Legal Updates

1 | 2 | 3 >

County Court Faux Pas

Oh how we all laughed when a slip of the word processor resulted in one of our clients getting an Order from the County Court telling him that he must obtain the “writhing consent of the other party”.  We know that going to court can be a painful process - but not usually voluntarily so!


Published: 19 Oct 2017

Please don’t forget your holidays – it can cost you in court

In the last week, the writer has expended considerable time in assisting clients apply to the county courts asking to have their upcoming hearings adjourned to a later date.  All because on each occasion the client only remembered quite late in the day that their court hearing clashed with time out of the country.
Published: 19 Oct 2017

Trading Standards lose out by over £1600 by going to court

In a nutshell, one Trading Standards Department identified a very minor issue with one of our clients and the manner they advertised and then sold one car.  Rather than simply giving advice, the high-handed officers decided they would need to launch a full investigation.  After months of doing very little they finally and very kindly offered our client a caution.  Our client agreed to this on the understanding that it came with no publicity.  At that point the offer of a caution was immediately withdrawn and followed by a “see you in court” - even though the council were silent on whether they would have gone public with the caution had it been signed.
Published: 19 Oct 2017

Use of car badges/logos on your website

This is not the first time that a manufacturer has demanded removal from the advertising of a client’s website and nor will it be the last.  It must be remembered that these logos are trademarked and their use has to be authorised by the trademark owner.  Unauthorised use of trademarks can be costly and we would advise that their use be discontinued upon any demand from the trademark holder.  This includes not only on your website but on any physical advertising, stationery or similar.
Published: 04 Oct 2017

New diesel and petrol vehicles to be banned from 2040 in UK

Ministers have been wary not to punish diesel car drivers, not least since previous governments had encouraged diesel uptake. The SMMT are also against an outright ban on diesels, which it considers would hurt the sector.
Published: 21 Sep 2017

HMRC clobbers garage for not complying with anti-money laundering laws

Don't get caught out by the money laundering regulations.

Published: 21 Sep 2017

Auto Trader clamping down on the words relating to price in adverts

This is where a car seller advertises a car for a price and goes onto refer to say “administration fee applies” without ever stating what that is.  This practice is unfair as potential buyers do not have a fair comparison due to the unknown amount of the so called administration fee.
Published: 21 Sep 2017

Apparent rise in car hire complaints (and enquiries) across the EU

According to the UK European Consumer Centre there has been an almost 30% rise in complaints from car hire companies based in the EU.  The most complained of traders were based in Spain, Italy, Iceland and Malta.
Published: 05 Sep 2017

Greedy consumer embarrassed in court

Lawgistics have again had success in defending a case brought by an over expectant consumer.  The buyer mentioned in emails that they wanted additional compensation such as vehicle hire, recovery costs and other alleged losses caused by what the consumer said was a defective vehicle.  Our client offered to reimburse her the purchase price of the vehicle in return for the vehicle, keys and paperwork.
Published: 25 Aug 2017

Trading Standards not fit for purpose?

Recent events with Trading Standards officers the length and breadth of the UK lead to us question whether they are themselves no longer of “satisfactory quality” or “fit for purpose”.  For we are seeing more and more examples of what we consider to be disproportionate behaviour, completely stupid questions being put to clients, outrageous comments made to a consumer about a client and general incompetence. 

Published: 25 Aug 2017

Complaints to Trading Standards

A customer has told me their complaint has been referred to Trading Standards and have quoted a reference number – should I worry?  AR – Worcestershire.
Published: 25 Jul 2017

Court confirms Council’s highways repair plan gone to ‘pot’!

