Entering into property transactions without expert legal advice is always a hostage to fortune. A restaurateur found that out after he was dishonestly induced to enter into an clandestine sub-lease of commercial premises by a businessman whom he trusted as a friend. Following a series of informal meetings, the restaurateur agreed to take a sub-lease…

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Email Footer Counts as Signature, High Court Rules In a recent property case that will have a bearing on all contractual matters, the High Court ruled that a footer automatically appended to an email amounted to a legal signature and led to a contract for the sale of land being formed. A couple who owned…

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Is a professional cricket ground a business? Or is it merely land with income streams attached? The First-tier Tribunal’s (FTT’s) answer to those questions in a guideline case relieved the former owner of one such facility from a crushing Capital Gains Tax (CGT) bill. The ground, which hosted test matches and other major cricketing events,…

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In the court of appeal case of The Alexander Devine Children’s Cancer Trust v Millgate Developments Ltd. and Another [2018] EWCA Civ 2679, disregard for legal obligations in property development is unwise, as this case shows. It involved a developer that decided to build affordable housing in the full knowledge that the charity which owns adjacent…

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Defamatory statements posted on the Internet are viewed worldwide, raising the question of exactly where the reputational harm they cause has arisen. The High Court tackled that very modern issue in a libel case brought by a man who claimed to be the creator of the bitcoin crypto-currency. The computer scientist launched proceedings in London…

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The balance of power between HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and taxpayers may appear to be all one way. However, as a Court of Appeal decision showed, expert legal advice can be highly effective in levelling the playing field. HMRC wished to open an enquiry into a businessman’s tax return but, in order to do…

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Sham legal documents are created for all sorts of nefarious purposes, but judges are well practised at uncovering them. In a case on point, a sham lease created with the intention of evading business rates failed to convince the High Court. After receiving non-domestic rates demands for over £62,000 from a local authority, a commercial…

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When deciding whether an enforceable contract has come into existence, the first question to be answered is whether the parties intended to be bound. The Supreme Court made that point in upholding an estate agent’s entitlement to commission on a £2.1 million property sale. The developer of an apartment block had been put in touch…

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Due to the great public interest in an effective national telecommunications network, mobile phone operators can require landowners to provide plots for their equipment. However, as with any intrusive rights that can be imposed on the unwilling, the rules that apply before they can be exercised are tightly drawn and interpreted. A case on point…

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Before disposing of property assets, charities are required to meet a number of procedural safeguards that are designed to ensure that the best price reasonably obtainable is achieved. The High Court gave detailed consideration to those provisions in a case concerning a charity’s abortive sale of two commercial buildings. The charity contracted to sell the…

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