Wills valid despite error, Supreme Court rules

first_imgA mix-up in signatures on mirror wills should not be allowed to disinherit a couple’s intended heir, the Supreme Court ruled today. Giving judgment in the case of Marley v Rawlings and another, Lord Neuberger said that the wills of Maureen and Alfred Rawlings should be treated in the same way as a commercial contract in that an obvious oversight should not be allowed to invalidate the testators’ wishes.Maureen and Alfred Rawlings had drafted wills in 1999 intending to leave their entire estate to Terry Michael Marley, who was not a blood relation. However due to an alleged oversight by a solicitor, the two accidentally signed each other’s will.The mistake came to light after Alfred Rawlings’ death, when his two sons argued that their father’s will was invalid because it had been signed by the wrong person.In 2012 The High Court said it was not in its power to change the will, even though there was no doubt that the Rawlings had wanted Marley to inherit.However in today’s Supreme Court judgment Lord Neuberger (pictured) said: ‘Whether the document in question is a commercial contract or a will, the aim is to identify the intention of the party or parties to the document by interpreting the words used in their documentary, factual and commercial context.’He said: ‘I would therefore allow this appeal, and hold that the will should be rectified so that it contains the typed parts of the will signed by the late Mrs Rawlings in place of the typed parts of the will signed by Mr Rawlings.’ Matthew Duncan, head of private client practice at London firm Kingsley Napley, said the court had taken a commonsense approach to interpreting the contract. ‘The welcome point from today’s judgment is that the guiding principle must be the clear intention of the deceased in matters where an error has led to a will dispute,’ he said. ‘Today’s judgment is important because the concept of “clerical error” has now been a given a wider meaning by the Supreme Court. To date, it was thought only typing errors could be fixed.’ The appellant was represented by Robert Ham QC and Teresa Rosen Peacocke, who were instructed by London firm Hugh Cartwright & Amin. The respondents were represented by Nicholas Le Poidevin QC and Alexander Learmonth and were instructed by London firm Gillan & Co.The judgment is here.last_img read more

Judge’s warning: ‘Don’t expect opponents to flag up your mistakes’

first_imgA judge has rejected the argument that defendants in a civil claim over tax advice were under any duty to flag up a service error by their opposite number. The claimant in Higgins & Ors v ERC Accountants & Business Advisers Ltd had failed to validly serve their case as they had not served the claim form.Amongst arguments about whether the claim form had in fact been served previously, the claimant’s solicitors, from national firm TLT LLP, suggested the defendants were ‘taking advantage’ of any mistake they might have made.His Honour Judge Pelling QC, sitting in the High Court, clarified that the mistakes of non-service of the claim form were not trivial and that the claimant solicitors had failed to take the ‘most basic’ step in civil litigation. He rejected the idea that defendant solicitors were under a duty to correct the errors, even if they knew or suspected errors had been made.‘In my view the defendant’s solicitors would be failing in their duty to their clients if they failed to take all steps legitimately available to them to enhance their client’s chances of succeeding in such a defence,’ said Pelling. ‘I cannot see therefore how it can be credibly asserted that the defendants’ solicitors were under some form of obligation to remind C’s solicitors to serve the claim form.’The case arose out of a tax mitigation scheme allegedly devised by the defendants and implemented by the claimant on their advice. There was a further allegation of fraud.After a series of extensions, the deadline for the service of the claim form was set for 19 March this year. Defendant solicitors received a letter by that date with a copy of the particulars of claim but not a claim form. On 31 March, defendant solicitors wrote to say the claim form was not served and was no longer valid.The claimant’s solicitors argued that the claim form had been included in correspondence sent the previous July, but the judge found this was sent only as a ‘protective measure’ to meet limitation deadlines. They did not ask the defendants whether they had instructions to accept service or whether they were prepared to accept service by email.Pelling added that the failure to serve a court-sealed copy of the claim form and response pack proved the claimant’s solicitors were not attempting to serve the claim form under cover of the July letters.Provisionally, he struck out the current claim and declared the claim form had not been served in time. He made no conclusion on whether the claim was statute barred and invited further submissions on the form of the order he should make.last_img read more

