Mrs Mary Sargeant’s case is a classic example of why advisers of bereaved widow(er)s are ideally placed to help their clients consider whether sufficient provision has been made for them under their deceased spouse’s Will. The problem, as Mrs Sargeant found out, is that this is sometimes not obvious even a number of months after their spouse’s death. However, the law places restrictions on how long bereaved spouses can take to try to improve their financial lot if insufficient provision has been made for them.
In a useful reminder for parties who might not otherwise consider themselves to be subject to English jurisdiction, in the recent case of Bestolov v Povarenkin, the High Court confirmed that, where a defendant is domiciled in England, the courts of this country have jurisdiction and moreover no discretion to decline jurisdiction.
The court held that the defendant was domiciled in England, although he was a Russian national who had always been resident in Russia, had a “family home” in Moscow, was tax domiciled in Russia, ran his business from Russia, spent about 200 days of the year in Russia and had no business assets in England.
A welcome decision of the English High Court that potentially abusive litigation tactics cannot prevail could prove short-lived as a result of Brexit uncertainty.
The usual court first seized rule applies where claims are issued by disputing parties in the courts of two or more EU member states. This means that all courts must stay their own proceedings until the court where the proceedings were brought first in time has determined whether it has jurisdiction. It became possible to exploit this anomaly through a practice known as the “Italian torpedo”. By commencing pre-emptive proceedings in Italy, lengthy delays in the Italian courts could severely delay the chosen court in proceeding to hear the claim.
As stated in our articles ‘A greener and more pleasant land?‘ and ‘EPCs and minimum energy efficiency standards for private rented properties‘, the implementation of the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 (Regulations) takes effect from 1 April 2018.
With the implementation date fast approaching, this article is intended as a reminder of the main requirements imposed by the Regulations and a review of the practical consequences for those letting and occupying commercial premises.
On 18 November 2016, the Court of Appeal brought an end to the long running Excalibur Ventures LLC v Texas Keystone Inc and others litigation, providing some useful guidance on the extent to which third party litigation funders may be liable to pay the costs of a successful defendant in a funded claim. In short, funders may be liable for indemnity costs awarded against their funded clients even when they themselves have been guilty of “no discernible conduct”. The court considered that the derivative nature of a funder’s involvement should ordinarily lead to it being required to contribute to costs on the same basis as the funded claimant.
In July 2017, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) refused to approve the proposed £14 billion class action claim against MasterCard on behalf of 46.2 million consumers who purchased goods or services from UK businesses which accepted MasterCard between 1992 and 2008. The claim followed on from the EU Commission finding in 2007 that MasterCard’s default interchange fee (the fee charged between banks when processing card payments) was an anti-competitive agreement in breach of article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and resulted in higher fees being charged between acquiring banks.
Clients intending to carry out Inheritance Tax (IHT) planning in relation to their assets should consider completing their planning ahead of the 1 April 2018 changes to the DOTAS Regulations, as they apply to IHT.
The Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTAS) regime is not new but, to date, its application to IHT has been relatively limited. Not any more. When it applies, the DOTAS regime requires advisers to notify HMRC of their client’s IHT planning and to provide their client with the number HMRC gives them for that planning. Of course, this gives HMRC notice of the planning and an opportunity to investigate it, so not surprisingly some clients will be put off carrying out IHT planning if a DOTAS notification needs to be made to HMRC about it.
On 15 January 2018 Carillion PLC and a number of its subsidiary companies (Carillion) went into liquidation, with the High Court appointing the Official Receiver as liquidator and six partners of PWC as special managers.
Those clients who have contracts with Carillion or who are owed money may find the following guidance useful:
The issue of sexual harassment in the workplace is very much in the news, following recent revelations about the mistreatment of women (in particular) in Hollywood, and now in the world of politics.
Since the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union, commentators have regularly compared our departure from Europe to a couple divorcing. It is self-evident that some of the issues that will need to be addressed are similar; finances have to be sorted out, assets and liabilities must be divided, the “family” future must be determined and there is the thorny question of who can/will live where.
Within the UK we have three distinct jurisdictions: England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Each has its own legal principles and jurisprudence in the field of family law (albeit with some commonality). Put this against the background of approximately 3 million EU citizens living in the UK and approximately 1 million British citizens living in other EU member states (never mind those British citizens who have married or who are in a cohabiting relationship with a non-Brit) and the issues to be discussed become much trickier.