Private Client

In Dispute with Your Neighbour? A Lawyer Will Help to Restore Peace

Disputes between neighbours frequently inflict enormous emotional and financial harm on all involved. A High Court dispute concerning use of a shared driveway showed why any lawyer would advise sensible negotiation as a far better alternative to...

Clerical Errors in Your Will or Codicil Can Create Discord After You Are Gone

Even apparently obvious or trifling clerical errors in a will or codicil may provide fertile ground for dispute and that is why it is so important to have such documents drafted by a professional. In a High Court case on point , a straightforward...

Interim Maintenance in Divorce Proceedings - Court of Appeal Gives Guidance

Working out the financial consequences of divorce takes time and that is why judges have the power to make interim maintenance awards to bridge the gap. In an important ruling, the Court of Appeal gave guidance on how that power should be exercised to...

Boys & Maughan University of Kent Law School Civil Advocacy Competition

Matthew Champ , a non-practising barrister and Chartered Litigator and Advocate at Boys & Maughan, organises the Civil Advocacy competition which started in November 2017. Elliot Simmonds won the 2021 Kent Law School Boys and Maughan...

Passenger Defeats International Airline in Battle Over Misspelt Name

Individuals can feel almost powerless when faced with the might of large corporations but, with the right legal advice, that is very far from being so. In a case on point, a judge ruled that an international airline had no right to charge a passenger almost...

Driving Instructor Stricken by COVID-19 Pays for Ignorance of the VAT Regime

The VAT regime is far from straightforward and anyone going into business on their own account should take professional tax advice at the outset. In a striking case on point, a driving instructor who was recovering from a life-threatening bout of COVID-19...

Disabled Would-Be Tenant Discriminated Against by Letting Agency

The much-criticised practice of some landlords and their agents of excluding those in receipt of state benefits from obtaining private rented accommodation has been effectively outlawed by a judge's ruling on the basis that it amounts to indirect...

Review your Will every few years to ensure it is up-to-date

The number of people making Wills across the country saw a significant increase in 2020 with the greatest rise being in those under 35 planning ahead and making sure that their loved ones will be looked after. Sadly, however, many families are also facing...

Child Abduction - Runaway Mother Feels the Force of International Law

Cross-border child abduction is an all too frequent result of broken relationships but it is also unspeakably cruel and English judges take their international treaty obligations to stamp it out very seriously. The High Court powerfully made that point in...

Racing Driver's Inaccurate Will Leaves His Heirs with Unwelcome Headache

The task of administering your estate after your death will be made all the harder if your will is not drafted with the precision that only a professional can provide. That was certainly so in one case concerning a retired racing driver's will which failed...

Disturbed by Your Neighbours' Building Plans? See a Solicitor Today

If you feel that your neighbours' building plans will impact on your views or otherwise harm your enjoyment of your home, you should not hesitate to consult a solicitor. In one case, a couple who did just that succeeded in blocking construction of a...

Budget Stamp Duty holiday extension likely to lead to more sustainable growth this summer, predicts Boys & Maughan head of residential property, Richard Durrant

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced yesterday that the stamp duty holiday, which started last summer, has been extended for three months until 30 June 2021. For property sales in England and Northern Ireland the current starting property value at which stamp...

Owed Money and Tired of Excuses? The Law Knows How Pressure is Applied

Many businesses and individuals who are owed money sadly become accustomed to hearing explanations and excuses for non-payment. However, as one case showed , specialist lawyers do not give up and are adept at bringing relentless pressure to bear on debtors...

Transatlantic Child Maintenance Storm Breaks Over One-Day-Old Baby

Some relationships sadly do not survive the prospect of impending parenthood and that can result in children being born into the teeth of a legal storm. In one case, a little girl was only one day old when she became the subject of child maintenance...

Tax Tribunal Rules Peripatetic Businessman 'Ordinarily Resident' in the UK

Many businesspeople lead peripatetic lives of constant international travel and the crucial question of whether they are settled in the UK for tax purposes can be very difficult to answer. A First-tier Tribunal (FTT) ruling , however, revealed the lengths...

High Court Uncovers Blatant Forgery as Will Dispute Tears Family Apart

If an elderly man had listened to his solicitor's repeated advice to make a will, his children would have avoided a sea of trouble after his death. His failure to do so resulted in a bitter High Court dispute and a judge's finding that one of his daughters...

Renting Out Your Home on AirBnB Without Legal Advice is a Grave Mistake

Many tenants who forego legal advice before subletting their homes to tourists and other short-term visitors do so in blissful ignorance that they may well be breaching the terms of their leases. That was certainly so in the case of a flat dweller whose use...

Given a Raw Deal by a Divorce Judge? Don't Just Sit on Your Hands

Many divorcees feel that judges have given them a raw deal when dividing up marital assets. They may or may not be right about that but, as one case strikingly showed , it makes much better sense for them to seek swift professional advice than to sit on...