The Court of Appeal has (albeit narrowly) ruled that a local council did not act quickly enough in repairing a pothole - even though it did so the next working day.
Published: 16 Jun 2017

Trading Standards caught out by Lawgistics

One Trading Standards Department has exercised its right to remain silent after we told them how they were misadvising one of our clients!
They sent a stern letter telling our client how they were in breach of a very specific Section of the Companies Act.
Published: 16 Jun 2017

Another revenue stream directed at motorists

Until quite recently, the Claimant had returned to him a proportion of the Hearing Fee. The amount returned was dependent on how soon before the case was due to be heard. 
Published: 16 Jun 2017

Uber exciting

Many of you may use Uber as a cheap way of getting around but did you know the controversy surrounding Uber and the ‘employment case of the year’ ? It may also have significant repercussions for many car dealers and anybody they use for work on a self-employed basis.
Published: 04 May 2017

Credit card surcharges set to be a thing of the past

European legislation is due to be implemented in the UK (not halted by Brexit) which will mean that traders are unlikely to be able to charge extra for consumers who pay by card - usually credit card.
Published: 04 May 2017

Clampdown on not paying court hearing fees on time (apparently!)

When a court notifies disputing parties that they are to attend court on a certain date for a hearing, it will tell the Claimant the date by which they must pay a hearing fee.
Published: 04 May 2017

Spineless finance companies continue to cave in to consumers

An increasing source of annoyance is being derived from those finance providers who almost always crumple at the first sign of a complaining consumer, regardless of merit.
Published: 22 Mar 2017

Former employers “win” but suffer massive legal costs

An interesting recent case in the Commercial Court is worthwhile mentioning because it highlights the risk of turning down an offer for damages (compensation) in high value disputes.
Published: 22 Mar 2017

The most unrealistic claim for compensation ever?

A buyer was given short thrift by the court in a claim where he alleged that the car he was driving was unsafe. 

Published: 22 Mar 2017

Lawgistics client wins court case over private sale

One of our clients sold a car which he correctly told the intending purchaser was a vehicle owned by him and his wife.  The customer was interested and bought the vehicle with a receipt signed by them both acknowledging that it was a private sale.
Published: 23 Feb 2017

Extra charge for April fuel

On 3 April (you can see why they opted not to launch 2 days earlier) Westminster Council will be charging those who park a diesel car in their area, 50% extra for a parking ticket.
Published: 23 Feb 2017

Section 75...the answers

Section 75

Published: 09 Feb 2017

Section 75...the quiz

How well do you know the law on the liability on credit card provider when something you sell goes wrong?
Published: 26 Jan 2017

Obeying County Court Directions – does it actually apply to consumers?

Court directions in the run up to a hearing are not to be ignored and if they are, cases can be struck out.  However, the leniency shown by one District Judge in favour of a consumer seems rather bizarre.
Published: 24 Nov 2016

Financial Ombudsman Service orders client to pay interest brought about by their own delays!

The PPI bandwagon has parked itself outside one of our members’ premises of late – destination “The Land of Injustice” and driven by the Financial Ombudsman.
Published: 24 Nov 2016

Should Trading Standards “Shelve” Giving Advice?

We are somewhat amused yet bemused by the “advice” given to one of our members by a Council’s Trading Standards service.
Published: 24 Nov 2016

Financial Conduct Authority Publicity Misleading?

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) replaced the Office of Fair Trading some years ago and in doing so, took control of licensing (now known as granting permissions) to those providing consumer credit.

Published: 28 Oct 2016

Guilty by Association?

Advertising is competitive and everyone looks to do something that will catch the eye of prospective or existing customers. Usually the methods engaged are legally compliant with the provisions of the Advertising Standards Authority
Published: 28 Oct 2016

Use of “Unroadworthy Vehicle Sale” Invoices

We are seeing more and more misuse of Unroadworthy Vehicle Sales Invoices. These attract the interest of Trading Standards and can severely reduce the bargaining power you have with customers when something goes wrong. 
Published: 04 Aug 2016

Customer wins hefty compensation for car dealer’s breach of contract!

The Court of Appeal has awarded a customer £35,000 in compensation because a car dealer did not sell him the car he ordered! The Customer ordered a limited edition Porsche 911 and signed an order form, paying £10,000 deposit for a car to be priced at £135,000. He was told by the dealer that he was first in queue. The dealer however sold it to someone else instead.
Published: 04 Aug 2016

Supreme Court gives Insurance Companies Excuse to Increase Premiums

You may have read a recent headline or two from well established media outlets along the lines of “Insurance Industry Slams Court over ‘Collateral lies’". The substance of the reporting suggests that it does not matter whether you lie or not during your application or claim for insurance because such a lie may not impact on the claim. 
Published: 04 Aug 2016

Childcare vouchers do not need to be provided whilst employee on maternity leave

This was a controversial decision by the Employment Appeal Tribunal and is possibly ripe for further challenge in the not too distant future.
Generally speaking all employees on maternity leave are entitled to retain their usual contract of employment terms. The one exception is “remuneration”, which is essentially an employees’ wages or salary, as this is replaced by Statutory Maternity Pay or the employers’ own maternity pay scheme.
Published: 23 Jun 2016

Mind your language when speaking to customers!

