Section 4 Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975: Standstill Agreements

Earlier this year the conflicting authorities of Bhusate v Patel [2019] EWHC 470 (Ch) and Cowan v Foreman and others [2019] EWHC 349 (Fam) cast doubt on the use of standstill agreements in respect of claims intended to be brought under section 2 of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (“the Act”). 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

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

Consideration of the Application of the Mitchell/Denton Principles and What Constitutes an Abuse of Process

Following the implementation of the Mitchell/Denton principles compliance with rules and practice directions has become far more important than it previously had been. Whilst the additional clarification given in Denton has provided a greater understanding of what is expected when seeking to apply for relief from sanctions there remain many examples of misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Continue reading

Order for Sale: Purchase by a Co-Owner or Sale on the Open Market – Stuck Between a Rock House and a Hard Place

Many claims under the Trust of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (“the Act”) seek an order for sale of the property in question, however it may be the case that the claimant does not want the property to be sold, but instead to retain it as a sole owner, effectively removing a co-owner Continue reading

Divorce Petition Jurisdiction: Never Thum Your Nose at the Rules

The stress and cost of financial remedy proceedings are often overwhelming for couples unfortunate enough to have to endure them. However spare a thought for those for whom jurisdiction is in issue; the parties effectively have to fight over the correct jurisdiction in which to have the fight. The Court of Appeal recently considered when 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

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

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

When Is ADR Not An Alternative?

Whilst addressing the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators at its recent mediation symposium, Lord Justice Briggs set out his recommendations for the future of the civil dispute resolution process. Briggs proposed a three-stage process whereby cases would first be referred to an automated ‘triage’ where the merits of the case would be considered, followed by arbitration Continue reading

What Price a Court Fee?

Prior to commencing proceedings there are a number of issues to consider such as the cause of action, any relevant limitation period, not to mention advising the client of the potential costs consequences. As such it is easy to overlook the more administrative matters such as ensuring that the correct court fee is paid. However 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

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