Sponsor Team Magdalen who are taking part in the 10K Exeter Legal Walk – Monday 6th June


ExeLW Banner 2016

Why do we walk?

The need for free legal advice centres has grown in the past few years. The recession has increased poverty and reduced support services. Meanwhile funding for the advice centres themselves has reduced.The organisations we support:

  • Prevent families being made homeless
  • Prevent destitution
  • Help older people gain the support to which they are entitled
  • Help women and children who have been trafficked for domestic servitude or prostitution.

Please help our members, staff and families raise money for such a worthy charity.

Please remember to ask people for their details so we can claim gift aid this ensures we get an extra 25p paid from HMRC for every pound donated and it doesn’t cost donors anything.

You can send a cheque or payment direct to chambers. Please contact Lisa Glithero on lglithero@magdalenchambers.co.uk or go to the website to donate….




Employer National Insurance contributions for apprentices aged under 25 years have been abolished.

This is a guide for employers on changes to National Insurance contributions for apprentices aged under 25 applying from April 2016.



Ritual Circumcision in the Family Courts: High Court Judge sets out new guidance

Mrs Justice Roberts has handed down judgment in an application brought by a Muslim father (represented by Rupert Chapman of Magdalen Chambers) to permit him to have his sons circumcised in accordance with his Muslim faith.

The Court held that there was no pressing religious or medical need for the children to be circumcised prior to reaching puberty, having heard evidence from a religious expert and from two medical experts. In the face of the mother’s objections the children’s bodily autonomy was to be respected and they should be given the opportunity to decide whether to have the operation themselves when they were old enough to do so. The judgment is significant guidance in an area where there are few recent authorities and can be found at BAILII .

The Court also considered an application for temporary removal from the jurisdiction to a number of non-Hague Convention Countries and provided a summary of the applicable law in this area, including a critical analysis of the limitations of one of the common procedures for agreeing protective orders in non-Hague Convention cases, concluding that the regime was ‘untried and untested’ in cases where there was a dispute between the parties.



The costs of turning down an offer

Dispute Resolution analysis: Steven Ball, barrister at Magdalen Chambers and counsel for the appellant, says the judgment in Patience v Tanner confirms that the trial judge’s discretion in considering the effect of offers is not absolute and must be exercised in accordance with established principles.
Original news
Patience v Tanner and another [2016] EWCA Civ 158, [2016] All ER (D) 203 (Mar)
The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that the judge had been justified to have held that the appellant should not have his costs paid after 29 May 2014, which was the date on which an offer to settle lapsed. In the circumstances, however, the court found that the judge was neither entitled nor obliged to go further to order the appellant to pay the respondents’ costs thereafter. The appeal would be allowed to the extent that there would be ‘no order as to costs’ after 29 May 2016.
What issues did this case raise? Why is it significant?
The case concerns the remit of the trial judge’s discretion in relation to costs when considering the effect of offers made in the course of proceedings.
What did the Court of Appeal decide?
The court decided the judge had erred in principle in ordering the claimant to pay the defendants’ (defendant and Part 20 defendant) costs of the proceedings from the expiration date of an offer made by the Part 20 defendant, but not accepted by the claimant. Although the offer had agreed to give the claimant the substantive remedy he was claiming in the proceedings, it had been silent as to costs.
However, although the claimant had technically beaten the offer at trial (by being awarded costs up to the date of the offer) the Court of Appeal still felt the claimant should have accepted the offer since to do so would still have entitled him to argue for his costs and it was realistic that the case would then have been brought to an economical conclusion. Nevertheless, the Part 20 defendant was equally wrong to have withdrawn the offer and, together with the defendant, to have continued to contest liability. Accordingly, the appropriate order was that the parties bear their own costs from the date the offer could have been accepted.
To what extent is the judgment helpful in clarifying the law? How does the case reflect developments in this area?
The judgment confirms that the trial judge’s discretion in considering the effect of offers is not absolute and must be exercised in accordance with established principles. However, the decision also shows how success at a technical level is decreasing in importance when it comes to costs awards and may give way in appropriate circumstances to wider considerations of conducting litigation in the most cost-effective manner.
What does all this mean for lawyers and their clients?
The circumstances of this case were quite unusual and it is not possible to draw any more general principle beyond what is stated above.
Steven Ball has expertise and extensive experience in most areas of contract and property litigation representing corporate and individual clients. He also brings considerable background knowledge to cases involving technical subject matter such as construction and electrical or mechanical engineering. Steven acts regularly in partnership disputes and trust matters and in disputes representing executors and beneficiaries of the estates of deceased persons, including contentious probate matters.

This article was first published on Lexis®PSL Dispute Resolution analysis on 7 April 2016. Click for a free trial of Lexis®PSL.

Private Client Law and Practice- Seminar Tuesday 10th May 2016

Presented by Magdalen Chambers

at Larkbeare House, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4NG

Including sessions on

  • Inheritance Tax – Relevant Property Trusts, Agricultural Property Relief and Business Property Relief
  • Trustees Powers & Duties
  • Removal of Trustees & Administration Actions
  • Probate disputes

Cost: £50 + VAT per delegate (including lunch)

The Seminar will qualify for 4 hours CPD.

To reserve your place please contact
Lisa Glithero:  01392 208484 LGlithero@magdalenchambers.co.uk.