A word of caution against using certain words – for they may come back to bite you. When something goes wrong with the car it is all too convenient to describe it as “defective” or “faulty”. Indeed, your buyer may well use those words quite liberally especially if he or she is looking to be compensated in some way or if they are looking for a refund. 
Published: 08 Jun 2016

Do Trading Standards know the Consumer Rights Act?

We all know that Trading Standards Officers have certain powers of entry, inspection, taking away possible evidence and the like.  And where they have good grounds to believe that offences are being carried out, or if they are making test purchases “under cover”, it makes sense that they can exercise such powers without giving advance notice. 
Published: 08 Jun 2016

Buying from Auction, your rights

Our legal advisor Jason Williams has prepared this quick quiz to test your knowledge regarding purchasing from an auction. those taking part will have the answers emailed to them in 21 days and there will be a prize for everyone who gets all the answers correct

Published: 11 May 2016

Plastic – the car dealer’s inflexible friend

We get lots of enquiries about “Chargebacks”. The unlegislated arrangement whereby card providers (seemingly always) decide in a consumer’s favour and return monies to the cardholder’s account on the presumption that the consumer is always right and cars are always defective.
Published: 11 May 2016

Tinted Windows – a cautionary tale

One of our clients sold a vehicle that contained glass that was too dark to be used on the road. In essence, the windows were tinted.  
The driver was pulled by the police who imposed a fixed penalty fine and 3 points on his licence. 
Published: 27 Apr 2016

Consumer Rights Wrongs

This legislation appears to be used by anyone who simply wants free use of a car for 30 days and then seek to demand their money back because of so called “faults”.
Published: 13 Apr 2016

When a bad on-line review turns into defamation

We often get requests to write to someone who has posted an online review demanding they remove certain comments.  Only very exceptionally do we do so for it allows the reviewer to comment “I gave the garage feedback and the next thing I know I get a letter from their lawyers”.  Fighting fire with fire is often not the best thing in this regard as again the garage owner may come across as being “heavy handed”.
Published: 13 Apr 2016

The concept of “Specific Performance” in the car trade

Our client has ongoing discussions with a potential customer about the possibility of selling them a car once certain works have been done to it. Eventually, our client opts to cease e-mail exchanges and no longer wishes to consider selling it. The would-be customer is now suing our client for alleged breach of contract and it is our client’s case that there was never a contract in existence in the first place.
Published: 29 Mar 2016

When they say “I’ve been told by Trading Standards...........”

Take it with a pinch of salt – they almost certainly haven’t. What is more likely to have happened is that the person has rung the consumer advice helpline. This used to be Consumer Direct but which is now run by the Citizens’ Advice Bureaux. (CAB)
Published: 16 Mar 2016

The on-board/dashboard recording debate rages on!

You may recall that last month I warned of the problems that insurance related recording equipment may cause when clients test drive a customer’s vehicle. The old adage “loose lips sinks ships” historically means “unguarded talk may give useful information to the enemy.” To our clients however it could give useful information to their customers who may, in turn, “go public” with the recordings.
Published: 16 Mar 2016

Beware – you ARE being watched!

Two cautionary stories here about the need to always assume that you are not alone when test driving a customer’s car.
Published: 03 Mar 2016

Breaking News – the worlds’ most roadworthy unroadworthy vehicle?

