Divorce Maintenance Orders Are Not Written in Stone

Divorce Maintenance Orders Are Not Written in Stone An individual’s financial circumstances can change dramatically post-divorce and the courts retain power to vary orders to make allowance for unforeseen events. In one case, the High Court reduced a husband’s immediate maintenance liabilities by more than £20,000 a year after he fell on hard times. Following the couple’s divorce after a 12-year marriage, a judge ordered the sale of the family home and payment of a £1.6 million lump sum to the wife from the proceeds. The husband was also directed to pay £65,000 a year in maintenance to the wife and their son, along with the latter’s private school fees.…

Road Signs Must Be Clear – Taxi Driver’s Bus Lane Fine Overturned

Road Signs Must Be Clear – Taxi Driver’s Bus Lane Fine Overturned A £60 fine for diving in a bus lane may not seem very much to merit a full High Court hearing. However, everybody’s rights matter equally to judges and, with the right advice, you can invoke the legal system to enforce them to the hilt. The case concerned a taxi driver who was fined after being photographed in a bus lane by a traffic control camera. His appeal to an independent adjudicator succeeded on the basis that traffic restriction signs in the area were not in recommended form and were too far away from the start of the…

GDPR – Reminder

GDPR – Reminder The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect on 25 May 2018 and will affect many businesses in the UK. The UK’s decision to leave the EU will not have any immediate effect on the application of the GDPR. The legislation imposes significant record-keeping requirements for any organisation that processes or controls personal data and the penalties for breaches are significant. The definition of personal data is wider than under the current legislation and the GDPR requires organisations to show how they comply with it. In addition, specific information will need to be given to those who whose data is held. See the ICO website…

Former Nurse Prosecuted for Patient Personal Data Breaches

Former Nurse Prosecuted for Patient Personal Data Breaches Public authorities hold vast amounts of personal data and safeguards are in place to ensure that such information is kept safe. In one case, the Office of the Information Commissioner (ICO) mounted a successful prosecution against a former nurse who accessed the sensitive medical records of over 3,000 patients. The woman had also obtained unauthorised access to staff records across an NHS region and was dismissed when the truth emerged. It was one of the most serious incidents of its kind ever to affect the NHS in that region and, following an internal inquiry, patients were contacted and reassured that no records…

Supreme Court Rejects Challenge by Estranged Duaghter

Supreme Court Rejects Challenge by Estranged Duaghter The Supreme Court has overturned the decision of the Court of Appeal in a case which will comfort many in the knowledge that challenges to their wills by estranged relatives will be less likely to succeed. Melita Jackson had been deliberately excluded from the will of her mother, Heather Ilott, who proceeded to leave her entire estate to charity. Ms Jackson challenged the will and, after a lengthy legal battle, the Court of Appeal has assessed the amount of the award payable to her at £164,000.  Ms Jackson had been estranged from her mother for many years. When her mother died aged 70,…

Supreme Court Rejects Challenge by Estranged Daughter

Supreme Court Rejects Challenge by Estranged Daughter The Supreme Court has overturned the decision of the Court of Appeal in a case which will comfort many in the knowledge that challenges to their wills by estranged relatives will be less likely to succeed. Melita Jackson had been deliberately excluded from the will of her mother, Heather Ilott, who proceeded to leave her entire estate to charity. Ms Jackson challenged the will and, after a lengthy legal battle, the Court of Appeal has assessed the amount of the award payable to her at £164,000.  Ms Jackson had been estranged from her mother for many years. When her mother died aged 70,…

Premier League Wins Novel Court Order to Block Illicit Internet Streaming

Premier League Wins Novel Court Order to Block Illicit Internet Streaming The technological race is on between illicit Internet streaming services and rights holders in sporting events that can only be viewed lawfully by subscription. In one case, the High Court made a novel order to protect the Football Association Premier League Limited (FAPL) against the impact of online piracy. FAPL was concerned by the increasing use of set top boxes, media players and mobile devices to obtain free live streaming of Premiership matches. This threatened to undermine the value of FAPL’s intellectual property rights and to deter public attendance at football matches. It was also likely to reduce the…

College Stripped of Overseas Students Sponsorship Licence

College Stripped of Overseas Students Sponsorship Licence Trusted higher education institutions are permitted to sponsor entry into the UK by students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). However, as one High Court case made plain, that is not a right but a privilege that can be taken away if abused. The case concerned a privately run science and technology college that had in the past been recognised as a highly trusted institution and had been licensed by the Home Office to sponsor entry by both staff and students from outside the EEA. Following a review, however, that licence was revoked. That was primarily on grounds that the college had…

Construction Worker’s Electrocution Leads to Lengthy Prison Sentences

Construction Worker’s Electrocution Leads to Lengthy Prison Sentences Slapdash health and safety procedures on construction sites can lead to grave injury and even death. In one case, a workman’s electrocution when his ladder touched an overhead power cable resulted in gross negligence manslaughter convictions and substantial prison sentences for a landowner and a civil engineer. The man, in his 30s, was working on the development of a barn extension when he was electrocuted and suffered a fatal cardiac arrest. The owner of the site and the engineer who had advised him on the project were prosecuted on the basis that they had ignored an energy provider’s warnings concerning the proximity…

Curiosity Not Enough to Trigger Freedom of Information Duty

Curiosity Not Enough to Trigger Freedom of Information Duty Lots of people would love to know what their neighbours are up to but mere curiosity is not enough to justify disclosure of information about them that may be in the possession of public authorities. A tribunal made that point in refusing to disclose full details of informal advice given to a householder by a local authority planning officer. A council had a system whereby potential applicants for planning consent could, for a fee, receive preliminary advice from planning officers on the acceptability of their proposals. Such advice was not binding on the council and was not included in planning records…