In the context of the substantial cuts to the legal aid budget and the removal of legal aid for most family cases, the courts have in recent months given guidance on how parties who find themselves ineligible for legal aid but unable to afford representation can obtain assistance in court. Read more
The increasingly global nature of modern day life has led to an increase in the number of parties seeking to relocate (or prevent relocation of) children following a relationship breakdown. That relocation can be either internal or external to our jurisdiction but is likely to have a significant (and often devastating) impact on one of the parties. The Courts actively encourage parties to make an application in advance of any relocation, and this should be done either by way of a specific issue order pursuant to section 8 Children Act 1989 or section 13 CA 1989. For the party opposing any move, the correct procedure is to apply for a prohibited steps order pursuant to section 8 CA 1989. Read more
Applications by Claimants to amend their claim forms can face Respondents at any stage in the litigation, and they can cause delay and increased costs. So too may a new issue come to light which had not been apparent at the time of issue, which to refuse a Claimant to add it to their claim may be draconian indeed. Read more
Since 6th April 2014, before ‘relevant proceedings’ can be issued in an Employment Tribunal, prospective Claimants must first contact ACAS and provide them with certain basic information (referred to as ‘prescribed information’ to be given ‘in the prescribed manner’ (i.e. in accordance with the legislation)) to enable ACAS to explore the possibility of resolving the dispute by conciliation- Employment Tribunals Act (‘ETA’) 1996 section 18A(1) (inserted by Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 section 7(1)). This applies to all claims issued on or after 6th May 2014. Read more
In February of this year Mostyn J in JM v CZ  EWHC 1125 (Fam) provided useful guidance as to the general principles that apply to without notice applications under part IV of the Family Law Act 1996. Read more
The press has been filled recently with the news that most new wind turbines are being called in by Mr Pickles, as Secretary of State, and refused and many seemed to think that the death knell was being sounded for wind power but it’s not so. Sure the bigger projects attract considerable opposition due to their widespread impact on the surrounding countryside but there is an increasing trend towards the smaller more locally sited turbines. Read more
Practitioners will be aware that from 6th April 2007, the date on which the relevant provisions of the Housing Act 2004 came into effect, landlords have been required to safeguard their tenant’s deposit by the use of a government authorised tenancy deposit scheme. Those who have not complied face potential financial sanctions and have been unable to serve a section 21 notice so as to recover possession. Read more
After 5 months of anxious anticipation the Supreme Court has handed down judgment in the cases of P v Cheshire West and P & Q v Surrey County Council. This judgment is a key moment in defining the rights of those who lack capacity. A House of Lords Select Committee recently suggested that the Mental Capacity Act 2005 has suffered from a lack of awareness and understanding amongst those working with mentally incapacitated adults and possibly tens of thousands of individuals are being deprived of their liberty without the protection of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS).
On the face of it the Supreme Court judgment has simplified the question of whether someone is deprived of their liberty. Time will tell what the impact will be on practice on the ground but one thing that seems certain is that local authorities will see an increase in the number of DOLS cases.
Traditionally in this country the use of nuptial agreements has been very limited on public policy grounds, both on the basis that agreements relating to a future and hypothetical separation were void because they offend the principle of the life long union of marriage, and secondly as such agreements could not remove the Court of its jurisdiction. Read more
The Court of Appeal has given guidance in the important case of PC, NC v City of York Council  EWCA Civ 478 on the proper test to be applied when considering the capacity of a person to make specific decisions in their life where such capacity is disputed. Read more