The Practical Lawyer


Children - change of name

M's application to change her daughter's surname was refused by the High Court, but she was allowed to continue withholding identifying details as to her address and school, and her GP.

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Procedure - legal aid

The LAA has published guidance for practitioners submitting claims in civil and family legally aided cases - covering certificated and controlled work, including legal help escape cases and controlled legal representation.

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Children - abduction

The Official Solicitor and Public Trustee has recently published Child abduction: accredited solicitors referral list
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Adoption - British citizenship

The entitlement of adopted children to British citizenship is not straightforward. Sometimes, adopted children are automatically British citizens from the date of their adoption - but not in all cases.

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Remarriage - missing decree

The petitioner (P) wanted to remarry but this proved anything but simple, having lost his decree absolute certificate. The court could neither locate it nor give P the date on which it was made. It appeared the files had been destroyed in what Mostyn J described as 'an extraordinary series of unfortunate mishaps'.

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Procedure - missing persons

The Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017 is now in force in England and Wales as of 31 July 2019. The new law allows families to ask the High Court for guardianship of the affairs of a missing person if they have disappeared for at least 90 days.

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Adoption - inherent jurisdiction

The High Court has exercised its inherent jurisdiction and revoked an adoption order. The birth mother made an application to revoke an adoption order made in 2016 in relation to the child (D), who is now four years old. Following that order, the child was adopted by her paternal aunt and uncle (who had, it was stressed, only acted in good faith).

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Litigation friends - costs

There is no bar to a litigation friend of a child or other protected party being liable for costs, the High Court has ruled.

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Procedure – special guardianship

The Family Justice Council has published interim guidance on special guardianship in response to issues identified in Re P-S (Children) [2018] EWCA Civ 1407, including the issue of later identification of potential carers. 
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Financial remedies – non-matrimonial assets

There is a conflicting judicial approach to determining a fair award of non-matrimonial assets, as the author of this useful article explains. 
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Most-read articles

Intestacy – statutory legacy
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
The statutory legacy under the intestacy rules has increased to £270,000 with effect from 6 February 2020. It’s the first increase since October 2014. Read more...
Unsolicited publicity – SRA guidance
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
Some practitioners were somewhat aghast to read para 8.9 in the new Code of Conduct for solicitors as follows: Read more...
Part 36 offer – includes interest
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
Part 36 is a provision of the CPR which is intended to encourage parties to settle disputes without going to trial. A Part 36 offer made by either the claimant or defendant is a tactical step... Read more...
Slipping claims – burden of proof
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
In general, the law on slipping cases is reasonably settled and straightforward. An interesting article considers a question which often arises in practice, namely whether the defendant bears an... Read more...
MEES – domestic rentals reminder
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
We last reported on the MEES Regulations in our May 2019 edition (p24). The Domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations set a minimum energy efficiency level for domestic private... Read more...
Lease to family – not a relevant disposal
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
Under s1(1) LTA 1987 L shall not make a ‘relevant disposal affecting any premises to which at the time of the disposal this Part applies’ unless it has previously served notice in accordance with... Read more...
Oral trust for third party – not binding
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
A recent CC decision is an important reminder to property practitioners to advise clients to ensure that any declaration of trust is in writing. Section 53(1)(b) LPA 1925 states that: Read more...
Civil partnerships – opposite sex
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
The Civil Partnership (Opposite-sex Couples) Regulations came into force on 2 December 2019 enabling mixed-sex couples to enter into a civil partnership, as an alternative to marriage or cohabitation. Read more...
Ethical veganism – a philosophical belief
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
A vegan is someone who does not eat or use animal products. 'Ethical' veganism is more than just not eating or using animal products – it goes beyond this in that ethical vegans try to exclude all... Read more...
Stalking – orders
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
The perpetrators of stalking can now be banned from approaching and/or contacting their victims under police powers that came into force on 20 January 2020. Under the Stalking Protection Act 2019,... Read more...


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