Summer Private Client News

22nd June 2016

Adrian Carr takes a look at the recent Court of Appeal decision in Randall v Randall [2016] EWCA Civ 494: what is the standing of a creditor of a beneficiary to bring a probate claim challenging a will?

Catriona MacLaren analyses the consequences of K v K [2016] EWFC 23 in which an ancillary relief / financial order was made prior to the pronouncement of decree nisi – was the order still effective?

Meanwhile Gwyn Evans, who is delighted to have been nominated for the Jordans Family Law Commentator of the Year Award, examines the outcome of the long-running litigation in the unusual case of Wyatt v Vince [2016] EWHC 1368 (Fam). Was it a Pyrrhic victory for Mrs Wyatt?

The barristers in Tanfield’s Private Client Group are regarded by clients as bright, knowledgeable and approachable. We continue to advise upon, and to litigate, matrimonial finance, contentious probate, TOLATA, Inheritance Act, Court of Protection, and related family, property and trusts disputes.

Charles Joseph, Joint Head of Private Client Group

No Nisi, No Dice.

Sometimes, the first thing a judge will ask at FDR is ‘do we have a decree?’ That does not tend to happen at a final hearing presumably because the court assumes that it will have been taken care of. What happens if that assumption is wrong? Strictly speaking, section 23 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 means that any final order made is a nullity and the case would have to be reheard. If the order is otherwise sound, that seems a terrible waste of time and money for a simple mistake. Could an order made in such circumstances be saved by reference to the overriding objective or some other part of the Family Proceedings Rules 2010? Would the inclusion of the words ‘ with effect from decree absolute’ make any difference?

Those were the questions put to Cobb J in K v K (Financial Remedy Final Order prior to Decree Nisi) 2016 EWFC 23.

Read the full article here.

Credit where Creditor’s due

In Randall v Randall [2016] EWCA Civ 494, the Court of Appeal considered whether a creditor of a beneficiary of an estate had sufficient standing to bring a probate claim to challenge the validity of a purported will of the testatrix.

This is an important decision which clarifies the nature of the interest in an estate a person must have in order to entitle that person to bring a probate claim challenging the validity of a will.

Read the full article here.

Wyatt v Vince – settled at last, but at what price?

On Friday (Wyatt v Vince [2016] EWHC 1368 (Fam)) Cobb J approved terms of settlement in the long-running court battle between Kathleen Wyatt and Dale Vince, following a relationship which lasted less than three years and ended before Wham! had released “Freedom” and whilst Margaret Thatcher was in her hey-day.

A lump sum order of £300,000 payable by the husband to the wife in full and final settlement of her financial remedies application was approved, together with costs orders totalling c. £325,000.

The background should be familiar to most readers, as it has been widely publicised in the national press, Mr Vince having attained “brilliant” post-separation success in green energy firm Ecotricity (now supplying energy to over 70,000 homes), following his successful fixing of a windmill to an old pylon at Glastonbury festival in the early 1990s
(Supreme Court judgment Wyatt v Vince [2015] UKSC 14).

It was this issue of publicity which troubled the wife, who wanted the settlement published, and the husband who was only agreeable to that if the full extent of the wife’s legal costs were made known at the same time. Cobb J helpfully summarised the law as to privacy and publicity in financial remedy proceedings and applied it to these unusual facts.

Gwyn Evans examines the judgment here and responds to some recent criticisms of the costs rules in the Family Court.

Team: Adrian Carr
Expertise: Private Client


This content is provided free of charge for information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. No responsibility for the accuracy and/ or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by any member of Chambers or by Chambers as a whole.


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