COVID-19 - Ruling Underlines Desperate Impact on Care Home Residents

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it is becoming increasingly hard to see where the balance of harm lies between the risk of exposing care home residents to a life-threatening virus and compromising their most basic quality of life. The Court of Protection made...

Caring Restaurateur Relieved of £60,000 Tax Return Late Filing Penalties

Those who deliberately delay filing their tax returns risk incurring severe financial penalties. However, the tax regime leaves room for mercy and, in relieving a hard-pressed restaurateur of more than £60,000 in penalties , the First-tier Tribunal...

Is Your Water Supply Sourced from a Neighbour's Land? Do You Know Your Rights?

Many rural homes obtain their supplies of fresh water from sources which lie beyond their boundaries and such arrangements can sadly prove fertile ground for dispute. A case in which a farmer and his niece were at odds over water rights showed the wisdom...

COVID-19 - Troubled Mother Permitted Skin-to-Skin Contact with Her Baby

Contact arrangements between children in care and their parents often raise vexed issues, but all the more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a case concerning a mother who was denied skin-to-skin contact with her newborn baby, however, the High Court bent...

Making a Will? Appointing a Professional Executor Can Save Strife and Money

The trouble with appointing loved ones as executors of your will is that they are likely to be grief-stricken and there can be no guarantee that they will get on. A High Court decision showed that appointing a professional to perform the task is often the...

Capital Gains Tax - Couple Triumph in 'Principal Private Residence' Appeal

Home is where the heart is and the question of whether a property is your principal private residence for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) purposes depends, at least in part, on your intentions. An instructive case on point concerned a couple who made a house their...

Emergency COVID-19 Legislation - Judges Crack the Democratic Whip

Wide-ranging legislative changes that would normally require months, even years, of consultation were rushed through in a matter of days in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A Court of Appeal ruling in a landmark case concerning emergency changes to the...

Divorce and Remarriage - the importance of updating your Will when a relationship ends and when another begins.

With January notoriously known as the busiest time of year for divorce lawyers and with no-fault divorce set to be implemented in Autumn 2021, Solicitor, Eleanor McCabe , explains why your Will should always be reviewed  if you are...

Clubbing Together with a Friend to Buy a Home? See a Lawyer First

It makes sense for friends to club together so that they can buy properties they would be unable to afford by themselves. However, a cautionary High Court ruling showed that such arrangements are only wise if lawyers are consulted so that all concerned...

Legacies and Entitlement to Means-Tested Benefits - High Court Ruling

When making a will, most people would wish to provide for loved ones in need. As a High Court case showed , however, means testing of many state benefits creates a very real risk of such good intentions coming to nought and that is one very good reason why...

Parents Who Simply Cannot Cope Don't Deserve Condemnation

Through no fault of their own, some parents are simply incapable of providing the care and stability that all children need whilst growing up. As one case showed , however, the approach of family judges is not to condemn but to seek solutions that enable...

Has Covid encouraged couples to turn to collaborative?

There have been various reports and statistics about the impact that the restrictions since March 2020 have had on separating families. Most of them make disturbing reading but Boys & Maughan Solicitors has seen one positive trend, which is an increased...

High Court Acts to Free Mentally Ill Woman from Corrosive Relationship

Family lawyers work hand in hand with local authorities and medical professionals to protect vulnerable people from the controlling and coercive behaviour of others. In a striking case on point, the High Court authorised effective steps to be taken to free...

Couple Overturn Capital Gains Tax Demands Raised on Sale of Their Home

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are big battalions by anyone's standards, but their word is not law and, with expert legal assistance, they can sometimes be proved wrong. In one case, a couple succeeded in overturning six-figure Capital Gains Tax (CGT)...

Thwarted by Planners? Persistence and Legal Advice Can Still Win the Day

Obtaining authorisation for construction projects can be extremely demanding, but a combination of persistence and the right legal advice will often win the day. In a case on point, a householder whose hopes of building a garden room were time and again...

Trust and Estate Numbers Dip for Fifth Consecutive Year

HM Revenue and Customs have reported a decline in the number of trusts and estates in the UK for the fifth year in a row. Between 2018 and 2019, the total number of trusts and estates in the UK fell by 2 per cent to 151,000. The wealth management vehicles...

Why lasting powers of attorney are crucial during Covid

Covid-19 has made us all more conscious of our own mortality and the need to put Wills in place to make things easier should the worse happen. In truth, however, we never know what the future holds and it is essential to put Lasting Powers of Attorney in...

Divorce and the Increasing Use of Arbitration - Court of Appeal Test Case

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic it has become even more popular to seek resolution of financial issues arising from divorce via private arbitration rather than formal court proceedings – but to what extent are arbitration awards binding and enforceable?...

Success in the Court of Appeal for Boys & Maughan's Matt Champ

On 17 December 2020, Margate Litigation Partner Matt Champ, along with Stuart Snow of Stour Chambers, attended the Court of Appeal to respond to an appeal lodged in the matter of Boys & Maughan v Gary Moore (“Mr Moore”). Mr Moore was...

