Housing update: evictions and Social Housing White Paper 18 November 2020

This week has already seen two important developments for social housing practitioners: the laying before parliament of regulations dealing with, inter alia, the suspension of evictions from residential tenancies and the publication of the long-awaited Social Housing White Paper.

Local authority powers to obtain injunctions 13 November 2020

The Court of Appeal’s judgment this week in Sharif v Birmingham City Council upholds the right of local authorities to obtain injunctions using their broad, general power to issue legal proceedings under section 222 of the Local Government Act 1972.

Committals, CPR Part 81 and Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 – change is afoot  9 November 2020

Today, the Civil Procedure (Amendment No.6) Rules 2020  (SI No. 1228) have been laid before Parliament. They are due to come into effect on Wednesday 2 December 2020.

Better late than never: late homelessness review decisions: Stanley v Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council 9 November 2020

The Court of Appeal has held that the parties in a homelessness review can agree an extension of time for the local authority to reach its review decision without them having to reach agreement as to a specific date by which a decision will be reached.

Housing Act 1988 section 8 notice validity: not a “demand for rent” and no need for landlord’s own name and address 30 October 2020

The Court of Appeal judgment in Prempeh v Lakhany considered 2 issues that have been raised against landlords recently in respect of s.8, Housing Act 1988 notices.

A Local Authority v MM & Ors – Family Law Week case summary 26 October 2020

A father’s unsuccessful application to transfer the welfare stage of care proceedings to Romania.

How to terminate a periodic tenancy after the death of the tenant – Pavey revisited and good news for landlords 23 October 2020

When a tenant dies, the contractual tenancy survives, meaning possession of the property cannot be obtained from the (non-succeeding) current residents until that tenancy is terminated by notice to quit. But how is that process carried out if probate (or letters of administration) have not yet been granted?

Social housing allocations and the Equality Act 2010: R (on the application of Z and another) v Hackney London Borough Council and anor 19 October 2020

Housing lawyers and professionals will find the judgment important because of the Supreme Court’s finding that a housing association is entitled to reserve its housing stock for people sharing a protected characteristic without necessarily thereby committing unlawful direct discrimination.

P v Griffith – Family Law Week case summary 12 October 2020

Application by the Official Solicitor on behalf of the protected party [PP] to commit the respondent for contempt of court, where the allegation was that the respondent had falsified a court order.

What are the rules? Imminent rule change? Committal changes causing problems for breaches of Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 injunctions 9 October 2020

Practitioners should be aware that the changes to Part 81, Civil Procedure Rules which came into effect on 1 October 2020 have already caused issues in the county courts in matters concerning Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. There has been a disparity in how the courts are dealing with breaches both on arrest and on application.

Cumbria CC v T (Discharge of Interveners) – Family Law Week case summary 5 October 2020

In public law care proceedings in which the mother sought findings against eight interveners for sexual abuse of her 6 year old son and others, the court considered it was not necessary or proportionate to determine the findings of fact sought by the mother and that it was appropriate for each of the interveners to be discharged.

Commercial leases: protections for tenants extended until the New Year 30 September 2020

The UK government has extended various schemes to protect commercial tenants as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect the economy.

G (A Child: Child Abduction) – Family Law Week case summary 21 September 2020

The court considered the interplay between obligations of the state under the 1980 Hague Convention and under immigration law including the 1951 Geneva Convention.

An update on possession claims part 2: publication of the overall arrangements and guidance 18 September 2020

Further to our update on possession claims earlier this week, as of yesterday there is now a wealth of guidance online ahead of possession claims resuming in the courts from Monday (21 September). Housing lawyers have a lot of reading to do before Monday.

An update on possession claims: overall arrangements, reactivations notices and other developments 15 September 2020

The Master of the Rolls’ working party has finalised its guidance document so that the legal system, and in particular the courts, can manage housing possession cases once the stay on proceedings is lifted on 20 September.

In the matter of child J – Family Law Week case summary 14 September 2020

Use of inherent jurisdiction to authorise a placement involving a deprivation of liberty when one or more of the relevant criteria under s25 of the Children Act 1989 are not satisfied.

F v G – Family Law Week case summary 7 September 2020

The case involved an appeal by a father in relation to an order made in private law proceedings restricting his contact to indirect only and restricting his exercise of parental responsibility.

B (A Child Abduction Article 13(B)) – Family Law Week case summary 1 September 2020

A deputy High Court judge’s refusal to set aside a return order made under the 1980 Hague Convention was successfully appealed.

Homelessness application: Interim relief, suitability and housing benefit 24 August 2020

Clare Cullen considers the case of R (on the application of Tiemo) v Lambeth London Borough Council [2020] EWHC 1193 (Admin) where the High Court adjourned a case considering the suitability of interim accommodation where further information was required

Re Y (Children in Care: Change of Nationality) – Family Law Week case summary 24 August 2020

Appeal by a father in which the court of appeal considered a local authority’s powers in relation to changing the nationality of children in care

Stay on housing possession claims extended until 20 September 2020 21 August 2020

Today, in a last minute announcement before the stay on possession claims was due to be lifted on 23 August 2020, it was explained that the Lord Chancellor had written to Sir Terence Etherton MR to explain that: “he [the Lord Chancellor] thinks it expedient for the Civil Procedure Rules to include provision that would extend the stay imposed by rule 55.29 for a period of four weeks, to 20 September”.

