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Litigation & Dispute Resolution News

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Better Protection for Consumers On the Way?
26 Feb 2014
The Government is proposing to improve protection for consumers who purchase goods or services (including those supplied in electronic form) from businesses. Under the Consumer Rights Bill, consumers will have...

Package Tour or Travel Booking?
21 May 2012
Whether a holiday is a ‘package’ or just a booking of travel arrangements can make a big difference when it comes to the legal position if something goes wrong...

Long-Term Gym Membership Contracts Unfair
23 Oct 2011
The High Court has upheld a challenge by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to various terms found in some gym membership contracts – most notably lengthy minimum membership periods – ruling that such terms are unfair and...

Credit Card Agreement Enforceable
01 Jul 2011
Debtor Patrick Brophy must pay his credit card bill, following the failure of his bid to overturn a High Court decision dismissing his appeal against a 2009 judgment in the Willesden County Court. Mr Brophy took his case to the Court of Appeal, alleging that a credit card...

Inaccuracy, Not Haste, Defeats Planning Decision
20 Jun 2011
An attempt by campaigners to prevent the demolition of a neo-Georgian building by creating a conservation area was recently defeated, following a challenge by the property company that wished to develop the site. The council failed to prevent the demolition order...

Gagging Orders – A Matter of Balance
31 May 2011
A balancing act is always necessary when a case heard by the courts is of interest to the public but where revealing the facts and identifying the parties involved would infringe their right to privacy. Normally, the balance is achieved by revealing either the facts of the case...

Bribery and Rights Under Civil Law
19 May 2011
Bribery is coming under increasing attention following the passing of the Bribery Act 2010, under which bribery is a criminal act. Whilst implementation of the Act, which was passed under the previous administration, has been delayed so that the Government has...

Failure to Give a Warning Not Actionable
14 Mar 2011
‘They didn’t warn me what could happen’ is a common complaint, but a recent case shows that a failure to give a warning about a potential issue does not necessarily mean that there are grounds for bringing legal action. The case involved a manufacturer of fire extinguishers...

Prison Not Available to Enforce Tenant Debt Hearing
04 Mar 2011
Threat of committal to prison for contempt of court should never be used simply to speed up a debt collection process, however long it has gone on. This was the ruling of the Court of Appeal in a case concerning Emeka Okonkwo, a tenant of Broomleigh Housing Association...

Former Partner Not Entitled to Share of Property
27 Jan 2011
A woman has failed in a £680,000 High Court bid for half the proceeds of the sale of a business she helped to run, following the breakdown of a partnership. The claimant valued the business at £1.36 million and claimed 50 per cent of that valuation. Her former partner, Trevor Miller...

Who Bears the Loss?
17 Dec 2010
A recent case illustrates the wisdom, when purchasing a car, of always checking the background of the vehicle to identify the rightful owner and the terms under which it is owned. Dr Kulkarni purchased a Mercedes for £39,000. The ‘seller’, however, could not lawfully sell...

Nightmare Cruise Award Cut by Court of Appeal
09 Nov 2010
A couple who were awarded £22,000 in damages after they cut short their £60,000 dream cruise, when it turned into a nightmare due to sickness and physical discomfort, have had their damages slashed by the Court of Appeal. The couple abandoned the three-month cruise...

Driving: Mobile Phone, No – Dictaphone, Yes
27 Aug 2010
A loophole in the law allowed comedian Jimmy Carr to escape a fine when the acerbic funny man appeared before Harrow Magistrates’ Court after police spotted him using a mobile phone whilst driving. The successful argument was based on the fact that he was not using...

Fines for Breaches of Environmental Law
26 Aug 2010
The Court of Appeal has ruled in a case which establishes an important precedent for the setting of fines for breaches of environmental law. Thames Water had appealed against a fine of £125,000 for a mistake which had led to pollution of the river Wandle. It claimed that...

It’s Good to Talk
19 Aug 2010
Litigation can be expensive and there are good reasons in many cases for achieving a resolution by mediation when possible. The best course of action will depend on the individual circumstances of the case...

Council That Refused Meeting With Homeless Man Failed to Meet Obligations
18 Aug 2010
The Court of Appeal has ruled that a man who knew that he and his daughter were about to become homeless, and who wrote to the council seeking its assistance in obtaining accommodation, had done enough to trigger the council’s obligation to provide him with...

‘Toxic Sofa’ Victims Win Compensation
06 Aug 2010
In what is thought to be the largest consumer class action in English legal history, more than 1,500 customers who suffered chemical burns and allergic reactions after buying ‘toxic sofas’ are to share in a £20 million compensation settlement...

