Guy Adams succeeds in Court of Appeal in undue influence claim against Registered Charity

Guy Adams, acted for Richard Curtis, in successfully resisting an appeal against his successful claim based on undue influence against the Self-Realization Meditation Healing Centre (SRMHC).

The case was on unusual facts and has attracted considerable publicity.

Mr Curtis and his former wife became involved, over a number of years, with the Self-Realization Meditation Healing Centre and in particular became devotees of its guru, Mrs Rena Denton.

It was found that SRMHC, by Mrs Denton and other senior officers, was in the relationship of spiritual advisor to Mr and Mrs Curtis and that a presumption of undue influence arose at the time that they purported to give their house to SRMHC, which SMRHC were unable to rebut.

Guy is praised by clients for his “robust and commercial approach”. For further details about Guy and his practice, please visit this page.

For further information please contact his clerks, who will be pleased to assist.


St John’s Chambers raises £10,000 for Headway and Headway Somerset

St John’s Chambers hosted an extremely successful charity ball on Friday 28th October at the Bristol Marriott City Centre Hotel, raising a fantastic sum of £10,000 (and we are still counting), for Headway and Headway Somerset.

The event was sponsored by Irwin Mitchell Solicitors in Bristol and it attracted over 280 legal professionals throughout the South West including solicitors, barristers, bankers and accountants. We also had great pleasure in welcoming Lord Mayor Councillor Geoff Gallop and Lady Mayoress Mrs Bernice Gallop, who joined PSMG as their guests.

Fundraising activities included heads & tails, raffle and an auction to help raise even further funds on the night.

St John’s Chambers would like to say a huge thank you to Scott Law who printed the tickets and programmes for the event, as well as thanking the following local companies who have been extremely generous in donating prizes:

  • Wesleyan
  • Fine Images
  • Marriott City Centre Hotel
  • Gary Henri
  • Jordan Publishing
  • New Law Solicitors
  • Jamie Oliver Italian
  • English National Ballet
  • Bright White Smiles
  • Hotel Du Vin, Bristol
  • Cheltenham Racecourse
  • Bath Priory
  • Mud Dock, Bristol
  • Temple Legal Protection
  • Bath Aqua Glass
  • The Bristol Golf Club
  • A&P Jewellers
  • Clifton Cakes
  • Millennium Stadium
  • Just So Balloons
  • Frenkel Topping
  • Kololi Beach Club Ltd
  • PSMG
  • Bare Knuckles Racing

We would particularly like to say a big thank you to all those who supported us in raising much needed funds for our chosen charities.

We are now looking forward to our Brain Injury Conference which is to be held on 17th November to raise even more funds for Headway UK.

Headway is the UK’s leading charity working to improve life after brain injury, and therefore any support is very important. Headway promotes understanding of all aspects of brain injury and provides information, support and services to people with a brain injury, their families and carers.

Directors’ Duties seminar

St John’s Chambers is pleased to announce that in conjunction with the Association of Business Recovery Professionals Martha Maher will be talking at the forthcoming Directors’ Duties seminar, providing a review of the most up to date cases on directors (de jure, de facto and shadow) and their duties. For further information and to book a place please view the booking form.

Nicholas Pointon joins the Commercial & Chancery Practice Group

St John’s Chambers are pleased to announce that following the successful completion of his pupillage, Nicholas Pointon is now a member of Chambers.

Nicholas has a general commercial and chancery practice and has particular interest in Real Property, Company, Commercial, Insolvency, Trusts, Probate and Inheritance.

For further details about Nicholas and his practice, please visit this page.

For further information please contact his clerks, who will be pleased to assist.

Court of Appeal property dispute victory for Leslie Blohm QC and Alex Troup

Leslie Blohm QC and Alex Troup, members of the Commercial & Chancery Practice Group represented the successful respondents in the Court of Appeal in the case of Drake v. Fripp [2011] EWCA Civ 1279.

The case involved a second appeal from a decision of a Deputy Adjudicator to HM Land Registry.

The three main issues on the appeal were the proper construction of a transfer, the effect of the “general boundaries rule” (see section 60 of the Land Registration Act 2002) on applications to alter the Land Register under Schedule 4 of the Act, and the scope of the protection given to a proprietor in possession under paragraph 6(2) of that Schedule.

The appeal was heard by Lord Neuberger MR, and Lords Justice Lewison and Aikens. They resolved the first two issues in the Respondent’s favour, which meant that it was unnecessary to decide the third issue.

Of particular note are the views of the Court as to what is, or is not, a ‘boundary dispute’. The relevance of this is that the Land Registry will alter an incorrect boundary in the case of a boundary dispute unless there are exceptional circumstances not to, whereas if the dispute is more than a ‘boundary dispute’ the Applicant may have to satisfy the far more onerous requirements for rectification under Schedule 4. In the present appeal the Court upheld both lower decisions that a variation of 1.5 acres in the area shown on a registered title was still, on the facts and in law, a ‘boundary dispute’. In doing so it applied the legal test first formulated by the Court of Appeal (in connection with earlier legislation) in Lee v. Barrey [1957] Ch 251, and endorsed in Derbyshire County Council v. Fallon [2007] EWHC 1326 (Ch) and Strachey v. Ramage [2008] EWCA Civ 384, and acknowledged that the concept is one of fact and degree. The Court also endorsed the remarks of Mummery LJ in Wilkinson v. Farmer [2010] EWCA Civ. 1148 that the Adjudicator to the Land Registry is a specialist tribunal, and that on appeals from his decisions, due deference should be paid to his decision. The moral is plain – appeals from the Adjudicator’s factual decisions are not to be undertaken lightly.

There are an increasing number of property disputes which are now resolved by the Adjudicator to HM Land Registry. This case will be of interest to those involved in such disputes as well as to property lawyers generally.

For further details about Leslie Blohm QC and Alex Troup and their respective practices, please visit Leslie Blohm QC and Alex Troup CV.

New statutory regime for Construction Contracts comes into force

Members of our Building, Construction & Engineering team, Andrew Kearney and Rebecca Taylor ponder the long awaited new regime for payment, and the wider scope of 28 day Adjudication resulting from the amendments to the Construction Act 1996, which finally come into force this weekend.

Download: New statutory regime for Construction Contracts comes into force

View: Andrew Kearney’s profile
View: Rebecca Taylor’s profile

Contact their clerks, who will be pleased to assist you.