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The Court of Appeal has given further clarification on breach of trust claims brought against solicitors by lenders. In AIB v Mark Redler & Co, the solicitors were negligent in acting for AIB on a remortgage advance of £3.3 million. The solicitors had failed to obtain a redemption figure for the borrowers’ second loan account with Barclays who had a first legal charge on the property. Instead of paying some £1.5 million to Barclays to redeem the charge, the solicitors only paid £1.2 million for the redemption of the first loan with the balance of the proceeds going to the borrowers. As a result, AIB only had the benefit of a second charge. The property was subsequently repossessed. The borrowers were made bankrupt resulting in substantial losses for the lender.

AIB argued that the solicitors were also in breach of trust due to the failure to obtain a first legal charge for AIB and that the solicitors were obliged to repay the full amount of the advance. The Court of Appeal rejected this argument on causation grounds. If they had been no breach by the solicitors, AIB would still have gone ahead with the transaction and would have still made the same losses, the only difference is that they would have additional security of around £300,000 being the amount of the second loan and therefore the equitable compensation for breach of trust was limited to this amount.

The Court of Appeal has also stated that on a remortgage, solicitors are in breach of trust unless they obtained a redemption statement from the existing lender and a suitable undertaking. In cases where the existing lender is not legally represented, an unconditional confirmation is required that the advance will be applied by the lender in redemption of its charge.

The AIB decision is significant in that it is a further illustration that lenders may not be in a better financial position in seeking to bring claims for breach of trust as opposed to claims in breach of contract and negligence where contributory negligence defences are available to the solicitors.
Guest post from London solicitors. For specialist criminal defence legal advice contact Lewis Nedas Law’s tax defence lawyers – visit their website here:

Tackling tax evasion is one of the three big items on the UK’s agenda as it takes on the Presidency of the G8. In a speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged “to use the G8 to drive a more serious debate on tax evasion and avoidance.”

The announcement followed hard on the heels of a speech by Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), in which he promised to continue cracking down on the practice.

Tax evasion v tax avoidance

Instances of both tax evasion and tax avoidance have been in the press recently. Starbucks and Amazon, for example, felt the wrath of the British media when it was revealed that they were, quite legitimately, paying minimal tax in the UK, despite earning massive profits.

This is tax avoidance, described by HMRC as using the tax law to get a tax advantage that Parliament never intended. It is legal, but often involves contrived artificial transactions that serve little or no purpose other than to produce a tax advantage.

Tax evasion, on the other hand, involves fraud or deliberate concealment, and is a criminal offence. Numerous cases have hit the headlines recently, and HMRC has added to growing awareness of the issue by publishing pictures of thirty of the most prolific offenders on Flickr.

The Prime Minister’s pledge

According to Prime Minister David Cameron, tax evasion and tax avoidance is an issue whose time has come. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, he warned that governments need to act together to tackle the problem.

“This is about me and all the other G8 leaders being able to look our people in the eye and say that when they work hard and pay their fair share of taxes, we will make sure that others do as well,” he said.

HMRC actions

Back home, there are clear signs of a focused approach to tax evasion.

HMRC recently launched a national publicity campaign to increase awareness about tax evasion and the actions that the Revenue is taking to detect it.

These include plans to increase specialist staff levels by 2,500 by 2014-15; improve the detection of high-risk cases through the use of new technology; make more use of offshore agreements with other tax authorities; and continue using specialist regional taskforces to deal with high-risk sectors.

The approach of the DPP

On the criminal justice side, DPP Keir Starmer set out his approach to tax evasion in a recent speech, highlighting the boost given to the fight against tax evasion by the creation of the Central Fraud Division within the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Looking ahead, he predicted that extra funding will result in an increase in the number of cases that are referred to the CPS by HMRC. He expects up to 1165 non-organised tax fraud cases to be referred in 2014-15 – up from 565 cases in 2012-13. In addition there will be a significant number of cases relating to organised criminal gangs.

Starmer also highlighted a recent first – the successful prosecution of a case relating to the creation and operation of a dishonest tax avoidance scheme, and the subsequent imposition of a significant custodial sentence – as a sign of the growing effectiveness of the fight against tax evasion.

“No scheme is too clever or complex to be detected, to be put before a jury and to be found to be illegal,” he warned.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, you should be aware of what the cause for the accident was, could have it been avoided, and who was responsible. Understanding the last question is the first step you should take when it comes to holding them responsible. Once you know who is responsible, it is important to hold them accountable for any injuries that might have been sustained.

Even if you have been injured in an accident from the fault of an individual driver, there may be other factors in play that could have contributed to your auto accident. Other parties that may be at fault include the following.

The owner of the vehicle – The driver of the vehicle may not necessarily be the owner of the vehicle. Employees driving company cars or parents of a teen driving the car that was involved in the accident may be held accountable in the event of an accident.

Employers – When an accident occurs on the road and it stems from negligent behavior of an employee driving an employer’s car, then the employer may be held responsible. In certain situations, a parent company could be at fault. Talk to an auto accident attorney about who may be held responsible if you have been involved in an accident.

