Cases by Area of Law

Rowena Mary Elizabeth Williams (As Executor Of The Estate Of William Stanley Batters Deceased) v Gregory John Jones

Barrister: John Dickinson
Area of Law: Commercial Dispute Resolution
Summary: John obtained judgment for the claimant following a High Court trial in the Bristol Mercantile Court before Recorder Blunt QC in the case of Rowena Mary Elizabeth Williams (As Executor Of The Estate Of William Stanley Batters Deceased) v Gregory John Jones reported on Lawtel reference LTL 7/3/2014 document number AC0140753. John acted for the executor of the estate of the deceased minority shareholder who had agreed to sell his shareholding to the majority shareholder. The Judge held that an oral agreement for the arrangement of the share-sale transaction was a complete and binding agreement. Although the parties had intended that it should be recorded by a formal written document that they were to sign, they had not intended that their oral agreement should be “subject to contract”.

K (A Child) [2014] EWCC B67 (Fam) (04 March 2014)

K (A Child) [2014] EWCC B67 (Fam) (04 March 2014) 

Barrister: Kathryn Skellorn
Area of Law: Children 

Download judgment: K (A Child) [2014] EWCC B67 (Fam)

James & The Co-Operative Trust Corporation v Owen, James & James


Barrister: Christopher Jones
Area of Law: Wills, Trusts and Probate
Summary: Christopher was instructed by MFG Solicitors to represent the claimants in a trial before Mr Justice Morgan, sitting in the Chancery Division in Cardiff. The claimants sought orders for the construction of the trusts set up by the deceased’s will, and for directions in the future administration of the estate. Section 21 Administration of Justice Act 1982 was considered and it was held that the various gateways to the admission of extrinsic evidence to assist the construction of the will were not triggered. It was declared that the deceased’s former home was left to her trustees subject to a right of occupation in favour of her son, rather than the life interest that he claimed.

Cometson v Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and R&M Williams Limited

[2014] EWHC 419 (Ch) (21 February 2014)

Barrister: Andrew Kearney
Area of Law: Construction and Engineering
Summary: This case was heard in the Chancery Division in Cardiff. It was the first of a number of potential cases concerning ‘Envelope Schemes’ in South Wales. Andrew Kearney acted for the contractor, R&M Williams Limited. The property owner initially claimed direct against the contractor, but the contractor obtained summary judgment on that claim. The owner maintained a claim against the Council which had arranged the Envelope Scheme. The Council claimed against the contractor. This is thought to be the only reported authority on the nature and scope of the legal obligations which arise out of these schemes. There have been many hundreds of properties renovated under such schemes. Aside from the importance of the legal issues, an unusual feature of the case was that the Judge (Mr Justice Morgan) decided to hear expert evidence concurrently (so called ‘hot tubbing’), and included within the hot tub the expert witnesses for owner and Council and a witness of fact from the contractor. The process worked well , but the trial of liability only still took 8 days. The contractor succeeded on all issues other than some minor snagging, which it would have carried out if permitted.

Torbay Council v A Mother & Ors [2014] EWHC 479 (Fam) (14 February 2014)

Torbay Council v A Mother & Ors [2014] EWHC 479 (Fam) (14 February 2014) 

Barrister: Kathryn Skellorn
Area of Law: Children 

Download judgment: Torbay Council v A Mother & Ors [2014] EWHC 479 (Fam)

R (Freedman) v Wiltshire Council

[2014] EWHC 211 Admin (6.2.14 Bristol, Lewis J)

Barrister: Peter Wadsley
Area of Law: Planning
Under s. 191(4) TCPA a local planning authority can substitute a lawful use of another description for that claimed in the application form, if the evidence before it supports that course.   Whether the LPA had lawfully done so was decided in the case of R (Freedman) v Wiltshire Council.

Download detailed discussion about this case: R (Freedman) v Wiltshire Council

Freshwater v Dŵr Cymru Cyf (Welsh Water)

Barrister:  Andrew Kearney
Area of Law: Construction and Engineering / Property Insurance Litigation
Summary:  Andrew defended Welsh Water in a dispute in the Cardiff TCC concerning alleged escapes of water from a main.  The claim was brought under s209 Water Industry Act 1991.  The Claimants alleged that escapes of water had washed away the fines from the subsoil beneath their property, causing it to subside and requiring very extensive piling and remedial works.  The case involved consideration of historical flow data, evidence of prior repairs and of highway drainage schemes and local groundwater and surface water run off, water testing and analysis, expert evidence from civil engineers, structural engineering and quantity surveying evidence and consideration of the extent of piling and remedial schemes. 

Re Robson Deceased, sub nom White v Matthys and others

Barrister: Alex Troup
Area of Law: Wills, Trusts and Probate
This case raises the novel issue of whether a testamentary gift in favour of a political party (in this case, the British National Party), made by an English person resident abroad but not registered on the electoral register prior to his death, is invalidated by Part IV of the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000. The Judge, Mr Richard Sheldon QC sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge, held that the gift was invalid. Further, whilst the BNP had attempted to avoid this conclusion by executing a Deed of Variation of the testator’s will in favour of a widely drafted charitable trust, the Judge held that the charitable trust could not be in any better position than the BNP itself. The consequence was that the gift failed and passed to the testator’s two sons on intestacy.

LA v O (2014)

Barrister: Graeme Harrison
Area of Law: Children
Summary: Graeme was instructed by the official solicitor to represent a highly vulnerable mother in care proceedings. Mother had been targeted by her then partner who asserted, contrary to evidence about paternity, that he was the father of the relevant child.

LA v S (2014)

Barrister: Graeme Harrison
Area of Law: Children
Summary: Graeme represented a mother in care proceedings that resulted from concerns about mother’s mental health and choice of violent partners. The LA sought placement orders for all 3 children but those applications ultimately failed and the children were returned to mother and her new partner under supervision orders.