Becket Chambers

Re F (A Child) (Fact-Finding Appeal) – Unexplained Injuries: Less a case of “Who did what?” and more a case of ” Did anyone do anything?”

In May 2019, the Court of Appeal considered an appeal by the father of a 6 month old child F, against a finding that he inflicted harm upon the child. The child presented with petechial haemorrhaging of a pattern that the experts had never encountered before, and which they could not explain. The case gives Continue reading

The Discount Rate in Personal Injury Claims: What, Why and How

On 15th July 2019 the Government announced a change to the calculation of personal injury compensation. From 5th August the “discount rate” applied in compensation calculations will be raised from -0.75% to -0.25%. The announcement has been met with slight relief by those acting for Claimants and with displeasure from insurance companies who are, in Continue reading

Section 4 Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975: How Long is Too Long to Ask for Permission to Apply for Reasonable Financial Provision From the Estate of the Deceased?

Section 4 of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (“the Act”) provides that claims under section 2 of the Act must be made within six months of the date on which the representation with respect to the estate is taken out, unless the court gives permission for such a claim to be Continue reading

Untraceable or uninsured drivers in road traffic accidents

The recent decision of Cameron (Respondent) v Liverpool Victoria Insurance Co Ltd (Appellant) [2019] UKSC 6 is an interesting insight into service of untraceable and unidentified drivers that are liable for road traffic accidents. This case concerned an appeal in the Supreme Court on the question of “in what circumstances is it permissible to sue Continue reading

A Reminder of the Need to Robustly Stand Up to Judical Pressure and the Important Distinction Between Sections 31 & 38 of the Children Act 1989

Re G (Children: Fair Hearing). [2019] EWCA Civ 126 On the first of these two issues this was a procedural appeal against interim care orders by a mother who stated that she was subjected to improper judicial pressure that led to orders being granted without opposition by her. The appeal was heard by Lord Justice Continue reading

The Law Governing Divorce is Changing, What Does This Mean for You?

Despite the significant cultural and social developments in society, the law governing divorce has remained largely the same since 1969 when the Divorce Reform Act was passed. After many discussions and attempts to change the law, the Government has finally decided that reform is necessary. Current Basis for Divorce When you apply for a divorce Continue reading

Civil Bundles: Worse Than Ever?

Bundles have always been the bane of the civil lawyer’s life. 10 different courts, 10 different approaches, and 10 shades of adherence to the CPR. From 6th April this year, the rules changed for the worse better. If you are preparing for a trial under the CPR, you should take a look at the new Continue reading

Pre-Nuptial Agreements – The Cracks in Radmacher – Are the Courts nibbling away at Pre-Nuptials from both ends?

The very recent decision of Mostyn J in Ipekci v McConnell [2019] EWFC 19 illustrates the fragility of Pre-Nuptial Agreements (“PNAs” hereafter) from one end (vitiation) and the same case and other recent decisions do so from the other end (the extent to which they bind the court even if valid). These two ends of Continue reading

Adverse Possession

Assertions of adverse possession (or “squatter’s rights”), where an individual is entitled to claim ownership of land by virtue of the fact that they have used the land as their own for an extended period, are frequently the cause of prolonged and expensive litigation. The Land Registration Act 2002 was intended, in part, to prevent Continue reading

Becket Family Mediation – the process – a brief overview of the steps

First, make contact with the mediation clerks, who will provide you with some information and send you a referral form to complete. Complete your referral form and return it to the mediation clerks, who will then set up an initial session for you to attend with the mediator (on your own). Attend an intake/MIAM session Continue reading

Child Arrangements Orders: How can I make the Court process more positive for me and for my child(ren)?

Often, when parents separate, there are young children involved, so it is important to set up a co-parenting model that can last for a significant period of time. Many parents feel that the most appropriate forum for such discussions is within mediation. If you have been able to reach a decision through negotiation, you can Continue reading

PSED, Cuckooing and Possession

Cara Radford assesses applications for possession by public authorities in light of the Public Sector Equality Duty and where cuckooing is an issue. Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 (“the Act”) provides the Public Sector Equality Duty (“PSED”) which requires public authorities, in the exercise of its functions, to have due regard to the Continue reading

Does the Court have jurisdiction to make interim care orders in respect of 17 year olds?

