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Homeowner Overturns Gypsy Encampment Planning Permission

It is sometimes said that objectors’ opinions are not given enough weight in planning decisions. However, in one case, a determined homeowner obtained specialist legal advice and succeeded in overturning planning permission for a gypsy encampment that spoilt his views. Gypsy families had been living on land overlooked from the man’s home for several years...

Employees Must Never Be Penalised for Standing on Their Rights

It is hardly surprising that some people feel reluctant to make legal complaints about their existing employers. However, as one case concerning an NHS worker strikingly showed, such claims are commonplace and the law requires that employees must never be penalised for standing up for their rights. The biochemist had in the past brought a successful race...

Neighbours’ Row Over Garden Shed Costs £140,000

Disagreements between neighbours can usually be resolved with a little legal advice and goodwill on both sides. However, in one case where that sadly did not happen, a homeowner was left facing a six-figure legal costs bill after an abortive attempt to make an elderly couple move their garden shed and raised flower bed. The man claimed that the structures...

No Contract, No Remuneration – You May Still Owe a Duty of Care

In a decision that will be required reading for all professionals, the Court of Appeal has ruled that liability in respect of substandard services does not depend upon the existence of a contract, or even remuneration. The point was made in the case of an architect who helped friends to landscape their garden free of charge. A couple wished to iron out steep...

Does Your Insurance Policy Guard Against the Risks You Want Covered?

Insurance policies are replete with small print and it is always worth getting a lawyer to check that they cover the risks that you wish to guard against. In one case exactly on point, policy exclusion clauses led to the dismissal of a university’s £10 million claim in respect of catastrophic damage to a student accommodation block. The block was built in the...

Competition Laws Analysed in Fish Industry Dispute

Fierce rivalry in the fresh and frozen fish industry was triggered by the exodus of senior staff from one company to another and led to a guideline case in which the High Court analysed the provisions of the Competition Act 1998. A nationwide fish supplier (company A) launched proceedings after parting company with its sales director, who left under the terms of...