Legal articles

Quantifying beneficial interest in jointly-owned property

The House of Lords case of Stack v Dowden (2007) concerned the declaration of beneficial interests in relation to a property which was jointly owned by a co-habiting couple. It was established that in the event that such a property had to be divided and there was no expressed declaration as to the respective beneficial interests, the starting point would be that where there was joint legal ownership, the parties intended there would also be joint beneficial ownership in equal shares. If either party wished to show that they were entitled to a different share, the onus would be upon them to provide compelling evidence to support a claim for higher shares.

The right to a view

It is a long established principle in English Law, first recorded in 1610, that a land owner can not protect the view that he has from that land; the rationale is that it would unduly limit the freedom to build on one's own land and thereby hinder beneficial development. However this basic premise, under specific circumstances, has been successfully challenged in the Court of Appeal.

Retention: what does your sub-contract say?

Many people are familiar now with the effect of clause 110 of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (“the Construction Act”). Under this clause, every construction contract must include an adequate mechanism for determining what payments become due under the contract - and when - and provide for a final date for payment in relation to any sum which becomes due.

What is the legal status of a horse?

As with all matters legal, a horse's legal status depends on the circumstances. They can be defined as goods, agricultural animals, a conveyance or food depending on the circumstances in which the definition is being sought.

No waiver clauses called into question by Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal has thrown into doubt the effectiveness of no waiver clauses in a commercial case with potentially far reaching ramifications. No waiver clauses are a very common feature of the ‘boilerplate’ provisions in commercial contracts and as such they appear in a huge number and variety of agreements. Until very recently there has been little court authority on the enforceability of no waiver clauses.
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