2017

An Unintended Consequence of The Protection from Eviction Act 1977 S.3(a)(2)

S.3(a)(2) of The Protection from Eviction Act 1977 serves a purpose; it shields those that let out rooms in their homes, for whatever reason, from the court processes usually required to evict a tenant against their will. These processes can be costly, protracted and stressful, and Parliament decided that live-in-landlords should not have to endure Continue reading

Service by email – a warning shot

More and more often, parties within legal proceedings are using email as their preferred method of serving documents. However, the recent case of Glencore Agriculture BV v Conqueror Holdings Ltd [2017] EWHC 2893 provides a warning that when using such a method, steps should always be taken to ensure that the email address you are Continue reading

The Collaborative Process

Following separation, the traditional process of resolution of issues through correspondence or the court process works for many. But, whether to avoid the long delays caused by court listings, the cost of complying with directions or simply the adversarial nature of disputes, an increasing number are now seeking a more amicable resolution. The collaborative process Continue reading

An increase for injury to feelings: the Vento Bands and compensation in discrimination claims

An employee alleging discrimination on the part of their employer (for example on grounds of disability) may ask the Employment Tribunal to make an award for compensation for “injury to feelings”. This is an award of damages aimed as a remedy for the hurt, humiliation and degradation suffered by the employee and will be considered Continue reading

The revised Practice Direction 12J: Child Arrangements & Contact Order: Domestic Violence and Harm

On Thursday 14th September 2017 the President, Sir James Munby released a Circular about the Cobb Review of PD 12J (commissioned by the President and published in January 2017). Mr. Justice Cobb had also published a draft amended PD 12J with his review, which I addressed in an earlier article for Family Law Week.  The Continue reading

Do Round-Table Meetings work in resolving private family law disputes ?

In my experience the answer to this is a resounding “Yes”. Round-table meetings have become increasingly popular over the past few years, although it is less clear whether this is due to an increased emphasis on a collaborative approach or down to the current court listing difficulties. To take part in round-table meetings you do Continue reading

The Judicial College Guidelines 14th Edition. The need for intelligent application rather than a rigid approach.

In September 2017, the 14th Edition of the Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases were published. This new addition has been updated to take into account inflation since the 13th Edition (which was published September 2015). The award across all categories has been increased in line with the Continue reading

The accelerated procedure in applications to vary financial provision orders: just how flexible is it?

It is easy to get so used to the ‘standard’ procedure for financial provision claims that little attention is given to the accelerated procedure when a variation application comes around. It often happens that the parties – and the court – fall into the usual routine of extensive disclosure, questionnaires and, inevitably, cost. But a Continue reading

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1954- is a tenant now deprived of their security of tenure?

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 regulates the way in which business tenancies can be terminated. Importantly, it gives business tenants security of tenure. However, that security has been called into question recently in the case of S Franses Ltd v The Cavendish Hotel (London) Limited [2017] EWHC 1670 (QB). In July 2017, judgment was handed Continue reading

You’re Probably a Data Controller: Read Me

In discussions with various professionals, I have been surprised with the number of people who immediately switch off at the mention of data protection. Well, perhaps not surprised, but troubled. That observation has led me to this article. The purpose of this short article is not to offer any advice or explanation on the current Continue reading

The New CAFCASS Guidance and Private Law Children Proceedings – a new ‘flexible’ friend?

The Chief Executives of Cafcass and Cafcass Cymru have issued new guidance on the use of its officers in private and public law children proceedings. The document, functionally entitled ‘Guidance on the use of professional time to benefit children’, has been issued with the approval and support of the President of the Family Division and Continue reading

Can a Schedule 1 Children Act Application be Barred by Reason of the Issue Having Been Covered in the Earlier Financial Remedy Final Order?

I recently had a hybrid Child Arrangements Order, Specific Issue Order (Schools) and Schedule 1 Children Act case where the Husband/Father argued that because the Financial Remedy final order had referred to the issue of school fees in the preamble, recording that the Wife would endeavour to pay half and that the parties would review Continue reading

Costs Budgeting in the Court of Appeal: Harrison v University Hospitals [2017] EWCA Civ 792

As any civil lawyer will know, a fundamental aim of the “Jackson Reforms” was to limit parties’ expenditure on costs in an attempt to keep the costs of litigation proportionate to the value and issues at stake.  Since 2013 parties in multi-track cases (generally speaking those with a value over £25,000) have been required to Continue reading

Family Children Seminar

Marie Crawford and Gayle Ashley will be presenting a seminar at the View Hotel, Eastbourne on 20th September 2017 from 3.45pm. This seminar will cover a range of topics within Family Children Act proceedings, please contact clerks@becket-chambers.co.uk for more information or to book a place.

“The elephant trap of premature remarriage”: the dangers of ignoring section 28(3) of the MCA 1973

Many of us will have experience of section 28 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (‘MCA 1973’). Regular reference is made to section 28(1A) which allows the court to prohibit any application under section 31 to extend the term of a periodical payments order. We all regularly use section 28(1), which provides that the remarriage Continue reading

Costs Budgeting: When is a Good Reason Required?

As is often the case when a new procedure is introduced, the requirements and boundaries of that procedure are often tested in several different ways to enable practitioners to find its limits, to that extent costs budgeting has been no different. Case Law In Harrison v University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust [2017] EWCA Continue reading

Duties towards litigants-in-person: a timely reminder

Peter Jackson J has used a recent case to remind practitioners of the need to adapt normal working practices when dealing with a litigant-in-person. The case, reported as Re B (Litigant in Person: Timely Service of Documents) [2016] EWHC 2365 (Fam), involved the alleged abduction of a child.  The father was represented, the mother was Continue reading

Children Arbitration

Article 1 of the Family Law Arbitration Children Scheme Arbitration Rules 2016 (1st Edition, effective, 18th July 2016) “The Family Law Arbitration Children Scheme (“the Children Scheme”) is a scheme under which disputes concerning the exercise of parental responsibility and other private law issues about the welfare of children may be resolved by the determination Continue reading

Beddoe Applications

A Beddoe application is a type of application to the court, made by trustees, for directions. The trustees ask for permission from the court to litigate (or continue to litigate) against someone not a party to the proceedings. There is a main application, which is the substantive case itself, and the Beddoe application. Common Beddoe Continue reading

Matrimonial Finance: The Self-Destructive Tendencies of the Goyal Couple

Throughout a marriage, more often than not, the parties see themselves as a team, contributing either financially or otherwise for their common good. On divorce, self-interest habitually becomes the priority. However, more frequently than one would hope, the intention of a party can be to make their former spouse suffer, indeed in some instances that Continue reading

Big Changes in Children’s Cases where Domestic Abuse is an Issue: New Practice Direction 12 J

The presumption of contact can now (explicitly) be displaced As a result of the work of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Domestic Violence (APPG) after the publication in January 2016 of the influential Women’s Aid report entitled ‘Nineteen Child Homicides: What must change so children are put first in child contact arrangements and the Continue reading

Charity Begins At Home: Reasonable Financial Provision In Inheritance Act Claims

Testamentary freedom has long been recognised in English law, the ability of an individual to dispose of their assets as they wish. Default intestacy provisions apply where there is no will however the testator’s intention as provided for in their will takes priority. The only qualification to this rule is that now contained within the Continue reading