Legal News

Jail for Husband Who Flouted Court Ruling

Court orders have to be obeyed and those who defy them can ultimately be sent to prison. Exactly that happened in one 'big money' divorce case in which an 83-year-old businessman repeatedly tried to thwart his ex-wife. Following the end of the former...

Debt Management Company Investigation Brings Bans

There was a certain irony to a recent report that the directors of a debt management company – set up to offer advice and assistance to those with debt problems – have been banned from acting as directors for a total of 23 years after action was...

Will Wishes Rescinded by Court

One powerful reason why you should always seek legal advice before making your will is to ensure you meet your responsibilities to those who depend on you financially. In one case on point, the High Court effectively rewrote the will of a wealthy landowner ...

Future Earning Capacity Not a Matrimonial Asset

The Court of Appeal has made an important decision in a divorce case in which the main argument was over the availability of future income to fund maintenance payments in divorce settlements. The couple involved are both accountants and the husband is at...

Director Address Disclosures - Changes

Recent changes have made it easier for company directors to withhold disclosure of their private addresses in publicly filed documents. Prior to 2009, the usual residential address of all company directors was on file at Companies House in publicly...

Trust Variation for Minors - High Court Holds Sway

Setting up family trusts with minors or those with mental incapacities as beneficiaries is by no means uncommon and it sometimes occurs that such trusts need to be varied for one reason or another. The mechanism for this is the Variation of Trusts Act 1958...

Pre-Nuptial Agreement Receives Court Backing

The validity of pre-nuptial agreements depends on legal advice being taken on both sides, equal bargaining positions and overall fairness. In one case, the High Court found that a wife in a big money divorce case was bound by such an agreement and awarded...

Do You Understand Your Duties as a Director?

Directors have a wide range of legal duties that do not always coincide with their own interests, and seeking expert legal advice is the best way of ensuring that these are performed. In one case in which that did not happen, two directors of a phoenix...

Understanding Between Couple Regarding Work Done Creates Legal Obligation

Legal arguments between cohabitants who break up are commonplace. However, a recent case dealt with a lengthy legal dispute between the surviving partner of a gay couple and his deceased partner's family. The couple lived in a property that was owned by...

Changing Circumstances Lead to Divorce Settlement Dispute

When a wealthy construction business owner and his wife divorced in 2011, a 'clean break' agreement was made to include the sale of the two properties they owned – the family home in the UK and one in Spain. In the event that neither had been sold, the...

Failure to Address Expert Report Proves Costly

When a tenant of industrial land failed to adhere to a notice to quit the premises, the landlord brought a legal action under the law of trespass for its lost rental income – £12,000 per annum. The tenant did nothing and the landlord then...

High Street Store Will Invalid, Rules Court

The dangers inherent in adopting a casual approach to one's will were starkly illustrated in a case that considered the validity of three 'templated' wills written by an elderly woman within a period of four years. The woman had three children and two...

Supreme Court Supports Mother Who Changed Mind Over Return to Australia

Divorces where there is an international dimension often present specific issues, and a recent case involving a couple who had been living in Australia before they separated is no exception, leading ultimately to a hearing in the Supreme Court . The...

Breach of Contract Claim Defeated Quickly

Some breach of contract claims are stronger than others, but even groundless cases come to court sometimes. However, with skilled legal representation, these can be identified and defeated at an early stage. In one case on point, the High Court struck out a...

Psychiatrist Approves Marriage for Alzheimer's Patient

Remarriages are a common source of disagreement and acrimony among family members and dementia is an increasingly prevalent issue, so it is unsurprising that when both were present, the result was a legal dispute in which the Court of Protection had to...

Everyone Has a Right to Know Who Their Parents Are - DNA Test Case

In a ground-breaking decision that prioritised the rights of the living over those of the dead, the Court of Appeal has opened the way for genetic testing of DNA extracted from a sample taken from a cancer victim before his death in order to clarify the...

High Court Focuses on Essentials to Resolve Family Trust Dispute

Even the most careful drafting cannot always succeed in dispelling ambiguity or in making provision for all future eventualities. As a High Court case concerning a family trust showed, however, the courts are always there to act as a neutral umpire in...

Director Who Helped Herself Faces Music

It is hardly surprising that directors of companies that face insolvency often wish to recoup their investments before the balloon goes up. However, as one High Court case concerning a failed furniture retailer showed, they are not entitled to give their...

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...
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