Notification clauses: Warranty and peace

Gwendoline Davies explains why notifying contractual warranty claims can be a particularly tricky business ‘The purchaser‘s letters did not constitute valid notification of a claim because, without identification of the specific warranties alleged to have been breached, they did not set out the legal grounds for a claim.‘ In recent years, the UK courts have …
This post is only available to members.

Contract: Take no notice

Sapna Garg investigates a recent judgment with implications for business and share sale agreements ‘In cases of similarly worded clauses, a claims notification is unlikely to be valid if it sets out the circumstances giving rise to the claims and provides only a general indication of the various clauses which may have been breached.‘ The …
This post is only available to members.

Construction: Brick by brick

Claire King analyses recent judicial trends in the contractual interpretation of construction contracts ‘What has sometimes been used as a “get out of jail card” (ie arguing business common sense to escape an otherwise harsh result) is going to be an increasingly hard card to use in the future.’The key to resolving disputes is all …
This post is only available to members.

Brennan v Prior [2015] EWHC 3082 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | March 2016 #157

The claimant and third to sixth defendants were beneficiaries under a will. The first and second defendants were the witnesses and executors of the will. The claimant unsuccessfully challenged the will with costs orders being made against the claimant in favour of the first and second defendants and the third to sixth defendants. As regards the third to sixth defendants’ costs the order provided that the costs (if not previously paid) should be payable out of what remained of the claimant’s pecuniary legacy after payment of the first and second defendants’ costs prior t...

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, Alcades...

Interpretation Of Contracts: When words speak louder than actions

A recent Supreme Court ruling took a very literal approach to the interpretation of service charge provisions. Robin Biela assesses the judgment and its implications ‘There is considerable benefit for both landlord and tenant in having a fixed service charge that increases by reference to clear, objective criteria and requires no outside information.’ In Arnold …
This post is only available to members.

Comment: Less abstraction and more clarity

Mark Pawlowski questions the usefulness of legal fictions in leasehold law ‘What is clear is that the conduct of the reasonable man is not established by the evidence of witnesses, but by the application of an impersonal legal standard by the court.’ A recurring concern among legal practitioners is the fear of uncertainty in our …
This post is only available to members.

Drafting: You ‘may’ do as you please but you ‘must’ do as we say…

Brioney Thomas reviews recent case law on drafting notices ‘It is clear that if you want to exercise an option or give some form of notice under a unilateral contract, you need to follow the requirements set out in the agreement.’ Recent cases have provided a reminder of the importance of the choice of language …
This post is only available to members.

Rainbird & anr v Smith & ors [2012] EWHC 4276 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | November 2013 #134

Doreen Gertrude Leader (the deceased) executed a will leaving the residue of her estate to her three daughters on the following terms:

‘I give my estate (including any property over which I may have general power of appointment or disposition by will) to my trustees upon trust…

(c) subject thereto hold the residue remaining and the income thereof (“my residuary estate”) UPON TRUST for such of them my daughters, the said JACQUELINE ANNE RAINBIRD JANET JONES of… and GWENDOLINE SMITH of… as shall survive me and if more than one in eq...

Break Clauses: Tenants take note

Although the recent decision in Siemens Hearing appears to provide comfort to tenants whose break notices do not comply with the lease terms, Vanessa Babington argues that caution is still required ‘With an economic climate making many landlords eager to frustrate a tenant’s break, if anything, the judgment should act as a reminder of the …
This post is only available to members.