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31 May 2017

Returning to practice after a career break (yes, we're mainly talking maternity leave, here) can feel a very stressful and dispiriting experience. Not only are careers in law extremely competitive and overly-subscribed, many firms are firmly stuck in the rigid and patriarchal past and fail to offer the kind of flexible working environments that reflect the twenty-first century environment we live in – a world in which both men and women work and it is (or at least should be) perfectly possible to combine a fulfilling and financially rewarding career with a rich and involved family life.

05 May 2017

There is still considerable discord between contemporary British reality and the law in England and Wales regarding the rights of cohabitees.

Recently, there were some encouraging signs that MPs may have been about to give renewed consideration to the possibility of reform, with the Family Justice Bill on the agenda for consideration in parliament. It appeared to be enjoying cross-party support, but due to the calling of the snap general election, the Bill ran out of time.

02 May 2017

Last month the Supreme Court clarified certain aspects of the Inheritance Act 1975 when it overturned a Court of Appeal ruling which had supported the reasonable financial provision claim of a woman who had been written out of her mother's will, with the assets instead bequeathed to three animal charities: the RSPCA, the RSPB and the Blue Cross.

In offering her ruling, Lady Hale restored an earlier decision made by District Judge Clive Million, which stated that the woman's claim for financial provision had exceeded the threshold of what could be called reasonable. This came despite the claimant living in rented accommodation, on benefits and without a pension.

28 April 2017

Finalising your divorce can be a difficult, but also an exciting time, However, before you start planning the rest of your life, there are a few matters to take care of before you can well and truly move on from your previous marriage.

26 April 2017

In a recent case - T (A Child) [2017] EWFC 19 – Mr Justice Holman highlighted the previously unrecognised value of Facebook as a tool for tracing birth parents. The case involved the adoption application of a young boy; his birth father was aware of the proceedings and present in court, but the child's birth mother had not been made aware of the proceedings as she's a foreign national and was believed to be living abroad somewhere.

However, the birth mother was traced just a few days prior to the hearing by way of a very simple search of profiles on Facebook. The birth father's partner was able to identify the profile as belonging to the birth mother and duly called her and informed her of the proceedings; the birth mother was of the belief that the child had actually already been adopted.

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