H-B-S (Children: Discharge of Interim Care Order) – Family Law Week case summary 10 August 2020

The case concerned an appeal by a local authority against the discharging of care orders in respect of two girls, aged 9 and 7. The orders were made in January 2020 in the context of physical abuse allegations against a child of their mother’s then-partner.

Re M (a child) – Family Law Week case summary 29 July 2020

Appeal by father (F) against order made under inherent jurisdiction that a child (A) aged 13 and a British National, who has been living in Algeria for just over 12 years, should be brought to England so that “an assessment can be made in a place of safety as to her best interests and living arrangements”.

Resuming proceedings after the possessions stay/evictions ban PRACTICE DIRECTION 55C 23 July 2020

A new Practice Direction (PD 55C) is to come into force on 23 August 2020. The Practice Direction is made under r.55.A1 and is said to be a “temporary modification” of Part 55, for an “interim period” commencing on 23 August 2020 and ending on 28 March 2021.

Alcohol and capacity: London Borough of Tower Hamlets v PB 20 July 2020

This case raises 3 important points about interpreting and applying sections 2 and 3 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) in the context of alcohol addiction.

Housing cases during the Covid-19 crisis – latest news 20 July 2020

There is to be an amendment to the CPR to set out how possession cases (and proceedings for enforcement by writ or warrant of possession) are to proceed when they resume. Also 10 temporary “Nightingale Courts” will be opened to start to alleviate the pressure on full-time courts.

Manjra v Shaikh – Family Law Week case summary 20 July 2020

Cobb J allowed an appeal against an order of HHJ Hughes QC refusing to discharge a non-molestation order granted in 2016, and her substitution of an order that was to ‘continue indefinitely’.

LP v AE – Family Law Week case summary 13 July 2020

A decision by the High Court to make a Legal Services Payment Order (LSPO) to cover future costs in ongoing child arrangement order proceedings, allowing the mother’s appeal against a decision of HHJ Tolson QC.

Localism Act power does not enable a local authority to provide health services 7 July 2020

In a judgment handed down today in the case of R (JP) v NHS Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group & the London Borough of Croydon [2020] EWHC 1470 (Admin), Mostyn, J described a claim that the local authority could provide tracheostomy care for a child pursuant to the general power of competence in s. 1 of the Localism Act 2011 as ‘misconceived’.

Jarvis v Evans – landlord licensing in Wales 7 July 2020

This judgment should go some way to ensuring that landlords do comply with requirements which, in turn, will hopefully lead to standards improving in the private sector in Wales.

Care homes and Covid-19: current issues 6 July 2020

The current pandemic poses particular problems to care home managers and local authorities who make such placements. It raises questions about their legal obligations and the rights of care home residents in the face of this health crisis.

A NHS Foundation Trust v MC – Family Law Week case summary 6 July 2020

The court determined MC’s best interests would be served by harvesting her peripheral blood stem cells for donation to her mother who has chronic leukaemia.

Archibald v Alexander: constructive trusts may come in different guises 1 July 2020

The recent High Court appeal in the case of Archibald v Alexander is a useful reminder that the apparent absence of detriment may not be fatal to the assertion of a constructive trust in respect of jointly owned property. It is also a reminder that a constructive trust may arise outside the confines of the “common intention constructive trust”.

Gas safety certificate and possession proceedings: Trecarrell House Ltd v Rouncefield 19 June 2020

In a somewhat welcome judgment for landlords, the Court of Appeal has held, by a majority, that a section 21 notice can be served so long as the relevant gas safety record has been given to the tenant before service.

Mental capacity and sexual relations: A Local Authority v JB 15 June 2020

Last week’s Court of Appeal judgment in A Local Authority v JB, changes the way in which lawyers, social care professionals and others should approach mental capacity concerning sexual relations. 

High Court considers how the s.188 interim duty to accommodate comes to an end 12 June 2020

Clare Cullen considers R (on the application of Mitchell) v London Borough of Islington. For local authorities, the case shows the importance of ensuring proper notification is given under s.188(1ZA) to bring the s.188 duty to an end in circumstances where the relief duty is owed but an applicant is found not to have a priority need. For those representing homeless applicants, it demonstrates the importance of checking whether proper notification has been given under s.188(1ZA) to end the s.188 duty.

Re H (A Child)(Parental Responsibility: Vaccination) [2020] – Family Law Week case summary 1 June 2020

On appeal from the High Court of Justice Family Division, McCombe, King, and Peter Jackson LJJ consider the procedural route when the vaccination of a child in care is disputed.

1 June-31 July 2020: non-ACM panels and the Building Safety Fund 1 June 2020

Today is the start of the registration period for funding to remove non-ACM (Aluminium Composite Material) cladding on buildings.  Affected building owners and registered social housing providers have until 31 July to register for the scheme.