Has Your Privacy Been Violated? You Don't Have to Put Up With It

For many people there is almost nothing more painful than having their private affairs aired on the internet or in publicly available print. As a High Court decision showed , however, specialist lawyers know exactly how to deal with such intrusions. The...

Saturation Diver Can Deduct Physical Fitness Expenses from Income Tax

Self-employed people are only permitted to deduct from their Income Tax bills those expenses that are incurred 'wholly and exclusively' for the purposes of their trade or occupation. That is a very demanding test but, in a guideline case, it was passed by a...

Stamp Duty holiday advice for clients

This article is now out of date following the Chancellor's announcements in the budget on 3 March 2021. Please contact one of our residential property lawyers for advice on the current position.  Many of our conveyancing clients are concerned...

Buying a Home With Your Partner? Legal Advice Today Saves Heartache Later

Couples who buy a home together tend to assume that true love lasts forever and that the property should be owned in equal shares. As a High Court case showed , however, that is one very good reason why they should always consult a solicitor, whose job it...

Licensing Houses in Multiple Occupation - Ignorance of the Law is No Defence

Landlords who fail to license houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) commit a serious criminal offence and can expect to be hit hard in the pocket. In making that point, the Upper Tribunal (UT) emphasised that stiff financial penalties are generally required...

Inheritance - Lifetime Promises Can Be Legally As Well As Morally Binding

When it comes to inheritance, the obligation to keep your promises may well be legal as well as moral. In a case on point, a judge followed the demands of conscience in ruling that a hard-working man should inherit the farmland of a close friend who for...

Risks of Child Vaccination Outweighed By Health Benefits

In the best traditions of a free society, vaccination is not compulsory in the UK and anyone is entitled to withhold consent to being inoculated. In an important ruling, however, the High Court overruled a mother's moral and safety objections to her...

Tax Return Blunder Has Dire Consequences for Public-Spirited Charity Donor

Making a mistake on your tax return can have extremely serious consequences and that is why it is always wise to take professional advice. In a striking case on point, the High Court declined to come to the aid of a public-spirited businessman who donated...

Cross-Border Child Abduction and Habitual Residence - Guideline Ruling

A parent who wishes to move from one country to another with his or her child must first obtain the consent of the parent left behind. That principle of international law is easily stated but, as a guideline Court of Appeal ruling showed , applying it in a...

Upset By Your Neighbours' Building Plans? You Are Far From Powerless

If your neighbours have obtained planning permission for building works to which you object, you may think that is the end of the matter. However, as one case strikingly showed , with the right legal advice you can still win the day. A company obtained...

Don't Leave It Too Late to Put Your Affairs in Order

People often talk about putting their affairs in order but then sit on their hands until it is too late. The serious consequences of delay in seeking legal advice were underlined by a case in which a woman waited until she was resident in a hospice,...

Court Urges Peace on Unmarried Couple at War Over Family Business

Unmarried couples should be under no illusions that they have legal rights equivalent to those who have tied the knot. The point could hardly have been more powerfully made than by a case concerning an unmarried former couple whose close-knit life together...

If You Believe You've Been Sold a Pup, Consult a Solicitor Today

If you have paid good money for goods or services and feel that you have not got what you bargained for, you should see a solicitor without delay. A case on point concerned a man who paid about £4,000 for what he believed would be a surgical hair...

Moving home during the new lockdown

Some clients are asking us how the new restrictions affect those who are in the process of moving or will need to move in the new lockdown? The short answer is that house moves in England will be unaffected by the upcoming month-long lockdown. Housing...

Disappointed Homebuyers Secure Six-Figure Damages From Negligent Surveyor

One good reason why sensible homebuyers engage the services of a surveyor prior to purchase is that, if things go wrong, they at least have someone to sue. In a case on point, a couple who paid £1.2 million for a seaside home which turned out to be...

Independent Legal Advice Proves Decisive in Family Inheritance Dispute

Just because someone is old, frail and vulnerable does not mean that they are incapable of understanding the contents of their will. However, as a High Court ruling in the context of a bitter inheritance dispute showed, the benefits of professional advice...

Ignorance of the Law Is No Defence - Or Is It? Child Benefit Tax Ruling

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) must publicise changes in the tax regime and taxpayers are not obliged to go rooting around its website in an attempt to keep up to date. The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) made that point in finding that a father had a reasonable...

Conveyancing bodies unite to manage home buyers and sellers expectations

Overheated property market causing delays in the homebuying process. The Society of Licensed Conveyancers (SLC), the Bold Legal Group (BLG) and the Conveyancing Association (CA) have come together in a concerted effort to manage the expectations of those...

