Becket Chambers

Boundary Disputes – lines in the sand

Many boundary disputes arise from misunderstandings or a lack of communication between neighbours, but rapidly escalate into cripplingly expensive litigation. It’s essential that if you’re affected (whichever side of the fence you’re on) you get proper legal advice from a Solicitor or Barrister before getting sucked into what could become acrimonious, stressful and lengthy proceedings. This article Continue reading

To suspend or not to suspend: guidance on judges’ discretion in possession proceedings

The Court of Appeal has given guidance as to when a court can and should suspend a possession order made under the Housing Act 1988 (relating to housing association or local authority tenancies).  In City Westminster Housing Trust v Massey: Manchester & District Housing Association v Roberts [2016] EWCA Civ 704 the Court was dealing Continue reading

Challenging The Validity Of A Will – Do You Have An Interest Or Are You Just Interested?

CPR rule 57.7(1) reaffirmed the existing requirement that in order to bring a probate claim a party must have an “interest” in the estate.[1] Earlier authority[2] had established that a creditor of an estate does not have a sufficient “interest” in the estate to allow them to challenge the validity of a will. But what Continue reading

Arbitration: Are Divorcing Couples Loathe To Arbitrate About Financial Matters Because It Lacks Certainty?

The recent decision in DB v DLJ (more below) led me to consider whether the relatively low take-up of arbitration as a means to resolving Family Financial issues between divorcing couples is as the result of a concern as to whether arbitration decisions have sufficient certainty to provide the divorcing parties with enough confidence in Continue reading

3 things collaborative law training taught me

A few weeks ago I attended the Resolution training on collaborative law.  For those not acquainted with the concept, collaborative practice looks for a client-led solution to family disputes, with both sides being represented and agreeing their own arrangements at a series of four-way meetings.  The lawyers and parties sign a commitment to work collaboratively, Continue reading

Angry Letters: What’s The Fuss?

In all litigation, any correspondence can be read in (at least) two ways. One of them is often “angry or aggressive”. As a barrister of some little experience, I have, by my own estimate, read several hundred thousand letters between parties and/ or solicitors. These range from amicable and collaborative at one end, through to Continue reading

Interveners (or Third Parties) & Setting Aside Dispositions – Cautionary Tales

An amended version of a paper originally presented at the Becket Chambers’ Family Finance Seminar at Eastbourne, Dartford & Canterbury on the 8th, 9th & 11th February 2016. Bringing third parties into financial remedy proceedings is an extremely risky and potentially costly business.  The two tales are cautionary in very different ways; the first being Continue reading

Absolute ground for eviction: victory for landlords or damp squib?

The snappily-named Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (‘ASBCPA’) introduced a number of provisions to strengthen the anti-social behaviour armoury. One such provision is the ‘absolute’ or ‘mandatory’ ground for repossession of a property where there has been a previous court finding of anti-social behaviour by a tenant or their household/visitors. It provides that Continue reading

Costs Budgeting: Recent Amendments

As is often the case, the first attempt at a new process is not perfect and requires tweaking as time goes on; cost budgeting is no different it would seem. Having noted that the budgeting process is utilising a great deal of court time and resources, efforts have recently been made to streamline the process; Continue reading

A change in housing benefit back payments- what does this realistically mean?

A large majority of possession matters reach court because the defendant has failed to engage with the relevant Local Authority awarding housing benefits or they have failed to provide information when requested. The reasons behind such failures vary from mental health issues to a simple lack of insight. However, such failures often result in housing Continue reading

Part 36: The New Regime

Following the recent series of seminars in civil law, I have reduced my presentation to this short article. A number of the Part 36 offers I see are not valid. Regardless of the seniority of lawyer, or the experience of the individual drafting the offer, there are a number of potential pitfalls. The new Part Continue reading

Life as a Pupil Barrister

My experience since starting pupillage, in October 2015, has exceeded all expectations I had. I have been exposed to a variety of high quality work. As Becket is a mixed set, I have been able to gain experience and help from each member of chambers in their specialist area who have been supportive and encouraging. Continue reading

Litigants in person in Kent

Cuts to legal aid, rising legal costs and a reduction in resources have contributed to an ever-growing number of litigants in persons.  Recently I was invited to attend a “CLOCK presentation”. CLOCK is a Community Legal Outreach Collaboration initially started in Keel. It aims to bring together members of the university, judiciary, barrister chambers, law Continue reading

Voluntary accommodation of children under s.20 Children Act 1989: a withering analysis of Local Authority practice

In today’s judgment of Re N (Children) (Adoption: Jurisdiction) [2015] EWCA Civ 1112 the President of the Family Division has an important message for family practitioners but, particularly, for local authorities. From paragraphs 157 to 171 he provided a tour de force of the problems with s.20 and the best practice that should be followed. Continue reading

Holly Coates & Paul Tapsell – Chambers & Partners Guide 2016

Chambers is proud to annouce that Holly Coates and Paul Tapsell have been ranked in the Chambers and Partners Guide 2016 under Local Government. Chambers has also been ranked as a Leading Set. THE SET Canterbury-based Becket Chambers operates across Kent and Sussex, and acts for a variety of clients, although it is best recognised for its work on behalf of local Continue reading

Chris Wall & Louisa Adamson – Chambers & Partners Guide 2016

Chambers are proud to annouce that both Louisa Adamson and Christopher Wall have been ranked in the Chambers and Partners Guide 2016 under Family/Matrimonial (South East). Louisa Adamson focuses on children and financial remedy matters and is highly experienced in care proceedings, disputes concerning physical and sexual abuse and residence disputes. She also undertakes financial disputes concerning property, assets Continue reading