Legal News

English Jurisdiction Clauses - Court of Appeal Cracks Down

English law is well-developed, written in the universal business language and the English judicial system has a deserved reputation for fairness. It is not surprising, therefore, that vast numbers of international contracts incorporate English jurisdiction...

Court Corrects Bureaucratic Nightmare for Family

One of the most important roles played by judges is to protect individuals against unlawful treatment by the state. In one unique example, the High Court came to the aid of a couple who found themselves caught in a legal nightmare after their twins were...

Solicitor Evidence Crucial in Proving Will Valid

A recent case shows the importance of involving a solicitor in the preparation of a will, especially where it is considered that an attempt to invalidate it on the grounds of lack of mental capacity may be made. It involved an elderly man who changed his...

Massive Increases in Probate Charges on Large Estates on the Way

Probate fees, which rose sharply only three years ago, are about to rise again. Under the present scheme an application for probate by an individual costs £215 and by a solicitor £155, but from May 2017 a new tariff is being introduced which...

New Powers Proposed to Make Family Financial Settlements Effective

The problem of making family financial settlements or court rulings in divorce 'stick' is well known. Following an extensive consultation process, the Law Commission has made proposals designed to improve the situation for those affected when payments are...

Supreme Court Overturns Daughter's Will Claim Award

A surprising Court of Appeal decision that a daughter was a 'dependant' of her estranged mother and thus entitled to benefit from her estate has now been overturned by the Supreme Court. Heather Ilott had been deliberately excluded from the will of her...

New Rules to Prevent Corporate E-Signatures

The law has tried to play 'catch up' with the increasing sophistication of cyber-crime since the advent of the Internet, and new EU regulations implemented in the UK as the Electronic Identification and Trust Services for Electronic Transactions Regulations...

Attorney Who Forged Will to Accelerate Inheritance Given Jail Term

When an elderly man died owning both a house and a half share in an attached property with his sister, whose financial affairs were already being administered by a cousin under a power of attorney, the scene was set for the cousin to seize ownership of the...

Company Articles Triumph in Share Valuation Dispute

People tend to think of the articles of association of companies – and often shareholders' agreements – as matters of detail not warranting close attention. However, a recent case shows the importance of having up-to-date knowledge of such...

Court Orders Must Be Obeyed - But Caring Pensioner Was Wrongly Jailed

Disobeying court orders is ultimately punishable by imprisonment – but only as a last resort. In the context of a family case, the Court of Appeal has ruled that a woman in her 70s, who honestly believed that she was doing her best for a vulnerable...

Changes in Trustees - Who Appoints New Trustees?

Trusts are relatively common and the death of a trustee is by no means rare. A trust deed normally contains a clause stipulating how new trustees are to be appointed in the event of the death, incapacity or inability to serve of a trustee, and normally it is...

Bank Fails to Avoid Guarantee Liability

The sums of money involved in international trade are so vast that without bank guarantees to underpin contracts, the wheels of commerce would cease to turn. However, as one High Court case vividly revealed , banks normally insist that all the formalities...

Trustee of Deceased Bankrupt Cannot Claim Payment From Spouse

Financial problems are frequently connected with marital problems, and the interplay between family law and insolvency law can produce legal complications. In a recent instance, the court had to decide what to do about a claim from the receiver in...

Court Rejects Unprovable Claim of Property Gift

Arguments over the division of estates are unfortunately common where the value of the assets they contain is substantial, especially if family relationships are fractious. In such circumstances, the distribution of an estate can be delayed by legal...

Court Guidance on Jurisdiction

When contracts have an international element and a dispute arises, it is often necessary to ascertain at a very early stage which country's courts have jurisdiction to deal with the dispute. In the case of a dispute over a contract, the place of performance...

Survivorship Clause Leads to Double Benefit for Beneficiaries

There is an established legal principle that where people have wills benefiting each other (as is normal with the wills of a husband and wife) and the order in which they died cannot be ascertained, it is considered that the older of the two will have been...

Jail Threat for Man Who Failed to Cooperate in Divorce Proceedings

Divorce is normally a difficult time for all concerned and the financial arrangements can be very contentious. Normally, problems revolve around the failure to provide accurate disclosure of assets, but on some occasions there is a total failure to...

Failure to Adopt Sound Business Principles Proves Costly

Cases involving negligent valuations have been passing through the courts steadily over the years – many triggered by the financial meltdown in 2008. A recent decision involved the reliance of a bank on a valuation provided in support of a £1.8...

Alcoholism and Mental Capacity

In order to make a valid will, you need to know your own mind – and it helps to have a solicitor on hand to advise you. That was certainly so in a case in which a businessman left the lion's share of his £1 million fortune to a friend and...

Continued Use of Defective Devices - Who is at Fault?

Disputes between insurers and claimants under insurance policies are common, and a recent dispute raised an interesting question: What is the position if a person or business uses a device which they know to be faulty and this results in subsequent damage?...

Child Protection More Important Than Family Togetherness

Family judges are used to controversy and accept the fact that there will always be an embittered few who accuse them of 'playing God'. However, one striking case shows that they will only break up families when doing so is necessary to ensure the...

Non-Working Daughter Loses Claim for Financial Provision

Claims by disappointed children seeking a share, or a larger share, of a parental estate are on the rise, with the latest figures published showing a year-on-year increase of more than 10 per cent in such claims. Although a widely reported case ( Ilott v...

Slipshod Execution of Contracts Can Come Back to Haunt You!

Slipshod execution of contractual documents can come back to haunt you, and that is one good reason why you should always have the benefit of qualified legal advice. In one case , the waters were so muddied that the High Court was unable to say, without...

Delay Denies Financial Support for Divorcee

It is not uncommon for affection and trust to survive the end of a marriage – but legal advice is still almost always required to ensure a fair outcome. In one striking case, a woman who waited until almost 20 years had passed since her divorce before...

Undisclosed Assets on Break-Up Cause Problems for Executor

When a couple break up, a financial settlement is normally agreed between them as part of the proceedings and that, usually, is that. However, in a recent case involving civil partners who had split up , the death of one partner shortly after the financial...
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