It is an offence to sell a vehicle that is unroadworthy. You know that (or at least we hope you do!) and we do too.  But be prepared for a little shock.
We are presently assisting one of our clients who are to be formally interviewed by Trading Standards.  A formal prosecution is an option open to them.  They are alleging that our client sold an un-roadworthy vehicle. 
Published: 02 Mar 2016

Porridge for car “clockers”

If time were as easy to turn back as the odometers of cars then one wonders whether Erk Dymiter and Krystian Skowronski would have opted to indulge in the car trade as they did. Following a very long investigation by Trading Standards they were each given 18 month prison sentences.  As well as charges for reducing mileages, charges were also proven for conspiracy to defraud and money laundering offences.
Published: 17 Feb 2016

Is this the most ridiculous court decision ever?

A client was embroiled in a long battle with a customer over the usual type of matter –was the car faulty or not? The court directed that by a certain date each party must exchange Witness Statements with each other and send them to the court, in advance of a hearing. Additionally, the parties were ordered to appoint an independent expert witness between them and for him (or her) to submit that report.
Published: 19 Jan 2016

The burden of simply having no common sense

On the occasions I’ve ever purchased a second hand vehicle I’ve always wanted to see the latest MOT (as recent as possible please), service history, recent repairs and the sellers PDI report.  If I was still in any doubt I would invest some money in, say, an AA or RAC report (other inspection providers are available!) to tell me the condition of the car before I parted with my hard earned cash.

Published: 09 Dec 2015

A Case of Judicial Familiarity

You have been involved in a long running legal dispute of some 18 months or so. Finally, the big day arrives where your case is in court for determination.
Published: 10 Nov 2015

Car Insurance costs drop – allegedly!

A major insurance company has announced that due to the way the court system now handles whiplash claims (the ones that prove to be bogus or exaggerated), there has been a significant saving of millions of pounds.

Published: 07 Nov 2014

Please Santa, a Calendar for Christmas...

One of our clients had a letter from their local County Court:


Published: 23 Oct 2014

Hasty payouts by Finance or Credit Card Providers

We have seen it a lot recently.  Where customers who have cars on finance (hire purchase) or which have been partly paid for on a credit card, go to their finance provider when something has allegedly gone wrong. 

Published: 13 Oct 2014

We recently appealed a decision given against one of our clients by a District Judge in a small claims court matter (i.e. under £10,000)

During the intervening time period our client’s business had a CCJ (County Court Judgment) recorded on their credit files, causing them significant inconvenience.  The appeal was successful.

Published: 30 Sep 2014

Lemons that don’t leave a bitter taste

The UK law on what a consumer’s rights are when they buy second hand vehicles is the subject of much debate and, even more, misinterpretation of those laws.  After all, aren’t we all perceived to be a “reasonable” person? 

Published: 30 Sep 2014

Britain’s Got Talent – but not always in spelling!

It never ceases to amaze me the numbers of basic spelling errors I see in letters of complaint.  Here is a sample of some of my most recent favourites:
Published: 30 Sep 2014

Court Directions are an Order and not a Wish List!

These were the words of a District Judge at a recent hearing we attended on behalf of a client. 

Published: 16 Sep 2014

Car Seat Danger warnings follow Trading Standards’ investigation

A recent series of tests by one Trading Standards service has highlighted a major concern with the failings in car seats made in China, which fail the UK safety laws.
Published: 16 Sep 2014

Consumer Rights Bill

This has been going through the law making process for longer than one could possibly have imagined. 

Published: 01 Sep 2014

“Expert” witness inspections

It is not unusual for a court to order those in dispute over an allegedly defective vehicle to obtain a report that has not been written by a “hired gun”.  

Published: 01 Sep 2014

Finance/Credit Advertising – a timely warning

We see a number of dealer advertisements including credit deals which have not yet picked up the 'need to declare' how independent the dealer is when offering credit from one or more credit suppliers.


Published: 04 Aug 2014

Consumer Rights Bill

On 1 July the Bill got its second reading in the House of Lords which means that it’s getting late in the proverbial day now for too many amendments to be made. 


Published: 04 Aug 2014

Spot the spelling errors

From time to time we see spelling by consumers that are as wayward as their complaints are.

Published: 04 Aug 2014

Car Dealer prosecuted by Trading Standards

Dorset County Council’s Trading Standards recently prosecuted a car dealer within their area.

Published: 21 Jul 2014

1 | 2 | 3 >