Car manufacturers – Sometimes accidents happen and it’s not necessarily the fault of any driver. Negligent design or faulty equipment and parts could be the root of an auto accident. When a car leaves the manufacturer and is put on the street, there should be no problems in how the automobile operates. When brakes fail or if an airbag doesn’t deploy properly which causes preventable injuries, the manufacturer of the automobile may be held liable.

Get the facts from a professional accident law firm when it comes to holding parties responsible during an auto accident. Your injuries and the price you may have to pay should not come at your expense, but at the expense of those at fault.

Why Juvenile Probation is More Effective than Incarceration

It’s a sad truth that criminal offenders are getting younger each year, putting more of a strain on the legal system than at any other time in history. Probation is often the sentence handed down for many of these young criminals. Sentencing youthful offenders to probation instead of incarceration typically offers more benefits, both to the legal system and to the offender.


Children who are placed on probation are still able to fulfill the obligations of their education. Rather than being placed in a juvenile facility, these children remain in the community and attend school without interference. In fact, a condition of probation is often regular school attendance. Furthermore, children on probation must not get into further trouble while in school. This structure is often enough to encourage young offenders to get back on track. Consequences to missing school or bad behavior are clearly laid out in the probation contract; these missteps often lead to the handing down of further, more stringent punishment by the court.

2.Resources within the Community

Once placed on probation, young people have access to community resources that they may not otherwise have been aided by. These children may be required to attend substance-abuse treatment, mental health counseling or participate in volunteer activities that will benefit the community. As a part of sentencing, these resources are often free to the family of the offender. This can be an important component in the rehabilitation of the child, particularly if the family is not financially able to help their child.

3.Family Support

Families often struggle to deal with children who break the law, participate in undesirable activities, or otherwise disrupt the community. Once a child is placed on probation, the juvenile probation officer will work with families, giving them the knowledge and tools necessary to help rehabilitate their child. Families will gain access to support groups and necessary resources that will help ensure the betterment of both their child and the family unit.


For some children, strong familial support is lacking. Once these children break the law and are placed on probation, they are assigned a court-appointed advocate. This person will stand for the juvenile, attending court hearings, helping move the child through their court sentence, and acting as a mentor to the offender. Many juveniles benefit from having a positive role model in their lives; an advocate can provide the stability so often absent in the lives of these youthful offenders.

5.Scared Straight

While it may seem an unfortunate thing to have happen, being placed on probation can often be a blessing in disguise. For some young people, it only takes one trip through the legal system to turn their lives around. It is for these children that probation is most often effective. For children that are mentally immature, this wake-up call can be the necessary occurrence that stops their behavior before it spirals out of control.

While there are those people that feel probation is too lenient for many young people, its effectiveness has been proven time and again. Rather than incarcerating children, probation gives offenders an opportunity to maintain a normal lifestyle while remaining accountable for their actions.

Chantel Leck is an avid blogger. If you have in interest in helping troubled youth, pursuing a criminal justice online degree can offer a career helping juveniles head down the right path.
Guest legal blog post regarding directors’ duties under the Companies Act 2006 in the UK.

Directors are open to claims for breach of duty and sanctions such as disqualification from office or a criminal offence if they are not familiar with their duties under the Companies Act 2006 (the “Act”) which codifies the duties of directors.

A director’s principle duties are as follows (subject to permissible amendments made to the company’s constitutional documents):

Duty to Exercise Reasonable Care, Skill and Diligence (Section 174)

This duty is related to a director’s liability for wrongful trading and whether a director can be held liable for wrongful trading is measured by: (i) comparing a director’s actions with the standard expected of a reasonable director in the same role; and (ii) considering the director’s own knowledge, skills and experience. In the event of a breach of this duty the most likely remedy for the company is damages.

Duty to Promote the Success of the Company (Section 172)

The duty to promote the success of the company requires a director to act in a way that is in the best interest for the company as a whole. This duty requires a director to have regard for the following (which is a non-exhaustive list):

  • The long term consequences of any decision
  • Employee’s interests
  • The company’s relationships with stakeholders
  • Impact on the community and environment
  • Maintaining a reputation of high standard
  • The need to act fairly between members of the company

Duty to Act within Powers (Section 171)

This duty simply requires a director to act in accordance with the company’s constitution including compliance with any resolution or other decision made in accordance with the constitution.

Duty to Exercise Independent Judgement (Section 173)

The duty to exercise independent judgement does not preclude a director from obtaining professional or other advice but the director must ensure that any decision is made based on his or her own judgement.

Duty to Avoid Conflicts of Interest (Section 175)

The nature of this duty is axiomatic; directors must avoid situations where they have or can have either a direct or indirect conflict with the company’s interests without disclosure to and authorisation from the company.

Duty not to Accept Benefits from Third Parties (Section 176)

This duty essentially prevents a director from making a secret profit occasioned by being the director of the company. It does not apply where accepting a benefit involves no conflict of interest.