Canoe Fraudsters Must Repay Nearly £600,000
15 Jul 2010
Following her conviction for fraud and money laundering, after faking her husband’s death in 2002, Anne Darwin has agreed to pay more than £591,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Mrs Darwin’s husband, John, was thought to have drowned whilst canoeing near the couple’s Teesside home...

Talk is cheap; Litigation can be Costly!
06 Jul 2010
Litigation can often be expensive and there are often good reasons for achieving a resolution prior to a final hearing. The best course of action will always depend on the individual circumstances of the case...

Smoker Loses Out in Asbestos Settlement
21 Jun 2010
The risks associated with smoking have been known for half a century and smokers are assumed to accept those risks willingly. However, smokers may not be aware that their habit could reduce the level of damages....

Misrepresentation Leaves Burgled Company Uninsured
20 Jun 2010
Theft of goods by burglars from a secured cage in a warehouse may seem to be a straightforward matter as far as making an insurance claim goes, but a recent case shows otherwise....

iPod Deafness is User’s Fault
09 Jun 2010
A US case has recently been decided which could have interesting implications for suppliers of MP3 players and similar equipment....

Massive Litigation Shake-Up Proposed
23 May 2010
Lord Justice Jackson’s eagerly awaited final report outlining proposed changes to the British system of civil litigation has been published and promises a massive shake-up of the current system, which is considered to impose excessive costs on losers in litigation...

Privacy Cases Will Be Dealt With On Their Facts
17 May 2010
John Terry, the Chelsea FC football captain, was recently the focus of press attention following an affair with the ex-partner of his England team mate, Wayne Bridge. Mr Terry sought an injunction preventing the details of the affair being made public...

Late Night Booze Bans Proposed
29 Apr 2010
The Government has introduced an amendment to the Crime and Security Bill, currently before Parliament, which is intended to permit local authorities to apply a blanket ban on premises opening for the sale of alcohol between 3am and 6am, by specifying streets or areas, rather than...

Creditor Must Show Undervalue to Prove Claim
22 Apr 2010
When people are burdened with debt, they will sometimes resort to underhand tactics to relieve themselves of the consequences. One of the most common strategies is for the debtor to dispose of an asset, which would otherwise be used to pay his or her debts

You Need Protection (But Don't Ask the Council)
06 Apr 2010
It might reasonably be assumed that if you are a council tenant with neighbours who are likely to use violence against you and you inform your landlord of this fact, the council has some degree of responsibility for making sure you are protected...

Face the facts - Your online persona could be legally recognised
26 Mar 2010
Social networking sites have continued to grow in popularity. Facebook now boasts more than 100 million users who can keep in touch with friends and family by simply logging onto the web. However, few would consider that their Facebook account...

Decision to Expel Pupil Upheld by Courts
26 Feb 2010
The parents of an independent school pupil have lost their appeal against a judge’s decision to dismiss their claim that their son’s expulsion from the school amounted to a breach of contract and warranted injunctive relief and the payment of...

Crime is With You for Life
17 Feb 2010
It is widely thought that once a conviction is ‘spent’, it is erased from ‘the system’ and simply ceases to exist. Regrettably for those who may have a youthful indiscretion or two on their record, this is not so, as is illustrated by...

ASBI Permitted As Behaviour Was 'Housing Related'
13 Jan 2010
In a recent case, a man who was banned from entering the village in which he had previously lived, after successive acts of anti-social behaviour, has lost his appeal against the imposition of an anti-social behaviour injunction (ASBI)...

The Supreme Court has ruled in favour of the banks
25 Nov 2009
One of the first decisions of the new Supreme Court has been handed down. Unfortunately, the decision will come as a disappointment to many bank customers who have suffered high levels of charges after they exceeded agreed overdraft limits. The Supreme Court has ruled in favour of the banks.

Don’t Get Angry With the Council!
24 Nov 2009
A woman who became so incensed by the response of an anti-social behaviour coordinator working for Slough Council that she slammed her own phone down so hard that she broke it found herself on the Council’s ‘violent persons register’. Jane Clift had seen a toddler, who was with a...

Supervision Failure Costs Council
12 Nov 2009
A county council was found negligent when a pupil was injured during a break at school when he was hit by a rock thrown by another pupil. The case turned on a simple point – was it sufficient (as was the case in this instance) to have only one supervisor overseeing 150 children?..