When is an Application Notice just a piece of paper? Boston Trust Company Ltd v Szerelmey Ltd & Ors 29 May 2020

In the second hearing in the case of  Boston Trust Company Ltd v Szerelmey Ltd & Ors, the judge gave the claimants conditional permission to bring multiple derivative proceedings dependent upon them entered as shareholders on the company members’ register by rectification proceedings or otherwise.  

Tenants Fees Act 2019 – a warning to landlords 29 May 2020

Landlords should be aware that from Monday (1 June) the Tenants Fees Act applies to tenancies and licences whenever they were granted.

MS v RS and BT (Paternity) [2020] – Family Law Week case summary 12 May 2020

Application by a father for a declaration of non-paternity and latterly, for a declaration that BT, the putative father, was the father of AS and BS pursuant to section s 55A of the Family Law Act 1986.

Housing cases during the Covid-19 crisis – part 3 (updated) 11 May 2020

Judgment was handed down this afternoon in the important case of Arkin v Marshall. As well as endorsing PD 51Z, it provided clarity to lawyers as to what can and cannot be done during a stay generally.

Timothy Carlisle successful (with others) in stalling multiple derivative claim on behalf of defendants 11 May 2020

Timothy Carlisle has recently been successful with the other defendants in stalling the claimants who brought a multiple derivative claim. Anyone contemplating such a claim should be aware that where the minority shareholding is by way of a parent company, the claimants must have legal ownership in the shares as recorded in the company’s Register of Members.

The Coronavirus Act 2020: A Guide for Local Authorities on Implementing the Care Act Easements 5 May 2020

What is best practice for local authorities delivering Care Act 2014 services during the COVID-19 pandemic?The Coronavirus Act (“CVA 2020”) has fundamentally altered local authorities’ duties under the Care Act 2014 (“CA 2014”). However, a day after the changes came into effect the government released statutory guidance, which has significantly tempered the changes imposed by the CVA 2020.

Further Thoughts on the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards during the Covid-19 Pandemic 5 May 2020

Unlike the Care Act 2014, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (“MCA 2005”) and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (“DoLS”) have not been altered by the Coronavirus Act 2020 (“CVA 2020”).[1] Therefore the challenges for practitioners concern the practicalities of how the existing regime applies during the COVID-19 crisis, rather than new legislative changes.

Prospective adopters v LB Tower Hamlets [2020] – Family Law Week case summary 5 May 2020

Parents’ application for leave to oppose adoption refused. The court considered that previous decisions relating to the family were highly relevant to the decision.

Practicalities for local social services authorities after the Coronavirus Act’s 1st full month of operation 4 May 2020

The main provisions of the Coronavirus Act 202 were brought into force without s. 15 and Schedule 12  which concern local authority care and support. Those were brought into force on 31 March 2020. One month on, some common themes are emerging.

Want to adjourn a trial on medical grounds? 1 May 2020

If you would like to adjourn a trial on medical grounds, Morgan & Another v Egan helpfully summarises the key authorities and approach to such an application

BP v Surrey County Council & Anor [2020] – Family Law Week case summary 27 April 2020

Application by P’s daughter for declaration following care home moratorium on family visits in the light of COVID-19. Moratorium upheld despite human rights implications.

Court of Appeal finds Right to Rent scheme compatible with ECHR 22 April 2020

The Court of Appeal has held that the Right to Rent scheme is compatible with Article 14 (read with Article 8) of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). This means it is likely that the Right to Rent scheme will continue for private landlords in its current form.

Homelessness appeals and the PSED 21 April 2020

Sarah Salmon examines the recent decision in McMahon v Watford Borough Council; Kiefer v Hertsmere Borough Council [2020] EWCA Civ 497. The Court of Appeal was critical of the risk of using a highly technical PSED arguments in homelessness appeals to attempt to quash “otherwise unimpeachable vulnerability assessment[s]”.

Housing cases during the Covid-19 crisis: part 2 20 April 2020

The new Practice Direction 51Z to the Civil Procedure Rules has been amended to deal, to a certain extent, with case management, trespassers and interim possession orders. Parties can now agree case management directions in possession claims and apply for those directions to be made during the stay period.

A disproportionate interference with rights and freedoms: Coronavirus regulations and the ECHR 20 April 2020

Francis Hoar argues the lockdown regulations amount to an unprecedented breach of rights and freedoms and are disproportionate and in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights. These views are those of the author alone and not those of Field Court Chambers.

How wide is the County Court’s jurisdiction on a homelessness appeal? 14 April 2020

Adrian Davis examines the recent decision in James v Hertsmere Borough Council [2020] EWCA Civ 489, in which the Court of Appeal ruled upon the scope of the county court’s jurisdiction when hearing a statutory homelessness appeal under section 204 of the Housing Act 1996.

Possession by way of interim injunction – a worrying precedent? 9 April 2020

The High Court has granted an interim injunction against a hospital patient, requiring her to give up possession of a hospital bedroom. In effect, the NHS Trust was granted possession by the “back door”, in a way which avoided the intended effect of CPR 51Z PD.  

The Mental Capacity Act and DoLS during the COVID-19 pandemic 9 April 2020

Care providers and supervisory bodies responsible for DoLS requests need to be aware that the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards have not been changed by the Coronavirus Act 2020. They continue to apply in full.

