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What is an 'Existing Building'? - Tax Tribunal Clarifies the Law

A property owner who demolishes an existing dwelling house and replaces it with an entirely new one is entitled to reclaim VAT on the costs of construction – but what happens if part of the original building is retained? A tribunal considered that...

Equality of Division of Assets on Divorce Abolished? Hardly

The popular press has made a great deal of a recent Court of Appeal case , reporting that there had been a significant departure from the general principle that the assets built up by a couple during their marriage are to be split more or less equally on...

Court Upholds Restrictions on Holiday Homes

The old adage that 'an Englishman's home is his castle' is only partially true and the impact of planning law on a property owner's rights can be far-reaching – even extending to limiting the right of occupation. This is particularly an issue in areas...

High Court Dementia Ruling - Judge Acts to Protect Widow

Amidst an ageing population, the role of judges in protecting the weak, vulnerable and infirm is of ever increasing importance. In one case that proves the point, the High Court stepped in to set aside land transfers made by an elderly farmer with dementia...

Private Investors - Beware of Wolves in Sheep's Clothing!

There have always been wolves in sheep's clothing ready to take unfair advantage of private investors and they can be difficult to spot without professional advice. In one case, a company that participated in the sale of coloured diamonds to the public at...

Using Fansites? Take Care What You Say

Among football fans it is very well known that the owners and supporters of Blackpool FC are not on good terms. It is also common knowledge that comments on fan websites can be very immoderate at times. However, a recent case shows that no matter how deep...

Court Unsympathetic When Mum Takes Law Into Own Hands

No matter how much you may be tempted, taking the law into your own hands is not a good idea. When a mother who was divorcing her husband in Hawaii obtained the agreement of the US court to take the couple's children, aged 9 and 11, back to the UK for a...

You Can Make Your Council Tidy Up Bad Housing

Unoccupied and decaying properties can have a serious impact on the neighbourhood and can become a focus for vandalism and anti-social behaviour. However, as one case showed , local authorities have a range of powers to deal with such eyesores, even if...

Don't Litigate Without a Lawyer to Tell You When You're Wrong!

One reason why it is rarely advisable to represent yourself in litigation is that you need a good lawyer to tell you when you are wrong. That point could hardly have been more clearly made than by a case in which a widower claimed that his sister had made...

Small Pension Pots - Planning Possibilities

People aged over 55 who have only a small (less than £30,000) pension pot in a defined benefit (final salary) scheme or in some instances in a defined contribution scheme paying only a small pension – but not where the pension pot has been used...
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