Anderson v Spencer [2018] WTLR 1

Spring 2018 #171

The mother and executor (V) of the deceased appealed against an order that a DNA sample from the deceased, held by a hospital, be tested against the respondent (D), to determine whether he was the son of the deceased. The deceased had suffered from an hereditary form of bowel cancer called Lynch Syndrome, and so D wanted to discover if he was at risk of this condition developing. V refused consent. D applied for a declaration of paternity under s55A Family Law Act 1986, in the context of which he sought an order for testing of the DNA sample collected by the hospital during the ...

Constandas v Lysandrou & ors [2018] WTLR 19

Spring 2018 #171

The claimant claimed a beneficial interest in a residential property registered in the joint names of the first and second defendants, his sister and brother-in-law respectively, on the basis that in 1959 he paid £600 towards the purchase price. By the time the matter came to trial in October 2015 both first and second defendants had lost capacity.

Giving judgment at first instance, HHJ Faber found both claimant and defendant witnesses to be unreliable. She concluded that on the evidence available she could not arrive at any finding as to who had made the £600 downpayment in 1959,...

Creggy v Barnett & anr [2018] WTLR 35

Spring 2018 #171

In 1998 the appellant solicitor transferred $1.2m without his clients’ knowledge and authority and in breach of fiduciary duty to the respondents. Proceedings were issued 
in 2012. The appellant argued the claim was statute-barred pursuant to s21(3) Limitation 
Act 1980. The respondents relied upon a letter written by the appellant in 2006 as 
constituting an acknowledgement of the claim for the purposes of s29(5) of the Act, which provides:

‘where any right of action has accrued to recover… any debt or other liquidated pecuniary claim… and the person li...

Dawson-Damer & ors v Taylor Wessing LLP & anr [2018] WTLR 57

Spring 2018 #171

The appellants were beneficiaries of a number of Bahamian trusts; the respondent solicitors (‘TW’) act on behalf of the trustee of these trusts. On 4 August 2014, the appellants served a subject access request (‘SAR’) on TW, requesting disclosure of the personal data relating to the appellants held by TW as the solicitors for the trustee. The appellants were not satisfied by TW’s response to the SAR. They therefore applied to the court to exercise its discretion under s.7(9) of the Data Protection Act 1998 (‘DPA’), and grant a declaration that TW had not complied with t...

English & ors v Keats & ors [2018] WTLR 91

Spring 2018 #171

Deeds of appointment were signed by trustees in respect of three discretionary settlements on 8 March 1999 purporting to appoint interests in possession on the three children of the settlor. There were four trustees of each settlement. However,  only three of the four trustees signed the deeds of appointment, rendering those appointments ineffective. This error was not discovered until after the death of the trustee, June Thunder (June), who had not signed the settlements.

The claimants were beneficiaries to whom interests in possession were purportedly appointed under the defecti...

ET v JP & ors [2018] WTLR 109

Spring 2018 #171

The adult beneficiaries of a trust had consented to a proposed variation of the trust. Since the variation affected the position of beneficiaries who were minors and unborn and unascertained beneficiaries, the approval of the court under s1 of the Variation of Trusts Act was required. One of the minor beneficiaries (X) was severely autistic and lacked capacity to consent.

Section 1(1)(a) of the Variation of Trusts Act 1958 provides that the court may approve an arrangement on behalf of any person who by reason of infancy or other incapacity is i...

Harris v HMRC [2018] WTLR 119

Spring 2018 #171

HMRC successfully applied to strike out Mr Harris’ appeal against an inheritance tax determination, under Rule 8 of the Tribunal Procedure (First-Tier Tribunal) (Tax Chamber) Rules 2009.
 Mr Hughes was appointed as Administrator of the deceased’s estate in June 2013. HMRC opened an enquiry into the IHT400 he filed, and determined that the IHT payable was £341,278.76. Mr Harris requested a statutory review of this determination; this upheld the determination. Mr Harris appealed against the findings of this review, though he did not challenge the quantum of the determination.

The b...

 [2018] WTLR 125

Spring 2018 #171

When the parties met in July 2000, they had both been previously married. In the husband’s case, a difficult divorce caused him to set his face against remarriage. He had three sons who spent significant periods of time with their father in a substantial property near Reading (Property G) which had a value of £3.35m. He (together with his brother) had a successful business in international travel and tourism, owning 51% of the shares in the company valued at £30m. The wife, who had no children, had two rented properties with a combined equity of £245,615. By the time she moved into Prope...

Keeling v Keeling & anr [2018] WTLR 173

Spring 2018 #171

Ellen Exler died intestate at the age of 91 on 12 November 2012 (the Deceased). Her residuary estate passed on her intestacy to her surviving brothers, Stephen Keeling (Stephen), Frank Keeling (Frank), and to the children of her late sister, Lilian Walker, in equal 1/3 shares. Virtually the whole value of the estate was represented by the Deceased’s home, Hadley House. A grant of letters of administration was issued to Stephen alone on 22 March 2013. On 27 March 2013 Owen Kenny, solicitors instructed to act in the administration of the estate, wrote to the beneficiaries, other than Steph...

Lee & anr v Lee & anr [2018] WTLR 197

Spring 2018 #171


In October 2002 the testator (T) and the first claimant (C1) bought Little Hendra Farm, Looe, Cornwall (the farm). They purchased as joint tenants. The farm consisted of a bungalow and some fields, within three registered titles. Title X included Village Field and Title Y included the Bungalow and Borehole and Church Fields. In fact, Title Z was the subject of a conveyancing mix-up, which was discovered later and resolved in 2008 by a transfer of the title, using form TR1, to T and C1 expressly as ‘joint tenants’.

In 2007, T and C1 made wills in substantially similar ...