LAW BLOG

Dryden and Others v Johnson Matthey PLC

The Supreme Court recently considered whether a symptomless condition could amount to actionable damage. The condition in question was platinum salt sensitisation (PSS), contracted by the claimants in the course of their employment. PSS is asymptomatic but carries a real risk of progression, especially where those affected continue to be exposed to platinum salts. The claimants were consequently prevented from working around platinum salts.
The Court revisited two leading cases: Cartledge v E Jopling & Sons Ltd [1963] AC 758 and Rothwell v Chemical Insulating Co Ltd [2008] AC 281.
The claimants sought to rely upon Cartledge, a case in which steelworkers had inhaled harmful silica particles. As a result, the workers suffered reduced lung capacity and were at an increased risk of complications should they contract a separate illness affectin…

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Getting the Most Out of Independent Reviewing Officers in Care Proceedings

Gabrielle Jan Posner, one of our specialist family law barristers and door tenants, recently had an article published on Family Law Week arguing for a more involved role for Independent Reviewing Officers in Care Proceedings. If you would like to read the complete article, you can find it on their website.
If you would like to receive dedicated legal advice and representation from Gabrielle and our other family law experts during care proceedings and other circumstances, get in touch with our helpful clerks today. Call us on 01245 605040 or email clerks@trinitychambers.com.

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Support or Substitution? A Local Authority’s Duties Towards Parents with Learning Disabilities

A Local Authority v G (Parent with Learning Disability) [2017] EWFC B94
A recent judgment considered the correct approach in care cases where one or both of the parents suffer from learning disabilities.
The court was concerned with a girl aged 3 and a boy aged 19 months. The mother suffered from mild learning difficulties, with an IQ of 57 and partial deafness. The father was the mother’s registered carer but suffered himself from depression and stress.
His Honour Judge Dancey considered the authorities and derived the basic principles [at paragraph 35] that adults with learning difficulties can often be ‘good enough’ parents with sufficient support and that professionals and family law courts must focus on providing that support rather than removing children from their parents’ care.
The Judge warned against both direct and indirect …

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Financial Remedies Courts Coming to Chelmsford

In the 18th View from the President’s Chambers, the President of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales, Sir James Munby, has set out in some detail his plans for the new Financial Remedies Courts (‘FRCs’), including plans to pilot the scheme in the South-East as early as Easter 2018.
On 1st December 2017, the President announced plans to introduce specialist courts to deal with financial remedies, which will include claims under:
- The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973
- Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989
- Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984
- The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
- The Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996
We now know that the first three pilots of these new Financial Remedies Courts, in London, the West Midlands, and South-East Wales, are e…

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Inheritance (Provision for Family Dependents) Act 1975: A Caution Over Moral Claims

In the recent case of Ball v Ball 2017 EWHC 1750 Ch, the High Court rejected a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 (IPFDA) made by three adult children against their mother’s estate.
The IPFDA allows the court to provide further financial provisions for family and dependents who have been left out of a will, been left with less than they thought due, or if no will had been written prior to death. This includes, but is not limited to, the spouse of the deceased, the deceased’s children, and dependants maintained by the deceased.
In this particular case, the mother had disinherited three of her children for reporting their father to the police for indecent assault offences, for which the father was later convicted. The mother, who was not the abuser, had a clear intention for the 20 years following the …

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Statutory Demands: Creditor faces costs order even when they were entitled to serve the statutory demand

Dunhill v Hughmans (A Firm) [2017] EWHC 2073 (Ch)
The High Court has recently held that although a creditor was ‘entitled’ to serve its statutory demand when it did, it had not been ‘appropriate’ to do so. Accordingly, the creditor was liable for the debtor’s costs of applying to set aside.
The court held that the creditor was entitled to serve its statutory demand upon obtaining summary judgment. However, it went on to consider that entitlement against the appropriateness of doing so when the creditor knew the debtor was seeking permission to appeal.
Upon the debtor’s appeal being allowed, the creditor proposed withdrawing its statutory demand with no order as to costs. The court held that it was reasonable for the debtor to reject that proposal. The debtor was therefore entitled to her costs.
This is a reminder that creditors mus…

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Don’t (Let the Court) Be Blinded By Science

In this article, Family Law expert David O’Brien discusses one of his cases that brought into question the sole use of hair strand testing as determinative scientific evidence and why the results of such tests might not always be as they first seem.
I recently acted for a 37-year-old mother in care proceedings in respect of her 4th child (BB). The mother’s three other children had been permanently removed from her care during two previous court cases.
Sadly, the mother had been addicted to amphetamines from the age of 16 and had a long history of alcohol misuse and mental health difficulties, with suicidal and self-harm ideations.
All of the mother’s relationships had been categorised by domestic violence and the police had been called to over seven “domestics” in the year prior to the mother discovering she was pregnant with BB. The…

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A Review of Landlords’ Right to Rent Obligations

The Immigration Act 2014 saw the introduction of new Right to Rent obligations for landlords and managing agents, who are now required to check that their tenants are legally eligible to live in the rented property. Failure to comply could see landlords fined up to £3,000 and following The Immigration Act 2016 amendments, possibly convicted of a criminal offence.
18 months on from the Act, the House of Commons briefing paper has highlighted concerns about private landlords’ awareness of these duties.
There are three types of ‘rights to rent’ under the 2014 Act:

The ‘unlimited’ right to rent which applies to British citizens, EES and Swiss nationals and those who have been given indefinite leave to remain in the UK;
The ‘time-limited’ right to rent which applies to those who are entitled to remain in …

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The New Cafcass Guidance on the Use of Professional Time

In her latest article for Family Law Week, Gabrielle Jan Posner considers Cafcass’s response to the record levels of demand for its services.
Read it here: bit.ly/GJPCafcassGuidance.

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Family Law FAQ: Divorce

According to the Holmes and Rahe scale, getting a divorce is the second most stressful life event, after the death of spouse. We don’t get married with the expectation of later getting divorced and most are entirely unprepared for this outcome, with little knowledge of the processes and factors involved.
Further daunted by the prospect of paying court and representation fees, some may be tempted by the numerous websites offering ‘DIY divorces’, which boast low costs and quick results. However, without the guidance and experience of a legal professional, you could end up worse off in the long run. The knowledge and skill a legal professional brings to the table ensures that you receive the right information and benefit from their connections to other professionals. Plus, every divorce is different – there’s no set way to handle it. Wo…

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