Building firm wins £700,000 payment dispute with developers


A building firm has won a dispute over a £700,000 payment after the High Court upheld a decision made by an adjudicator.

The firm had been contracted by some developers to provide pre-construction services for a proposed retirement village. Once the work was complete, it submitted an invoice but didn’t receive payment.

The firm then served a payment notice under the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009.

Director must repay unauthorised gifts and loans with interest

A director who channelled substantial payments from his family’s businesses to a new company he had set up on his own has been ordered by the High Court to repay the money with interest.

The case involved two brothers and their extended family. One of the brothers started making unauthorised gifts and loans to his new company after his father died. The payments had not been approved by the other family directors.

Divorcing wife loses appeal to maintain marital living standards


The Court of Appeal has ruled that divorce settlements don’t have to try to enable each partner to maintain the same living standards they enjoyed during marriage.

Mr Justice Moylan said he did not agree that “need should be met at a level similar or comparable to the standard of living during the marriage”. He said this was just one of many factors when considering a fair settlement.

The issue arose in the case of retired doctor, James MacFarlane, aged 74, and his wife Katriona, who’s 58.

Landlord’s terms judged too severe in Vivienne Westwood case


The terms of a rental agreement that would have meant fashion designer Vivienne Westwood having to pay an extra £100,000 on her flagship store in Mayfair were too severe to be enforceable, the High Court has ruled.

Vivienne Westwood Ltd leased the premises from Conduit Street Development Ltd in 2009 on a 15-year term with rent reviews after 5 and 10 years.

A side letter was entered into at the same time as the lease. Under its terms, the landlord agreed to accept a lower rate of rent, increasing gradually from £90,000 for the first year to £100,000 for the fifth year.

GDPR: The new General Data Protection Regulation - What every CEO needs to know


On Thursday 25 May 2017, Dr Philip Griffiths, Senior Consultant Solicitor at Berry Smith Lawyers, will be holding a breakfast seminar focusing on the implications of the new GDPR and the opportunities it brings for compliant organisations

Buying or Selling your home

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Architect faces negligence claim despite giving services for free


Businesses and professionals need to take care when giving their services free to friends because they could find themselves facing a negligence claim if things go wrong.

That is what happened to an architect in a recent case that has gone all the way to the Court of Appeal.

The issue arose after the architect agreed to help her friends with a project to landscape their garden. For no fee, she secured a contractor, who carried out the earthworks and hard landscaping.

The architect intended to provide subsequent design work for which she would charge a fee.