July 2013 Archive

FOS shares seven real-life attitude-to-risk rulings

Read the IFAonline.co.uk article on seven of the FOS decisions and how it arrived at them. The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has made public seven of its decisions - and how it arrived at them - following complaints from consumers who claimed they were recommended an investment product that carried a level of risk inappropriate for them.

CAP reform remains shrouded in uncertainty

Despite the best efforts of the Irish Presidency to secure a last minute agreement on CAP reform before handing over to Lithuania at the end of June, the result is anything but clear. Broad agreement has been reached on the direction of the reform but the detail is still being developed, in particular the financial aspects which are still to be decided in further budget talks.

HS2: Safeguarding Direction Secures the Route

Hot on the heels of the news that the cost of HS2 has risen to c. £43bn (excluding rolling stock), the Secretary of State for Transport announced on July 9 that the route of phase one (London to Birmingham) has been safeguarded. From now on, no development can take place within 60m of either side of the route without the express permission of HS2 Limited, the company established to oversee the building of the railway. In addition, statutory blight now applies within that 120m strip whereby owners of affected property can serve notice on the Government to buy their property.

Lease renewals

The three cases outlined illustrate the complexities of leasehold law – not only the importance of understanding the deadlines for renewal but also ensuring correct drafting of the lease in the first instance. Although the examples we examine here are unusual, the principles at stake are universal.

Will failing councils herald a goodbye to 'Localism'?

Seven councils identified as facing ‘special measures’ for poor performance in processing planning applications, could face being bypassed by applicants for planning permission. Under provisions (to be published in the autumn) in the Growth and Infrastructure Act (the “Act”), applicants will have the option to apply direct to the Secretary of State if a council has been designated ‘poor performing’. This could mean that major planning applications for new housing developments, infrastructure projects and commercial developments could be speeded up.

Does a solicitor owe a duty to ensure that mediation ends in a binding agreement?

In Frost v Wake Smith and Tofields Solicitors, the Court of Appeal considered whether a solicitor was negligent in failing to put an agreement, reached by parties during mediation, into a legally enforceable form. The Court’s decision that the solicitor was under no such obligation has upheld the flexibility of mediation and clarified the duties of solicitors when participating in mediation.

Law Commission publishes consultation on rights to light

Rights to light are valuable: they give landowners certainty that natural light will continue to be enjoyed by a property – increasing its utility, value and amenity. The Law Commission published its consultation paper on rights to light on 18 February 2013. The consultation closed on 16 May 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) requested the Law Commission to undertake a review of the law of rights to light, given recurrent difficulties over resolving rights to light disputes swiftly and simply.
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