Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm



Simrun Garcha reports on the charitable status and disposal of assets of a now defunct religious sect

The High Court’s recent decision in Buckley v Barlow [2016] explored whether the assets of a religious organisation that had ceased to function by the middle of the 20th century should be applied in accordance with a cy-pres scheme for general charitable purposes or be treated as bona vacantia.

Simrun Garcha discusses the lessons from Routier on inheritance tax charity relief and jurisdiction

The Court of Appeal’s recent decision in P Routier and C A Venables v HMRC [2016] explores the inheritance tax relief exemption on gifts to charities and the conditions that apply in order to claim the relief.

Liz Braude gives the lowdown on the jurisdiction of the consistory courts, with reference to recent cases

Few practitioners have experience of the consistory court, an ecclesiastical court, which can trace its origins to the 11th century and the arrival of William I in England. While many functions of the ecclesiastical courts, such as probate and divorce, have moved to the civil courts, the consistory court retains jurisdiction in matters relating to church buildings and to consecrated land. Each diocese has its own consistory court which is presided over by a chancellor – a lawyer of at least seven years standing. Applications to the court are in the form of a petition.

Simrun Garcha provides a round-up of relevant Charity Commission decisions

The Charity Commission, as the sole, independent regulator of charities in England and Wales makes a plethora of formal decisions each year ranging from registering organisations as charities, opening statutory inquiries into existing charities, amending charities’ governing documents and considering requests to remove charities from the Register of Charities.

Simrun Garcha discusses the lessons from Goenka v Goenka [2014]

The High Court recently considered the constantly evolving area of law associated with inheritance claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (IPFDA 1975) in Goenka v Goenka [2014]. The case considers the correct approach a court should apply to a claim by a spouse under IPFDA 1975 and reinforces the factors a court will consider in determining whether reasonable financial provision has been made for a surviving spouse.

McCabe v McCabe [2015] reaffirms the legal test for testamentary capacity in Banks v Goodfellow [1875]. Simrun Garcha reports

The High Court’s recent decision in McCabe v McCabe [2015] reinforces the legal test for testamentary capacity established in the case of Banks v Goodfellow [1875] and is likely to be useful for both will drafters and contentious solicitors alike. The court explored in great detail (with the trial lasting 11 days and the judgment amounting to 171 pages) the issues surrounding testamentary capacity and it serves as a reminder that each case is to be decided on its individual facts and detailed investigations need to be undertaken to establish whether a testator had the requisite capacity to make a valid will.

Simrun Garcha discusses the implications of Credit Agricole Corporation and Investment Bank v Papadimitriou [2015]

The Privy Council’s recent decision in Credit Agricole and Investment Bank v Papadimitriou [2015], a case which concerned the fraudulent sale of a valuable collection of art-deco furniture, highlights the importance of financial institutions having stringent anti-money laundering procedures in place and ensuring they are able show the procedures followed and inquiries made in transactions are appropriate in circumstances where a third party brings an action against the institution for losses incurred.

Simrun Seehra analyses the impact of The Human Dignity Trust v The Charity Commission for England and Wales [2013]

The Charity Commission’s decision to refuse to register the Human Dignity Trust as a charity on the basis that its purposes were not exclusively charitable and the charity’s objects were ‘unclear or ambiguous’ resulted in much criticism of the Commission, including claims that ‘the Charity Commission doesn’t know what charity is’ (Geoffrey Robertson QC in The Guardian, 5 June 2014) and ‘the regulator’s decision making is deeply flawed’ (Philip Kirkpatrick in Third Sector, 24 July 2014).

Simrun Seehra looks at IHT exemptions on gifts to charity, with reference to Routier

Lawyers in the wills and estate planning field commonly advise their clients on the inheritance tax (IHT) relief to be gained if they leave gifts in their wills to charities. In accordance with English law, a gift to a charity is exempt from IHT if it is held on trust for charitable purposes. However, individuals should be made aware that in order to gain the exemption, certain conditions apply.

Simrun Seehra looks at recent case law on rectification of a deed of variation

It is a well-established principle under English law that a beneficiary may vary the effect of a will or the intestacy provisions by agreement in writing, provided that the variation is made within two years of the date of the deceased’s death. In accordance with s142(1), Inheritance Tax Act 1984 (IHTA), provided the conditions set out in this provision are met, the variations may be treated for inheritance tax purposes as if they were made by the deceased. The advantage of this is that it can result in a substantial inheritance tax saving, given that the variation is not itself taxable as a transfer of value.

Ian Burman discusses new HMRC guidance on the ownership of joint assets

While it is extremely unlikely that the happy couple will have HMRC in mind when they pledge a life together ‘for richer, for poorer’, they may certainly be poorer if they do not give some thought to the ownership of their joint assets, particularly if they expect to structure their ownership to maximise the opportunities available to a spouse or civil partner paying income tax at a rate lower than the other.

Tim Harrison sets out the current position on caveats

Lindley LJ said, at p216 of the Court of Appeal decision in Moran v Place [1896]:

Businesses are under increasing pressure to adopt international principles protecting workers’ rights, despite weaknesses in the law in individual countries, warns Keith Corkan

Increasingly, multinational companies are being reminded by their advisers, regulators, the media and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) about the importance of incorporating human rights policies into their domestic and international operations. This article will attempt to show how this is increasingly becoming a public issue for multinationals and their advisers, particularly in relation to international labour standards. In the US, in particular, the issue also has political and social ramifications.

Keith Corkan summarises the findings of Will Hutton’s interim report on public sector pay

In early December, Will Hutton, the former head of the Work Foundation, issued his interim report on pay in the public sector and whether pay multiples should be introduced that could be applied outside the public sector.