Housing cases during the Covid-19 crisis 8 April 2020

Although housing possession cases have to a large degree drawn to a standstill. Some types of housing hearings are still taking place during this period.

Care Act “easements” – meeting needs for care and support 2 April 2020

Amid the current public health crisis, the Coronavirus Act 2020 has relaxed Care Act requirements for local authorities to assess or meet social care needs. But how should local authorities approach this “easement” relating to meeting needs?

Important changes to Statements of Truth   30 March 2020

All lawyers using the Civil Courts in England & Wales ought to be aware of changes to the Civil Procedure Rules that take effect next week. In particular, amendments to CPR 22 revise the form of Statements of Truth.

Case management during Covid-19 and permission to appeal a decision to strike out s.204 Housing Act 1996 appeal refused  27 March 2020

Sarah Salmon represented the successful local authority in a High Court case involving a litigant in person, a section 204 Housing Act appeal and case management during the Coronavirus crisis. 

Will Family Court hearings ever be the same again?  27 March 2020

While it may be a daunting prospect to ensure family justice in the time of a global pandemic, directions hearings in private children and domestic abuse cases seem well-suited to remote hearings. 

Coronavirus update – housing possession cases suspended 27 March 2020

All current housing possession claims are suspended from today (27 March 2020) for 3 months. However it important to note that this is simply a suspension for 3 months

Coronavirus legislation: ban on evictions for business tenancies 25 March 2020

The Coronavirus Bill currently going through the UK parliament has provisions relating to business tenancies in England and Wales to protect against forfeiture etc.

Coronavirus legislation: eviction ban for residential tenancies 25 March 2020

As part of the UK government’s preparedness for coronavirus and the economic uncertainty it has caused, legislation is being introduced to protect tenants from eviction. All landlords should be aware that from the day after the act is passed until 30 September 2020, you will need to comply with amended notice periods for almost all residential tenancies. 

Coronavirus emergency: local authority charges for care and support 25 March 2020

How should local authorities deal with the setting aside of their duties to provide care and support to adults with eligible needs during the Coronavirus crisis? The UK government’s emergency Coronavirus legislation, which takes effect shortly, temporarily suspends local authorities’ duties under the Care Act 2014.

Costs in family proceedings – all change 23 March 2020

The law and practice related to costs and funding in family proceedings continue to develop rapidly. Family lawyers may be unaware and surprised at some of the significant changes.  

Court of Appeal limits technical defences in section 8 possession claims 24 February 2020

Joshua Swirsky assesses the case of Pease v Carter [2020] EWCA Civ 175 in which the Court of Appeal further limited the scope for tenants running defences based on errors in notices.

Boas v Aventure International Ltd: how the court considers appeals on facts in boundary disputes 30 January 2020

Many boundary disputes depend on factual findings made regarding historical documents, which often came into existence for other purposes. Although appeals on questions of fact that have been determined by a trial judge are nowadays rare, and tend to be discouraged by the appellate courts, Boas v Aventure shows how the court is likely to approach such a boundary dispute appeal.  

General Election 2019—hung parliaments: a Q&A with Alexander Campbell 6 January 2020

Alexander Campbell examines the law and requirements around hung parliaments in the UK, recalling the Liberal Democrat-Conservative coalition of 2010, in a Q&A with LexisNexis. 

RR v Sec. of State for Work & Pensions & Ors (Interveners) [2019] UKSC 52 23 December 2019

The Supreme Court has allowed an appeal, upholding an order of the Upper Tribunal that the Appellant’s Housing Benefit should be calculated without deduction of the “bedroom tax”.

Rectification of written contracts – a mistake corrected 10 December 2019

Must a claimant of rectification for common mistake show that the parties actually (subjectively) shared the same mistaken belief as to the meaning of the contract? Yes, said the Court of Appeal in FSHC Group Holdings Ltd v Glas Trust Corporation Ltd [2019] EWCA Civ 1361.

Re I-L (Children) (1996 Hague Child Protection Convention:Inherent Jurisdiction) [2019] – Family Law Week case summary 25 November 2019

A Court of Appeal judgment by Moylan LJ setting aside a High Court decision made under the inherent jurisdiction, which had ordered the return to Russia of two children.

Parental alienation – loosening the Gordian Knot 25 November 2019

Two recent cases, Re A (Children) (Parental Alienation) and In Re H (A Child) (Parental Alienation), have once again highlighted the need for lawyers, parents and courts to be live to the possibility of parental alienation.

F v M (Appeal) [2019] – Family Law Week case summary 21 November 2019

A father unsuccessfully appealed a determination of fact made in private law children proceedings that he had perpetrated a rape upon the mother.

More for local authorities to consider when reviewing a section 202 Housing Act decision: London Borough of Waltham Forest v Saleh 20 November 2019

Reviewing a decision under section 202 of the Housing Act 1996 has become more onerous for local authorities. They now need to re-evaluate their available housing at the date of review to see if properties within or closer to their district are available as well as the allocation of such properties. Following the case of London Borough of Waltham Forest v Saleh [2019] EWHC CIV 1944, this has to be factored into a suitability assessment.

