Articles

Costs against Public Authorities in Non-CPR Civil Proceedings in the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts – Heads They Win, Tails You Lose

R (on the application of Perinpanathan) v City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court and Another [2010] EWCA Civ 40 is the current leading authority on the question of costs in civil matters brought in the Crown or Magistrates’ Court by a public authority. It applies and extends the principles in City of Bradford Metropolitan DC v Continue reading

(Assured) Landlord and Tenant in Potential Agreement? Sweet Surrender

Once there has been a breakdown in the landlord and tenant relationship, and the landlord wants to seek possession, the default route is the instigation of formal possession proceedings. A problem that assured and assured-shorthold landlords are starting to encounter more frequently, however, is the Section 21 debarment that results from a failure to comply Continue reading

A variation to the law of variations: The Supreme Court gives judgment in Rock Advertising Ltd v MWB Business Exchange Centres Ltd

Summary: In a case of potential relevance to anyone entering into a written contract, the Supreme Court has recently held that oral variations to such a contract may well be invalid. The case has wide reaching implications and changes the approach previously adopted by the courts. In its Judgment in Rock Advertising Ltd v MWB Continue reading

A roundup of the President’s lecture on a unified, re-vamped family court

It is a familiar problem. A divorce is being endured. It is, by definition, fractious and, most importantly, still fractious in respect of the children. Or, put in lawyer’s tongue, there are ongoing matrimonial finance proceedings, in which the children are the first consideration (section 25 (1) Matrimonial Causes Act 1973) but the “child arrangements” Continue reading

Further reform to Personal Injury – Crackdown on gastric illness in holiday claims

Introduction Hot on the heels of The Association of British Insurers (ABI) (in response to an apparent increase in whiplash claims) The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has campaigned for reform in package holiday gastric illness claims. Personal Injury reform is a topic that I have previously explored under “Personal Injury Claims- further reform Continue reading

For love, not money: establishing beneficial interests in sole name cases

The recently-reported case of Dobson v Griffey [2018] EWHC 1117 (Ch) provides a helpful reminder of the difficulties in cohabitation cases when seeking a share of a property that is held in another party’s sole name. The decision is that of HHJ Matthews sitting as a High Court Judge. The judgment considers the standard of Continue reading

Parents with learning difficulties – further guidance in a recent reported case dealing with the limits the courts will go to in applying Re D principles.

The President has issued further guidance on cases involving parents with learning difficulties: President’s Guidance Family Proceedings: Parents with a Learning Disability, 10th April 2018: He refers to the leading cases: Re D (A Child) (No 3) (2016) EWFC 1: http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed158421 and Re Guardian and A (Care Order: Freeing Order: Parents with a Learning Disability) Continue reading

Not “Parental Alienation”? but heading towards intractability? What can be done?

Many practitioners are accustomed to seeing cases that do not quite fall within the category of “parental alienation” yet are characterised by the resident-parent’s views impacting adversely on the arrangements for contact between the non-resident parent and the child and often, as a consequence, on the relationship between the child and non-resident parent.   Usually such Continue reading

Clarification on the correct application of qualified one-way costs shifting

This article explores the correct way Defendant’s added to a claim after April 2013 should approach qualified one-way costs shifting (“QOCS”) It explains how QOCS should be applied in respect of an unsuccessful claim for damages for personal injury. In particular, the article reviews the recent Court of Appeal decision in Corstorphine (An Infant) v Continue reading

Section 10(1)(b) Children Act 1989: Do Grandparents Always Have to Apply for a Child Arrangements Order?

As we are aware, in cases where grandparents are denied spending time with their grandchildren, they have to apply to the court to do so. Moreover, the procedure is a two stage process, with them having to apply for leave first and satisfying the conditions set down in Section 10(9) of the Children Act 1989. Continue reading

Take “Hart,” Judges Will Use Their Powers Including Imprisonment To Punish Contempt In Relation To Non Production Of Documents.

Have you ever felt frustrated by the Courts’ reluctance to use its powers to enforce disclosure?   In the latest round in the long running bout of Hart v Hart, HHJ Wildblood QC sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge has sentenced the Husband (H) to 14 months imprisonment for contempt for failing to produce documents Continue reading

Larke v Nugus

A Larke v Nugus request is a request regarding the circumstances of drafting a Will. The starting point is the case of Larke v Nugus (1979) 123 SJ 327. It is a case I sometimes use when advising probate clients. The case held that the professional who drafted the Will should provide information about the drafting and Continue reading

The New CAFCASS Guidance and Private Law Children Proceedings – an UPDATE on the proposed new interventions

In my August 2017 article I considered the Cafcass document ‘Guidance on the use of professional time to benefit children’ (‘the Guidance’) in the context of private law children proceedings. While Cafcass believes it is crucial that the work it carries out before and at the First Hearing (FHDRA) should continue unchanged, it proposes to Continue reading

Ambulatory’ intentions and beneficial interests: where are we now?

As is well known, in cohabitation cases the court is seeking out the parties’ intentions in relation to their property.  Where a declaration of trust exists, this is conclusively binding.  Where none exists, the court must rely upon what was said and done to establish intentions.   So far, so straightforward. But what happens when it Continue reading

The 18th View from the President’s Chambers “The on-going process of reform – Financial Remedies Courts”

Last month, Sir James Munby published his 18th View from the President’s Chambers. “The on-going process of reform – Financial Remedies Courts” expands upon the 17th View (“divorce and money – where are we and where are we going?” [2017] Fam Law 607) and the “President’s Circular: Financial Remedies Courts” [2018] Fam Law 91. The Continue reading

Challenging a Grant of Planning Permission in your Local Area

THERE IS A 6-WEEK LIMITATION PERIOD WITHIN WHICH A GRANT OF PLANNING PERMISSION CAN BE CHALLENGED VIA THE METHODS OUTLINED BELOW. IF YOU THINK YOU WOULD LIKE TO CHALLENGE SOMEONE’S PLANNING PERMISSION CONTACT BECKET CHAMBERS FOR SPECIALIST PLANNING ADVICE ASAP. ________ When planning permission is granted for a local development or a neighbour’s extension despite Continue reading

Has adoption become a runaway train?

The 2018 report of the British Association of Social Workers’s (BASW) into adoption law According to an independent enquiry into adoption law in the UK by the British Association of Social Workers’s (BASW), adoption has become a “runaway train,” almost impossible to stop. The two-year enquiry, led by Professors Brid Featherstone and Anna Gupta, gathered Continue reading

Re H (A Child- Hair Strand Testing) [2017] EWFC 64 – Mr. Justice Peter Jackson

A distillation of the key points from this important guideline case concerning hair strand drug testing. On 29th September 2017 after 6 days of evidence, legal argument and submissions Mr. Justice Peter Jackson handed down a Judgment that looked at several key issues that are relevant to practitioners in public and private law family proceedings Continue reading

Life as a Pupil Barrister

I could not have been provided with a better start to pupillage. I was immediately thrust into the work of a first-six pupil, shadowing members of Chambers in conferences and in court, drafting documents from attendance notes to advices, conducting legal research and considering case files. I have already been able to observe a variety Continue reading

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