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October 3, 2023

Bloomsbury Family Law Briefing October 2023

The October issue of the Bloomsbury Family Law Briefing is now available for subscribers. 

Re SA (Declaration of Non-Recognition of Marriage) [2023] EWCA Civ 1003, [2023] WLR(D) 368 (30 August 2023) – Family Law Act 1986, ss 55 and 58 does not prevent the court making a declaration of non-recognition of marriage.

Cazalet v Abu-Zalaf [2023] EWCA Civ 1065 (22 September 2023) – W’s appeal against recission of her decree nisi allowed. The test to be applied: was it unreasonable still to expect the applicant to continue to live with the respondent (Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, s 1(2)(b)).

Morgan-Rowe v Woodgate [2023] EWHC 2375 (KB) (27 September 2023), Julian Knowles J – A party to civil litigation does not breach any duty of disclosure, or any order to disclose, in relation to a spouse’s or partner’s financial documents where each partner’s accounts are kept separate. She does not have control.

Ditchfield v Ditchfield [2023] EWHC 2303 (Fam) (20 September 2023), Peel J – H’s financial relief appeal disallowed in large part because the judge had a number of trenchant findings about his litigation misconduct, non-disclosure and general dishonesty.

HAT v LAT [2023] EWFC 162 (29 September 2023), Peel J – Separation 30 years ago. H has supported W generously. There had been a separation agreement, but no consent order (despite H’s hopes). W now applies for a full financial relief order with interim periodical payments and a legal service payment order (both awarded by Peel J).

Simon v Simon & anor [2023] EWCA Civ 1048 (15 September 2023) – H’s appeal against addition of W’s litigation funders to his and her financial relief proceedings. Financial relief hearing remitted for hearing by a Family Division judge.

Funding of family proceedings: an interim stage

Simon v Simon & anor [2023] EWCA Civ 1048 (15 September 2023) (‘anor’ is the litigation funders, Level (L)) saw judgment on Mr Simon’s (PS) appeal from a financial relief order that L be added as a party to his and Mrs Simon’s (LS) financial order proceedings. He and LS had a consent order (‘the original order’) which raised collusion issues by him, LS and PS’s lawyers. The ‘original order’ made on 6 April 2021 following a private financial dispute resolution (FDR) had been set aside eventually by agreement of the parties and in the light of the involvement of L – added as a party (Family Procedure Rules 2010, (FPR 2010) r 9.26A, and common law) – who had funded LS’s original lawyers’ costs up to the original order FDR hearing. At that point, having taken their £1 million, her lawyers said they were ‘conflicted’ and withdrew.

Shorn of what King LJ described as the ‘troubling background’ and its ‘procedural quagmire’ ([6] and [47]) the essence of the parties’ positions was the original order: LS would receive a life interest in a property bought with PS’s ‘trust’ but no more; and in settlement all her financial claims. Before the Court of Appeal appeal, that order had been set aside by agreement.

The funding of LS’s former lawyers had been paid by L. This funding debt was due and payable by LS, but she was insolvent. L, a non-party but with a clear interest, had been added as a party. PS opposed this which was the main thrust of his appeal. The Court of Appeal disagreed with him. L remain parties to the re-run of the parties’ financial relief proceedings. (The Court of Appeal say nothing of the costs consequences of any of this to any of the parties, beyond the £1 million due to level from LS.)

The case raised the questions – not resolved by the Court of Appeal – as to what protection a wife and her funder (Level) are entitled to from her solicitors and the court. The article discusses some of these questions looking at the different form of legal funding: legal aid, private payments and private litigation funding.

October 3, 2023

Capital Allowances: Transactions and Planning 2023/24

The latest update to Capital Allowances: Transactions and Planning is now live for subscribers. 

October 2, 2023

Bloomsbury IP/IT Law Briefing September 2023

The September issue of the Bloomsbury IP/IT Law Briefing is now available for subscribers to the IP/IT Law service. 

There were three first instance judgments of note in the UK courts in the past month.

In Sycurio Ltd v PCI-Pal PLC & Anor [2023] EWHC 2361 (Pat), Mrs Justice Bacon found a patent for the processing of telephone calls in a call centre invalid and not infringed.

Prysmian Cables & Systems Ltd v M/S Apple International & Ors [2023] EWHC 2176 (IPEC), a judgment of Recorder Amanda Michaels, arose from an attempt to claim goodwill in a trade mark that had not been used for many years.

A short judgment by Deputy High Court Judge Mr Campbell Forsyth in Cook UK Ltd v Boston Scientific Ltd & Anor [2023] EWHC 2163 (Pat) concerned an important question about witness evidence.

The EU General Court upheld a European Commission finding that, in agreeing to geo-block activation keys for a gaming platform, a video game company and five publishers unlawfully restricted cross-border sales of certain PC video games (Case T-172/21, Valve Corporation v Commission [ECLI:EU:T:2023:587]).

The Munich local division of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) issued its first preliminary injunction in an inter partes case (NanoString Technologies Inc., NanoStrings Technologies Germany GmbH, NanoString Technologies Netherlands B.V. v. 10x Genomics, Inc., President and Fellows of Harvard College UPC_CFI_2/2023).

On the legislative front, there were significant steps on the proposed new EU regulation on geographical indications for craft and industrial products and on the EU design reform package.

In the UK, the Intellectual Property Office launched a new search tool and the government started a consultation on implementing the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances.

September 28, 2023

August Scots Law Update Now Available

The August issue of the Bloomsbury Scots Law Update is now available for subscribers. 

September 28, 2023

September Issue of Irish Civil Litigation Update: Agnieszka Zaganczyk v John Pettit Wexford Unlimited Company and C&M Delaney Limited

The September issue of Irish Civil Litigation Update is now live for subscribers to Irish Civil Litigation.

This month features the case of Agnieszka Zaganczyk v John Pettit Wexford Unlimited Company and C&M Delaney Limited. Andrew Clarke BL writes that this was an appeal from a High Court assessment of damages in a personal injuries matter to which the Judicial Council personal injuries guidelines applied. The plaintiff was awarded €90,000 in the High Court for general damages which was appealed by the defendant on the basis that the award was arrived at erroneously through a misinterpretation of the guidelines by the High Court.

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September 26, 2023

Issue 47 of Duckworth: Matrimonial Property and Finance Now Available

Issue 47 of Duckworth: Matrimonial Property and Finance is now available for subscribers. 

This update contains general updating of Divisions A1B2B3B4B5CD1E2E3 and E4 to take account of new legislative and case-law developments.

September 26, 2023

Partnership Taxation 2023

The latest update to Partnership Taxation is now live for subscribers.

September 26, 2023

Immigration Offences - A Practitioner's Guide

Immigration Offences - A Practitioner's Guide is now available for subscribers to the Immigration and Nationality Law service. 

Different constitutions of the Court of Appeal have repeatedly warned practitioners (both defence and prosecution) of the need to be fully informed of the law relating to immigration offences and the defences available to criminal charges in an immigration context.

Despite these warnings, there are still a number of such appeals each year. Furthermore, the Nationality and Borders Act 2022 has made radical amendments to existing offences that also significantly widen the number of people who are liable for prosecution.

This practical guide provides coverage of the investigation and prosecution of immigration offences and ancillary proceedings, as well as criminal cases for foreign nationals. It covers every aspect of a criminal case from detention through to the Court of Appeal, with signposts to where further information can be found, and is up to date with the changes made by the Illegal Migration Act 2023.

This is essential reading for criminal law practitioners, immigration law practitioners and the judiciary, as well as for students, academics and those working in third sector and government organisations.

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