Europe

Attorneys and gifts

The Public Guardian’s new ‘Practice Note PN7: giving gifts’ is a must-read for any attorney appointed under an Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney, or deputy, faced with the thorny issue of whether they can use the incapable donor’s funds in a transaction which is not for value – such as a payment by way of gift or to meet a person’s needs.

An attorney’s ability to make gifts is severely limited by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. An attorney must not make a gift from the donor’s funds unless it is made on a customary occasion for making gifts within families or among friends (Christmas, weddings etc).  It must be made only to someone related or connected to the person or to a charity that the donor would have supported, and be of a reasonable value in all the circumstances and given the size of the person’s estate.  Acting outside these constraints can land the attorney in varying degrees of hot water.

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Restrictive covenants; do they mean I can’t redevelop my property?

Developers often identify land that looks good for development on the face of it, only to discover that there are restrictive covenants preventing the land from being developed or used in the way they would like. This can be incredibly frustrating; especially where the restrictive covenants are historic and the interests they seek to protect appear to be of limited modern relevance.

In this article I will explore what a developer can do when confronted by such a restrictive covenant. I have used “beneficiary” to describe the party with the benefit of the restrictive covenant and “you” to describe the developer.

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A tale of Two Right Feet: indemnity costs for baby business

The tale of Two Right Feet Limited reminds us of the importance of investigating and considering the merits of a claim prior to commencing proceedings, and the dangers of forging ahead with speculative litigation.

In July 2017 a judgment of the High Court of Justice in Two Right Feet Limited (In Liquidation) v National Westminster Bank Plc, Royal Bank of Scotland Plc, KPMG LLP[1] ordered Two Right Feet Limited, an insolvent online baby products business (previously featured on BBC’s Watchdog), to pay indemnity costs of the three defendants.

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Limitation periods and standstill agreements: How can they impact your claims?

Claims arising from construction projects often require consideration of the law of limitation.

Limitation periods are statutorily prescribed windows within which claimants must commence claims. These periods do not, however, sit naturally against the nature and timeline of projects, where numerous parties are involved, the period from commencement through to completion can span many years, and the parties’ liabilities extend beyond completion.

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Block-insurance-buster

Block insurance policies are a very common way of insuring multiple properties. Landlords can benefit from economies of scale and may find the administration easier with only one renewal date and uniform terms. However, earlier this year the Upper Tribunal held that one landlord could not recover its block policy premia, despite being permitted to do so under the terms of its lease, because the premia were not “reasonably incurred”.

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Is a UK parent liable for the conduct of its foreign subsidiary?

In a landmark decision in Lungowe v Vedanta Resources Plc[1] the Court of Appeal has ruled that a number of claimants can pursue their claim against a Zambian mining company and its English parent in the English courts despite the claim’s limited connection to England. The decision has widened the scope of potential claims against a UK parent company to include claims by those affected by a subsidiary’s operations. The decision should be on the radar of UK companies with foreign operations.

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Kan en europæisk patentansøgning afdeles til en dansk national patentansøgning?

Sø- og Handelsretten har den 24. januar 2018 afsagt en dom vedrørende muligheden for at afdele en national patentansøgning på grundlag af en europæisk patentansøgning. Ved dommen afviser Sø- og Handelsretten at fortolke patentlovens §§ 11 og 82 til støtte for, at en europæisk patentansøgning skal have virkning som en dansk patentansøgning, hvorfor Ankenævnet for Patenter og Varemærkers påstand om frifindelse blev taget til følge.

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Høringsudkast til Almindelige Betingelser for arbejder og leverancer i bygge- og anlægsvirksomhed (AB 18)

Den 2. februar 2018 offentliggjorde udvalget til revision af AB93, ABT93 og ABR89 deres første udkast til nye vilkår. Udkastet er i offentlig høring indtil den 12. marts 2018 og vil blive gennemgået på en høringskonference den 21. februar 2018.

Udvalgets arbejde har været længe imødeset i byggebranchen. Ikke mindst har alle været spændt på, om udvalget ville ændre på hele aftalesystemet eller forsætte den hidtidige anvendte systematik, der i hvert fald kan føres tilbage til AB72 og som AB92 bygger på. Af de udsendte generelle bemærkninger fremgår, at udvalget har valgt at følge den hidtidige systematik og udbygget denne, hvor det er fundet hensigtsmæssigt.

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Højesteret har truffet ny afgørelse i sag om sagsomkostninger

Højesteret har den 15. januar 2018 afsagt dom vedrørende sagsomkostninger, hvor sagen drejede sig om, hvorvidt en rekvirent havde krav på hel eller delvis dækning af udgifter til en bankgaranti på 10 mio. kr., der var stillet som sikkerhed i forbindelse med et fogedforbud i 2008.

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Attention Farmers

A recent statutory instrument came into effect on the 21st November 2017, which alters the way single farm entitlements are distributed in wills.

Previously, single farm entitlements could be directly passed onto specific beneficiaries in a will. If the will was silent on the issue, then the single farm entitlements fell into the residuary estate and passed to the residuary beneficiaries in the will.

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