COVID-19 and Parental Contact With Children in Care - Guideline Ruling

How, if at all, is the duty of local authorities to allow children in their care reasonable contact with their parents affected by social distancing rules arising from the COVID-19 pandemic? The Court of Appeal confronted that issue in a guideline case . ...

Homelessness and the Need to Make Use of Vacant Investment Properties

Amidst widespread homelessness, owners of investment properties who allow them to stand empty for extended periods can find themselves on the receiving end of compulsory purchase orders (CPOs). Exactly that happened in a case concerning a desirable...

Ambiguity in Widower's Poorly Drafted Will Results in Family Stalemate

The whole point of engaging a professional to draft your will is to make your wishes clear in precise and unambiguous terms. If your will falls below that high standard the result, as a High Court ruling showed , can be family stalemate after you are gone. ...

Judge Breaks Deadlock Between Unmarried Ex-Couple With Children

When long-term relationships between unmarried couples break down, disentangling their property and financial affairs can be challenging, particularly where children are involved. As one case showed, however, a clean break is often the best option for all...

Object to a Planning Decision? A Lawyer Will Ensure Your Voice Is Heard

If you object to a planning decision, an expert lawyer will ensure that your voice is heard loud and clear. In one case, a woman succeeded in overturning planning permission for the construction of 18 holiday lodges close to her rural home. The local...

Boys and Maughan LLP

We are pleased to inform our clients that Boys & Maughan converted from a partnership to a Limited Liability Partnership on 1 October 2020. This will have very little effect on you as one of our clients and we are posting this article to our...

High Court Exercises Wisdom of Solomon in Ordering Sale of Family Home

Amidst ever-rising property prices, it can make good sense for friends or relatives to club together to buy a home where they can all live together. As a High Court ruling showed , however, the continuing harmony in human relationships upon which such...

COVID-19 - High Court Waives Strict Time Limit in Data Protection Case

The severe disruption to the legal process wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted judges to take a practical approach and, in some cases, to waive strict compliance with procedural rules. The High Court did just that in enabling a local authority to...

Court of Appeal Sanctions 'Informal' Tax Investigations in Landmark Case

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) operate within the constraints of their statutory powers, but their ability to conduct 'informal' enquiries into taxpayers' affairs, without limit of time, has been upheld by the Court of Appeal in a landmark ruling . The case...

Don't Even Consider a Foreign Adoption Without Specialist Legal Advice

Adopting children from abroad can complete families and be of great benefit to all concerned. However, as a High Court case showed, it is fraught with legal pitfalls and should not be attempted without first taking specialist legal advice. The case...

Property Investors - Make Sure Your Money is Secured From the Outset

Investing in property is very far from being risk free but usually has the advantage that monies advanced are secured against real 'bricks and mortar' assets. The crucial importance of ensuring that enforceable security is in place before parting with your...

Family Dispute Underlines Wisdom of Making a Professionally Drafted Will

Family disputes frequently focus on inheritance and can inflict immense anxiety and pain on all concerned. A case concerning a young man who died tragically when he stepped in front of a train, however, showed that the best way to avoid such conflict is to...

Giving With Warm Hands to Minimise Inheritance Tax - High Court Ruling

The most straightforward means of minimising Inheritance Tax (IHT) payable on your estate is to give away your assets with warm hands when you are still hale and hearty. However, such gifts will bring no tax advantages at all unless they are absolute and...

Want to Adopt a Child From Overseas? Beware the Legal Pitfalls

Adopting children from overseas is fraught with legal pitfalls and those who attempt to do so without first taking expert advice expose themselves to heartbreak. In one case, however, the High Court came to the aid of a British woman who adopted a little...

Ending the blame game - divorce reform in 2021

Next year will see the biggest shake up in divorce laws for a generation with the introduction of ‘no-fault’ divorce. Here, Andrea Huckstepp , a Chartered Legal Executive in our family law team who has been in practice for over 25 years,...

Let Down By Your Builder? Consult a Solicitor Without Delay

Home renovations are a notoriously frequent source of dispute and, if you feel that you have been let down by a builder, you should consult a solicitor straight away. In a case on point, a householder won a £200,000 asset freezing order against a...

Coronavirus - children in care and care proceedings

Our children law solicitors and lawyers have substantial experience in proceedings relating to Public Law children matters. Here we provide answers to the questions that our lawyers are regularly being asked. Social Services / the Local Authority are...

Home-Made Wills May Save a Few Pounds But Store Up Trouble for the Future

Home-made wills may save you a few pounds in the short term, but dispensing with legal advice greatly increases the risk of painful disputes arising after you are gone. That was certainly so in the case of a desperately ill man who left the whole of his...

Tempted to Fire Off a Social Media Post in Anger? Don't Do It

Social media posts fired off in anger can have grave legal consequences even if they are swiftly taken down. In an extreme case on point, a man who revealed his niece's history of mental illness and self-harm to the world online was ordered to pay her...

