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Contractual issues in Construction Law

Louise Cheung, University of Southampton, Hertfordshire County Council

Following two weeks’ shadowing solicitors at a City Law firm specialising in work with the public sector, I share some interesting contractual issues in Construction Law concerning Liquidated and Ascertained Damages Clauses and the Rights of Third Parties in Contract Law.

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Commercial Property Law Update

Louise Cheung

Following a recent CPD training on Commercial Property Law, I thought it would be prudent to give an update on Commercial Property law affecting practice in development transactions. The training was well attended at the Hilton, Watford on 11th June 2015 by both lawyers and surveyors and garnered some lively debate about recent Property case law.

Here is a summary of my selection of interesting updates to case law:

  • Rights to Light: Salvage Wharf v G & S Brough [2010] Ch 11
  • Restrictive Covenants: Cosmichome ltd v Southampton CC [2013] EWHC 1378
  • Abandonment of Easements: Dwyer v Westminster City Council [2014] EWCA Civ 153

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Planning policy shake up – what does it mean for property development?

Louise Cheung

Following this week’s budget announcement and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills report, ‘Fixing the Foundations: creating a prosperous nation’, a great deal has been said about the opportunities to increase house building. The headline being that removing barriers to gaining planning consent will reduce risks for developers, and so it is hoped will boost property development.

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Modern Studies in Property Law Postgraduate conference

Louise Cheung: University of Southampton 

The MSPL Postgraduate stream in April allowed PhD students and early career researchers the opportunity to discuss their research projects, receive valuable feedback and get an insight into careers after postgraduate study. This post shall discuss the prevalent themes coming from postgraduate property law research, and highlight some particular research papers of interest.

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Charity Insolvency and the Community Good

John Picton

This is a ‘throwing it out there’ piece. Thoughts remain in need of refinement.

Charity insolvency has never been the focus of sustained policy attention. Governed alternatively by company and trusts law, no tailored regime exists. Although there has been a lack of interest in charity insolvency, the picture is brighter elsewhere. In the context of commercial insolvency, a considerable body of critical literature has developed, emphasising the public interests at stake in winding up, and the importance of corporate ‘rescue’ where it is possible. This approach is self-consciously communitarian: rather than looking at insolvency as a legal event upon which property is distributed to entitled creditor, it looks at the impact of closure on wider societal interests.

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Where There’s A Will…

John Picton: Liverpool University

It is relatively common for people to leave gifts to charity; 7% of wills contain such a legacy. Rarely the focus of policy discussion, testamentary donation is of considerable importance. The sums involved are large; gifts are often given as a percentage of the deceased’s estate. Normally things go smoothly, so that in the great majority of cases, the executor will distribute the gift without any hitch. Even so, where things go wrong, the law is surprisingly hostile to charity. It might allow gifts that have been expressly dedicated to charity to be passed into private hands.

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Cy-Pres and the Redistribution of Charitable Wealth

John Picton: Liverpool University

The charitable cy-pres doctrine permits the alteration of trust purposes. It is a complex and famously technical area of law. It was described as ‘arcane’ by Lord Diplock, and as ‘metaphysics’ by Lord Neuberger. But it is important. It permits trusts to be changed. It is also a powerful mechanism. Where once weak common law rules inhibited reform, under statute, it has real teeth. Since the enactment of pioneering legislation in the 1960s, it has been possible to reform trusts on the straightforward basis that they are unsuitable or ineffective. That broad and discretionary standard promotes active trust reform.

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Modern Studies in Property Law 2014

Louise Cheung: University of Southampton

May 2014

The Modern Studies in Property Law 2014 conference served as an inspiration for the creation of this blog, and allowed for the necessary platform for academics to meet and discuss their current research. This first post serves as a review of the many prevalent themes coming from contemporary property law academic research in recent years.

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