Legal News

Direct Contact With Both Parents Best Promotes Child Welfare

Family judges know that children normally do best when they have direct contact with both parents. The Court of Appeal underlined that point in a case concerning five ultra-Orthodox Jewish children whose transgender father had been ostracised by the close...

Incomplete Partnership Arrangements Lead to Court Appearance

When new partners are being introduced into a partnership, it is wise to finalise the arrangements quickly in case the partners fall out. Any lack of formality in the business arrangements can lead to trouble, as a recent case shows . The case concerned...

Mistaken Belief Overturns Estate Split Agreement

When the male partner of a cohabiting couple died, apparently without leaving a will, after they had lived together for more than 40 years, his estate was administered according to the laws of intestacy, with the result that no provision was made for his...

No Pay, No Passport?

In a consultation paper published just before the December holiday season , the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which is the Government department that deals with child maintenance payment arrangements, outlined significant powers that would enable...

Refusal to Cooperate Spells Trouble

Being made bankrupt is never a welcome experience, but failing to comply with reasonable requests of the Official Receiver can make matters even worse. Once a person is made bankrupt, they are required to deliver a statement of affairs within 21 days and to...

Reasonable Provision May Not Mean What You Think

When a person is excluded from the will of someone on whom they were 'dependent', the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 provides that the dependent person can apply for 'reasonable financial provision' to be made for their...

Serving Companies with Legal Documents - High Court Guidance

Although companies are independent entities in law, they can only act through natural persons and serving a company with a legal document can therefore be tricky. The point was illustrated by a High Court ruling that effective service of arbitration...

Trust is No Replacement for Legal Advice

Sadly, not all relationships that get off to a good start last, and it is vital to seek legal advice before entering into any financial arrangements, even with those who are closest to you. That point was clearly made by a case in which a woman attempted to...

Placing Trust in a Family Member Proves Unwise (Again)

Even the most apparently trustworthy people can sometimes turn out to be anything but and that is one good reason why it is sensible to appoint a solicitor as executor of your will. In one case that proved the point, an ex-police officer took advantage of...

Cohabitants Entitled to Bereavement Damages

The legal implications of cohabitation are often poorly understood by those who choose to live together outside of marriage or civil partnership, and the lack of protection for cohabitants often comes as an unpleasant surprise to many, especially when a...

Pre-Trial Skirmishing Can Be as Important as the Main Event

In commercial litigation, many of the most important battles are fought before the trial even starts and those who drag their feet or fail to comply with judicial directions can find themselves hamstrung when it comes to the main event. Exactly that happened...

Failure to Point Out Business Decline Proves Costly

When a business is sold, a 'due diligence' process is normally entered into to make sure that the representations made by the seller to the buyer, on which the buyer's valuation of the business will be based, are true. Failure to be forthright in disclosures...

Family Attachment a Critical Factor in Adoption

When the Family Court was asked to consider an application for an adoption order made by a couple, two factors proved crucial in deciding whether it should be granted. The first was that the boy's natural parents could not reasonably be considered able to...

Casting Aspersions to Change Inheritance Proves Unsuccessful

Wills made or varied just before death are a frequent source of dispute and court appearances, and it was just such an occurrence that led to a High Court hearing recently . The case concerned the estate of a woman who died in 2014, two days after making a...

Act When You Think You May Have a Claim, Not When You Know For Certain

The time to seek legal advice when you think something may be wrong is when you first have a concern, not later on when you know there is a problem. One reason for this is that there are legal limitation periods for bringing claims, and in claims involving...

Certain Inheritance Can Be Financial Resource in Divorce Settlement

Under English law, a person is able (within limits) to decide absolutely to whom their estate should pass. However, many countries have 'forced heirship' laws, under which a deceased person's estate must pass in specified proportions to a particular person...

Informal Wills on the Way?

We have written on numerous occasions of the danger of either failing to leave a will or of not taking professional advice when making your will. Among the difficulties that can arise with DIY wills are challenges by family members who have been excluded...

If You Help Fund a Claim You May Be Liable if it Fails

It is not unusual for the cost of litigation – especially where a group of companies is involved – to be paid for in whole or in part by a person or organisation that is not directly involved in the dispute. It should be remembered, however,...

Judge Sees Through Attempt to Hide Assets

When a couple divorced in 2014, the ex-husband was ordered to pay his ex-wife periodical payments of £120,000 per year after he was found to have used a variety of stratagems to make himself appear worse off than he really was. A mere three months...

Business Tycoon's Wife Well Served by Lawyers Who Drafted Her Will

A solicitor's primary duty when drafting a will is to follow faithfully their client's instructions after giving accurate and level-headed advice. In a professional negligence case triggered by the early death of a business tycoon's wife, the High Court...

Insolvency and Assignment of Causes of Action - High Court Ruling

On the basis that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, it is common for liquidators of insolvent companies to assign (transfer the rights to) any claims that they might wish to pursue on behalf of creditors to specialists in the field. One such...

Take Care When Appointing a Non-Lawyer as Your Executor

When you appoint a solicitor to be the executor of your will, you can be assured that they will understand their duties and can be relied upon to comply with them. However, as a High Court case showed, the same sadly cannot always be said of friends or...

Court Corrects Parenthood Bungle

When a same-sex couple undertook fertility treatment which led to the birth of a baby girl, the intention was that both would be listed as her legal parents. However, due to mistakes made in processing the necessary forms, only one of the couple was shown as...

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right

When a contract is breached and one party suffers a loss as a result, they are normally entitled to be compensated for their loss by the party that has breached the contract. Whilst there are a number of ways the breach can be dealt with by the courts, the...

Failure to Use Solicitor for Will Leads to Challenge

Charities are generally thought of as being mild and benevolent organisations and in many ways they are, but some can also be very aggressive when they are expecting to receive money from an estate and their hopes are dashed. The extent to which some will...
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