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Defective Premises and Freeholder Liabilities – Court of Appeal Test Case

The potential liabilities of freeholders under the Defective Premises Act 1972 came under the spotlight in a Court of Appeal test case, arising from a tragic accident in which a tourist on honeymoon was fatally injured in a fall down stairs. The tourist was staying at a London flat when he fell. His widow subsequently sued the freeholder, the tenant under a...

Properties Held by Overseas Companies – Who Really Owns Them?

Legal title to many valuable UK properties is held by overseas companies and it can be a tricky task to identify their beneficial owners. However, as one case concerning an alleged $5 million fraud revealed, English judges are well up to the challenge. A company based in Cyprus claimed that a former shareholder and senior manager had misappropriated large...

Ever Had the Wrong Change For A Ticket Machine? Read On!

Almost every motorist has suffered the annoyance of not having the right change to put into a ticket machine. It may, however, be a comfort for that nameless multitude to know that a car park operator has been refused a six-figure VAT rebate in respect of overpayments reluctantly made by its customers. The operator’s machines applied a tariff system whereby...

Memorised Confidential Information Can Be Legally Protected Too

Departed employees often retain confidential information in their heads that would be of use to a competitor and such memories can be protected in just the same way as hard documents or data. The High Court strikingly made that point in holding a senior executive to the garden leave provisions of his contract. Following his resignation, the chief executive...

Judicial Assessments of Witness Credibility Can Rarely Be Challenged

Judges can and do make mistakes, but their evaluation of factual evidence and the credibility of witnesses is usually final and is very rarely successfully challenged. The point could hardly have been more clearly made than by one case in which a man claimed that his signature on a property transfer had been forged. The dispute concerned a plot of development...