The Legal Framework Under Section 31(1) of the Children Act 1989 (“CA1989”), the Court may, on the application of any local authority or authorised person, make an order placing a child into the care of or under the supervision of the designated local authority. The Court may only make such an order if it is Continue reading

Credit Hire: Enforceability and Irving

Where the cost of credit hire is claimed as part of a road traffic claim issues of enforceability are invariably considered by the Court and the Defendant. The matter usually arises after cross-examination of a Claimant who gives evidence that they were told that some other party would pay any such costs before signing the Continue reading

When do the Rules Apply? Are Litigants in Person Always to be Held to the Same Standards as Represented Parties Following Barton v Wright Hassall?

In the well-publicised case of Barton v Wright Hassall LLP [2018] UKSC 12, Lord Sumption, with whom Lord Wilson and Lord Carnwarth agreed (Lady Hale and Lord Briggs dissenting), stated: “The rules provide a framework within which to balance the interest of both sides. That balance is inevitably disturbed if an unrepresented litigant is entitled Continue reading

Race Discrimination: Evidence & Inference after Royal Mail Group Limited v Efobi

The Court of Appeal has recently given judgment in Royal Mail Group Limited v Efobi [2019] EWCA Civ 18, Royal Mail’s appeal against the Employment Appeal Tribunal’s decision that, at first instance, a Tribunal had wrongly rejected Mr Efobi’s claim for direct race discrimination. The Court of Appeal’s decision has effectively restored the decision of Continue reading

Third Six Pupillage Vacancy

A vacancy has arisen for a third six pupil with the opportunity to apply for a full tenancy during or at the conclusion of the pupillage. The successful applicant will be joining a friendly and modern set, with a collegiate atmosphere and a forward-thinking approach. Becket Chambers offers an attractive combination of high quality work Continue reading

Are the Government finally tackling Domestic Abuse and how will it help victims in the family court? The Domestic Abuse Bill.

Since March 2018 the government have been consulting for a landmark Domestic Abuse bill. It seeks to legislate to “ fundamentally change the way we, as a country, think about this insidious crime.”  The draft bill was published on 21st January 2019 and focuses on 4 main objectives, i.e. how they can: promote awareness – Continue reading

Summary of Case Law (Private Family Law: Children)

Cumulative Edition 2018 by Kevin Jackson Contents Civil Restraint Orders AEY v AL (Family Proceedings Civil Restraint Order) 18th November 2018 [2018] EWHC 3253 (Fam) Committal CH and CT 25th May 2018 [2018] EWHC 1310 (Fam) Egeneonu and Egeneonu and Anor 6th June 2018 [2018] EWHC 1392 (Fam) Egeneonu and Egeneonu 18th July 2018 [2018] Continue reading

SUMMARY OF RECENT CASE PRIVATE LAW (FAMILY: CHILDREN)

QUARTERLY DIGEST October to December 2018 PRIVATE LAW Civil Restraint Orders AEY v AL (Family Proceedings Civil Restraint Order) [2018] EWHC 3253 (Fam) 18th November 2018 Knowles J The father had engaged in long running family proceedings regarding his three children. In the current proceedings the father made a further application for a child arrangements Continue reading

To publish or not to publish? – Applications in relation to publication of care proceedings

The recent case of Re A and B (children) [2018] EWHC 3491 (Fam) was a case heard in the High Court by the then President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby. It considered cross applications from a Local Authority (“LA”) and a journalist arising out of care proceedings brought by the LA which resulted Continue reading

Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 created a new (and rigorous) statutory framework for individuals and companies dealing with scrap metal imposing significant criminal penalties for any breaches; more local authorities are becoming aware of the additional options for dealing with sites where unauthorised activities are leading to complaints and pressure from residents (and councillors). Continue reading

Using powers to prevent anti-social behaviour to protect, not punish

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 brought with it new powers in order to tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB). It introduced, amongst other things, the Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO), the civil injunction and the closure order. Local Authorities and Police Forces, amongst other organisations can apply for these; but when thinking about these powers, Continue reading