The Practical Lawyer


Insurance – material change

Since an insurance contract is a contract ‘of the utmost good faith’ it follows that the insured must disclose all material facts (and not misrepresent material facts). In deciding what is ‘material’, the statute says:

‘Every circumstance is material which would influence the judgment of a prudent insurer in fixing the premium or determining whether he will take the risk’ (Marine Insurance Act 1906).
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Adverse possession – highway?

Is it possible for a squatter to obtain adverse possession of land dedicated as a public highway?

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Right of way – interference

To what extent can someone who has granted a right of way ‘interfere’ with the exercise of that right of way?

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Right of way – right to park?

The general rule is that no right to park will be implied into a right of way. There is, however, a Scottish case which is often referred to as an authority for an implied right to park.

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Charging order – Land Registry

If there are joint proprietors, the LR will not register a charging order if there are two separate documents (ie one against each of the proprietors).

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Break option – less strict test?

It is well known that break options are strictly construed, and all requirements must be followed to the letter before the option can be validly exercised. The classic example is Bairstow Eves [1993] where T had covenanted to decorate the premises in the last year of the term; in fact, T decorated four months before the beginning of the final year, but that was held to be a breach and thus T could not exercise the option to renew its lease.

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Restrictive covenant – interference with view?

We all know that, in law, there is no right to a ‘view’. But, a recent case shows how a restrictive covenant against ‘annoyance’ can be used to protect a view.

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SDLT – group relief lost

FA 2008 introduced important changes to the way group relief operates – in particular, how the relief can be clawed back if there is a subsequent ‘change of control’ of the purchaser.

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SDLT – apportioning goodwill

Not everyone is happy with the Revenue’s new approach to the assessment of goodwill on a trade sale (when the business is sold as a going concern). As we noted in our March 2009 issue (p15) HMRC now takes the view that goodwill is an asset that is separate from the land, and it will nearly always exist in such transactions.

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Conveyancing deeds – inserting pages?

What happens if a client signs a deed, but the solicitor then amends the document (eg inserts a revised page)? In practice, this happens a lot but the wisdom of such practices has been thrown into doubt by a recent tax case.

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