Switzerland, Not London, the Right Venue for Big Money Divorce

The perceived generosity of English judges in big money divorce cases has made the UK the venue of choice for some – but anathema for others. However, as one case showed, judicial priorities have more to do with fairness than finance.

The case concerned a Swiss-born billionaire businessman, much of whose wealth derived from his father. Prior to his marriage to his British wife, the couple…

Motive Not Sufficient Reason to Deny Subject Access Request

One of the dilemmas the courts face from time to time is how to achieve the right balance between individual privacy and the public's right to know about things.

In a recent case, a patient who had made a complaint against a GP sought publication of the expert report into the matter commissioned by the General Medical Council (GMC). The report had exonerated the GP and recommended that no…

HMRC Stick to Limited Period for CGT Payment on Residential Property Gains

Despite strong representations from the professional community, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have decided that they will stick with a 30-day initial payment requirement for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on residential property gains for disposals after April 2020. The payment will have to be lodged with HMRC within 30 days of the date of completion of the sale.

The sale of one's primary residence…

Fixed Penalty for Waste Offences On the Way?

Did you know that you have a legal duty of care to manage your household waste and can be prosecuted if you transgress the appropriate guidelines? It isn't surprising if you don't, because prosecutions are very rare and a recent consultation exercise showed that 97 per cent of respondents considered that a lack of awareness about this was widespread.

The Department for Environment, Food…

Failure to Control Knotweed Proves Costly for Landowner

Japanese knotweed is a very considerable pest – 'indisputably the UK's most aggressive, destructive and invasive plant', according to the Environment Agency –as it can cause damage to buildings, spreads easily and is difficult to eradicate. As well as its potential for physical damage, its presence can also reduce the value of a property.

It is the responsibility of an owner of land which…

Voluntary Overtime and the Calculation of Holiday Pay

Following on from the decision in Bear Scotland Limited and Others v Fulton and Others that payments for overtime which employees are required to work but which their employer is not obliged to offer them do count as 'normal remuneration' for the purposes of calculating a worker's statutory holiday pay entitlement for the four weeks' annual leave required under the EU Working Time Directive (WTD),…

Vicarious Liability Can Extend to Independent Contractors

Companies generally bear legal liability for misdeeds committed by their employees in the context of their work, but does the same apply to self-employed contractors? That was the issue before the Court of Appeal in a group action brought by bank workers who claimed to have been sexually abused by a doctor in the course of pre-employment health checks (Barclays Bank plc v Various Claimants).

Unfair Dismissal - What is the Legal Effect of a Successful Internal Appeal?

If an employee is dismissed but that decision is subsequently overturned following an internal appeal, does the latter decision wipe out the effect of the former? The Court of Appeal tackled that issue in a guideline decision (Patel v Folkestone Nursing Home Ltd.).

The case concerned a care home worker who was summarily dismissed for gross misconduct after being accused of sleeping whilst…

Sleeping at Work and the National Minimum Wage

"It would not be a natural use of language, in a context which distinguishes between (actually) working and being available for work, to describe someone as 'working' when they are positively expected to be asleep throughout all or most of the relevant period."

So said Lord Justice Underhill in a guideline ruling of the Court of Appeal that two care workers are not entitled to be paid the…

Shop Manager Wrongly Accused of Theft Wins £20,000 Compensation

A recent case, in which a shop manager who was sacked after being unjustifiably accused of theft won more than £20,000 in compensation, illustrates the importance of employers not only having robust procedures in place for investigating incidents of alleged staff misconduct but also ensuring that these are followed (Stokes v Poundland Limited).

The claimant had commenced employment with…