Administration of estates Control of administration. The Chancery Division ordered the appointment of receivers in relation to the estate of Mr Boris Berezovsky. It held that such an appointment was appropriate in circumstances where there was no one in post to represent the estate.
Contract Variation. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, upheld a decision that the claimants, who were employees of the first defendant bank, had been entitled to enforce a promise made by the bank that they would receive a retention bonus for the year 2008. The promise had amounted to a legal enforceable obligation on the bank to pay the bonus.
Landlord and tenant Covenant. The Chancery Division refused the claimant's application for an interim injunction preventing the defendant trust from granting consent for a basement extension unless and until certain steps had been taken. The court held that the instant action was not a proper means by which to resolve the dispute, and no grounds had been shown for interfering with the decision-making process of the trust. Summary judgment was given for the defendant trust.
Administration of estates Control of administration. The deceased, Boris Berezovsky, was a defendant in an action brought by the claimant. Following his death, the claimant sought an ex parte order to appoint receivers to his estate. The Chancery Division declined to make the application, having found that the need for the order to be made as a justification for an application ex parte in accordance with conventional principles had simply not been demonstrated. What was needed was a decision as to who was to represent the estate in what might be a transitional period between the death of Berezovsky and a formal grant of representation to a fit and proper person.
Death Party to proceedings. The claimant brought an action for defamation against the defendant in relation to words posted by him on an internet website thread. The defendant subsequently applied for a ruling that the words complained of were not capable of bearing the meaning pleaded and-or alternatively, that the claim be struck out or the defendant granted summary judgment. The claimant having died subsequent to judgment being reserved, counsel for the claimant submitted that there was nothing for the court to make an order in respect of, the action having abated. The Queen's Bench Division ruled that the wording of CPR 40.7 was clear and did not permit an earlier date to be inserted for the day of any subsequent judgment. Accordingly, the cause of action had abated upon the date of the death of the claimant, there was no provision within the CPR to backdate any subsequent judgment and no judgment would be given.
Family provision Widow. The claimant had been imprisoned for the manslaughter of her husband, caused by her putting on the handbrake in a car during an argument. She was unable to inherit the deceased's property. On her release, the issue arose as to whether she should be allowed to benefit from the forfeiture rule in of the Forfeiture Act 1982. The court held that it would be just for the claimant to receive the net capital in the estate in full to include any additional payment negotiated from the insurers up to but not beyond 200,000.
Will Testator. The Court of Appeal considered a claim regarding the ownership of a property. The claimants, who were sons of the testator, sought an order for rectification of a conveyance that had resulted in the testator and her other son, T, holding the property as beneficial joint tenants. The court held that the conveyance would be rectified so as to provide that the property was held by the testator and T on trust for the testator absolutely.
Conflict of laws Tort. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed an appeal against a finding that the claimants' allegation of bribery against the defendants was governed by Russian law. On the facts, Russian law was the applicable law, it had not been displaced by English law, and accordingly the judge had been right to dismiss the claim.
Mental health Patient's property. The Court of Protection gave a deputy authority to execute a statutory will on behalf of the first respondent, F and to make a gift of 50,000 to F's mother. F was 74 years old suffering from Alzheimer's disease and dementia. There were a large number of respondents to the application each of whom were potential beneficiaries and significant disputes between them as to the provision that ought to be made.
Employment Contract of service. The claimant was the widow of a ship's engineer who had disappeared from his vessel. Her husband's employer conducted an investigation which concluded that he had likely committed suicide, therefore, under the terms of the contract she was not entitled to the payment of death in service benefits. She issued proceedings seeking payment of the benefit. Her application was allowed. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed the employer's appeal as, under the death benefit clause, it would have been impossible for the employer to have directed itself as to the issue of suicide in the way that the judge had found it should have and because the employer's opinion had not been unreasonable for the reason that the judge had found.