SDLT Relief Takes Immediate Effect in England and Northern Ireland

A temporary Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) relief measure has taken immediate effect in England and Northern Ireland after being announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in his summer economic statement. The measure has been introduced by the Government to try and bolster the property market, which has been struggling in the wake of the COVID-19 […]

Parking Fine Imposed on Private Landowner Triggers High Court Test Case

A fine imposed on a householder for parking her Land Rover on her own land put the conflict between private ownership and public access to the road network in high relief and provided the subject matter for an important High Court test case. For many years the householder had regularly parked her car on a […]

High Court Annuls Overseas Marriage After Ruling ‘Wife’ a Bigamist

In order to be divorced you obviously have to be validly married, and bigamy remains a surprisingly common occurrence. In one case, the High Court found that a couple’s overseas wedding did not render them husband and wife – because she was already married to someone else. A British solicitor and a Philippines-born nurse went […]

COVID-19 Crisis – Judge Rules Derogation From Human Rights ‘Essential’

The COVID-19 pandemic represents a public emergency which is threatening the life of the nation. A High Court judge wrote those words in reaching the momentous conclusion that, whilst the crisis persists, derogation from certain fundamental human rights is not merely justified, but essential. The judge gave his ruling in the case of a profoundly […]

Are Parents Obliged to Control Unruly Children? High Court Test Case

To say that parents bear a moral responsibility to ensure that their children behave themselves in public is uncontroversial – but are they also under a legal duty to do so? The High Court addressed that issue in ruling that the sins of an allegedly anti-social teenager could not be visited upon his mother. A […]

Neighbours Succeed in Blocking Controversial Garage Extension

If a neighbour obtains planning permission for a building project to which you object, that does not always mean you just have to grin and bear it. In a case on point, objectors to a householder’s plans to extend his garage succeeded in blocking his proposal despite the fact that it had received local authority […]

Time Invested in Making a Will Is Time Invested Wisely

If you die without making a will, there is a real risk that your loved ones may be left high and dry. In one case, a man who said that he was grieving over his partner’s death found himself bereft of legal rights and locked out of the flat they once shared. The deceased was […]

COVID-19 Crisis Forces Change to UK IHT Payments and Returns Processes

HMRC are scrapping cheques for the payment and repayment of Inheritance Tax (IHT) and temporarily accepting printed signatures on IHT returns, as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The introduction of new ways of processing IHT and returns is to reduce delays to its service at this time. The normal process for signing the IHT […]

Channel Islands Are Not ‘Overseas Countries’ – Guideline Divorce Ruling

The Channel Islands may be separated from the UK mainland by miles of water, but they are not overseas countries. In an unusual case, that simple fact was enough to defeat a woman’s claim for a pension-sharing order following her divorce in Jersey. After a long marriage, the woman’s husband left the matrimonial home in […]