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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...

Playing Recorded Music in Public? Do You Have a Copyright Licence?

Owners of bars, restaurants and clubs are required to obtain copyright licences from Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) before they can play recorded music to punters and a failure to do so can have extremely serious consequences. The point was underlined when the proprietors of two such venues were hit with High Court injunctions and swingeing legal...

Special Rules Apply to Air Carriage Contracts – High Court Guidance

The country where a contract is agreed is generally also the country where disputes arising will be tried. However, special rules apply to contracts relating to carriage by air and, in one High Court case, a cruise operator was consigned to fighting its case against an airline in the courts of Papua New Guinea. The operator launched proceedings in London,...

Staff Pregnancies – Don’t Let Frustration Lead You into Discrimination!

Staff pregnancies can be disruptive, particularly for small businesses, but it is vital that employers do not allow their decision-making to become infected by discrimination. In one case, a hair stylist who was dismissed after she took time off, suffering from morning sickness, won the right to substantial compensation. The stylist was a trusted and senior...

Pub Must Close After Restrictive Covenant Declared Pointless

Covenants that restrict the use of land can be discharged or modified if they have ceased to serve a useful purpose and are of no real benefit to local people. In one case that proved this point, the Upper Tribunal (UT) opened the way for the conversion of a hotel and pub into a convenience store. The pub’s title deeds contained a restrictive covenant, dated...

Oral Agreements – Do You Even Know Who You Are Contracting With?

One of the many drawbacks of oral agreements is that the status, and even the identity, of the contracting parties can be left in doubt. One High Court case involving a substantial waste removal contract underlined how very important it is to employ a professional to put such agreements in writing. A group of companies that provided waste removal, haulage and...