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Quantity Surveyors See Off Bank’s £750,000 Professional Negligence Claim

Professionals are rightly exposed to compensation claims if they give negligent advice – but they are not whipping boys who can be blamed for the faults of others. The point was resoundingly made by one case in which a quantity surveying firm comprehensively defeated a bank’s claim for over £750,000 in damages. The bank had lent money to a residential...

Piqued by an Employee’s Departure? Don’t Do Anything Hasty!

The departure of trusted workers who set up in competition is a frequent source of fury to employers. However, as one High Court libel case showed, the sensible course is to take legal advice rather than resort to hasty action. The case concerned two men who were formerly employed by a company that produced safety products for commercial vehicles and machinery....

The Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Housing Can Be Overcome

The presumption in favour of sustainable housing development, contained within the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), is a powerful one – but it does not have the force of statute and can be overcome. The Court of Appeal made that point in blocking plans for up to 150 new homes on green land adjoining a market town. The would-be developer had been...

Can Civil Servants Step Into Ministers’ Shoes? High Court Test Case

To what extent can civil servants stand in the shoes of their ministerial masters and make decisions on their behalf? The High Court tackled that issue in an important test case concerning the criminal prosecution of an employer who was accused of making 84 warehouse staff redundant without informing Central Government. By Section 194 of the Trade Union and...

How Much Is a Freehold Interest Worth? Court of Appeal Clarifies the Law

Where a tenant exercises its right to buy a freehold, the sum payable is calculated on the basis of the property’s open market value, subject to the existence of the tenancy. But what happens if the original tenancy has been extended for a longer period? The Court of Appeal considered that issue in an important test case. It was common ground that the tenant...

Tax Avoidance Schemes Don’t Always Work – As Football Club Discovers

No matter how complex or multi-layered they may be, tax avoidance schemes do not always work. A football club found that out to its cost when the Supreme Court ruled that a structure of trusts, by which money was funnelled to its players’ families, did not overcome the requirement to deduct Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions at source under the...