Re A [2023] WTLR 1195

Winter 2023 #193

On 9 May 2014, the Adult granted a continuing and welfare power of attorney in favour of her son and one of her daughters (who consented to be attorneys) (the First PoA). A statutory certificate confirming the Adult’s capacity to grant the First PoA was signed by her solicitor. The First PoA was registered by the Office for the Public Guardian (OPG) on 21 June 2014.

On 17 November 2020, a consultant psychiatrist diagnosed the Adult with early Alzheimer’s Dementia, and assessed the Adult as having a short-term memory of 5-10 minutes. The psychiatrist gave evidence that the Adult wa...

Bowser v Smith & anr [2023] WTLR 1207

Winter 2023 #193

The appellant solicitor applied under s50 Administration of Justice Act 1985 to remove his co-executor, the deceased’s widow. At a hearing before Bacon J the parties agreed by consent that both executors should be removed and replaced with an independent administrator, but could not agree on costs. The judge gave directions for written submissions to be exchanged, after which a decision was made on the papers without a hearing. The appellant was ordered to pay personally the respondent’s costs on the standard basis (with the balance paid out of the estate) and was deprived of his indemni...

Chopping v Cowan & anr [2023] WTLR 1237

Winter 2023 #193

The deceased died on 2 July 2008 leaving a will dated 6 December 2007. The claimant was the deceased’s daughter who was the beneficiary of the residue of the deceased’s estate. The defendants were the deceased’s executors who had acted as the deceased’s solicitor and tax adviser during his life. The will contained a charging clause. The estate had a gross value of £3,814,818. The first defendant had charged legal fees of £78,818.12, and other professional fees from solicitors and tax advisers had also been incurred totalling around £100,000. The claimant challenged the fees borne by the ...

Colicci & ors v Grinberg & anr [2023] WTLR 1249

Winter 2023 #193

The court was concerned with costs following the trial of a claim relating to the estate of Ernesto Colicci (deceased). Recorder Mark Anderson KC had handed down judgment on 18 May 2023 following the trial in March 2023. He reserved judgment on costs after further submissions at a consequential hearing on 19 July.

The claimants’ principal claim, based on interpretation of an agreement, succeeded. The claimants were therefore the successful parties. The Recorder acknowledged that the general rule is that the unsuccessful party will be ordered to pay the costs of the successful part...

Commissioners for HMRC v Personal Representatives of Vigne [2023] WTLR 1259

Winter 2023 #193

The late Mrs Maureen Vigne died on 29 May 2012. At that time, she was the sole owner of approximately 30 acres of land. From 2008 a livery business was operated on or from the land, offering a package which included:

(1) the provision of worming products, including administering them where and when necessary (if an owner was unable and/or unwilling so to do), on a quarterly basis; (2) providing the horses with hay feed during the winter months when the grass might not provide a sufficient food source – a hay crop was grown on part of the land, referred to as the hayfield; (3) removi...

Denaxe Ltd v Cooper & anr [2023] WTLR 1279

Winter 2023 #193

The appellant, formerly known as Blackpool Football Club (Properties) Ltd, was the majority shareholder in Blackpool Football Club Ltd (BFCL) (which operated the football club business) and was the owner of other assets including the football stadium at which games were played (the footballing assets). A dispute broke out between the appellant and its owner and controller, Mr Oyston, on the one hand and VB Football Assets (VB), which was a minority shareholder in BFCL, on the other hand. This led to an unfair prejudice petition being issued and VB succeeded in obtaining a buy-out order f...

Harvey & anr v Van Hoorn [2023] WTLR 1323

Winter 2023 #193

This was a claim for an order under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958, or alternatively a direction that the trustees of a settlement be at liberty to implement an arrangement involving the release and reimposition of certain powers. The claimants were the only trustees of the trust, and were also, respectively, the widow of the settlor, who had become the trust’s life tenant upon his death, and the settlor’s only child, who was also one of the objects of a discretionary power of appointment under the trust. They were concerned about the capital gains tax consequences that would ensue if ...

Hughes v Pritchard & ors [2023] WTLR 1335

Winter 2023 #193

Evan Hughes (the deceased) left wills dated 7 August 2005 (the 2005 will) and 7 July 2016 (the 2016 will). Much of the deceased’s estate consisted of agricultural land, including 58 acres of farmland known as Yr Efail.

The deceased was survived by two children, Gareth and Carys, having been pre-deceased by a third, Elfed. Elfed was survived by a widow, Gwen, and three children: Stephen, Siôn and Geraint.

Under the 2016 will, but not the 2005 will, Yr Efail was gifted to Gareth.

Gareth claimed to propound the 2016 will in solemn form. Gwen and Stephen counterclaimed t...

Jones & ors v Jones [2023] WTLR 1371

Winter 2023 #193

The deceased died on 16 September 2021 leaving what purported to be a will dated 4 July 2021. It was signed by her and witnessed by a neighbour and a chartered accountant. It appointed the defendant, her daughter, as executrix and beneficiary of her entire estate.

The deceased’s other surviving children (the first claimant and the second claimant) and the children of a deceased child of the deceased (Vicky) (the third to sixth claimants) challenged the will on the grounds of lack of testamentary capacity, lack of knowledge and approval, and undue influence by the defendant over th...

Laird v Simcock & ors [2023] WTLR 1393

Winter 2023 #193

The deed was intended to appoint a life interest in the assets not attracting IHT relief to the deceased’s widow, the first defendant. The interest so appointed would then qualify for the spousal exemption. Due to the wording of the deed however it appointed an interest in all of the trust assets, not merely those which did not qualify for IHT relief.

The claim was issued for rectification of the deed. The claim was adjourned with directions at the first hearing, the Master expressing the view that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the rectification claim. Further evidence ...