Statutory Succession and Discrimination 19 November 2019

Genevieve Screeche-Powell evaluates aspects of the Court of Appeal’s decision in Simawi v The London Borough of Haringey [2019] EWCA Civ 1770.

W (A Child), Re [2019] – Family Law Week case summary 18 November 2019

An appeal by a great-aunt against care and placement orders made in May 2019 concerning a two year old boy. Appeal allowed.

Raqeeb v Barts Health NHS Trust (Litigation Friend) [2019] – Family Law Week case summary 18 November 2019

TR’s parents and her doctors did not agree on whether treatment should continue or whether it should be withdrawn, resulting in her death. 

The importance of bringing a homelessness appeal in time… 31 October 2019

Adrian Davis examines the High Court’s decision in Bibi Emambee v The London Borough of Islington [2019] EWHC 2835 (QB), in which Mr Justice Stewart dismissed Ms Emambee’s appeal against the county court judge’s refusal to extend time for bringing a homelessness appeal under section 204(2A) of the Housing Act 1996.

An NHS Foundation Trust v AB [2019] – Family Law Week case summary 28 October 2019

It was in the interests of AB to be fitted with an intrauterine contraceptive device when she underwent a caesarean section with a spinal anaesthetic.

O (Children) [2019] – Family Law Week case summary 21 October 2019

The case concerned an appeal against a committal of the appellant mother who had failed to comply with orders to return the parties’ children to Mexico.

LCC v AB [2019] – Family Law Week case summary 14 October 2019

Application by Lincolnshire County Council to determine whether a 51-year-old-man had capacity with regards to his contact with sex workers.

London Borough of Croydon v KR & Anor [2019] – Family Law Week case summary 7 October 2019

The case concerned an application by a Local Authority (LA) for an injunction under the Court’s inherent jurisdiction to prevent KR from living together with his wife ST.

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council v PR & Ors [2019] – Family Law Week case summary 16 September 2019

Cobb J concluded proceedings and determined whether it had been right to use the inherent jurisdiction to make interim injunctive-type orders in respect to a capacitous but apparently vulnerable adult.

Adrian Davis successfully defends Newport City Council’s Gypsy and Traveller site allocations policy in judicial review 4 September 2019

The claimant’s principal argument was that the policy was unlawful because the council had failed to comply with the public sector equality duty in section 149 Equality Act 2010. This case shows that if local authorities carry out (and record) comprehensive equalities assessments of their policies, it is likely to be very difficult for claimants to successfully argue a failure to comply with the public sector equality duty.

Can you run a discrimination argument in a s.204 Housing appeal? 12 August 2019

Jonathan Pennington Legh discusses the Court of Appeal judgment in Adesotu v Lewisham London Borough Council [2019] EWCA Civ 1405 which was handed down on 2 August 2019.

W v L (Forum Conveniens) [2019] – Family Law Week case summary 5 August 2019

The court determined a child (M) to be habitually resident in England and Wales and that the English court had jurisdiction regarding matters pertaining to parental responsibility.

Livewest Homes Limited v Bamber: possession orders and requirement to give not less than 6 months’ notice where the tenancy expired by effluxion of time not by earlier termination 31 July 2019

Jared Norman considers the case of Livewest Homes Limited v Bamber [2019] EWCA Civ 1174. Section 21 has become a minefield for landlords who let properties under assured shorthold tenancies. The Livewest case is of particular relevance to social landlords who have entered into fixed term tenancies of more than two years and/or where they are operating a break clause. 

PSED and Possession Proceedings 31 July 2019

Social landlords subject to the public sector equality act duty can take some comfort in the fact that the Court of Appeal has dismissed a second appeal against a possession order notwithstanding a breach of the PSED.

Birmingham City Council v SR; Lancashire County Council [2019] – Family Law Week case summary 30 July 2019

Applications for authorisation of care plans, inter alia, for deprivation of liberty [‘DoL’] of restricted patients under ‘Hospital Orders’.

Yavuz Yildiz v London Borough of Hackney: the interaction between section 83(1) and Ground 15A of the Housing Act 1985 24 July 2019

The Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in the case of Yavuz Yildiz v London Borough of Hackney on 24 July 2019, a case which examined the interaction between section 83(1) and Ground 15A of the Housing Act 1985.

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust v B (Urgent Medical Treatment) [2019] – Family Law Week case summary 16 July 2019

Urgent application by the treating Trust to permit treatment in respect a 16-year old girl, B, refusing treatment.

Divorce and separation:  keeping the taxman out 7 July 2019

Separation is a traumatic time for most people.  On top of the upheaval, you’re unlikely to want to pay tax when you divide up the assets if you don’t have to.

Gray v Hurley [2019] – Family Law Week case summary 29 June 2019

Judgment in Queen’s Bench Division providing international family lawyers with a meticulous overview on establishing forum.

Intentional homelessness and “affordability” – the Supreme Court’s decision in Samuels v Birmingham City Council [2019] UKSC 28 20 June 2019

Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 provides that local authorities are under a full duty to secure accommodation to a person found homeless, if certain conditions are satisfied, one of which is that they are not satisfied that she “became homeless intentionally”.

