Landlord loses dispute over licensing and planning permission


A landlord has lost a dispute with his local housing authority over the licensing of two of his properties that had been renovated without planning permission.

The issue arose out of Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004, which provided for the selective licensing by local housing authorities of private-sector housing in particular areas.

In 2014, the local authority introduced a borough-wide selective-licensing scheme.

Land Transaction Tax Receives Royal Assent


The Land Transaction Tax and Anti-avoidance of Devolved Taxes Bill received Royal Assent on 24 May 2017 having been introduced into the National Assembly for Wales on 12 September 2016.  The Bill outlines proposals to introduce land transaction tax (LTT), which will replace Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) in Wales from April 2018

The new proposals for LTT are part of the Welsh Government's aim to strengthen Wales’ ability to manage their own affairs and it is hoped that the new tax will develop a focus on the needs and priorities of Wales.

Dispute Resolution - the First Steps


Most organisations encounter disputes from time to time.  These often relate to disputes with an external party (such as a customer, supplier or competitor), or are internal – such as disputes between business owners or a former employee.

Our specialist Dispute Resolution team deals with a wide range of disputes for a variety of organisations and is recognised by the prestigious independent legal directories Legal 500 and Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession.

Our German Partnership

Berry Smith - German Partnership

In a unique development, two forward thinking and innovative law firms, Berry Smith LLP, based in Cardiff, and Leipzig based GRUENDELPARTNER, have combined their resources and formed a new collaborative partnership.

Andrew Bound and Steffen Fritzsche, partners at Berry Smith and GRUENDELPARTNER, respectively, met in Cardiff to formalise the partnership agreement.

This new concept will provide a one-stop-shop approach for UK clients looking to deal in Germany and German companies operating in the UK.

Berry Smith - Shortlisted for Property Law Firm of the Year

Berry Smith Commercial Property

Berry Smith’s Commercial Property team has been shortlisted for Property Law Firm of the Year at the Insider Wales Property Awards which are being held on 29th June in Cardiff.

The Commercial Property team is led by the two Partners, Martin Pursall and Chris Jones, and consultant Roger Berry, who are all recommended in the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners legal directories. In addition, the department has a further 15 members ranging from senior associates to support staff.

Court corrects blunder made by well-meaning company directors

The High Court has overturned a major mistake made by directors that would have had serious consequences for their company and its shareholders.

The problem arose because one of the directors had terminal cancer. The company was indebted to him for £600,000 and it was believed that upon his death, that amount would become immediately repayable, causing considerable difficulty for the business.

Deceitful director personally liable for £1m damages


A deceitful director who lied about her company’s ability to pay a supplier has been found personally liable for damages of £1 million.

However, her former husband who was her fellow director, was not liable as he knew nothing about the disputed contract.

The woman and her former husband were equal shareholders in a company buying and selling commodities.

Wife wins appeal over share of estranged husband’s estate

Probate and Wills

The problems that can arise if a person fails to keep their will up to date was highlighted in a recent case involving a deceased man’s estranged wife and his new partner.

The man had separated from his wife in 1994 but they did not divorce. Shortly after the separation, he began living with his new partner, but never updated his will so his wife remained his sole beneficiary.

In 2009, he and the partner bought a house in Dorchester which they owned equally. The man had a mortgage over his share.