Elliott v Simmonds & anr [2016] EWHC 732 (Ch)

October 2016 #163

Kenneth William Jordan (Mr Jordan) died on 4 August 2012 leaving a wife (from whom he was estranged) and two adult children. The claimant was Mr Jordan’s partner during the last years of his life and the first defendant was his daughter from a relationship that predated his marriage. He had previously made a will giving pecuniary legacies to the first defendant and two of his sisters with the residuary estate passing to the claimant. Subsequently, in January 2012, Mr Jordan gave instructions to Mr Mumford (who was his brother-in-law), a solicitor with the firm Melia Mumford, to mak...

Elliott v Simmonds (costs) [2016] EWHC 962 (Ch)

October 2016 #163

On 7 April 2016 judgment was delivered pronouncing for the force and validity of the will dated 1 February 2012 (2012 will) of Kenneth William Jordan (Mr Jordan) in solemn form of law and ordering that a caveat entered by the first defendant in respect of his estate cease to have effect. The normal rule of costs is that costs follow the event. However, the Court has discretion to make a different order, taking into account, for example, the conduct of the parties. In a contentious probate claim, there are also specific exceptions to the normal rule arising under case law and under the Ci...

Ely v Robson [2016] EWCA Civ 774

October 2016 #163

The defendant (D) appealed against an order of His Honour Judge Blair QC whereby he made a declaration as to the extent of the parties’ beneficial interests in a property (the property).

D met the claimant (C) in 1986. A year later, C moved with his three sons into D’s house (37 Ashley Road). That year, C also purchased the property with a mortgage and conveyed it into his sole name. D made no contribution to the purchase price.

In 1989, D purchased another property (89 Bournemouth Road). C maintained that he contributed c.£16,000 to the purchase price, but D di...

Lewis v Warner [2016] EWHC 1787 (Ch)

October 2016 #163

A died on 6 May 2014. A reconstituted will admitted to probate left A’s only child (L) her entire estate comprising principally of her home (the property). A had lived in the property with her partner (S) for almost 20 years. S continued to live there after A died.

L, as executrix of A’s estate, issued a claim for possession of the property, damages for trespass and mesne profits against S. S issued an application under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Both claims were heard before Recorder Christopher Gardner QC.

There was no real...

National Westminster Bank plc v Lucas & ors [2016] EWHC 1934 (Ch)

October 2016 #163

The bank, which was the executor of the estate of Jimmy Savile, sought the approval of the court to the making of final distributions out of the estate to numerous individuals (PI claimants) who had applied for compensation under a scheme designed to notify, process and settle claims without formal case management in court (scheme). As well as claims against the bank, many of the PI claimants had parallel claims against third parties including the BBC, NHS, Barnardos and MIND. The scheme, which had been opposed by the first and second defendants acting as the trustees of the Jimmy Savile...

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution & ors v Headley & anr [2016] EWHC 1948 (Ch)

October 2016 #163

Evelyn Irene Farmer (the deceased) died on 12 January 1996 leaving a will dated 10 August 1993 (the will). The claimants were five of the ten charitable remaindermen under the trusts created under the will. They took absolutely upon the deaths of the deceased’s son and daughter in law. The deceased’s son was deceased but the daughter in law was still alive, and consequently the claimants’ interests were yet to fall into possession. The defendants were the executors of the deceased’s estate.

In 2007, the defendants wrote to the claimants enclosing an interim...

Sussman v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 523 (TC)

October 2016 #163

The appellant was the personal representative and trustee of the estate of Mrs Sussman (the deceased) who died in 2006. The appeal concerned whether a residential property (the property) was part of the deceased’s estate, and the treatment of the property for IHT purposes. The appeal also concerned appeals out of time, as the appellant’s application to bring an appeal out of time was heard as a preliminary matter immediately before the substantive appeal.

The property had belonged to the deceased’s late husband. The deceased received an interest in possession in ...

Wood v HMRC [2016] UKUT 346 (TCC)

October 2016 #163

In June 2010, Michael Wood admitted to under-declarations of income tax for the years 2002-03 to 2007-08 amounting to £743,424 and made a payment of tax of £352,983. This was made with a view to taking advantage of an HMRC disclosure opportunity for medical professionals called the ‘Tax Health Plan’, with a fixed tax geared penalty of 10% of the amount of tax under-declared. HMRC argued that the disclosure fell within the Tax Health Plan and opened a Code of Practice 9 investigation into his affairs. Michael Wood agreed to provide a disclosure report (the disclosure report) into his affa...

Aeroflot-Russian Airlines v Berezovsky & ors [2015] EWHC 3937 (Ch)

October 2016 #163

The claimant brought proceedings against (amongst others) Mr Berezovsky’s estate. An application was issued on 9 December 2015 by the trustees of the insolvent estate of the late Mr Berezovsky in the run up to the first CMC. The trustees were Mr Wood, Mr Hellard and Mr Leeds, and they sought a stay of the proceedings against Mr Berezovsky’s estate under s285(1) of the Insolvency Act 1986 as amended by the Administration of Insolvent Estates of Deceased Persons Order 1986 (SI 1986/1999). The trustees’ principal argument was that if a stay was n...

Angove’s PTY Limited v Bailey & anr [2016] UKSC 47

October 2016 #163

A, an Australian winemaker, employed an English company called D&D as its agent and distributor in the UK. D&D bought wines from A in its own right and sold wines on A’s behalf pursuant to an agency and distribution agreement (the agreement). The agreement was terminable by either party on six months’ notice or by notice with immediate effect in a number of events including the appointment of an administrator or liquidator.

On 21 April 2012, D&D went into administration and on 10 July 2012 into creditors’ voluntary liquidation. On administration there...