HHJ Paul Matthews is knocking out the judgments at the moment and we have another recent decision from him, sitting as a High Court Judge in the Bristol District Registry, dealing with a claim to establish a constructive trust, or alternatively proprietary estoppel, this time in a domestic context. HHJ Matthews used to sit as […]

We have another notable proprietary estoppel case, concerning the ubiquitous farm, but in this instance featuring an actual fight in the milking parlour: the bucolically named Habberfield v Habberfield [2018] EWHC 317 (Ch).The decision of Birss J is of particular interest for his approach to the issue of the relief to be granted in satisfying the equity […]

HHJ Matthews costs ruling following the trial of the proprietary estoppel and probate claim in James v James & Ors [2018] EWHC 242 (Ch) (see my post on the substantive issues here) has been published and provides a helpful reminder of the contentious probate costs rules and the consequences of failing to follow the prescribed […]

Photo credit: Composite – Reuters/Corbis/Getty The subject of posthumous DNA testing received international attention last year in the case of Salvador Dalí and we have had two decisions this month on the issue from the courts of England and Wales: Anderson v Spencer [2018] EWCA Civ 100, in which the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s […]

HHJ Paul Matthews, sitting as a High Court Judge, has recently revisited the ingredients of proprietary estoppel and the requirements for establishing testamentary capacity in James v James [2018] EWHC 43 (Ch). The case has been widely reported in the press, including the Daily Mail, whose take on the case was put as follows: “Farmer’s son who […]

This is, I must concede, one for the property law geeks (such as myself) who find excitement in the debate over whether or not s.60(3) of the Law of Property Act 1925 has swept away the presumption of a resulting trust upon the gratuitous transfer of land. Chief Master Marsh has weighed into the fray […]

On the heels of the Supreme Court judgment in Ilott v Mitson, we have two recent cases of interest concerning claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 that follow and apply the dicta of the Supreme Court in Ilott: Ball v Ball [2017] EWHC 1750 (Ch), a decision of Judge Paul Matthews sitting […]

The High Court in Roberts v Fresco [2017] EWHC 283 (Ch) has confirmed that claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 are purely personal and non-inheritable and thus cannot be pursued by a claimant’s personal representatives, following the death of the claimant. That this was so appeared to be fairly well settled based […]

I was very pleased to be invited to Michelmores’ London offices to speak to their charity legacy officer clients on two tricky topics: dealing with difficult executors and the problem of charity misdescription in Wills. My notes from the talk, which set out the toolkit available to the courts in dealing with problem executors and […]

The Supreme Court handed down judgment in Ilott v Mitson [2017] UKSC 17 yesterday morning and allowed the charities’ appeal, restoring the decision of District Judge Million to award Heather Ilott a lump sum of £50,000 from her mother’s estate – and bringing to conclusion a decade of litigation. The key points to note are: […]