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Owners of Listed Buildings – Keep Them in Repair Or Else!

Owners of listed buildings are entrusted to keep them in a reasonable state of repair and a failure to do so can have grave consequences. In one case, a woman whose 17th century manor house had fallen into a state of near-dereliction received just £125,000 in compensation following its compulsory purchase. The condition of the architecturally important property...

Wind Turbines Patent Obvious and Invalid Court of Appeal Rules

Patents provide protection and encouragement to inventiveness and novelty, not to obvious developments of others’ ideas. The Court of Appeal made that point in finding invalid a patent in respect of wind turbine arrays. A company had patented a method of operating pitch-controlled wind turbines so as to gradually reduce rotor speeds in high winds in a manner...

Administering Big Construction Contracts is a Job for Professionals

Construction contracts are often replete with detailed provisions in respect of time limits and payment schedules and that is one good reason why their administration is best entrusted to professionals. The point was strikingly made by one High Court case concerning a hospital refurbishment project. An NHS trust engaged a building company to perform the works at...

Businessman Accused of $17.5 Million Fraud Jailed for Defying Court Orders

One of the advantages of the English legal system is that even the most convincing lies tend to be exposed under rigorous forensic examination in the witness box. In one case that proved the point, a businessman’s dishonesty was laid bare and he received an 18-month jail term for his brazen violation of court orders. The man was alleged to have defrauded a...

Developers – Are Your Planning Permissions Lawful? Don’t Jump the Gun!

Unlawful planning permissions are regularly overturned by judges, and those who pre-empt their decisions by carrying out developments prematurely do so at their own risk. In one such case, however, the High Court found that a council was justified in refusing to take immediate enforcement action to remove an unauthorised fence. The case concerned a quarry set in...