Insights: Legal Updates - November 2017

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The best Christmas present for your family: a discretionary trust?

Helena Luckhurst |

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas out there, as Bing says. Thoughts turn to what gifts to give our family. When it comes to making big gifts to family members, though, in lifetime or on death, still not enough people think of using a trust. Many people hardly know what a trust is; […]

The SFO v ENRC: Erosion of fundamental rights and dangerous precedent or a valid aid to law enforcement?


Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Ltd (ENRC) has been granted permission to appeal the controversial ruling in Serious Fraud Office (SFO) v Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Ltd [2017] EWHC 1017 (QB)  which sent shock waves through the legal profession earlier this year. The appealed decision held that certain documents generated during an internal investigation conducted by […]

Major change to the taxation of commercial property

Neal Todd |

Radical changes to the taxation of UK real estate were announced in the autumn Budget. Investment into UK real estate has long had a privileged status, especially for investors based overseas. But over the last few years those tax privileges have been whittled away. Two years ago the UK extended Capital Gains Tax to individuals […]

New 2017 ICC Rules introduce expedited arbitration


Unfortunately, we frequently come across commercial contracts containing arbitration clauses under which disputes have arisen but the amounts in issue do not justify the potential costs of arbitration. Parties are consequently denied a dispute resolute mechanism, since the existence of a clause obliging parties to resolve their dispute by way of arbitration actually precludes disputes […]

Adverse possession – how a trespasser can become an owner

Roland Brandman |

Could you trespass on someone else’s land, act as the owner of it for a long time and on that basis become recognised officially as the new owner? Surprisingly, that is what the law of this country has allowed, although in recent years the government has clamped down on opportunistic land-grabs. What is adverse possession? […]

Rentcharges – historic but current


What are they? Rentcharges are any annual or other periodic sums charged on land, except rent reserved by a lease or any sum payable by way of interest.  If they remain unpaid, there could be disastrous consequences even if payment has not been demanded. They were common in the 19th century in Manchester, Bristol and […]

Getting the use right


When considering taking a retail lease of a property, the most important point in the heads of terms from the tenant’s perspective will be its ability to trade or carry out its services from the property.  If it is unable to do so then the property will be useless to it.  However, when drafting heads […]

Mines and minerals – what goes on beneath the surface…


Background It is not unusual to see an exception for mines and minerals on a title register for a property. This exception means that any mines and minerals lying underneath the property are not included in the registered title and, as such, the property. If you are told that this is the case for your […]

Understanding insurance indemnity principles and providing lender protection

Jenny Sargeant |

Real estate finance lenders need to achieve three things: First ranking security over the real estate asset. Maintenance of the real estate asset’s value by ensuring all damage is reinstated (and insurance proceeds applied accordingly). Fixed security over any lump sum payment. This all sounds simple enough but on nearly every real estate finance transaction […]

Winds of change: Fitness for purpose in the interpretation of JCT contracts


A recent case relating to offshore windfarms might not have caught the imagination of parties involved in other sectors, but contractors and developers should take note as the implications resonate more widely. Much has been said already about the recent Supreme Court case of MT Højgaard v E.ON. A critical issue, relevant for present purposes […]

Sports Broadcasting: Murdoch forced to wait longer to get his hands on Sky!

Alex Haffner |

To no-one’s great surprise, it was announced, on 20 September 2017. that the UK Culture Secretary, Karen Bradley MP, was “referring” the proposed acquisition by 21st Century Fox of Sky, which, amongst other programming, is a significant sports broadcaster in the UK, for scrutiny by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). 21st Century Fox, one […]

Is your building WELL?


The WELL Building Standard is the first building standard which focuses on the health and wellbeing of the building occupants and gives a ‘wellness’ rating for buildings. The WELL Building Standard is an international standard which is administered by the International WELL Building Institute, a public benefit corporation based in the US, whose mission is […]