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Archive for the: Litigation category

The Grey Area Explained; Banks and the Intermediate Duty

Posted by on September 7th 2017 in Blog Posts, Litigation

The Grey Area Explained; Banks and the Intermediate Duty

The case of Hedley Byrne & Co Ltd v Heller & Partners Ltd [1964] AC 465 (‘Hedley Byrne’) sets out the primary duty on financial institutions to take reasonable care not to misstate any facts on which the customer might be expected to rely. However recent case law suggests that banks have a greater duty than just a duty to take reasonable steps not to mislead.

In Crestsign Ltd v National Westminster Bank [2014] EWHC 3043 (Ch) (‘Crestsign’), the Judge, Timothy Kerr QC, accepted that when giving information about the financial product, the bank owed a duty to fully explain and...

Preventing the Sale of Marital Property on Divorce

Posted by on July 28th 2017 in Blog Posts, Family, Litigation, Property

Preventing the Sale of Marital Property on Divorce

S39(1) Senior Courts Act 1981 (“the Act”) allows the Court to make an order requiring a person to execute a conveyance, contract or document. If that person fails to execute such documents then a person nominated by the Court can sign on behalf of that person if they neglect or refuse to comply with the order or they cannot be found.

In the case of Welch v Welch [2017] Mr Welch obtained an order  which required his wife to sign the Conveyancing documentation in the sale of their property (a property in which Mrs Welch only held a 1% beneficial ownership). Despite the...

Does Possession Still Amount to 9/10 of the Law?

Posted by on May 24th 2017 in Litigation, Property

A series of high profile squatter claims involving expensive West London properties led to significant reform of the right for squatters to claim ownership of occupied land.  

To make a successful claim for adverse possession one must prove uninterrupted factual possession for a certain period of time. To be in factual possession a squatter must exert exclusive control over the land while treating the land as if they were the owner occupier.  There must also be intention to possess the land during the relevant period. Where the intention is equivocal, corroborative evidence will be required.

Being successful with an adverse possession...

Chung and Another v Towey – Tenant’s Liability to Pay the Landlord’s Valuations Costs on Enfranchisement

Posted by on May 12th 2017 in Blog Posts, Litigation

On a Tenant’s decision to buy the freehold of their property, the Tenant is responsible for paying for a number of things; the purchase price as well as their own valuation, conveyancing and legal fees. The Tenant is also responsible for the reasonable costs of the Landlord for investigating the Tenant's right to acquire the freehold and the Landlord’s valuation costs incurred. The Landlord’s valuer has the role of the negotiator for the Landlord. These ‘negotiation’ costs are not recoverable from the Tenant and should be clearly separated from the Valuation costs which are recoverable.

Additionally any costs incurred in connection...

Residential Property Update

Posted by on February 20th 2017 in Blog Posts, Litigation

Residential Property Update

A reminder for Landlords entering into tenancy agreements in 2017:

The Energy Act 2011;

Since April 2016, tenants have been able to ask their landlord to make their property more energy efficient, if it has an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) Grade below band E.

From April 2018, it will be unlawful for Landlords to let buildings with EPC Grades F and G.

Landlords will need to give early consideration to efficiency of a building and quickly take steps to make energy improvements.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 / Deregulation Act 2015:

This legislation only applies to Section 21 Notices...

What happens when there is no space on the bus?

Posted by on January 24th 2017 in Blog Posts, Litigation

What happens when there is no space on the bus?

FirstGroup Plc v Paulley [2017]

Almost five years since he was first prevented from boarding a bus, because the wheelchair space was occupied by a non wheelchair user, Mr Paulley has successfully, only to a limited extent, won his appeal at the UK Supreme Court. Mr Paulley’s original claim was based on his opinion that FirstGroup had failed to make reasonable adjustments to its policies and they were in fact contrary to the Equality Act 2010. The policy in place required the driver to request that a non-wheelchair user gives up the space for a wheelchair user but,...

The Online Court

Posted by on December 19th 2016 in Blog Posts, Litigation

The Online Court

As part of Lord Justice Briggs’ sweeping reforms for the civil justice system is the launch of an online court.  This follows his initial recommendation for vast aspects of the civil courts structure to be digitised and the need for substantial investment in IT infrastructure generally. 

But what is the Online Court and how will it work?

The Online Court will operate exclusively to adjudicate straightforward money claims worth up to £25,000 and is expected to come into effect by 2020.  It is intended to be an entirely new and separate Court with its own bespoke rules and procedure.

It is expected...

Important Changes to Section 21 Notices

Posted by on September 21st 2015 in Blog Posts, Litigation, Property

Residential Landlord and Tenant

The Deregulation Act 2015 (“DA”)  received its Royal Assent on 27th March and has changed the law regarding how landlords can use a section 21 notice.

The main changes come in on 1st October 2015.

One of the aims of the DA was to prevent landlords using Section 21 notices to evict tenants in retaliation for complaining about the condition of the property.

The new laws now state that from 1st October, if the landlord serves a section 21 notice on a tenant in response to complaining about the condition of the property, the tenant can report the matter...

Relief from Sanctions

Posted by on August 6th 2015 in Blog Posts, Litigation

Relief from Sanctions

The Court of Appeal has overturned a Judgment criticised for imposing draconian sanctions on a law firm for missing four cost deadlines.  The decision by Lord Justice Richards in the case of Michael Wilson & Partners Ltd v Sinclair & others [2015] EWCA Civ 774 (23 July 2015) has confirmed the position in Denton, and effectively ‘reversed’ the earlier decision of Mitchell.  

In Denton v TH White Ltd & another [2014] EWCA Civ 906 the Court set new guidance for assessing whether relief from sanction should be granted for non-compliance with Court orders. Emphasis was placed on requiring the Court to...

Reform of Court Structure

Posted by on August 3rd 2015 in Blog Posts, Litigation

Alongside the intended wholesale overhaul of the Justice system recently announced by Michael Gove, the Ministry of Justice is also pressing ahead with existing plans to reform the Courts and Tribunals.

The programme of reform was announced by the Ministry of Justice in March 2014, and is expected to yield savings of £100 million per year by 2019.  The reform was intended to focus on the following areas:

  1. Modernisation of technology and IT systems to enable electronic case management;
  2. Introduction of an online self-service system for Court users;
  3. Video links, wifi and digital presentation of documents in Court;
  4. Modernisation of Court buildings and facilities; and
  5. Upgraded...
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