The Practical Lawyer


Procedure – judicial comment

 A judge made inappropriate comments at an issues resolution hearing (IRH) which caused M to change her position. Her appeal against a care and placement order made in respect of her young child was allowed.
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Children – adoption

The ruling in this case reads, in part, as a lesson for family judges in how not to reach a conclusion on an application for a placement order for adoption. The CA found that the judge was wrong in the inferences drawn from the evidence and the adequacy of the reasons given. 
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Procedure – appeals

Case management decisions should only be interfered with by an appellate court if the judge was in serious error, ie if the case management judge has ‘gone plainly wrong’. 
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Wardship – foreign proceedings

Permission was granted for a 12-year-old boy (X) to travel to give evidence at M’s criminal trial in India. He and his younger brother had been wards of court since 2016 when F was killed. M was charged in India with his murder.
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Procedure – service

 A claim form could lawfully be served by social media platform WhatsApp, the High Court has ruled. This clarification on another modern method of service came in the midst of a complex, multi-jurisdictional dispute between former cohabitees involving high-value assets and significant sums of money. 
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Financial remedies – disclosure

The trial judge undertook a sufficient determination of the extent of H’s resources having regard to the deficiencies in the evidence. H had failed comprehensively to provide full disclosure but went on to appeal a financial remedies order made against him. 
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Marriage – declarations

The court could not make a declaration as to the existence or otherwise of a Nigerian ‘marriage’. 
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Parents – gender

 A definition of the term ‘mother’ has been established for the first time under English common law in a landmark case. At issue was: where a person born female who has undergone gender transition and acquired full legal recognition as male, becomes pregnant and gives birth to a child – is that person to be registered as ‘mother’ or ‘father’? 
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Children - change of name

M's application to change her daughter's surname was refused by the High Court, but she was allowed to continue withholding identifying details as to her address and school, and her GP.

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Procedure - legal aid

The LAA has published guidance for practitioners submitting claims in civil and family legally aided cases - covering certificated and controlled work, including legal help escape cases and controlled legal representation.

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Inheritance claims – interim payments
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When can the court exercise its statutory power to award interim payments to a claimant under the Inheritance Act? This issue rarely comes before the court and the author of this article highlights... Read more...
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Costs – challenge promptly
Friday, 04 October 2019
Litigation solicitors will no doubt breathe a sigh of relief to note that a costs judge has refused a claimant’s application to challenge a solicitor’s bill that was agreed and approved over four... Read more...
Serving overseas – check the rules
Friday, 04 October 2019
 It might sound obvious, but if a firm is instructed to serve proceedings overseas, the firm must ensure that the rules of service in the relevant country are properly observed. The CA recently... Read more...
Pet rent – permissible
Friday, 04 October 2019
The excellent Pain Smith blog reminds us about the Tenant Fees Act 2019 (which we reported on in our previous editions – March 2019 (p27) and May 2019 (p28)). The Act outlaws letting fees paid by... Read more...
Brexit frustration – update
Friday, 04 October 2019
We reported in our April 2019 edition (p27) on the interesting case where the HC had to consider whether potential departure by the UK from the EU was sufficient to satisfy the legal meaning of... Read more...
Fixtures – what passes on sale of land?
Friday, 04 October 2019
Property lawyers will recall their land law, which states that fixtures can pass on the sale of land but fittings do not. This can be seen as an archaic distinction – but a recent HC case has... Read more...
Parents – gender
Thursday, 03 October 2019
 A definition of the term ‘mother’ has been established for the first time under English common law in a landmark case. At issue was: where a person born female who has undergone gender... Read more...
Drugs and alcohol – managing in the workplace
Thursday, 03 October 2019
An interesting article reminds employers to review their drugs and alcohol policies and breaches of them in the light of recent developments. Businesses are increasingly expected to support employees... Read more...
Terrorism – notice of detention
Thursday, 03 October 2019
A revised notice of detention which examining officers must provide to someone detained under Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000 has been published by the government. The notice gives information... Read more...


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