Practice Service out of jurisdiction. The claimant had sought permission to amend his particulars of claim and to serve them out of the jurisdiction on the defendant bank. Of the three amendments that he had sought to make, two were refused and the third was allowed in part. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed his appeal in part. The third amendment would be allowed in its entirety and permission to serve out of the jurisdiction was granted. The two other amendments were not allowed as there was no serious issue to be tried.
Executor and administrator Administrator. The court considered the costs of an application by the administrator of an estate pursuant to CPRPt64.2(a). The court ordered that the administrator should pay her own costs referable to the first head of relief, which had been refused by the court. However, the first defendant beneficiary was ordered to pay the costs referable to the second and third heads of relief.
Oakhurst Property Developments (Lowndes Square No 2) Ltd and others v Blackstar (Isle of Man) Ltd and another company
Trust and trustee Trustee costs. The Chancery Division held that the first defendant trustee had accounted fully in respect of its trusteeship and had justified the fees that it had charged in respect of performing trustee services in respect of sub-schemes to an employer funded retirement benefit scheme.
Equity Undue influence. The Chancery Division considered the making of a gift of land by a farm worker, W, to his former employers, with whom he had lived for many years. The court held that the defendants had not had undue influence over W, and that the evidence did not support the finding that an unconscionable transaction had taken place. It further held that, on the evidence, W had not made an executed will.
Damages Personal injury. The claimant was struck by a vehicle driven by the first defendant while riding his bicycle when he was 12 years old. He sought damages for the serious injury he suffered. The Queen's Bench Division, in assessing damages for past gratuitous care, future loss of earnings, and pain and suffering, held that the claimant did not have capacity to conduct litigation, and manage his property and affairs.
Insolvency Administration order. On an application by the administrators of MF Global UK Ltd, the Chancery Division, Companies Court, made an order governing the distribution of funds as client money by the administrators. In order to proceed with a distribution of the balance of the available funds, and to ensure the timely return of client money, a process was needed to deal with rejected claims and unknown claims which could provide a degree of certainty and protection.
Equity Undue influence. The claimants brought claims against the daughter of the deceased (S) and her husband (B) alleging that she had exerted undue influence on the deceased in connection with a series of transactions which, they alleged, had diminished their gifts from the estate pursuant to a will left by the deceased. The Chancery Division held that, on the facts, S had failed to show that the deceased had acted fully independently of undue influence when she had entered into the impugned transactions. B shared equally in the benefits which resulted from the undue influence with full knowledge of the fact that there was a relationship of influence. Accordingly, he was obliged to restore the deceased's estate.
Gift Donatio mortis causa. The claimant was the adopted daughter of the deceased, who died without leaving a will. She brought proceedings against the administrator of the deceased's estate, seeking a declaration that the deceased had left his estate to her as a gift or 'donatio mortis causa'. The judge granted the declaration and the administrator appealed. The Chancery Division held that the judge had not erred in his conclusion in finding that the gift had been made to the claimant by the deceased in contemplation of his impending death.
Will Testator. The claimant challenged the validity of his mother's will, which had omitted specific bequests to him of 16 shares in a company and a flat from a previous will. The expert evidence provided that the deceased had been suffering dementia at the time that the will was made. The Chancery Division, in upholding the validity of the will, found that the deceased had understood it, and had known and approved of its provisions.
Will Construction. The Chancery Division determined a number of issues arising out of the wills of the mother and father of the defendants. The sixth defendant had sought to establish rights to various property owned by the parents before their deaths by reason of his occupation and management of farmland and by promises said to have been made by the father in regard to some of the land.