Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Family Law Journal: December 2016/January 2017

Lottie Tyler reviews how an adult child’s conduct can affect a claim brought under the Inheritance Act (Provision for Family and Dependants) 1975

The successful claims brought by independent, adult children under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (I(PFD)A 1975) can provoke strong reactions. It can be argued that a person should be free to leave their estate to whomever they choose, and if they have taken the time to make a will setting out their wishes it is unfair for those wishes to be undermined. Claims from independent, adult children under I(PFD)A 1975 attract further controversy as the applicant will not generally be in the position of losing an income or a home as a result of being excluded from the will, as is the case for an applicant who was financially dependent on the deceased. Equally, if an adult child was estranged from, or had an acrimonious relationship with, the deceased parent, it is objectively difficult to understand their sense of entitlement to a share of the estate. But, to quote Niccolo Machiavelli, sometimes it may be the case that:

Graeme Fraser and Rakesh Kapila look at when it is necessary and proportionate to instruct a forensic accountant in financial proceedings

Changes relating to the use of expert evidence in family proceedings mean that the instruction of forensic accountants in financial proceedings requires technical precision and an appropriate understanding of case law, together with the procedural rules and guidance. By reference to a practical worked example, this article examines how family law practitioners and forensic accountants should operate to ensure that the appropriate evidence can be obtained.

Withers LLP

Rita Ku and Philippa Hewitt outline family law in China, and cross-border issues with Hong Kong, in the context of the rapid growth in Chinese high-net-worth divorces

The papers are buzzing with the news of the latest divorce settlement among the ultra-rich in China. This time it is the country’s most affluent couple under the age of 40 who, according to the Hurun report, which tracks wealth among the country’s super rich, have shared assets of 23bn yuan (£2.6bn). According to the Shanghai Securities News (which is run by the official Xinhua News Agency) this could be the country’s most expensive divorce case as the value of the equity transfer will reach 7bn yuan.

Anne-Marie Hutchinson and Shabina Begum consider mandatory reporting duties, legislation and the development of the case law in relation to female genital mutilation

According to the NHS statistics in England there were 1,242 newly recorded cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) between January and March 2016 (see www.legalease.co.uk/fgm). The statistics include 11 girls who were born in the UK, and 2% of the new cases related to girls under the age of 18.

Peter Steen and Robert Hines examine firewall legislation and the tension between legal fairness and economic expediency

Asset protection, rather than legitimate tax mitigation, has become the principal driver for offshore asset structuring in recent decades. The choice of one particular jurisdiction over another for a would-be settlor can often be determined, or heavily influenced, by the relative robustness of the asset protection regime in the chosen jurisdiction. The economic imperative of supporting their highly lucrative fiduciary and financial service industries has led various offshore jurisdictions to introduce ‘firewall legislation’ to limit the extent to which foreign courts can interfere in the governance and administration of trusts and associated corporate vehicles governed by local offshore law.

Gordon Dadds

Lara Myers highlights the implications of Brexit and the potential impact on jurisdiction issues in family proceedings

Given the increasingly international nature of families, the implications of the leave vote in the EU referendum in June 2016 are particularly relevant within the realms of family law. This article examines the potential impact of the UK’s decision to leave the EU on issuing divorce proceedings, child abduction and maintenance enforcement.

Rachel Nicholl revisits the impact of Vince v Wyatt and guidance on applications to strike out in family proceedings

An application to strike out a statement of case remains rare in family proceedings. Such applications are far more common and widely used in civil cases under the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR 1998). The family courts have the power to strike out a statement of case pursuant to r4.4, Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010). When the FPR 2010 came into force on 6 April 2011, this was just one of the new case management powers adopted from the CPR 1998. This article will address the key provisions of the FPR 2010 as to strike out applications, what to consider when making an application under r4.4, FPR 2010, and case law examples of how the family courts have approached their powers of strike out.