Articles

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

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