Over 1,000 lawyers embrace remote-working ‘gig economy’

first_imgMore than 1,000 lawyers in the UK now work remotely in practices outside the traditional firm environment, new figures suggest.Research by accountants and business advisory group Hazlewoods showed the number of lawyers working for so-called ‘platform’ firms has increased 29% to 1,035.The number is still a fraction of the 140,000 practising solicitors in England and Wales, but there does appear to be a growing trend for lawyers to take control of how they work and be more entrepreneurial.Businesses such as Keystone Law, Excello and gunnercooke have created models where lawyers may be self-employed, work remotely and use a back office and other shared services.Commentators say the offer of working ‘flexi-time’ helps individuals avoid the long-hours culture of the legal profession and keep a higher percentage of the fees they charge.Jon Cartwright, partner at Hazlewoods, said: ‘The continued growth of platform law firms reflects the enthusiasm in the legal sector to adapt to new ways of working. It is also part of broader trend among lawyers to be more entrepreneurial, to strike out on their own. Some because they want to do things their way, some because they feel big law firms involve too much politics, and others because they feel they are not getting enough out of the fees they earn.’Other factors behind the growth of the remote firm may be parents seeking flexible ways of working and more lawyers opting out of the daily commute.Cartwright also pointed out investors have started to look at the growth opportunities of the model, with Keystone becoming the first firm of its kind to float on the London Stock Exchange last year.In September, the firm reported that 250 people had applied to join in the previous year, with 21 successful applicants on average every month in 2017/18.last_img read more

Castles in the air

first_imgTHIS MONTH’S trawl of new line proposals produced one or two unlikely candidates. We have noted in the past the enthusiasm of various Central American countries for new lines linking ports on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, but the latest Trans-Isthmus project is truly ambitious. Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras have signed a free trade agreement, which could be extended to include Mexico by the end of the year. This is expected to lead to an upsurge in freight movement, much of which could move by rail.Proposals envisage a network stretching to 3000 km to include new construction and rehabilitation of the run-down railways of various gauges that eke out a precarious existence in the three countries. Honduras National Railway General Manager Mario Quintanilla was expecting to initial a formal agreement with his counterparts, but precisely when anything concrete will happen remains a little up in the air.For students of improbable railways, try this. Korean National Railroad has apparently been looking at the possibility of building an Inter-Korean line along the east coast by 2012. The US$2·1bn line would link Kangneung and Kosong, so tourists from the south could visit the Mt Kumkang area in the north. A related plan is a 170 km line completing a route along the east coast of South Korea from Samchok to Pohang. A KNR spokesman described the project as helping promote inter-Korean exchange in preparation for better relations between South and North. olast_img read more

Puerto Montt upgrade underway

first_imgCHILEAN state railway EFE has called tenders for a contract to upgrade and maintain over eight years the 567·4route-km of its Southern Zone between San Rosendo and Puerto Montt. Bids are due by June 8, and EFE hopes to sign a contract on September 3 so that work can begin in November 2005.Under a separate contract worth 9·6bn pesos, OHL began work last month on a programme of track renewals between Victoria and Puerto Montt, part of a US$40m investment package for the route that also includes the acquisition of DMUs from Renfe of Spain. The first refurbished units are due to arrive in Chile in September.With bids due in by January 31, EFE expected work to begin last month on a contract worth up to 1bn pesos to refurbish 12 stations between Freire and Puerto Varas. Tenders are to be called for the construction of a new station at La Paloma, expected to take six months to complete, which will be EFE’s new terminus in Puerto Montt. The existing alignment through the town centre has six level crossings ’which would delay traffic and increase journey times’ according to EFE General Manager Eduardo Castillo.EFE has awarded Consorcio Industrial y Comercial Bío Bío Itisa Ferrostal Ltda a US$15m contract to supply 200000 concrete sleepers for the upgrading of the Santiago – Chilllast_img read more

