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Legal Corner


here is a saying about certainty. It is the concept that if a matter is written in black and white then it must be clear. But meaning is a bit more elusive than this. There was a time when it was enough to say that Thou Shall Not Steal but the latest version of the Theft Act runs to 35 pages and the Courts are still deciding disputes about the meaning of the legal definition of this basic crime.


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Simple rules of law are best but it is often difficult for a lawyer to give a client a straight answer to what might appear to be a simple question. Is it black or white? OPINION – SO OFTEN A SHADE OF GREY.


Wollen Michelmore SOL I C I TOR S


The South Devon Law Firm


by Owen Hill, Consultant Solicitor of Wollen Michelmore Solicitors


FIFTY SHADES OF GREY – A GREAT NAME FOR A TEXT BOOK ON LAW


The only way to establish whether the shade is light or dark is by taking a moment to think. To establish criteria for rational analysis of the issue in question and then consider the impact of all those rules and regulations out there to see if we have a real or perceived problem.


The experience, dedication and values to support you, your family and your business


Torquay • Newton Abbot • Paignton • Dartmouth


www.wollenmichelmore.co.uk T: 01803 213251


This firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (No.563758)


I recently advised a client on a business sale. The buyer wanted disclosure of all previous claims and my client – the seller – seemed concerned. He told me that he had recently received a letter from a claims company representing ten individuals who believed that they had been mis-sold financial services. OPINION - SO DARK GREY IT WAS ALMOST BLACK. Yes – an issue to disclose to the buyer of the business but only after analysis and a proper investigation into the claim. It did not take long. The disclosure to the buyer was presented in a form of a letter to the claims company pointing out that of the ten individuals they represented there was no record of any business transaction with six of them. Two of the remaining four had been customers of the business but not for financial services and the final two had signed all requisite papers required under the rules to show that they had been advised and should have understood what they were signing. OPINION - DARK GREY DOWN GRADED TO LIGHT GREY.


Then we persuaded the buyer’s solicitor that even if there were any liabilities then they would not transfer on the sale of the business to the buyer anyway. OPINION – SO LIGHT GREY IT WAS ALMOST WHITE. Dartmouth Office: 01803 832191


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