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These days charities frequently find they are dealing with the sale or disposal of property. It 
may be the outright sale of a no longer needed property, or the lease of part of the property a 
charity still requires, but perhaps no longer needs all of it so it creates a lease of the surplus 
area. The law is reasonably clear in this area, but my experience is the law is not as clear to 
trustees as it should be, even though the Charity Commission produces a booklet available 
Trustees be vigilant. Fraud happens!
Unfortunately if there is a flaw in your audit or financial systems then from time to time some 
will take advantage.
Just because people are dealing with charity, does not mean that they will become any more 
honest than they are in their normal dealings. White and blue collar crime is rising (perhaps 
due to the financial credit crunch and the rise in unemployment).
Trustees should ensure audit processes and financial controls are adequate so as to defend 
Have you read about the two northern independent preparatory schools which recently failed 
The Charity Commission’s newly formulated “public benefit test”?
The Charities Act 2006 requires the Commission to issue statutory guidance for public benefit 
and trustees must have “regard” to it. 
Most of the test should not present any difficulties to charities. However, a new income test 
has been introduced by the Commission which can cause difficulties.
Many people will have read recently about the two northern independent schools which have 
recently failed The Charity Commissions newly formulated “public benefit test”.
By now we consider Trustees will understand that this test was introduced by The Charity 
Commission following The Charities Act 2006 which required the Commission to issue 
statutory guidance in respect of public benefit test, which trustees must have “regard” to in 
operating their charities. 
The unitary patent is gathering pace.  But at nearly 40 years old, can the long-awaited proposals go the distance?
The losing party’s payable costs to the successful party for cases heard in the Patents County Court via the small claims track have been capped at £50,000, making potential costs more certain and encouraging fairer litigation for smaller entities in particular. This article looks at the impact of the changes and recent case law.
In recent years there has been a significant increase in litigation between smartphone manufacturers, with a number of claims and counter-claims for patent and design right infringement being lodged in multiple jurisdictions as well as a significant number of patent transactions (licenses and assignments) between the same parties. To give an idea of the size of the battlefield, there are at least 25 different companies involved with over 25,000 patents between them.
A brand “is a thing very easy to describe, very difficult to define. It is the benefit and advantage of the good name, reputation and connection of a business. It is the attractive force which brings in custom. It is the one thing which distinguishes an old-established business from a new business at its first start.” (Lord Macnaghten – IRC v Muller & Co Margarine Limited [1901] AC 217 a stamp duty case).

As reported in January, the Charity Tribunal has overruled a decision of the Charity Commission allowing the appeal of Mr Christopher Lasper in respect of the removal from the register of charities of the charity known as “The Town Field”. Stephen Claus looks at the key points raised by the case.

Brabners Chaffe Street is hosting a free seminar on the effects of the recession on landlords and tenants and, in particular, issues that arise where retailers have gone into administration.  It will also includean overview of competition law and its effect on property.