Latest News

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Even the most carefully drafted will can contain inadvertent clerical errors that leave room for doubt as to the document's true meaning. As a High Court ruling showed , however, judges happily have the power to correct such mistakes so as to ensure that...
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An intransigent and dogmatic approach to divorce is an infallible way of making the process far more painful and costly. A man who insisted that his ex-wife's financial entitlements should be reduced to reflect the poor quality of their short, childless...
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It often falls to judges to address the most dreadful consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. That was certainly so in a case where the Court of Protection found that keeping a much-loved husband and father on life support would merely serve to prolong his...
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Family relationships can be red in tooth and claw and appointing relatives, rather than a professional, as executors of your will can prove a costly mistake. That was certainly so in one case, where bitter litigation between siblings resulted in legal costs...
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When children suffer unexplained injuries, few would quarrel with social workers and medical professionals taking a precautionary approach. However, as a family judge's ruling showed , the cloud of suspicion that often hangs over parents in such cases is...
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UK Border Force officers wield a battery of powers designed to combat smuggling – but they must not be exercised unreasonably. The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) made that point in coming to the aid of a woman whose family car was loaded with over 300...
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Before embarking on any form of property development it is absolutely vital to seek a lawyer's confirmation that you are entitled to proceed. The point was underlined by the case of a couple who knocked down their home and replaced it with a block of flats...
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Far too many people put off making a will until ill health strikes and reminds them of their mortality. In a striking case on point, the High Court ruled that a will signed by a prosperous farmer when he was in his 80s and suffering from dementia was not...
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A 'couple' is defined in law as two people living as partners in an enduring family relationship – but what exactly does that mean in a world that has witnessed a metamorphosis in human relationships during the last few decades? The High Court...
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Concerns that children may be used as pawns amidst the cut and thrust of divorce proceedings are often expressed by one side or the other. However, a High Court ruling in the context of a big money case showed that family judges are aware of such risks and...
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Parents generally owe no legal duty financially to maintain their adult children. That principle proved decisive in the case of a businessman who was worth almost £2.2 million when he died, but who left not a penny to his daughters. Having enjoyed a...
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Failing to accurately respond to insurers' questions when taking out a policy is highly likely to render your cover worthless. A businessman found that out to his cost after losing a £190,000 Rolex watch whilst on a skiing trip. The man launched...
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Restrictions on the use to which properties can be put often lurk in old title deeds. As one case showed , however, some of them only endure as long as a human lifetime whilst others have no such shelf life and continue to have effect indefinitely. The...
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The value of many assets has been devastated by COVID-19 – but is that a good enough reason for setting aside divorce settlements agreed before the pandemic struck? A family judge considered that issue in a guideline case . The case concerned a...
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Will drafting is an exact science, requiring years of professional training, and a single mischosen or out-of-place word can have very serious consequences. Exactly that happened in a High Court case concerning the mistaken use of the word 'both' –...
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Whether or not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is a matter of personal choice. A family judge robustly made that point in declining to authorise vaccination of a care home resident suffering from acute dementia who had fiercely objected to the procedure....
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Judges often plead with divorcing couples to bury the hatchet rather than subject themselves to the financial and emotional self-harm of litigation. As a High Court case showed , however, such good advice is sadly not always heeded. The case concerned a...
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Making a will when you are close to death and without professional assistance is an effective means of fostering dispute between your loved ones after you are gone. As a High Court case strikingly showed , that is particularly so if you intend to leave your...
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Domestic gardens, which many people view as the glory of British suburbia, present a tempting prospect to builders amidst burgeoning housing demand. As one case showed, however, objectors to such developments are by no means powerless. The owners of a...
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Many of the most vulnerable members of society lack the mental capacity required to consent to being vaccinated against COVID-19. As a Court of Protection case showed , that fact can give rise to formidable legal difficulties. The case concerned a care...