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Private Client Section

Court asked to resolve confusion over Inheritance Act claims

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A case that threw a wrecking ball at the practice of lawyers making stand-still agreements over late claims could be challenged in the Court of Appeal.

The claimant in Cowan v Foreman filed her application under the Inheritance Act 17 months late, prompting Mr Justice Mostyn to refuse permission. Her lawyers have sought permission to appeal.

The case was of wider interest because Mr Justice Mostyn criticised ‘standstill’ agreements between lawyers that allow for a time extension beyond the six months set out in the act.

The issue was further complicated by Mr Justice Mostyn saying his decision was consistent with the overriding objective on rule compliance in Civil Procedure Rules.

But in a subsequent case, Bhusate, Chief Master Marsh dismissed the use of CPR when considering discretionary powers in the Inheritance Act.


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