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Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG

Stephen Sellers reports on recent case law on the ‘standing’ to apply for judicial review

In the recent case of Wylde v Waverley Borough Council [2017], five claimants attempted to challenge the variation of a development agreement using judicial review proceedings, on the grounds that it was in breach of the Public Procurement Regulations 2006, in relation to public works concessions.

Shop workers who wish to opt out of working on Sundays are to get stronger legal protection, explains Connie Cliff

Back in March, government plans to give local authorities the power to alter Sunday trading rules were defeated by an unlikely alliance of Labour, the SNP and Conservative backbenchers. But not all of the proposed changes to Sunday trading laws contained in the Enterprise Act 2016 fell by the wayside.

Anna Fletcher and Connie Cliff look at how the Psychoactive Substances Act could affect employers

After some uncertainty and delay, the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 (the Act) came into force on 26 May. The Act bans the production and supply of ‘legal highs’ but not their use.

The EAT is at odds with HMRC over whether women on maternity leave should continue to receive childcare vouchers, explain Connie Cliff and Liz Wood

Many employers operate childcare voucher schemes as a benefit to their employees, usually by way of a salary sacrifice arrangement. Whether the childcare vouchers are classed as ‘remuneration’ or a ‘non-cash benefit’ has important implications for employees on maternity leave.

Paul Kent and Sally Coleman explore a decision that underscores the need for proportionality in choosing the correct planning enforcement procedure

Unnecessary, disproportionate and oppressive. Three words that would make any litigant wince and none more so than Stratford-upon-Avon District Council, following a recent application for an injunction against a well-known developer for its alleged failure to comply with planning conditions. Why, though, when using a perfectly legitimate statutory mechanism to restrain what it called ‘flagrant and persistent’ breaches of planning control, did the authority in question come in for such censure from the trial judge? More importantly, could they have avoided it? Stratford-upon-Avon District Council v Persimmon Homes [2015] is the most recent reminder that while statute offers a number of discretionary enforcement tools to planning authorities, the order of choice may well dictate the level of success.

Hannah Beacham analyses the government’s proposals to recover and cap public sector exit payments, including the impact on contractors

In the wake of some recent high-profile cases where public sector employees were paid generous termination payments only to be re-employed in the public sector shortly afterwards, the government is introducing two separate sets of measures to rein in such pay-offs.

The current state of play with HMRC v Murray Group Holdings has lessons for lax trustees. Catharine Bell and Nicole Aubin-Parvu provide an update

The unsuccessful appeal by HMRC in HMRC v Murray Group Holdings against the 2012 decision of the First-Tier Tax Tribunal once again highlights the importance for trustees of maintaining their independence and impartiality and exercising their discretion in strict accordance with the terms of their trust.

Sarah Dawe reviews a case where at long last a right to park a car in a single, identifiable space has been upheld as an easement

Car parking can be a remarkably contentious issue in property transactions. There are a number of different ways in which car parking rights may be granted, for example by way of a lease, an easement or a simple contractual licence.

Sarah Dawe explains why changes in the tenancy deposit scheme rules are not all bad news for landlords, but watch out for the transitional provisions

Since 6 April 2007, a landlord who receives a deposit in relation to an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) must ‘protect’ that deposit in one of three government authorised schemes. The regime, contained in the Housing Act 2004, is clearly aimed at the domestic private rental market. However, it appears to apply not only when a deposit is initially taken on the grant of an AST, but also where an investment property is sold subject to an AST, and the deposit transferred from the seller to the buyer. That is the case whether the investment in question is purely residential or mixed use. Commercial property lawyers, as well as their residential counterparts, therefore need to be familiar with the provisions of the legislation. If the landlord does not comply with the scheme, a fine may be imposed. The landlord may also find itself unable to recover possession of the property.

Greg Standing and Ian Weatherall argue that civil restraint orders are a valuable weapon in the litigators armoury

According to a recent Law Society press release (19 April 2012: ‘Litigants in Person’), litigants in person (LIPs) will be seen more frequently in family and civil cases due to the decline in public funding and the general state of the economy. The Law Society has issued a practice note on the potential issues of dealing with LIPs, including that practitioners (para 5 ‘Litigants in Person’):

Christopher Brennan considers the impact of the proposed EC Directives

Public procurement law is set to change following proposed new directives issued by the European Commission in December. Updating current rules, which are associated with lengthy, inflexible and expensive processes, they indicate a change for the better.

Sally Farrall exposes the problems inherent in attempting to register land as a village green when it has already been appropriated by a local authority for planning purposes

The tension between proposed developers of land, on the one hand, and local recreational users of that land, on the other, is a familiar one.

With HMRC’s attentions focused on sub-sale arrangements, Lee Nuttall reviews the findings of the recent decision DV3

Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) was launched in the midst of the longest sustained period of growth in UK property values. The suspicion is that, for a number of years, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) was so sufficiently ‘in clover’ as a result of SDLT receipts from those not using tax planning that it had little appetite (or resource) to challenge those who had used tax planning.