Plans amended

first_imgON JUNE 17 the Spanish Ministry of Development began public consultation on its proposal to alter the alignment of the cross-city tunnel in Gijón, where work began in April 2003. This is one of a number of major changes to the project announced by Development Minister Magdalena Álvarez on June 9.As planned (RG 1.03 p9), the project comprised a 3·5 km double-track tunnel for Renfe suburban services, running from the existing terminus at El Humedal to Viesques via intermediate stations at Begoña and El Bibio. The new proposals would extend the route to almost 7 km, running beyond Viesques to Cabueñes via an intermediate station serving the university campus. Begoña will be replaced by a station at Plaza de Europa, which is felt to be in a better location for serving the city centre and construction should be less disruptive.The ministry now also intends the tunnel to be equipped to accommodate the trains of metre-gauge operator Feve as well as broad-gauge Renfe services. El Humedal would be replaced by a new underground station for long-distance services above the cross-city tunnel, freeing up for redevelopment railway land close to the city centre. nlast_img read more

ÖBB signs 700-coach framework agreement

first_imgAUSTRIA: Austrian Federal Railways and Siemens Mobility have signed a five-year framework agreement for the supply of up to 700 coaches with a potential total value of €1·5bn, with an option to extend the agreement beyond 2023.ÖBB has placed an initial firm order for eight nine-car rakes to replace EuroCity stock which cannot be used on routes to Italy from 2021 because of changes to fire regulations. The order also includes 13 seven-car rakes to replace or augment vehicles currently uses on Nightjet overnight services. The coaches from Siemens’ Viaggio family will be produced at the manufacturer’s Wien plant for entry into service from 2022.Tendering for the contract was interrupted last year after a legal challenge to specification changes made at a late stage. Siemens was named preferred bidder on July 20 this year, and the signing of the contract was announced on August 17. The framework covers first and second class coaches, driving cars, multipurpose cars and sleeping and couchette cars. Siemens said the basic variant for daytime use would be a low-floor coach with ‘extra-wide’ doors to facilitate rapid boarding and alighting. The daytime rakes would have 520 seats, while the night trains would offer 100 seats and 160 couchette berths. The coaches will have LED interior lighting, air-conditioning and a fresh air supply regulated by the CO2 content in the interior air.The vehicles are intended to operate in Austria, Germany, Italy and Switzerland, and there are options to add Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.‘Being awarded one of Europe’s largest passenger coach tenders shows that our Viaggios are the benchmark for modern long-distance transport’, said Siemens Mobility CEO Sabrina Soussan. ‘Viaggio passenger trains offer great flexibility across borders as well as state-of-the-art passenger comfort, combined with low maintenance costs and high operational availability.’last_img read more

Walker With Injured Ankle Rescued Off Knockendoch

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInAt 1.30pm  this afternoon, Wednesday 29 July 2020 Dumfries and Galloway Police Division requested the assistance of Moffat Mountain Rescue Team to rescue a walker who had hurt their ankle on Knockendoch which is part of Criffel Hill near New Abbey, Dumfries.12 team members from Moffat Mountain Rescue responded and made their way to the casualty site with first aid equipment and a stretcher. After an assessment at the scene by the teams’ Doctor, pain relief was administered while waiting for the rest of the team to bring a stretcher to the scene.The team transferred the casualty to a stretcher and carried the casualty off the hill using a back rope to protect the stretcher on steep ground to the teams Volkswagen ambulance.The casualty was taken to a waiting Scottish Ambulance Service ambulance and transferred to Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary.The team then cleaned down all the equipment used on the callout to eliminate and Covid risk prior to standing down.last_img read more