Tribunal Comes to Aid of Dutiful Son Penalised for Late Payment of Tax

Prioritising prompt payment of your tax bills can be tough, particularly when there are other compelling and unforeseen demands on your limited resources. In a case on point, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) came to the aid of a man who dipped into his tax...

Secret Marriage Leads to Legal Complications - High Court Ruling

It is not only in the realms of fiction that lovers choose to marry in secret, away from the gaze of their disapproving families. A highly unusual High Court case , however, showed the legal difficulties that can arise from such arrangements. The case...

Renting Out Your Home on Airbnb? Are You Sure You're Entitled to Do So?

Tenants should take professional advice before renting out their homes to short-term paying guests via Airbnb, Booking.com or other internet booking sites. In a case on point, a couple who failed to take that sensible step placed themselves in jeopardy by...

What are Boys & Maughan's current arrangements for making a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney?

We are still working and available to you during the Covid-19 pandemic. We have always been flexible in the way we conduct our work to suit your needs and this remains the case.  Our lawyers frequently take instructions for the preparation of Wills and...

Making a Will? Have You Considered Your Loved Ones' Real Needs?

For many parents, the objective of a will is to ensure even-handed treatment of loved ones, particularly children. However, as a High Court case strikingly showed, some may be more needy than others and that too should be taken into account. The case...

Tempted By an Exotic Investment Scheme? Is It Too Good to Be True?

It is easy to be tempted by exotic investment schemes that promise spectacular returns. However, as a High Court case strikingly showed , they are often too good to be true and it is always wise to get an independent professional to check them out before...

Divorce - Home-Maker Wife Compensated for Sacrificing Her Career

Despite the drive towards achieving economic equality between the sexes, it remains common for women to give up their promising careers to support their husbands and devote themselves to child rearing and home-making. An important High Court ruling ...

High-Profile Homeowners Can Divert Footpath Away From Their Garden

Ramblers love footpaths, but the same cannot be said for landowners concerned to protect their privacy and security. That was certainly so in one case in which homeowners with a high media profile won the right to divert a footpath which crossed their...

High Court Acts to Rescue Company After Sole Shareholder's Death

If you are an entrepreneur and own your own company, that is all the more reason why you should take professional advice regarding the consequences that might arise on your death. In an unusual High Court case on point , a farm contracting business was left...

Court Permits Wife Who Unlawfully Killed Her Husband to Inherit His Assets

Few would quarrel with the long-standing rule of law that anyone who unlawfully kills another is barred from benefiting, financially or otherwise, from his or her crime. In a unique decision, however, the High Court waived that rule in the case of an...

Children's Wishes and Feelings Prevail in Bitter Paternity Dispute

In the throes of family breakdown, parents often focus on their own personal battles – but it is the best interests of their children that are always uppermost in family judges' minds. In a case on point, the wishes and feelings of two teenagers ...

Trusts Are Handy But Can Be Hazardous - Always Take Advice

Trusts can be an invaluable means of providing for vulnerable loved ones, but they need careful handling by a professional if they are not to have serious unforeseen consequences. In a case on point, the High Court came to the aid of a retired GP whose...

SDLT Relief Takes Immediate Effect in England and Northern Ireland

A temporary Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) relief measure has taken immediate effect in England and Northern Ireland after being announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in his summer economic statement. The measure has been introduced by the Government to try and...

Parking Fine Imposed on Private Landowner Triggers High Court Test Case

A fine imposed on a householder for parking her Land Rover on her own land put the conflict between private ownership and public access to the road network in high relief and provided the subject matter for an important High Court test case . For many...

High Court Annuls Overseas Marriage After Ruling 'Wife' a Bigamist

In order to be divorced you obviously have to be validly married, and bigamy remains a surprisingly common occurrence. In one case, the High Court found that a couple's overseas wedding did not render them husband and wife – because she was already...

Disinherited Daughter's Bid for a Share of Her Father's Estate Rejected

If someone upon whom you depend financially dies leaving you nothing in his or her will, judges have the power to ensure that you do not go empty-handed. As a High Court case showed, however, that power will only be exercised in your favour if your need for...

COVID-19 Crisis - Judge Rules Derogation From Human Rights 'Essential'

The COVID-19 pandemic represents a public emergency which is threatening the life of the nation. A High Court judge wrote those words in reaching the momentous conclusion that, whilst the crisis persists, derogation from certain fundamental human rights is...

Are Parents Obliged to Control Unruly Children? High Court Test Case

To say that parents bear a moral responsibility to ensure that their children behave themselves in public is uncontroversial – but are they also under a legal duty to do so? The High Court addressed that issue in ruling that the sins of an allegedly...

Neighbours Succeed in Blocking Controversial Garage Extension

If a neighbour obtains planning permission for a building project to which you object, that does not always mean you just have to grin and bear it. In a case on point, objectors to a householder's plans to extend his garage succeeded in blocking his proposal...

