Legal News

Interpreting Wills That May Be Ambiguous - High Court Guidance

Even with the most careful drafting, there is always a risk that a will may be capable of bearing more than one meaning. In resolving a family inheritance dispute, the High Court considered the extent to which extraneous evidence of a will-maker's...

Incorporation of English Jurisdiction Clause Arguably 'Went Without Saying'

In a novel decision of interest to the international trading community, the High Court ruled it arguable that an English jurisdiction clause was incorporated in a petroleum supply contract notwithstanding that the alleged deal was done informally over the...

Risk of Industrial Action is a Fact of Business Life - Court of Appeal Ruling

Strike action that grounded an airline's planes did not amount to an 'extraordinary circumstance' that justified passengers being denied compensation after their flights were cancelled. In reaching that conclusion, the Court of Appeal observed that...

Judges Have No Power to Rewrite Valid Wills - Guideline High Court Ruling

Judges have no power to rewrite your will after your death so as to achieve a result which, in their view, better reflects your wishes. The High Court made that point in upholding the validity of a Parkinson's disease sufferer's will although, at least in...

Media Contract Dispute - COVID-19 Pandemic Was a 'Force Majeure Event'

The suspension of live sporting events during the COVID-19 pandemic was a force majeure event that justified early termination of a media rights contract. The High Court so ruled in a case of great significance to the business community . After a tendering...

Think Hard Before Changing Your Will - High Court Cautionary Tale

Keeping your will up to date is a very good idea, but making changes that are likely to disappoint members of your family who might expect to inherit can be a recipe for dispute after you are gone. That was certainly so in a High Court case concerning a...

High Court Declares 'Illiterate' Business Tycoon's £100 Million Will Invalid

Your assets are your own and, when making your will, you have complete freedom to leave them to whomever you choose. As a case concerning a business tycoon's £100 million estate showed , however, a will signed without the testator having knowledge and...

COVID-19 - Premier League Triumphs in $200 Million TV Rights Dispute

The COVID-19 pandemic caused grave disruption to the 2019/2020 Premier League season – but it did not fundamentally change the format of the competition. That was the conclusion the High Court reached in the context of a $200 million contract dispute ...

Moral and Legal Obligations are Different - Family Inheritance Dispute

There can be a world of difference between a moral obligation and a legal one. The High Court made that point in rejecting a daughter's claim that part of her deceased mother's stake in a residential property was held on trust for her. By the unequivocal...

When it Comes to Corporate Takeovers, Judges Have Shareholders' Backs

Some corporate takeovers are controversial while others are not, but, either way, judges perform a vital role in ensuring that every shareholder gets a fair deal. A proposed change in ownership of a multinational consultancy company provided a perfect...

Update Your Will Today - This is What Can Happen If You Don't

Family relationships can become increasingly complex over time, particularly where marital breakdown intervenes, and that is why it is so important to keep your will up to date. As one case showed, a failure to take that sensible course can positively invite...

Can You Refuse Payment for Defective Goods? Guideline Contract Ruling

If goods you have received do not come up to specification, are you within your rights to refuse to pay for them? The High Court addressed that critically important question in a case concerning the supply of building aggregate that was alleged to have...

Disinherited Widow Can Pursue Reasonable Provision Claim Despite Delay

If someone on whom you depend financially dies without reasonably providing for you in their will, you should contact a solicitor straight away. In a High Court case on point , a delay in seeking legal advice very nearly stymied a disinherited widow's claim...

Contract Adjudications - One Dispute or More? High Court Gives Guidance

It is established law that contract adjudicators do not have authority to consider more than one dispute at a time. However, as a High Court ruling made plain, there is a potential conflict between that rule and the public policy imperative to encourage...

Ambiguous Wills - Court of Appeal Gives Effect to Deceased's Intentions

Where words used in a will are ambiguous, judges will strive to interpret them in a way that gives effect to the deceased's intentions. An instructive Court of Appeal decision on point hinged on the little-known fact that the Channel Islands are not...

High Court Aids Widow Left in Precarious Position by Husband's Death

If someone on whom you depended for support has died without making reasonable financial provision for you, you should consult a solicitor without delay. In a case on point, the High Court came to the aid of a widow who was left largely reliant on benefits...

Penal Clause 'Cunningly Concealed' in Telecommunications Contract

Onerous terms and conditions cunningly hidden amidst the small print of a contract are likely to be viewed as entirely worthless by a judge. The High Court made that point in trenchantly criticising a contract presented by a mobile phone and...

Inheritance and the Impact of Intestacy on Stepchildren

In an era of increasingly fluid family relationships, many children are brought up by step-parents – but what is the consequence of that social change in terms of inheritance? The High Court addressed that issue in a guideline ruling . The case...

Company Accounts Cannot Be Retrospectively Adjusted for Convenience

A company's accounts cannot be retrospectively adjusted to meet the convenience of its directors. The High Court made that point in ruling that the reclassification of a director's loan account just before a company entered liquidation was of no legal...

Father Who Disinherited Daughter Lacked Capacity to Make a Valid Will

You are perfectly entitled to write your children or other close family members out of your will, but such a course can be an invitation to dispute after you are gone. That was certainly so in a High Court case concerning a man who left everything he owned...

Business Relationship Fallen Apart? The Law Can Help Pick Up the Pieces

No matter how long and successful a business relationship may be, there is always a risk that it may end acrimoniously. Such disputes can be intractable and, as a High Court ruling showed , there are times when only the law can provide closure. The case...

What Does 'Survivor' Mean? High Court Resolves Inheritance Doubts

Words are not numbers and even the most careful draftsperson cannot guarantee that the meaning of a will is always clear beyond doubt. As a High Court case showed , however, judges are adept at resolving ambiguities so that the true intentions of testators...

Commercial Negotiations - Talk is Cheap But Writing is Binding

Commercial negotiations often involve many meetings and any amount of talk, but the question of whether anything has actually been agreed is a common source of dispute. As a High Court case showed, the only real way to avoid such discord is to engage a...

Dying With Your Affairs in Disarray is a Poisoned Legacy for Your Loved Ones

Not every life is profitable, at least in financial terms, and it is important to remember that your debts do not die with you. A High Court ruling showed the serious problems that dying insolvent, without putting your affairs in order, can create for your...

Bidding at an Auction? Do You Understand Your Legal Obligations?

There are few things more thrilling than bidding at an auction, but raising your paddle has very real legal consequences. A case on point concerned a businessman who mistakenly believed that he was acting solely on behalf of a company when he bought two...
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