Re NY (A Child) [2019] – Family Law Week case summary 19 June 2019

A mother’s unsuccessful appeal against an order for the summary return of a child to Israel.

Beyond reasonable doubt: the use of experts in Environmental Protection Act 1990 prosecutions 12 June 2019

District Judge Moore sitting at the Magistrates Court in Bexley handed down judgment in Williams v London & Quadrant Housing Trust. There were some lessons in her judgment regarding the use of experts in Environmental Protection Act 1990 prosecutions.

Dorset Council v E (Article 15 BIIR) (Rev 1) [2019] – Family Law Week case summary 7 June 2019

A request by the Slovakian Central Authority (SCA) to transfer proceedings to the Slovakian courts pursuant to Article 15 of Brussels II Revised Regulation (BIIR) was refused by His Honour Judge Dancey sitting as a section 9 judge.

Cost awards in Environmental Protection Act 1990 prosecutions 16 May 2019

Local authority and social landlords have seen an increase in recent years in private prosecutions brought against them under section 82, Environmental Protection Act 1990 (“1990 Act”).

Repeat possession claims and cause of action estoppel 28 April 2019

In Salix Homes v Mantato [2019] EWCA Civ 445 the Court of Appeal considered whether cause of action estoppel prevents a landlord obtaining a possession order on rent arrears grounds where there is an existing undischarged order for possession on the basis of earlier arrears, and for payment of those arrears.

Thum v Thum [2019] – Family Law Week case summary 26 April 2019

Mostyn J refused an application by a husband to revoke a disclosure order made during financial remedy proceedings.

The improvement vs repair distinction; Tenant liable for £25,000 replacement heating system 13 March 2019

Jonathan Pennington Legh discusses the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) case of London Borough of Southwark v Baharier.

Rashid v Nasrullah – Adverse possession when you’re the registered proprietor? 12 March 2019

Is it possible to be in adverse possession of land of which you are the registered proprietor ? Yes, says the Court of Appeal in Rashid v Nasrullah.

Relief against the Forfeiture Rule in respect of suicide with the assistance of Dignitas 25 February 2019

The criminal offence of assisting or encouraging suicide has recently attracted press coverage and political discussion. That attention focuses on the risks of prosecution and imprisonment, but for many families the financial consequences will be of equal or greater importance.

Damages and Article 8 23 January 2019

The High Court has dismissed a claim for damages in respect of accommodation provided under section 17, Children Act 1989 which was alleged to be in breach of article 8. Emma Godfrey of Field Court Chambers appeared for the respondent authority.

AEY v AL (Family Proceedings Civil Restraint Order) [2018] – Family Law Week case summary 29 November 2018

Knowles J refused seven applications by a father for permission to appeal and made an extended civil restraint order.

Manchester City Council Legal Services v LC & Anor [2018] – Family Law Week case summary 23 October 2018

Judgment of Hayden J in the Court of Protection in a case in which His Lordship recognises the need for public debate and further consideration as to “whether the MCA, by collateral declarations, is apt to limit the autonomy of individuals in spheres where they are capacitous”.

Guidance on religious observance from Court of Protection 1 October 2018

Genevieve Screeche-Powell considers the guidance given by Mr. Justice Cobb on the difficult and sensitive question of the observance of Islamic religious practice for an adult lacking capacity in the case of Re IH (Observance of Muslim Practice) [2017] EWCOP 9.

Kelly v Pyres [2018] – Family Law Week case summary 13 June 2018

Court of Appeal judgment overturning a judgment which had found that a wife had acquired a domicile of choice in England.

The Court of Appeal rules certain selective licensing conditions unlawful 12 April 2018

Alistair Cantor considers Brown v Hyndburn Borough Council [2018] EWCA Civ, a case with important implications for many local authorities.

Re C (A Child) [2018] – Family Law Week case summary 16 March 2018

Unsuccessful appeal to the High Court by a mother against a decision which transferred the residence of C to her father.

Severing an LPA 20 September 2017

Joshua Swirsky considers The Public Guardian’s Severance Applications [2017] EWCOP 10 in which District Judge Eldergill gave guidance following 17 applications by the Public Guardian for LPAs to be severed.

Local authority’s Care Act assessment and related decisions quashed on judicial review 8 September 2017

Alistair Cantor considers a recent decision of the Administrative Court in R (on the application of JF) v London Borough of Merton [2017] EWHC 1519 concerning the lawfulness of a Care Act assessment and associated decisions made by the local authority in respect of the termination of an existing placement and the suitability of a proposed new placement.

Sufficiency of funding for the deprivation of liberty regime 30 July 2017

Jonathan Cowen considers the decision of the Administrative Court in R(Liverpool City Council and others) v The Secretary of State for Health [2017] EWHC 986 (Admin) in which four local authorities challenged the sufficiency of funding for the deprivation of liberty regime.


If the young person wishes to challenge the age assessment he has to then obtain legal advice and, if appropriate, see an interim injunction. Sometimes the interim relief is applied for after the young person has been dispersed.

The 2 applicants in these cases that were heard together were from Afghanistan and Vietnam respectively. There was nothing remarkable about the facts of either case. Both raised factual issues that are to be tried by the Upper Tribunal, however, Popplewell J ordered that a ‘rolled up’ hearing to consider the challenge to LBC’s practice.

