eastern princes who are facing claims in an unfair prejudice petition under section 994 of the Companies Act 2006 have failed to convince the Court of Appeal that… Read More

Police force was "blinkered"


In a case which highlighted the difficult balance to be struck between child protection and the rights of the individual, a police force has been criticised by the High Court for its 'blinkered'… Read More

Playground asbestosis claim fails


In a stark illustration of the difficulties faced in establishing liability in asbestos cases so many years after an alleged causative event, a middle-aged woman who was said to have contracted… Read More

Corporate veil pierced in big money divorce

Supreme Court

In a ruling of enormous significance to family and commercial practitioners, the Supreme Court has ruled in the context of a ‘big money’ divorce case that it is in certain very limited circumstances… Read More

Pirate hijack triggered commercial dispute


A commercial vessel’s ill-fated maiden voyage – including its hijack by Somali pirates, the payment of a substantial ransom and a major engine breakdown – triggered a dispute between shipowners and… Read More

Best laid tax plans tore family apart


In a painful illustration of the truism that even the best laid plans depend for their success upon the existence of good will between the parties, a bid by a multi-millionaire businessman to… Read More

Authorship of Software Does not Equal Copyright

In resolving a dispute as to the ownership of intellectual property rights in respect of software that formed the ‘crown jewels’ of a highly successful investment business, the High Court has ruled… Read More

Adopted daughter defeats ‘heir hunter’


Notwithstanding her formal adoption as a child, a war veteran’s natural daughter has won her fight for possession of his £250,000 home despite arguments put forward by a genealogist and so-called… Read More

‘Somewhat vague’ contract sparks dispute


The wisdom of taking professional advice prior to entering into commercial relations has been underlined by a case in which the ‘somewhat vague’ terms of an agreement between residential property… Read More

Recruitment consultant failed to engage


In a stern warning to litigants that they will rarely win the day by sitting on their hands, a recruitment consultant forfeited her right to defend herself, and was left facing a damages bill in… Read More

Salvation Army pays price of discrimination


The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has upheld an award of more than £100,000 compensation to a cerebral palsy sufferer who was told that her ‘disability was no excuse’ as she struggled to cope… Read More

Caring daughter must quit home


In a case which starkly illustrates the occasional cruelty of the law, a loving daughter who devoted 20 years of her life to caring for her desperately ill and irritable mother is facing eviction… Read More

Honesty is best policy !


In a ruling which underlines the wisdom of absolute honesty in court proceedings, two businessmen who deliberately made false statements and fabricated evidence in support of an action before the… Read More

Modern approach to receivership orders


In a telling example of the modern, less restrictive, approach to debt recovery, a bank seeking to execute a judgment debt in excess of $3.6 billion has been granted a variation to a receivership… Read More

Unfairly treated diplomat wins £320,000


A former senior diplomat has won £320,000 compensation from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) after the High Court ruled that he was unjustifiably removed from his prestigious overseas… Read More

Shopfitting patent infringed


The manufacturer of an innovative form of a ‘snap-in’ fitting used in shop displays has succeeded in a patent infringement claim against two trade rivals. The fitting’s design was neither obvious… Read More

Court looks at the big picture


Tenants who held five flats on long leases from the landlord and required to contribute to their upkeep. When the landlord wished to undertake substantial works on the flats, a consultation process… Read More

Harrods anti-fur injunction extended


In balancing rights of peaceful protest against a retailer’s entitlement to operate free from trespass, nuisance and harassment, the High Court has stepped in to further limit the activities of… Read More

Farmhouse exempt from inheritance tax


In an important ruling for the farming community and tax professionals, the Upper Tribunal (UT) has granted agricultural property inheritance tax relief in respect of a farmhouse even though the… Read More

Contractor too late to challenge adjudicator


In a case which underlines the potentially serious consequences of delay in seeking legal redress, an asbestos management contractor who claimed it was wrongly directed to pay more than £650,000 by… Read More

Gaming duty blow to private members clubs


In a serious blow to non-profit-making private members organisations, a small social club has failed to convince the First-Tier Tribunal that an electronic lottery machine that its members enjoyed… Read More

The perils of delaying litigation..


In a ruling which underlines the potentially dire consequences of putting off until tomorrow civil litigation that should be launched today, the directors of a family company who blamed an… Read More

Ex-wife deploys judgment summons


The extreme difficulty in enforcing financial orders against divorcees who keep their wealth and themselves outside the jurisdiction of the English courts has been starkly demonstrated by a case in… Read More

Minister had a vocation, not a contract


In an important ruling which distinguished religious vocation from employment, the Supreme Court has ruled by a majority that a Methodist minister who submitted to the church’s discipline for life… Read More

Lesbian mother refused parental rights


In a ruling that underlines in stark terms that legal formalities really matter, a lesbian woman has been denied parental rights in respect of twin boys that she considers her sons after a fertility… Read More

Another avoidance scheme shot down


An artificial tax-avoidance scheme that involved selling shares at massive 'paper losses', which would have led to 400 wealthy people saving an average of nearly £1/2 million each in tax, has been… Read More

Anyone seen my forceps?


A former nurse who had to give up her job after a routine operation went badly wrong has won a six-figure sum in compensation. Donna Bowett, from Kidderminster, went for surgery at the Alexander… Read More

Delay must go to the root


In the context of a major construction project, the Court of Appeal has emphasised that delay in completion of works will only be sufficient to justify repudiation of a contract if it goes to the… Read More

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