Time Invested in Making a Will Is Time Invested Wisely

If you die without making a will, there is a real risk that your loved ones may be left high and dry. In one case, a man who said that he was grieving over his partner's death found himself bereft of legal rights and locked out of the flat they once shared. ...

COVID-19 Crisis Forces Change to UK IHT Payments and Returns Processes

HMRC are scrapping cheques for the payment and repayment of Inheritance Tax (IHT) and temporarily accepting printed signatures on IHT returns, as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The introduction of new ways of processing IHT and returns is to reduce...

Channel Islands Are Not 'Overseas Countries' - Guideline Divorce Ruling

The Channel Islands may be separated from the UK mainland by miles of water, but they are not overseas countries. In an unusual case, that simple fact was enough to defeat a woman's claim for a pension-sharing order following her divorce in Jersey. After...

When Is a New Home Complete? DIY Housebuilders Win £14,000 VAT Rebate

One of the benefits of building your own home is that you can claim back VAT paid on materials used in the project – but rebate applications have to be made within three months of the property's completion. That time limit came under analysis in a case...

Eminent Retired Judge's Intellect Weighs in Favour of His Will's Validity

Even people of the greatest intellect can be affected by diminished mental ability in old age and that is one good reason why it makes sense to execute a professionally drafted will sooner rather than later. A case on point concerned an eminent former judge...

Always Take Independent Professional Advice Before Investing Your Money

Fraudulent investment schemes are perennially tempting to the unwary and it really does make sense to take independent professional advice before parting with your money. In one case, the High Court found compelling evidence that hundreds of small investors...

Do Your Medical Records Stay Confidential Forever?

Your privacy rights will die with you, but that does not mean that just anyone will be permitted access to your medical records after you are gone. The extent to which such records should remain under wraps post mortem was analysed in a High Court test case...

Cruelly Deceitful Husband Ordered to Pay Betrayed Ex-Wife £2.25 Million

Where blame, if any, attaches for the breakdown of a marriage is generally irrelevant when it comes to dividing assets following divorce. However, as a cruelly deceitful husband discovered to his cost, bad behaviour can have consequences in that it is hardly...

Lordship of the Manor Almost Scuppers Residential Development

Lordships of the manor, whilst sounding grand, are often viewed as arcane titles with little real significance in terms of property rights. However, that is not always so and, in one High Court case, a lordship which was bought for just £100 almost...

Children Born Out of Wedlock Receive Shares of £1.29 Million Trust Fund

Few people nowadays care whether a child is born within wedlock, but the law is in some respects behind the times. In a ground-breaking ruling, however, the High Court has opened the way for illegitimate members of an extended family to receive shares of a...

Validity of Marriage - Court of Appeal Takes Rigorous Approach

The full rigour of formalities that must be gone through in order to solemnise a marriage have been upheld in a landmark case. The Court of Appeal found that a ceremony performed in a restaurant which was not registered as an authorised wedding venue was a...

Wills during the Covid-19 pandemic - our answers to your frequently asked questions

Now, more than ever, clients are looking for reassurance and certainty that their affairs are being looked after. Due to social distancing and the lockdown, we are currently working from home and arranging wills and providing other advice to our private...

Professional Gambler Fends Off £290,000 Income Tax Demand

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are always on the lookout for unexplained cash earnings which have not been declared for tax. However, in one case, a former professional gambler was relieved of a six-figure Income Tax bill after convincing the First-tier...

In Dispute With a Neighbour? Legal Advice Can Help Draw the Sting

Disputes with neighbours have a way of getting horribly out of hand, but legal advice taken at an early stage can help to draw the venom and save incalculable heartache and money in the long run. A case on point concerned flat dwellers who for years engaged...

Couple Pay for Pursuing 'Speculative' Professional Negligence Claim

Those who engage in speculative litigation on the basis of weak evidence can expect to be hit hard in the pocket. In a case on point, a couple who sued a friendly architect after she provided them with free assistance in re-landscaping their garden found...

How Erma Rizvi, one of our divorce and separation solicitors is continuing to support clients during the pandemic

Erma Rizvi , one of our divorce and separation solicitors at our Margate office, is working from home, attending remote court hearings and bringing peace of mind for her clients during the coronavirus pandemic. Here she talks about how she is helping...

It Always Makes Good Sense to Appoint a Professional Executor

Most people would consider it an honour to be chosen as executor of a friend's or relative's will. However, as a High Court ruling showed , the legal responsibilities that go with such a role can be extremely onerous and it usually makes better sense to...

Will appointments over the phone and supporting our private clients - Wendy's story

Wendy Macarthur , a Wills, lasting power of attorney (LPA) and probate specialist at our Birchington office , is working from home and continuing to assist clients during the pandemic. Here she talks about how it feels like business as usual except when...

Gender-Neutral Sharing of Assets on Divorce is Not Always That Simple

A gender-neutral and non-discriminatory approach to divorce generally requires an equal division of marital assets – but it is not always that simple. In one big-money case, complexities arose in respect of the husband's inherited assets and his wish...