Duty to Declare Any Interest of the Director in a Proposed Transaction or Arrangement (Section 177)

A director is required to disclose the nature and extent of his or her interest before entering into a transaction. This duty is not binding where there cannot be a conflict of interest or where the other directors are aware (or ought to be aware) of the director’s interest.

If you would like further information on either company law or director’s duties then you should speak with a commercial or corporate law firm whose business lawyers will be able to advise further.
If you’ve been asked to consider entering into a compromise agreement then you may have certain demands of your employer – one of these may be, for example, continued use of your company car after your employment ends (whether temporarily or permanently). In this post we’ll look at what a compromise agreement is, what forms of benefit you can expect under a compromise agreement, and whether you can use your company car after you’ve signed your compromise agreement. We’ll do so in the following order:

  1. What is a compromise agreement?
  2. What forms of benefit can I receive under a compromise agreement?
  3. Can I use my company car after I’ve signed a compromise agreement?

What is a compromise agreement?

A compromise agreement is a form of contract regulated by statute. It allows an employer and an employee to settle a potential or existing dispute, with the employer offering some form of benefit (whether this benefit is financial or non-financial) in return for the employee agreeing to waive certain (or all) of their rights against the employer (such as the right to make an unfair dismissal claim). The employee should be informed by the employer that they should receive independent legal advice from a relevant legal adviser. The employer will normally contribute towards the cost of obtaining legal advice (in the range of between £250 and £600).

What forms of benefit can I receive under a compromise agreement?

Broadly put, you can receive either financial or non-financial benefits under a compromise agreement. Financial benefits could include notice pay (or pay in lieu of notice), redundancy payments, holiday pay, compensation for the termination of your employment, or the continued use of contractual benefits (such as medical insurance, the use of a company car, or the use of company equipment such as a mobile telephone or laptop computer). Non-financial benefits include such things as particular agreements to confidentiality or the provision of an agreed reference to potential future employers.

Can I use my company car after I’ve signed a compromise agreement?

If you already enjoy the use of a company car under your contract of employment you can agree with your employer under the compromise agreement an extension of the time period under which you’re allowed to use the company car. This arrangement can be either temporary or permanent (it’s more frequent for it to be a temporary measure). However, you should bear in mind that the provision of a contractual benefit such as this is taxable and you should therefore be careful for this eventuality to be covered in the terms of the compromise agreement.

Famous people with law degrees are a dime a dozen. It turns out that most Presidents of the United States, many other politicians and quite a few unexpected celebrities have suffered the rigors of law school and managed to pass the bar exam, albeit some of them had to try several times!

This isn’t an article about them. Instead, this is a list of five famous lawyers in recent memory who actually practiced law. Some of the names won’t be familiar to anyone outside the profession, but all of them are renowned for the cases they worked on, their skill as litigants and their dedication to clients.

Christopher Darden

His name might not be familiar, but many Americans would quickly recognize his face. Darden was an award-winning deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County a total of 15 years. During this time, he prosecuted a total of 27 murder trials, including his service as co-counsel during the O.J. Simpson trial.

Darden has appeared as a guest commentator on nearly every major television talk and news show. He is now a criminal defense attorney in California. He is a popular lawyer in certain circles with the defense and prosecution of over 1000 marijuana cases under his belt!

Jan Schlichtmann

If you’ve been poisoned or injured due to pollution or some other form of corporate negligence, this is one attorney you certainly want on your side. Jan Schlichtmann is a toxic torts and consumer protection attorney who was portrayed by John Travolta in the movie A Civil Action. He is currently engaged in a case against a large debt collection agency, but his primary field is environmental law.

Sarah Weddington

After playing a pivotal role in one of America’s longest standing divisions, Sarah Weddington went on to serve three terms as a representative in the state of Texas. This popular lecturer was an assistant to Jimmy Carter and the first woman to serve as general counsel for the USDA. Sarah got her start by successfully representing Jane Roe in the landmark Roe v. Wade.

Shawn Holley Chapman

Like Darden, Chapman got her start working in the Los Angeles county criminal courts. However, she worked as a public defender. She has taken over 60 criminal and civil cases to litigation, including her role on the O.J. defense team. She has represented Axl Rose, Michael Jackson, and Black Panther leader Geronimo Pratt. Chapman is a popular legal analyst on national television.

Morgan Chu

This winner of the UCLA Medal and the Chambers Award for Excellence remains unknown to most Americans, but his work has certainly affected the world. Morgan Chu received advanced degrees from Yale, Harvard and UCLA before making his name as an intellectual property lawyer. He is an opponent of the death penalty and serves as a board member for the world’s largest pro bono law firm.

Whether it’s securing $1 billion verdicts large corporations, prosecuting murderers or defending the poor, these lawyers are among the best litigators in the world. Most aren’t celebrities by any stretch of the imagination, but each has changed the practice of law.

Sylvia Rowe writes for law blogs. Interested in advancing your law career? You may want to consider pursing an llm degree.