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Service Charges – Landlord Pays Dearly for Failing to Read the Lease

When it comes to issuing service charge demands, landlords must stick to the letter of leases or risk recovering nothing at all – even if that results in tenants receiving an unwarranted windfall. The Court of Appeal made that point in relieving a residential tenant of liability to pay service charges over a four-year period. Under the terms of the relevant...

Employment Tribunals Can Appoint Litigation Friends – Landmark Decision

It has for a very long time been possible for vulnerable people to be represented in court by litigation friends so that they can have proper access to justice. Now, in a decision of general public importance, that right has for the first time been extended to proceedings before an Employment Tribunal (ET). The case concerned a woman who had succeeded in...

Trade Union Induced Prison Officers to Breach Discipline – High Court Ruling

Certain key workers whose jobs are vital to the proper functioning of the Government are denied the right to take industrial action afforded to everyone else. Prison officers are amongst them and, in a guideline decision, the High Court took a robust approach in prioritising the needs of the state over individual interests. The case took place against the...

Dispute over Contract Adjudicator’s Fees Triggers Debt Recovery Test Case

It is in the nature of contract adjudicators’ work that they cannot please everyone and often have to make decisions that are contrary to the interests of those responsible for paying their fees. Exactly that happened in one High Court case that raised issues of particular interest to debt recovery specialists. A builder who had been embroiled in a number of...

Company Directors – Articles of Association Are Not Just Dusty Documents!

Articles of association are often read just once, if at all, by company directors before being put away in a safe to gather dust. However, as one Court of Appeal ruling showed, they are the constitutional bones of any company and are of crucial importance, particularly at times of crisis. The case concerned a property company the shares in which were split 75...

Businessman Jailed for Flagrant Contempt of Asset Freezing/Search Orders

Court orders command obedience and defying them can lead to punitive fines or even loss of liberty. In one case, a businessman who flagrantly breached asset freezing and search orders within hours of being served with them received a 12-month term of imprisonment. A supplier of business machines accused the man of obtaining discounts on goods by fraud and sued...