Contact Law blog

May 2011

Law Society to intervene in Prudential case over LPP

The potentially landmark case by Prudential against HM Inspector of Taxes faces another challenge as the Law Society has been granted permission to intervene by the Supreme Court.

Prudential is seeking to extend the principle of legal professional privilege (LPP) to accountants who offer advice on tax law. (more…)

One in seven rapists serve less than four years

Official figures published on 25 May 2011 have revealed that one on seven convicted rapists are sentenced to spend four years or less in jail.

In fact, because of how the sentencing rules currently operate, a rapist sentenced to four years or less will in fact not spend their entire sentence in prison. (more…)

Landmark copyright lawsuit launched by producers of The Hurt Locker

The producers of the Oscar-winning drama The Hurt Locker have launched an unprecedented copyright infringement lawsuit against nearly 25,000 ordinary Americans.

The production company Voltage Pictures is suing the unidentified ‘John Doe’ defendants for illegally downloading the film via the BitTorrent peer-to-peer file sharing network. (more…)

Court’s U-turn changes 35 years of trust law

A recent Court of Appeal ruling on the ability of trustees to ‘turn back the clock’ has drastically changed the law on trusts, and could have far reaching implications for the beneficiaries of the UK’s 190,000 trusts.

The rule known as ‘Hastings Bass’ allows trustees to reverse poor investment decisions after they have been made. The rule, established in 1975, protects trustees from liability when things go wrong and it protects beneficiaries from bad investments decreasing the value of their trust. (more…)

Top commercial fraud lawyer fired for false expenses claims

Christopher Grierson, a commercial fraud and asset tracing expert, has been sacked by one of the world’s top law firms for falsely claiming more than £1m in expenses.

Mr Grierson has worked on a number of high-profile investigations and was hired to recover funds for Bernie Madoff’s creditors after the collapse of the American’s Ponzi scheme. (more…)

Supreme Court’s definition of miscarriage of justice opens up claims for compensation

The Supreme Court has redefined miscarriage of justice and allowed two men from Northern Ireland to appeal a decision denying them compensation for the years spent in prison for a quashed conviction.

Raymond McCartney and Eamonn MacDermott were convicted of murder and sentenced to jail in 1971. However, their convictions were quashed in 2007 after new evidence was brought to light. The pair sought compensation for the years they spent in jail. (more…)

Cohabitation and separation – rights over property

An increasing number of couples are choosing to live together without entering into a marriage or civil partnership. Many people believe that should such relationships end, they will be afforded protection by the law in terms of rights over property. However, such relationships are not recognised as having any legal standing, despite what many people think; there is no such thing as a common law wife or husband under UK family law.  (More…)

Barclays apologise for PPI scandal and promise compensation

Barclays has become the first bank to apologise to its customers for mis-selling PPI, as the British Banking Association (BBA) announces it has dropped its legal battle against the FSA.

Barclays is following in the footsteps of Lloyds who announced on Friday 6 May that it was dropping out of the BBA’s judicial review battle and had set aside £3.2bn for compensating customers. (more…)

Employment law: Unfair dismissal and the three-month rule

“There certainly are a lot of rules in employment law.”

This is what one client observed after I broke the news to him that no matter how good his case was, the three-month rule prevented him from making a claim for unfair dismissal against his employer.  If there is one rule to remember for employment law, it should be the three-month rule. (more…)

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