Insights: Legal Updates - November 2013

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Livin' in a land down under

Gillian Birkby |

There has been a growing trend in London to construct basements as a means of extending properties. Bearing in mind that land values in the capital remain high (and are rising still higher), add to the mix the historic character of certain boroughs which limits the scope to extend houses above ground, it is understandable […]


Best will for…wealthy singles

Helena Luckhurst |

I’ve seen a huge variety of wills in my time – some good; some not so good! How do you know if your will, or your clients’ English wills, are the best they can be, though? Unfortunately you can’t tell just by looking at the wording. A will should be unique to the will-maker – […]


Breach of statutory duty - change of law

Gillian Birkby |

If an employer causes personal injury after 1 October 2013 the injured person’s right to bring proceedings for breach of statutory duty (e.g. failure to comply with the Asbestos Regulations, CDM Regulations etc.) will no longer apply. This means that personal injury will no longer normally be a matter of strict liability (i.e. liability without […]


Warranties: Commercial intention

Sam Tye |

The Court of Appeal judgment in Belfairs Management Ltd v Sutherland and another (Belfairs) looked at the interpretation of warranties given in connection with the sale of shares in a company. On a sale of shares a seller will commonly be asked to give warranties, which are essentially a set of confirmations as to the […]


Nil Rate Band will trusts: time to review

Helena Luckhurst |

This year’s Finance Act introduced some significant constraints on when debts can be deducted for Inheritance Tax (IHT) purposes. The changes should have set alarm bells ringing for any families who are making use of nil rate band will trusts. IHT is usually thought of as a tax that applies to a deceased person’s estate […]


One from the vaults

Matthew Williams, Roy Perrott |

Boundaries: Basements that extend under a highway are sometimes excluded from the Land Registry title plan. One of the advantages of registered land is that it provides certainty as to ownership. It can come as a surprise, then, to learn that the Land Registry title plan does not determine the exact boundary between adjoining properties. […]


Nazi looted art

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The amazing discovery of over 1,400 pieces of Nazi era looted or forced-sale art, worth perhaps €1bn, in the flat of Cornelius Gurlitt in Munich, will probably be the art story of the year, and perhaps the decade. Interest has naturally focused on the pieces themselves, although the German authorities seem slow and reluctant to […]


Investing in major infrastructure: the proposed public sector stake in PF2

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The Government has just published its response to the consultation on public sector equity investment as part of PF2. It is helpful to reflect on the debate about PFI and whether this approach to public sector investment helps us address key issues emerging from that debate. Against the backdrop of sharp critique of the value […]