Inheritance Tax Mitigation Scheme Ends in Abject Failure

If offered the opportunity to shelter their homes against future Inheritance Tax (IHT) liabilities whilst retaining the right to live in them rent free, most people would jump at the chance. However, as one case strikingly showed, that holy grail of tax...

Moving home from home: supporting our residential property clients during lockdown

Liz Dack , a residential property Partner based at our Margate office, is currently assisting people who wish to move home under the ever watchful eye of her bulldog, Daisy. Liz’s working arrangements are not without their challenges but she has...

Overlooking is Not a Private Nuisance - Landmark Court of Appeal Ruling

If you are a property occupier and have noise, dust, noxious smells, vibrations or other forms of nuisance inflicted upon you by a neighbour, the law will provide you with a remedy. However, the Court of Appeal has ruled in a landmark case that that...

How Vicky Burdett, one of our wills and lasting powers of attorney specialist solicitors, is supporting clients during lockdown

Vicky Burdett is based at our Margate office and, along with all of our private client team, is focusing on dealing with an influx of enquiries from local people who are seeking legal assistance.  Here, Vicky explains how she is gladly helping clients...

Former Couple's Division of Property Decided By Judge

Unmarried couples frequently intermingle their property whilst love still blooms, but sorting out who owns what after separation can pose a serious challenge. That was certainly so in the case of a former couple who, between them, owned two former council...

Divorced or separating? Our family lawyers are continuing to support clients during the current crisis

Zoey Arscott is one of our four divorce and separation specialists based at our Margate office who are currently all continuing to assist clients during the coronavirus crisis. We are also still serving current and new clients through our Canterbury...

Making a Will? Don't Forget Your Moral Obligations

You are in principle entitled to bequeath your worldly wealth to whoever you choose. However, as a High Court decision made clear, the law will intervene if you ignore your moral obligations when making your will. A successful motor dealer and property...

Coronavirus - five things to do to keep you moving home

Here at Boys & Maughan we know that buying or selling a property during the current crisis is much more challenging than usual but we are being optimistic and taking a “can do” approach to keeping people moving through these difficult times. ...

When Is a Property 'Completed'? DIY House Builder Wins VAT Rebate

DIY house builders are entitled to refunds of VAT they pay on materials used in their projects. However, as a decision of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) showed , seeking such rebates is far from straightforward and a strict time limit applies. A man applied...

Can I still move home in the current coronavirus crisis?

The Government has urged people not to move house to try to limit the spread of coronavirus across the UK. It has said that buyers and renters should delay moving while emergency stay-at-home measures are in place. For the full details see this page of the...

Guidance for separated parents on children moving between parents' homes

Increased social distancing measures to combat the coronavirus have undoubtedly been putting strain on families with shared childcare arrangements. Taking children from one home to another is a legitimate journey according to Cafcass and Government...

Adoption Only Justified If Nothing Else Will Do

Adoption of children outside their natural families is always a last resort and will only be permitted if nothing else will do. The Court of Appeal made that point in coming to the aid of a couple whose son was taken from their care when he was just two...

Dispute With Builder Leads to Costly Outcome for Homeowner

If you are involved in a dispute with your builder, taking sound legal advice is by far the best means of ensuring that matters do not get out of hand. One householder who failed to take that sensible course found himself embroiled in costly legal...

Court Breaks Impasse Between Warring Brothers in Farmland Dispute

Co-ownership of land by family members can be intensely problematic if they do not see eye to eye as to the use to which it should be put. A High Court case on point focused on a naturalist's ambition to 'rewild' farmland he and his brother had jointly...

Still Time to Stay Ahead of CGT Changes

New rules surrounding the payment of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on profits made on the sale of a residential property are now just weeks away. Taking effect on 6 April 2020, the changes will reduce the amount of time individuals have to pay their CGT bill and...

New Statutory Instrument Boosts Intestate Entitlement

A change to intestacy law recently announced by the government has increased the sum of money that spouses and civil partners of people who die without having made a will are entitled to receive. The change has been introduced via a statutory instrument...

High Court Backs Big Money Divorce Wife's Pursuit of Fraudulent Husband

It is hardly surprising that confidential or privileged documents which have or may have been illegitimately obtained cannot be used in evidence. However, as the High Court made clear in the context of a big money divorce case , that rule does not apply...

Letting Your Land Go to Rack and Ruin is an Invitation to Squatters

Letting your land stand vacant, going to rack and ruin, inevitably carries the risk that a squatter will obtain title to it. A woman who inherited a small but strategic strip of land from her builder father came within an ace of suffering that fate. The...

Court of Appeal Allows Will Dispute to Proceed

There is a general principle that a person may leave their estate to anyone they wish, but legislation exists – the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 – to allow people dependent on a deceased person to claim against the...

