Deed Trust deed. The Chancery Division granted a surviving settlor's application to rectify a deed to include the settlors' children as beneficiaries under a trust where the exercise of the court's discretion to order rectification was justified on the facts of the case.
Court of protection Practice. The Court of Protection considered the issue of costs in proceedings in respect of, inter alia, the proposed sale of the patient's home. The court held that there was no basis for the departure from the 'general rule' as contained in R 156 of the Court of Protection Rules and the costs of family members and the deputy would be charged to the patient's estate and become payable on her death.
Insolvency Bankruptcy. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed an appeal by a trustee in bankruptcy seeking to set aside a transfer deed and declaration of trust entered into by the bankrupt and his wife. It found that the judge's conclusion that the documents had not been entered into to escape liabilities could not be challenged.
Will Construction. The Chancery Division considered the interpretation of a gift made in the testator's will. The issue arose as to the manner in which the gift was to be divided between some or all of the 13 defendants, who were either friends of the testator or relatives of those friends. The Court held that, given the evidence about the testator's affection for the defendants and the way in which he had written the will, it was appropriate to divide the gift into 13 equal shares, with each defendant taking one share.
Criminal law Trial. The defendant was convicted of possession of a prohibited weapon (an imitation gun that was readily convertible into a firearm) and sentenced to five years' imprisonment. The defendant appealed on the basis that the imposition of a legal (persuasive) burden on him had involved derogation from the presumption of innocence. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, held that the derogation was justified as necessary, reasonable and proportionate. It further held that there was no arguable basis for challenging the sentence.
Sentence Imprisonment. The defendant had been a solicitor found guilty of fraud by abuse of position and sentenced to four years' imprisonment. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, in allowing the defendant's appeal against sentence, held that the total sentence was too high and ought to have been one of three years' imprisonment. However, the instant case was one involving unusual facts and the result was not one which could be used in other cases which were not of similar facts.
Family provision Person who immediately before deceased's death was being maintained by deceased. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, upheld a judge's award made under the awarding the first claimant virtually the whole of what the judge understood to be the English assets of the deceased estate, since the judge had not erred in principle and had carried out an exercise to provide for the reasonable maintenance of the first claimant.
Coroner Inquest. The Administrative Court of the Queen's Bench Division considered an appeal brought by the claimant local authority regarding the death of EB, a troubled 14-year old. The coroner had decided to hold the inquiry into EB's death under article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and had ruled that a jury inquiry was required. The Court held that although the coroner had been entitled to hold the inquest with a jury, it had erred in finding that an inquiry under art 2 was necessary.
Mental health Patient. The Court of Protection considered whether it was in the best interests of the patient, K, to undergo treatment for uterine cancer for which she lacked the capacity to consent. There was a considerable risk that due to other co-morbidities and other factors she would die during the surgery. However, the court declared that it would be lawful for the surgery to go ahead.
Rectification Mistake. The instant case concerned a pension scheme known as the IBM Pension Plan (the main plan), which was originally established in 1957.The claimant trust company, the trustee of the plan, sought an order rectifying a deed of amendment, which created, amongst other things, the C Plan. The principal question was whether, in creating the C Plan as a new section of the main plan in 1983, it was intended to be on terms that members of the C Plan would have a right to retire on an unreduced pension at any age between 60 and 63 without any employer consent. The Chancery Division answered in the affirmative.