21st September 2017
Judge bans cross-examination by abuser

Abusers Banned from Cross-examining Victims in Court

The pledge by Mr Justice Hayden to ban the perpetrators of domestic violence from cross-examining their victims in court has been welcomed by Bruce Lance’s Family / Matrimonial department. The government has promised for some time to make the practice illegal but the prison and courts bill that would have introduced the ban was scrapped in the run-up to the general election and, as far as we are aware, has not yet been resurrected. In the meantime, if individual judges follow the lead of Mr Justice Hayden and ban the practice in their courts, then it will be a major […]
14th September 2017
Personal Injury compensation

‘Poor’ insurance company posts increased profits

Insurance companies were quick to complain about the impact on their finances of a cut in the ‘discount rate’ that is used to calculate the compensation paid to serious personal injury victims. Despite this, however, one of the UK’s largest insurers, Admiral Group, has announced a 2% increase in profits for the six months to 30 June 2017 compared with the same period last year. The proposed lowering of the rate from 2.5% to minus 0.75% meant significant increases in the amounts that insurers would have to pay out. Predictably, the insurance companies were not happy about this and, as […]
7th September 2017
Emotional abuse

Spot the Signs of Emotional Abuse

Domestic violence has been in the headlines regularly over the past few months. Headline cases include ex-Spice Girl Mel B, who has finally served divorce papers on her estranged husband, Stephen Belafonte after a series of allegations, including physical assault and emotional abuse. Film producer Stephen Belafonte has a history of abuse, having admitted to beating a former partner. Another serial abuser, Kylle Godfrey of Neasden, north-west London, has been ordered to inform police of any relationship he enters into lasting more than 14 days for the next seven years. He is currently serving a three-year sentence for attacking two […]
28th August 2017
Estranged children can still inherit

Estranged children can still inherit

Leeds County Court has awarded a woman £30,000 from her father’s estate despite the fact that he had made it clear in his will that he had disinherited his children and wanted his estate to go to a friend instead. At first sight, this judgement seems at odds with the ruling by the Supreme Court in the case of Ilott v The Blue Cross and Others. As our wills and probate team reported at the time – see this article – this case seemed to suggest that estrangement could be a barrier to children making a claim on their parent’s […]