Will Validity. The claimant, who was the deceased's niece, brought proceedings to challenge the validity of a will leaving the deceased's estate to the defendants who had cared for her at the latter stage of her life. The Chancery Division held that the will was invalid in that the deceased had not had mental capacity to make the will and she had not known or approved the contents of the will.
Negligence Duty to take care. The claimant executrixes of the estate of a man who died of malignant mesothelioma issued proceedings against his employer in the 1960s and 1970s. They alleged negligence in respect of exposure to asbestos in course of deceased's employment. The Queen's Bench Division held that, even by the standards of the times, the employer had negligently failed to comply with its duty of care.
Probate Undue influence. The claimant brought a probate action contesting the latter of two wills (the 2006 will) made by his mother (the deceased) on the basis of: (i) want of capacity and (ii) undue influence. The Chancery Division held that, on the facts, the deceased had testamentary capacity but that the 2006 will had resulted from undue influence. Accordingly, the previous will stood.
Will Gift. The Chancery Division considered a claim relating to the giving of gifts by the testator, F, to his daughters shortly after making a will. The court held that, on the evidence, the gifts had not been intended as portions to the daughters or as an anticipation of their share of F's estate, and that the estate would be distributed by dividing the residue without taking into account the gifts given to the daughters.
Coroner Inquest. The Administrative Court held that an inquest, challenged by the claimant on the grounds that there had been delay in the conduct of the inquest and bias on the part of the assistant deputy coroner, had been lawful.
Trust and Trustee Resulting trust. The claimants invested in an investment opportunity advertised to them by the second defendant. They paid their investment monies into the client account of the first defendant firm of solicitors. The first defendant then released the monied to repay a loan which had been used as part of the investment scheme. The claimants commenced proceedings claiming, inter alia, that the monies paid into the client account were at all material times held subject to escrow conditions, and further or alternatively, on a form of Quistclose or resulting trust for them or otherwise to their order and that the payment of those monies out of the client account was a breach of contract and-or trust for which first defendant was liable. The Chancery Division held that the monies had been subject to a form of resulting trust of which the first defendant had been in breach in releasing the monies to pay off the loan.
Family proceedings Orders in family proceedings. The Family Division allowed a mother's application to relocate her children to Australia, in circumstances where the court held that the impact of refusing the application, if favourable to the father, would bear far more heavily on the mother than the other way round.
Will Testator. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed an appeal against a judge's finding that the deceased's will had been invalid for want of knowledge and approval, in circumstances where the defendant daughter had been found to have been the driving force behind the will which did not make provision for the deceased's son.
Mental health Persons who lack capacity. The Court of Protection held that a patient, L, was being deprived of her liberty. The court gave guidance as to the information which was relevant in the circumstances of the instant case when assessing whether L had capacity to consent to her accommodation.
Sterilisation Mentally handicapped person. The Court of Protection made a best interests determination in relation to issues of contraception for, and sterilisation of, K, a 21 year old women who was born with Down's Syndrome.