Government Issues Bailiff and Enforcement Officer Scam Warning

The Government is warning people to be on alert for fraudsters posing as court bailiffs and enforcement officers on the telephone. After claiming to be County Court bailiffs, High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEOs) or Certificated Enforcement Agents (CEAs),...

DWP investigations of estates can take 6-18 months

Sometimes the Department of Work and Pensions decides to contact the executors of an estate because they want to see if a means tested benefit was correctly claimed in the lifetime of the deceased.  The sort of information that they frequently require...

Couple Subjected to Race Discrimination By Adoption Agency Win Damages

Race discrimination may not be intentional, but it can be deeply hurtful and, with the right legal advice, victims can both express their disgust and secure compensation. In a striking case on point , a Sikh couple who were rejected as potential adopters...

Lack of Legal Advice Leads to Dispute Over Property

Couples can sometimes be tempted to enter into property transactions together without taking legal advice, on the basis that the love and trust between them will last forever. However, a High Court ruling strikingly showed how misguided such assumptions can...

Couple's Claim for CGT Loss on Holiday Home Succeeds

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) may appear a very big battalion indeed but, with the right legal advice, individuals can succeed in overturning their decisions. Exactly that happened in a case concerning a couple who lost over £6 million in a disastrous...

High Court Resolves Family Row Over Funeral Arrangements

What exactly is a will? The High Court addressed that fundamental issue in resolving a bitter family dispute in respect of where a much-loved son and husband should be buried. Following the man's death from cancer, his mother insisted that he should be...

Adoption is Always a Last Resort - Troubled Mum Achieves Redemption

One of the hardest tasks that family judges have to undertake is to remove children from the care of parents who are incapable of looking after them. However, as one case showed , adoption of children outside their natural families is only ever a last...

Family's Informal Occupation of Farmhouse Triggers High Court Dispute

Allowing people to occupy your property on the basis of a handshake is an invitation to misunderstandings and costly dispute. The point was proved by a case in which the trustee of an agricultural estate found himself in court after he informally permitted a...

Buyer of Crash-Damaged Ferrari Awarded His Money Back By Judge

If you have been deceived by a salesman into paying too much for dodgy goods, you should see a lawyer right away. The disappointed buyer of a crash-damaged Ferrari sports car who did just that was awarded his money back by a judge. The buyer was attracted...

Off-Plan Flat Buyer Wins Full CGT Relief in Test Case

Can a purchaser of a property be said to 'own' it after contracts are exchanged but before the transaction is completed? The Court of Appeal's answer to that fundamental question delivered a substantial Capital Gains Tax (CGT) saving to an off-plan flat...

Promises, Promises - Always Get a Lawyer to Put Them in Writing!

The trouble with informally agreeing with your loved ones what is to happen to your assets after you are gone is that you may not have considered all eventualities, and disputes can arise as to what has and has not been promised. Exactly that lay at the root...

Family Judge Blocks Attempt at Divorce Tourism in Big Money Case

English judges are respected around the world – but they are not the sole arbiters of fairness and the decisions of foreign courts must be respected. A family judge made that point in shutting the door on divorce tourism and refusing a Russian...

Trouble With the Neighbours? See a Lawyer Before It Gets Out of Hand!

One secret of a happy life is to get on well with your neighbours and taking legal advice is often the best way of defusing rows before they get out of hand. The point was resoundingly made by a case in which escalating boundary and right of way disputes...

Cryptoassets Are Property - Judicial Authority

The legal position of 'cryptoassets' – those which exist in electronic form and are held on distributed ledgers, bitcoins being the best-known example – has not been certain in the past. However, a recent legal statement by the Chancellor of the...

Failing to Keep Accurate Accounts is Like a Red Rag to the Tax Authorities

Failing to take professional advice and keep accurate accounts is like holding a red rag up to the HM Revenue and Customs bull. In a case on point, an international businessman who claimed to keep details of his income and expenditure 'in his brain' was...

High Court Assists Husband in Drawing a Line Under His Divorce

Litigation can be long and bitter, but it is the prime objective of the justice system to eventually bring it to a satisfactory end. In a case on point, the High Court came to the aid of a husband in drawing a line under his divorce . The case concerned a...

Judge upholds Will in dementia dispute

For a Will to be valid, the testator (the one making the Will) must be ‘of sound mind’ at the time of making and signing the Will. This means that they must be capable of understanding and approving of the contents and effects of the Will. With...

Field Owner Sees Off Neighbour's Squatters' Rights Claim

Landowners who neglect or fail to make use of their properties put themselves at risk of losing them to squatters. In a recent case on this subject, a woman faced a neighbour's claim that he was entitled to her field, having cut the grass for years. The...

Employee or Contractor? Broadcast Journalist Receives £400,000 Tax Bill

Establishing a company to act as an intermediary between yourself and the clients to whom you provide your services can have substantial tax advantages. As a case involving a broadcast journalist showed, however, such arrangements are pointless if the...