Public Children: All change

Elizabeth Isaacs QC highlights new challenges to local authority childcare decisions ‘The importance of careful analysis of the decision making carried out by local authorities at the pre-proceedings stages, as well as during proceedings, cannot be overestimated.’ Childcare practitioners, whether in private practice or working within local authorities, will already be familiar with the multitude …
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Jurisdiction: Complete service

Hazel Wright explains how the court is seised of a matter and issues regarding international service Many of us work with international cases. We are used to different concepts applying in different jurisdictions. We know that the first thing to do if you are contacted about a possible new case with a connection with another …
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Children: The limits of confidence

Olivia Checa-Dover and Deborah Smithies assesses the varying rights to be balanced when considering witness anonymity ‘In the Supreme Court’s view, there is an inherent value in disclosure, regardless of whether the evidence can be tested in cross-examination’ From time to time, in cases involving residence and contact arrangements for children, an allegation is made …
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Complaints: Focusing on outcomes

Toby Hales discusses key areas of best practice for client care and complaints handling ‘It is abundantly clear that it is in the interests of every firm to ensure that complaints are minimised, and that when they occur, they are dealt with in an efficient and client-centred manner.’ Family clients complain: this is a fact …
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Legal Costs: Brave new world?

David Lister looks at a recent Schedule 1 decision and compares and contrasts A v A costs allowances with the new legal services orders ‘A “costs allowance” is not a “costs order”, and so falls outside the provisions of the FPR 2010 that there will generally be no order as to costs.’In the Schedule 1 …
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Equity: Clarifying intentions

Sarah Greenan examines equitable accounting and the circumstances in which an occupation rent may be payable The decision in Akhtar v Hussein [2012] is an endorsement by the Court of Appeal that in a straightforward case the starting point will be that an occupation rent should be payable to the ousted party and that should …
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Defended Divorce: Finding fault

Joanna Pratt and Kirstie Law consider procedure and case law on defended divorce and whether reform is long overdue ‘Surely the time has now come for the government to reform divorce law and enable a couple to proceed on the basis of “irreconcilable differences”?’ Family lawyers will be familiar with providing reassurance to their clients …
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