Settlement: An air of finality

David Sawtell reviews the potential pitfalls and benefits of settlement agreements ‘The House of Lords accepted that a party may, in a compromise agreement supported by valuable consideration, agree to release claims or rights of which they are unaware and of which they could not be aware, if appropriate language is used to make plain …
This post is only available to members.

Guthrie v Morel & ors [2015] EWHC 3172 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | March 2016 #157

The claimant sought by way of summary judgment a declaration as to the true construction of a will or alternatively an order for rectification of the will pursuant to s20(1) of the Administration of Justice Act 1982.

The deceased died on 20 July 2011. His will took the form of a letter addressed to a solicitor. Both parties accepted that the document was a will and had been admitted to probate. One of the executors obtained a grant of probate on 23 August 2012.

The will contained a bequest in the following terms: ‘My property 87 Loma Del Rey, Alcadesa, Spa...

Rawstron & anr (executrices of the estate of Lucian Freud) v Freud [2014] EWHC 2577 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | October 2014 #143

Lucian Freud (the deceased) achieved international recognition as an outstanding painter and draughtsman, and he acquired considerable wealth over the course of his long and successful life. His final will was dated 10 May 2006 (the 2006 will), superseding his previous will of 25 June 2004 (the 2004 will). Both wills were professionally drafted. His residuary estate, after payment of legacies and inheritance tax, was estimated at around £42m.

The claim was brought by the claimants under CPR Part 8 in their capacity as executrices of the deceased’s final will. The first cl...

Brooke & ors v Purton & ors [2014] EWHC 547 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | June 2014 #140

In 2009 Steven Huntley (the deceased) sought the advice of a solicitor in relation to wills and inheritance tax planning. At the date of his death, 11 March 2011, the deceased’s estate was valued at £6.9m, which was comprised of a 90% shareholding in an unquoted company (£5.4m), real estate, vintage cars and cash. The deceased’s estate was substantially similar in 2009.

The deceased had wanted to leave his estate equally between his partner, Louise, and his five children. He had expressed concerns to his solicitor about leaving substantial assets to his children outright and his s...

Marley v Rawlings & anr [2014] WTLR 299

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | March 2014 #137

Mr Alfred Rawlings and his wife Maureen Rawlings instructed a solicitor to draft their wills in mirror form. Each spouse intended to leave his or her entire estate to the survivor of them, but provided that, should the other have predeceased or survived them for less than a month, their estates should be left to the appellant, who was not related to them but whom they treated as their son. Mr and Mrs Rawlings’ solicitor attended them on 17 May 1999 to enable a due execution of draft wills containing these provisions. By an oversight, their solicitor gave each spouse the other’s draft wil...

Contract: Deeds that go undelivered

A recent decision has clarified the law relating to the execution of deeds and highlighted some pitfalls that the parties to settlement agreements need to be mindful of, as Richard Bartle and Keith Shaw find out ‘Most practitioners are well aware of the difficulty of proving that ‘unconscionable’ behaviour actually has occurred, although that doesn’t …
This post is only available to members.