Accommodation pending age assessments 3 July 2017

Hilton Harrop-Griffiths considers the decision of the Administrative Court in R (S) v Croydon LBC [2017] EWHC 265 and the duty on local authorities to accommodate a young person pending the determination of an age assessment.

Air BnB – a warning for its members 13 June 2017

Jonathan Pennington Legh looks at the problems that generally arise for the home owner in relation to mortgages and leases.

The Supreme Court rules on the appropriate rate of deductions for striking workers in Hartley and others v King Edward VI College [2017] UKSC 39 6 June 2017

Alistair Cantor reviews the Supreme Court’s decision on the appropriate rate of deductions from pay for striking workers. The ruling is likely to have implications for most professionals on annual contracts paid monthly.

Does section 20 of the Children Act require the consent of parents? The Supreme Court is to decide. 6 June 2017

On 26 January 2017, the Court of Appeal handed down its decision in London Borough of Hackney v Williams and anor [2017] EWCA Civ 26, departing from a long chain of Family Court judgments highlighting the necessity for local authorities to obtain the informed consent of parents prior to accommodating children under section 20.

Lauren Suding considers AP v Tameside, which addressed limitation issues in deprivation of liberty claims under the Human Rights Act 1998, and in particular, when is it equitable to extend time? 30 May 2017

In January 2017, the High Court handed down judgment in AP (by his litigation friend, BA) v Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council [2017] EWHC 65 (QB), concerning the preliminary issue of limitation in Human Rights Act claims.

The role and limited powers of the Court of Protection 22 May 2017

Sarah Salmon considers the Supreme Court judgment in N v A Clinical Commissioning Group and others [2017] UKSC 22; [2017] 2 WLR 1011, a case described from the outset to be about the “jurisdiction” of the Court of Protection. It was, in fact, as Lady Hale noted, unfortunate that the case had been put this way: it was about the role of the Court of Protection and the approach that should be taken in light of its limited powers.

Right to accommodation under s.193 Housing Act 1996 is not a “civil right” for purposes of Art 6 ECHR 16 May 2017

Emma Godfrey looks at Poshteh v Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea [2017] UKSC 36 where the Supreme Court has revisited the question of whether decisions by local housing authorities as to the duty owed under Part VII Housing Act 1996 amount to the “determination of a civil right” which engages the right to a hearing before an impartial and independent tribunal under art 6 ECHR.

Dreamvar (UK) Ltd v Mishcon de Reya (a firm) and another [2016] EWHC 3316 (Ch) 14 May 2017

In attempting to purchase a vacant unencumbered property, without itself relying on the funds of a mortagee lender, Dreamvar fell victim to identity fraud.

Alistair Cantor considers MR v SR, a case which serves as a cautious reminder that the general rule that parties bear their own costs in Court of Protection proceedings, can be displaced in cases of unreasonable conduct. 2 May 2017

M, the daughter of N, a 68-year-old female, brought proceedings under s15 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 for a declaration that it was not in N’s best interests to continue to receive life-sustaining clinically assisted nutrition and hydration via an endoscopic tube. 

Validity of notices under s.128, Housing Act 1996 – notices, letters and information leaflets 2 April 2017

The Court of Appeal has held that, as a matter of statutory construction, a notice of proceedings served in relation to an introductory tenancy under s.128, Housing Act 1996 can satisfy the necessary requirements even if the information is contained in more than one document. Whether the requirements are satisfied, however, will be a question of objective fact in every case.

HMO licensing – restrictions on the type occupier 30 March 2017

Sarah Salmon looks at the Court of Appeal’s decision in Nottingham City Council v (1) Parr and (2) Trevor Parr Associates Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 188 which considers whether or not licence conditions imposed under the HMO regime in the Housing Act 2004 could restrict the type of occupier who could live in the accommodation.

Married couples and civil partners vs. couples living together as husband and wife – succession rights under the Housing Act 1985 30 March 2017

Sarah Salmon looks at the Court of Appeal’s decision in Turley v (1) Wandsworth LBC and (2) Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which was another challenge to the succession regime under the Housing Act 1985 albeit following amendments made by the Localism Act 2011 (which did not apply to this case) and future amendments, should they be brought into force, under the Housing and Planning Act 2016.

Justifying indirect discrimination – leave the aim alone 29 March 2017

Grace Cheng looks at the Court of Appeal’s decision in Harrod and Others v. Chief Constable of West Midlands Police and Others, where the Court gives helpful guidance on the appropriate focus for tribunals considering indirect discrimination claims.

Disproportionate and/or unreasonable: does one amount to the other? 21 March 2017

Alistair Cantor looks at the Court of Appeal’s decision in Georgina O’Brien v Bolton St Catherine’s Academy on the relationship between the tests of disproportionality under s15 EqA and that of unreasonableness under s98(4) ERA.

Religious Dress Codes at Work 15 March 2017

Nikolas Clarke considers the CJEU’s controversial decision in Achbita v. G4S Secure Solutions NV on the lawfulness of banning staff from wearing religious dress.