Time for Dominica’s 1st Olympic gold medal

first_imgLocalNewsSports Time for Dominica’s 1st Olympic gold medal by: – December 12, 2012 Tweet Share Share Sharing is caring!center_img Share Mr. Norris Prevost (file photo)The time has come for Dominica to capture its first Olympic gold medal, a Member of Parliament has said.Parliamentary representative for the Roseau Central constituency, Norris Prevost told athletes that capturing an Olympic gold medal at the 2016 games would make citizens extremely proud.“As the Dominica flag was raised at the 2012 Olympics in London, I recalled the pride which swelled the hearts of all Dominicans, when under the leadership of the United Workers Party government in 1996, Dominica participated in its first Olympic Games,” Mr. Prevost said at the Dominica Amateur Athletic Association’s (DAAA) award ceremony at the weekend.Mr. Prevost recalled making that similar call four years ago to athletes, teachers, coaches and other sports partners, “to share with the United Workers Party, that common Olympic vision”.That vision he explained is for the island to win its first Olympic gold medal at the 2016 games, which has been scheduled for Brazil.He believes that Dominica winning an Olympic goal medal should be a matter of national pride.“I wish to call on government to make sports one of Dominica’s top National priorities, and to invest the necessary resources in our athletes, coaches and athletic facilities”. Mr. Prevost also called on the government to “invest heavily in supporting and training” local athletes in the same fashion that Jamaica does.He further called on “government, coaches and our athletes, to borrow a page from the Jamaica model. Let’s make sports a matter of national pride; Grenada won its 1st Gold in 2012 Olympics, Dominica, let’s do it in 2016. I believe we can,” he noted.Dominica Vibes News 17 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

$2.54M water supply contract signed for Grand Savanne

first_img Share $2.54 million contract being signed by F & C Construction CompanyThe community of Grand Savanne, Salisbury will soon benefit from a $2.54 million water supply system.This, as the Dominica Water & Sewerage Company (DOWASCO) and F&C Construction Company signed the contract at the Financial Centre in Roseau on Wednesday, March 26, 2014.A 60,000 imperial gallons tank, reinforced concrete road to storage tank site 885ft x 9ft wide and associate pipe works will be undertaken as part of the project which will supply over five hundred families with pipe borne water for the first time.Over the last several decades Grand Savanne residents has been served sporadically by water created through an irrigation system for agriculture purposes.DOWASCO’s general manager, Bernard Ettinoffe who outlined the scope of work to be undertaken said the water supply will include the construction of 885 feet of road leading to the storage tank.“The project itself in the Grand Savanne area will cost 2.54 million dollars all of which is provided by the government of Dominica and we at DOWASCO are extremely pleased for that”.The Grand Savanne storage tank is the first of nine to be constructed across the country under Lot 3 of the $31 million West Coast Water Supply Project.Minister for Housing and Water Resource Management Reginald Austrie, told the signing ceremony that the commencement of the project demonstrates the “caring nature of government” in seeking to improve the lives of the people of Dominica.Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, Water Resource Minister Reginald Austrie and General Manager of DOWASCO Bernard Ettinoffe at Wednesday’s signing ceremony.Austrie noted that over $102 million has been spent on water projects thought out the island over the last five years.“Over the last five years where we have been experiencing probably the worst economic and financial crisis the world has ever seen, for any government in any part of the world to be able to invest 102 million dollars in what one may consider to be not a profitable or viable enterprise I consider it to be remarkable,” he said.Meanwhile, Prime Minister and Finance Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said the project, when completed, will be a blessing that will change the lives of the residents for the better.“No longer will they have to truck in water at prohibitive cost to meet their daily requirements, no longer will they have to dread the arrival of the dry season when the absence of rain imposed additional stress on them, no longer will they have to be worried about the risk of contracting water borne diseases by having to tap into untreated water intended to be used of irrigation purposes,” he said.Prime Minister Skerrit urged the contractor F & C Construction and DOWASCO to keep within the budget set for the project and to ensure that the quality of the work is up to the specifications in the contract.The project is expected to be completed within six months.The contract for a new water system for Belles worth 4.5 million dollars is expected to be signed soon.Eight other storage tanks across the island are expected to be constructed to the tune of 10 million dollars. Some of the areas include Clifton, Savanne Paille and Cottage.Dominica Vibes News Share Tweet LocalNews $2.54M water supply contract signed for Grand Savanne by: – March 26, 2014center_img Share Sharing is caring! 84 Views   2 commentslast_img read more