Connie Yates and Chris Gard, the parents of Charlie Gard who died last year, have won the backing of prominent doctors and peers to change the law to give parents more rights over what happens to sick children. Lord Mackay of Clashfern yesterday tabled an amendment to the Mental Capacity Bill that would give parents the power to move their children to a different hospital if they disagree with doctors and would compel hospitals to offer mediation with parents to resolve disputes before resorting to courts.

Daily Mail, Page: 13

Posted 06/09/2018

Shree Ladwa, an unemployed law graduate, has won half of the £1.7m home she lived in with her ex-girlfriend Beverley Chapman after claiming to have played the role of a “housewife” during the relationship. Ruling on the case, Judge Stephen Murch found that it was their “common intention” on buying the house that it would be jointly owned, rejecting Ms Chapman’s claim that she only transferred the house into joint names because of Ms Ladwa’s “undue influence”. The ruling means Ms Ladwa is entitled to a half share of the house and does not have to return a number of expensive gifts received during the 16-year relationship.

The Daily Telegraph The Times Evening Standard The Sun, Page: 26

Posted 14/08/2018


Campaigners have claimed male victims of psychological abuse may be ignored by police because of “unconscious bias”. Since a law against engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour was introduced in 2015, 272 people have been charged with the offence. Of these, just four were women. The ManKind Initiative, a helpline for male victims of domestic abuse, helped to campaign for the introduction of the law, but fears police think it is a problem faced only by women.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 2 Daily Mail, Page: 15

Posted 13/08/2018

A High Court judge has ruled that an estranged couple’s Islamic faith marriage falls under British matrimonial law meaning the wife will be able to bring her case to the divorce court and claim her share of the assets of her marriage. Nasreen Akhter wanted to divorce Mohammed Shabaz Khan, her husband of 20 years, but he blocked it, arguing that the couple were not married under English law. Hazel Wright, a partner in the family law team at Hunters Solicitors said the ruling meant “those who would have been outside the scope of the law to help them can seek compensation in the courts if their spouse has deliberately refused to have a civil ceremony after a religious ceremony.”

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 5 The Guardian, Page: 7

Posted 02/08/2018


Members of the First Wives Club – divorcees who claim their husbands cheated them out of a fair divorce settlement by refusing to disclose their true wealth – are launching legal bids for justice. One divorcee is seeking perjury charges against three associates of her ex-husband, claiming they lied in court about his assets. Separately, another divorcee is demanding that the CPS bring charges against her former husband whom she has accused of aggressively refusing to fully disclose his assets. The women claim family court judges are overlooking the lies to drive through cases quickly.

The Sunday Telegraph, Page: 7

Posted 08/07/2018

A heterosexual couple have won their legal bid for the right to have a civil partnership instead of a marriage. The Supreme Court agreed that the Civil Partnership Act 2004 – which only applies to same-sex couples – is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. The appeal was brought by Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan who said they had “deep-rooted ideological objections to marriage” because it was “historically hetero-normative and patriarchal”. The verdict could have a significant impact on the government’s pension costs and tax income, as civil partners are entitled to the same legal treatment in terms of tax, inheritance and pensions as in marriage.

The Times, Page: 4 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 13 The Guardian, Page: 3 Financial Times, Page: 2 The Sun, Page: 26 Daily Express, Page: 12 The Independent, Page: 19

Posted 28/06/2018


New analysis shows that fathers are increasingly seeking access to their children, leading to a rise in court disputes over their rights to participate in the care of their children. Sir Andrew McFarlane, incoming president of the High Court family division, described the volume of cases as “wholly untenable”, while also warning about parents seeking a private order, which have to be dealt with “by the same cohort of judges who are coping with the increased public law workload”. Family solicitor Sarah Wood-Heath, of Wilsons, which analysed the figures, commented: “More disputes over access to children is something of an unexpected side-effect of the trend towards more men taking responsibility for the care of their children. With many fathers feeling they should be playing an important role in the upbringing of their children, we are seeing more cases go to court.”

The Times, Page: 14

Posted 25/06/2018

The head of the High Court’s Family Division has predicted divorce cases and child custody battles will be dealt with virtually within four years. Sir James Munby, who is due to retire in July, said: “We will at last have escaped from a court system still in too large part moored in the world of Dickens”. The proposals are part of plans to modernise the courts which are due to be implemented by March 2022.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 10

Posted 16/05/2018

Katharine Landells, a partner in Withers’ Family team, writes in the Independent on Sunday that the BBC legal drama, The Split, portrays divorce proceedings as inevitably antagonistic and risks negatively impacting on people’s perception of the process. Ms Landells says it would be more productive if the programme highlighted how divorce lawyers are “accomplished strategists” and illustrated how they are working within a “broken system that is strewn with obstacles imposed by outdated legislation.”

Independent on Sunday

Posted 06/05/2018