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Landlord Rightly Exonerated in Repair Covenant Test Case

A landlord who takes on responsibility for repairing and maintaining premises is not obliged to improve them – or even to ensure that they are safe. The Court of Appeal so ruled in a guideline case which arose in the context of a slipping accident on a flight of stairs which was not fitted with a handrail. Victorian commercial premises had been let to a...

Employment Judge’s Acerbic Comments Overstepped the Mark

Judges are required to be, and to appear to be, impartial. However, in one very rare case, an employment judge was found to have descended into the arena of dispute, making a series of unwarranted comments which put a lawyer under unfair pressure whilst he was trying to do his job. The case concerned a bus driver who claimed that he had been unfairly penalised...

Contractors – You Need a Lawyer for More than Just Drafting

A High Court case has vividly illustrated why professional advice is needed not only in drafting contracts but in administering them thereafter. A company was left on the brink of insolvency by its failure to submit a valid application for a stage payment during refurbishment of an office block. The company had sought an interim payment of about £1.1 million...

Sixty New Homes in Open Countryside ‘Sustainable’, High Court Rules

Local authorities are under an obligation to set aside sufficient land to meet demand for new homes in their areas and one High Court case has underlined that those who fail to do so are at grave risk of having developments foisted upon them. A council had refused planning consent for a development of 60 homes in an open countryside location. After the would-be...

Cars Leased to Employees are Income Tax Free, Court Rules

Although the way in which benefits of employment are taxed is relevant to millions, it is an intensely complex field which only a specialist can be expected to understand. One Court of Appeal case which proved that point involved a company which leased cars to its salesmen and managers on arm’s-length commercial terms. Employees needed the cars for their...