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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...

What Are ‘Standard Terms of Business’? Court of Appeal Ponders

The law frowns on unreasonable contractual terms contained within standard terms of business – but what exactly does the latter phrase mean? The Court of Appeal considered that issue in an important test case that will be required reading for anyone involved in the lending industry. A consortium of three banks had lent $150 million to a company engaged in an...

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...

Does Your Local Authority Have An Adequate Supply of Housing Land?

Demand for new homes is overwhelming, but local authorities that have set aside an adequate supply of housing land for the future are in a much stronger position when it comes to blocking developments that they view as undesirable. That point could hardly have been more clearly made than by one High Court case in which a council successfully challenged planning...

Whistleblowing in the Public Interest – Court of Appeal Test Case

Workplace whistleblowers only enjoy the protection of the law if the disclosures they make are in the public interest – but what exactly does that mean? The Court of Appeal has analysed that issue for the first time in a vital test case. The case concerned an estate agent who feared that his earnings would be gravely depleted by a change in his employer’s...