Unproven disability, harassment and victimisation 8 March 2017

Lauren Suding summarises the EAT’s decision in Peninsula Business Services Ltd v Baker.

Court of Appeal dismisses appeal against decision that the state is indirectly responsible for a private deprivation of liberty in circumstances where a deputy is administering a personal injury payment. 27 February 2017

Jonathan Cowen summarises the Court of Appeal’s recent judgment in Secretary of State for Justice v Staffordshire County Council and others [2016] EWCA Civ 1317

Court of Appeal on Worker Status 16 February 2017

Lauren Suding explains the Court of Appeal’s reasoning in Pimlico Plumbers v Smith and examines implications for the gig economy.

Amendments to add whistleblowing claims and EAT powers to make the ET’s case management orders 6 February 2017

Francis Hoar summarises the principles in the Court of Appeal’s judgment in Kuznetsov v. Royal Bank of Scotland, where the Court gave guidance on amendments to add whistleblowing claims, the EAT approach to making case management orders without remission, and the need for promptness in applying for cost protection orders.

Landmark Court of Appeal ruling today permits local authorities to accommodate children under s. 20 without parental consent 26 January 2017

Christine Cooper and Eirwen Pierrot represented the Claimants in this important case.

The European Court of Human Rights’recent judgment in the case of Cervenka v The Czech Republic 23 January 2017

The European Court of Human Rights’ once again considers the position of those who are detained against their wishes as a result of mental illness.

Re FD (inherent jurisdiction: power of arrest) [2016] EWHC 2358 17 January 2017

Hilton Harrop-Griffiths considers whether the High Court has jurisdiction to attach a power of arrest to a non-molestation injunction, granted under its inherent jurisdiction, for the benefit of a vulnerable adult.

Honour-based violence and forced marriage in public law children proceedings 4 January 2017

Francis Wilkinson recently led Lauren Suding in public law children proceedings with an international element, in which interim Forced Marriage Protection Orders (FMPO) had previously been made in respect of the children’s older siblings. A referral was made to the local authority after the police were contacted by the older siblings in relation to the forced marriages.

Joshua Swirsky appeared in an important case that provides some guidance as to the use of dental age assessments 21 December 2016

Joshua Swirsky appeared for the London Borough of Croydon in an important case in the Upper Tribunal which gives general guidance on the use of evidence of dental development in the assessment of age.

Finance and Business Training: the UK VAT education exemption and fiscal neutrality 7 March 2016

The principal issue facing the Court of Appeal in Finance and Business Training v HMRC was whether EU law meant that a provider of university courses was entitled to the VAT education exemption in the same way as a university, even if not so entitled under UK VAT law.

If, on an application to determine a boundary pursuant to s. 60(3) Land Registration Act 2002, a Judge of the FTT concludes that the plan upon which the application is based does not accurately plot the point of junction can he then go on to determine its true position ? 2 March 2016

Minority interest – perhaps – but according to HHJ Dight, sitting as a Judge of the Upper Tribunal in Murdoch v Amesbury [2016] UKUT 3 (TCC), the answer in “No.”

Must a landlord account to his tenant for rent paid in advance under the lease if the lease comes to an end within the period to which the rent relates ? 22 February 2016

No, said the Supreme Court in Marks and Spencer plc v BNP Paribas Securities Services Trust Company (Jersey) Ltd [2015] UKSC 72.

Probate Roundtable 2 February 2016

Miles Croally recently participated in Private Client Adviser’s ‘Best of Intentions’ roundtable discussing elements of best practice in estates administration and probate.

Going public on local authority failings 18 January 2016

Matthew Stott, considers the implications of the decisions in Re A, B, C, D and E (Children) where the local authority professionals involved were named by the court.

Costs in Family Proceedings 8 January 2016

Costs in Family Proceedings explains the rules and procedure relating to costs and funding in all family proceedings, co authored by Francis Wilkinson and Dr. Sara Hunton.

Sock line hyperpigmentation: an elasticated truth? 7 December 2015

Matthew Stott writes for Jordan’s Family Law on the importance of potentially being aware of sock line hyperpigmentation (SLHP) as it mimics child abuse.

Justice also has physical foundations 24 September 2015

Michael Reason discusses the importance of tradition in the rule of law and how physical buildings support that tradition.

Navigating the unknown 21 April 2015

Christopher Stirling writes for the Private Client Adviser on how to secure a share in a property held under one name

Fraud unravels all 5 March 2015

Christine Cooper writes for the Private Client Advisor on care fees

Placing children with family members 22 January 2015

Hilton Harrop-Griffiths and pupil barrister Eirwen Pierrot write for Local Government Lawyer

After-Care options 5 December 2014

Hilton Harrop-Griffiths writes for Private Client Adviser

Business and Corporate Responsibility in Russia 5 November 2014

Bill Bowring writes for Who’s Who Legal exploring the nature of corporate responsibility in Russia and the country’s status in the global economic order.

Can A Consent Order Be Set Aside In Financial Proceedings? 4 June 2014

Francis Wilkinson writes for Family Law Week asking whether an application to set aside is permissible where there has been a change of circumstances which undermines the basis of a consent order