Ali v Bashir & anr [2014] EWHC 3853 (Ch)

March 2016 #157

The first and second defendants are a married couple. The defendants purchased 17 Blackmore Crescent, Woking, Surrey (the property) in 1997. The purchase was financed in part using a loan secured on the property.

By declaration of trust dated 14 January 1998 (the trust deed), the first defendant transferred his beneficial interest in the property to the second defendant. Under the terms of the trust deed, the property was to be held upon trust for the second defendant, who was to have sole use and occupation of the property and was to indemnify the first defendant in respect of th...

Brennan v Prior [2015] EWHC 3082 (Ch)

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 to the distribution...

Breslin v Bromley [2015] EWHC 3760 (Ch)

March 2016 #157

Mr Breslin was the executor and beneficiary of the estate of his late aunt, Marjorie Beck (the deceased). He had taken the deceased to a firm of solicitors so that she could draw up the will. She executed the will elsewhere. Following her death, the second and third defendants challenged its validity. The third defendant also brought a claim of undue influence. The claimant brought a claim to propound the will and succeeded at trial. The second and third defendants argued that they should not have to bear the costs because the claimant had caused the litigation by failing to ensure the p...

C v C [2015] EWHC 2699 (Ch)

March 2016 #157

The claimant applied under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958 to vary the trusts of four family settlements and for the compromise of an issue as to the validity of the two most recent of those settlements. Three of the settlements, one made in 1932 and two in 1996, were governed by English law. The fourth settlement, made in 1950, was governed by Kenyan law. The 1932 and 1950 settlements were made by the first defendant’s late father. The 1996 settlements were discretionary settlements made by the first defendant.

The claimant and defendants were each trustees and/or...

Curran v Collins [2015] EWCA Civ 404

March 2016 #157

This was an appeal against a decision that Ms Curran, the appellant, had not acquired a beneficial interest in property in the sole name of Mr Collins, the respondent. Mr Collins and Ms Curran were in a relationship from about 1978 until 2010. However, she did not move in to live with Mr Collins until 2002, having maintained a close relationship with her own family.

From about 1994 onwards, the couple bred Airedale terriers. Over the course of the relationship, Mr Collins owned three properties in his sole name, referred to as the Bendfont flat, the Feltham house and The Haven. He...

Dawson-Damer v Taylor Wessing [2015] EWHC 2366 (Ch)

March 2016 #157

Taylor Wessing LLP (TW) are the London solicitors of Grampian Trust Company Limited (the trustee), a company resident and incorporated in the Bahamas. The trustee is trustee of a discretionary settlement known as the Glenfinnan settlement, settled in 1992 and governed by Bahamian law. The Glenfinnan settlement was a resettlement of certain funds from an earlier Bahamian settlement (the 1973 settlement). The first claimant is a beneficiary of the Glenfinnan settlement. The second and third claimants, her children, are not beneficiaries. In 2006 and 2009 the trustee made substantial appoin...

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

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...

Harb v Abdul Aziz [2015] EWHC 3155 (Ch)

March 2016 #157

The claimant alleged the existence of an oral agreement between the claimant and the defendant whereby the defendant, a Royal Prince of Saudi Arabia, agreed to pay her £12m and to procure the transfer to her of two properties.

The claimant claimed that at some point prior to 1970 the late King had promised and assured the claimant that he would provide for her financially. When the late King was proclaimed King of Saudi Arabia in 1982, he was said to have repeated his promise to the claimant. The claimant later alleged that he failed to provide financially for the claimant, and in...

Jones v Longley [2015] EWHC 3362 (Ch)

March 2016 #157

On 30 July 2015 the court made an order under s50 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985 to remove the claimant (C) as co-executor of the deceased’s estate. The judgment involved no criticism of C. The result was to leave the first defendant (D1) as sole executor of the estate. The master invited written submissions on the issue of costs because all parties wished to apply for costs orders. This was the judgment on the issue of costs orders that should be made in the claim.

C and D1 were appointed as co-executors of the deceased’s will. C was the s...

O’Kelly v Davies [2014] EWCA Civ 1606

March 2016 #157

This appeal concerned a dispute over the beneficial ownership of the property whose legal title was at all times held by the appellant alone. At trial, the judge made the following findings:

  1. (i) A former property had been purchased in the joint names of the respondent and appellant in 1987.
  2. (ii) In 1991 the legal estate in that property was transferred into the sole name of the appellant to allow her to claim benefits as though she was a single woman living alone. The outstanding mortgage on that property at the time was converted to an endowment secured by a policy...