Trust and trustee Will. The claimant brought proceedings against his father alleging, among other things, undue influence and fraud and that he had been singled out of his inheritance. The Chancery Division held, in dismissing that claim, that there had been no evidence of undue influence or fraud. However, the father was ordered to convey, to the claimant, ground rents which he had been entitled to under a trust.
Employment Employment contract. The claimant was demoted from his managerial post with the defendant housing trust after he had made comments on his Facebook page criticising gay marriage in church. The claimant brought proceedings against the Trust for breach of contract. The Chancery Division, in allowing the claim, held that a reasonable reader of the claimant's Facebook wall page could not rationally conclude that the comments had been made in any relevant sense on the Trust's behalf. The claimant's purported demotion was in breach of his contract of employment and amounted to a wrongful dismissal. accordingly, the Trust was liable in damages.
Will Rectification. The Chancery Division dismissed the claim for rectification of a will as, although the will as drafted did not correctly reflect the testator's intentions, the error could not have been said to be a clerical error or a failure to understand the testator's instructions.
Trust and trustee Breach of trust. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in dismissing the claimants' appeal, upheld a finding that money paid to the defendant under an investment scheme, by which money was to be used to invest in TV productions, had not been held by the defendant under a Quistclose trust, since the contractual arrangements under which the claimants and defendant formed a partnership had been consistent with the money forming partnership assets.
Tenants in common Real property. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in allowing the claimant's appeal, held that the parties had been bound by a declaration of trust which had made the claimant an equitable tenant in common in a property.
Sentence Imprisonment. Following an argument with his girlfriend, the defendant gouged her eyes out while she lay unconscious in bed. The defendant pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and to a hospital order and a restriction order. The issue on appeal was whether the appropriate order was a hospital order and a restriction order, without the term of imprisonment given that the defendant suffered from a mental disorder. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, in dismissing the appeal against sentence, held that the judge had imposed the appropriate sentence. The risk posed to the public from causes other than the defendant's mental problems, the nature of the offence and the defendant's antecedents, required that he would only be released in the parole board found that it was safe to do so.
Trust and trustee Breach of trust. The Chancery Division held that the claimants had no cause of action seeking the return of property transferred to the first defendant by a company owned by a trust to which the claimants were beneficiaries, because the claimants had never owned the property and accordingly had no entitlement to it.
Criminal Law Trial. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, in allowing in part the defendant's appeal against conviction for rape, held that the conviction was unlawful as, at the time of the offence, the defendant had had an absolute defence as a result of the irrebuttable common law presumption that children under the age of 14 were incapable of committing the offence of rape. However, a conviction for indecent assault would be substituted.
Charity Scheme. The Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery) considered an appeal by a Roman Catholic adoption charity which had been refused permission by the Charity Commission to amend its memorandum of association to permit it to continue its previous practice to refuse to offer its adoption services to same sex couples. The First Tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) (Charity) had refused the charity's appeal. The Upper Tribunal found that the First Tier Tribunal had been right to conclude that the charity could not show that there were weighty and convincing reasons why it should be permitted to change its memorandum of association to enable it to discriminate against homosexuals as it proposed.
Solicitor Costs. The Divisional Court held that the imposition of a substantial order for costs on a solicitor who had been struck off the roll for admitted instances of dishonesty was lawful.