Whilst over recent years the divorce rate had fallen, in the last 12 months that trend appears to be being reversed. There is some evidence that as the housing market continues to pick up and individuals start to feel more economically stable they are prepared to take steps to end an unhappy relationship.
However, the modern separating couple are often looking for a more creative way to resolve any issues rather than utilising the old style ‘adversarial’ system.
A stay at home husband who claims that he sacrificed his own career on the altar of his investment banker wife's ambition has triumphed in a crucial round of their £11 million divorce battle, after the Court of Appeal accepted that he was 'habitually resident' in England.
In a case which demonstrates that there is a limit to the duties owed by employers under health and safety legislation, the Court of Appeal has rejected arguments that a local authority was obliged to provide sun cream and a hat for a gardener who worked outdoors (Earl v Middlesbrough Borough Council).
Separated couples should fix their eyes firmly on the future when signing divorce agreements, as was demonstrated in a recent case in which a former soldier, whose ex-wife had 'spent her share' after their split, fought off her bid for a slice of his military pension.
When considering an application for a mandatory injunction pending trial proceedings, the court must determine which course is likely to involve least risk of injustice if it turns out to have been the 'wrong' decision.
In a case concerning commercial confidentiality (Warm Zones v Thurley and Another), the High Court agreed to an order allowing the inspection of the computers of two former employees who were alleged to have made unauthorised use of confidential data belonging to their employer.
The Court of Appeal has concluded that a product description which contains a geographical term can constitute 'passing off' if the product does not in fact come from the place named.
The description of a product as 'Greek' (in this case Greek yoghurt) would give most consumers the impression that it was made in Greece. However, the manufacturer argued that 'Greek' in this context referred to a style of yoghurt, not its place of manufacture. The yoghurt referred to is actually made in the USA.
The High Court has lamented the expenditure of almost £1 million in legal costs by a warring ex-couple whose acrimonious divorce had descended into a murky world of lies, private detectives, hidden assets and mutual accusations of skulduggery and assault.
A police dog handler who had one of her canine charges removed when she told her bosses she was pregnant has won her discrimination claim after the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) accepted that she was subjected to a risk of detriment because of her gender (The Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis v Keohane).
The judge came down hard on a Singapore-based businessman who first told his ex-wife that she was entitled to more than €2 million from the sale of company shares – before seeking to reduce that figure a few months later to just €100.
Mixing business and personal relationships can produce additional complications if a break-up occurs, as evidenced by the stalemate reached by a warring former couple who are at loggerheads over the future of their deadlocked business and its intellectual property (IP) rights.
The ex-couple were partners in business and in life for 26 years and ran their company together. Following their acrimonious separation, they had planned to split the business and all its assets equally but had since failed spectacularly to reach a final accord on how that would be achieved.
The law on 'grey' or 'parallel' importing, especially of products that are sold under different names (such as many pharmaceuticals) has a balancing act to perform. On the one hand, it must protect the interests of the consumer by preventing unfair restriction of market access. On the other hand, the law should support the trade marks of the companies that own them and have often invested heavily in them. A recent case illustrates the issues.
Outgoing Solihull Mayor Councillor Joe Tildesley made a special visit to leading Midlands’ law firm Sydney Mitchell LLP to thank partners and staff for their generous charitable support of the Last Night at the Solihull Proms held at Bushell Hall, Solihull School. The event made over £7,000 for the Mayoral Charity Fund which includes Age UK Solihull and the Citizens Advice Solihull.
Another tax case has shown how difficult it can be for landlords to justify a claim that their income is trading income for the purposes of claiming Business Property Relief (BPR) from Inheritance Tax (IHT).
Where such a claim is successful, the taxable value of the asset in question is reduced by 50 per cent or 100 per cent for IHT purposes.
Professional landlords are well aware of the complexities they can face when giving notice to tenants that they require possession of the let premises.
Because of the rather tortuous provisions of the Housing Act 1988 with regard to the giving of notice, numerous court rulings have been made that a landlord's notice to a tenant was invalid because an incorrect or indefinite termination date was specified in the notice.
Normally, when a building dispute arises that leads to an adjudicator making an award in favour of one party, the award is simply paid to the other party and that is that. However, sometimes things are more complicated.
Not every breach of contract will be treated as 'repudiatory' – the legal term for a breach in which one side has refused to perform its side of the contract.
Recently, the High Court ruled that one party's refusal to pay an arbitrator's fees in advance did not 'go to the root' of the parties' agreement as to how any disputes between them were to be resolved and so was not a repudiatory breach of their contract.
Following recent reports that pre-nuptial agreements are soon to be given legislative support comes a case in which the current attitude of the courts towards 'pre-nups' has been made clear.
In a case which underlines the need for both full and accurate disclosure of potential liabilities when selling a business, a lawyer who failed to reveal the existence of a potentially substantial negligence claim against his firm before disposing of it will receive a lesser sum for its sale, following a High Court ruling.
When a family business is handed down and ownership is split between two or more members of the next generation, the result can all too often be discord. Normally, this can be resolved by one party buying out the other, but when this does not occur, the result can be a disaster, as a recent case shows.
When a divorce leads to arbitration proceedings, which is not uncommon where the financial settlement is difficult to negotiate, the decision of the arbitrator can only be overturned by the court in exceptional circumstances, a leading judge has ruled.
Family Law is enormously complex. Families going through proceedings are at their most vulnerable and need specialist advice from lawyers who understand and are experts in dealing with the financial consequences of the breakdown of a family, but also the emotional impact on the family.
With effect from 22nd April 2014 new rules were introduced setting out how the court is to deal with family matters.
The ex-wife of a software company tycoon has failed to convince the Court of Appeal that financial aspects of her 'big money' divorce should be re-opened – despite three senior judges agreeing that her ex-husband deserved public condemnation for his deliberate dishonesty.
It is settled law that a Solicitor has a duty to report to a lender client information which a reasonable solicitor would realise might have an effect on the valuation or some other ingredient of the lending decision (Mortgage Express Limited -v- Bowerman & Partners  2 AER 836). This has recently been endorsed again in the case of E.Surv Limited -v- Goldsmith Williams Solicitors  EWHC 1104 (Ch).
In the E.Surv case, a borrower applied to a lender for a remortgage seeking a loan of £580,000.00.