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Employee who simulated sex act ‘was unfairly dismissed’

A training officer who simulated a sex act in the workplace has been awarded £14,870 compensation after an Employment Tribunal ruled that he had been unfairly dismissed. The officer, Mr Robert Cuthbertson, trained engineering apprentices at a plant owned by Siemens plc. The tribunal was told that strong language with sexual connotations was commonplace in the workplace and there were photographs of nude women on display in certain areas. On one occasion, a parcel containing a sex toy meant for […]

Divorced wife prevents family home from being sold

A divorced wife has prevented her ex-husband from selling the family home until their daughter has finished her education. The couple’s marriage broke down after 25 years together, and the husband’s business had gone into liquidation. The husband issued an application under the Family Procedure Rules 2010 for an interim order for the sale of the property. The wife agreed the house would need to be sold but wished to remain living there for another 18 months to allow her […]

Court clears up confusion caused by a homemade will

Many people are tempted to make DIY wills to save money but it can often lead to confusion and extra cost for grieving families, as in a recent case before the High Court. It involved a man who left three houses, one in London, one in Cardiff and one in Montenegro, to the Serbian Orthodox Church. However, the will failed to state which branch of the church was to benefit. There were several possibilities including the church headquarters in Serbia, […]

Divorce figures rise to highest level since 2009

The divorce rate has risen to its highest level since 2009, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics. It’s thought that financial concerns could be one of the main reasons for the rise. There were 106,959 divorces of opposite-sex couples in 2016, an increase of 5.8% compared with 2015. This amounted to 8.9 divorces per 1,000 married men and women aged 16 and over. Despite this, divorce rates in 2016 were more than 20% lower than […]

Directors must repay money taken from insolvent company

Two directors have been ordered to repay £758,020 after they acted unlawfully in removing funds from their business to avoid paying creditors. The company installed solar panels, and in its early years it benefited from a government incentive scheme. However, it got into difficulties and went into liquidation. The High Court heard that the directors considered making payments to themselves as salary but were put off by the PAYE implications. Instead they were found to have made three unjustified credit […]

Court slams HMRC for inadequate evidence against company

The High Court has criticised HMRC for its inadequate evidence against a company it claimed had not paid enough tax. The issue arose after HMRC had brought a winding up petition against Southbourne Trading Co Ltd in 2016 for alleged underpayment of tax and VAT liabilities. The company challenged the figures and the claim was reduced. It paid the remaining amount and the petition was dismissed. However, in late 2016 the company became concerned about its tax position and corresponded […]

Court clarifies meaning of ‘home in multiple occupation’

A flat can be considered a home in multiple occupation (HMO) even if it is only part of a larger building with floors used for other purposes. That was the decision of the High Court in a case involving a two-storey flat situated above a restaurant. The local authority said it needed to be licensed as an HMO because it was occupied by more than five people who didn’t form part of the same household. At a hearing in the […]

Court allows 91-year-old to buy home he shared with partner

A 91-year-old man has won a longstanding legal battle to be allowed to buy the home he shared with his partner. The couple had lived together in the home for 20 years. After the partner died, the man discovered she had made a will leaving all her estate to her daughter and nothing to him. The daughter then began legal proceedings to gain possession of the house. The man said that he and his partner had expected him to die […]

Couple win dispute with neighbour over ‘invasion of knotweed’

A couple have won a dispute with their neighbour after Japanese knotweed invaded their garden, knocking £50,000 off the value of their property. Adam and Eleanor Smith had bought their Cornwall home for £200,000 in 2002 from Rosemary Line. Mrs Line kept some of the neighbouring land, which had Japanese knotweed growing on it. The plant, which can damage building foundations, later spread on to the Smith’s driveway. They spent over a decade asking Mrs Line to sort out the […]

Couple prevent landowner building houses that would spoil their view

A couple who bought a home in the country to enjoy a quiet life have succeeded in preventing a landowner building houses that would spoil their view. The issue arose after the couple bought the home in a large area of open countryside. The landowner who sold the property to them retained the adjoining land and nearby buildings. As part of the sale, the landowner agreed to a restrictive covenant under which he would not erect buildings on his retained […]

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