Hylton-Potts Law Blog

Legal Issues and Opinions affecting people from across the UK


Are “No Fault” Divorces a Step Closer?

 The question of whether the UK should change the fault based system for filing for divorce is one that has raised its head on numerous occasions, but a campaign launched by one of the UK’s most prominent divorce lawyers could lead to it becoming a reality.
Ayesha Vardag has picked up the nickname “Diva of the Divorce Courts,” having represented numerous celebrities, footballers and even members of the Royal Family in some of the most high-profile divorce cases. Earlier this year, she represented Pauline Chai, the former Malaysian beauty queen, and helped her secure a £64 million settlement in her divorce

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Benefits Claimant Facing Fraud Charges – After he’d paid the money back!

We recently discussed the shocking case of senior officers in a number of councils across London who had masterminded a £1 million fraud by inventing a host of bogus claimants, used forged identity documents to set up bogus bank accounts and then siphoned off the money for themselves.
The matter was referred to Southwark Crown Court, and we will keep a close eye on proceedings and provide an update on sentencing when we hear more.
In the meantime, it is interesting to note that while officers who steal millions from within the system await their day in court, a man who tried

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Council Workers Masterminded £1 Million Fraud

The media is never shy when it comes to publishing sensationalist articles about individuals playing the system to claim more benefits that their entitlements allow. Typically, they are shown as criminal fraudsters who are too lazy to make a living and are trying to live off the hard work of others.
In most cases, the real story behind the headlines is quite different and has nothing to do with greed or criminal masterminds. The people are typically everyday individuals who have been pushed into desperate measures in order to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. Their

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Divorce: Is a Court Order Set in Stone?

This week, we will take a look at a court case that could have serious implications for anyone who is going through a divorce, or, even more crucially, who has been through one and assumes that with the court case over and the consent order issued, everything is agreed and can be put into the past.
Background
In Birch versus Birch, the divorcing couple agreed the terms of their financial settlement under a Consent Order that was issued in July 2010. The agreement went something like this: The wife wished to remain, along with the two children, aged 8 and 10, in

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What’s Best for the Children When a Marriage Breaks Up?

Separation and divorce is a horrendous experience for everyone involved. Whoever is at fault, whatever the background, it is something that inevitably causes heartache and sleepless nights for all involved. No wonder it is second only to the death of a loved one in the official rankings of the most stressful life events you can go through.
If there are kids in the mix, then the stress and trauma is ramped up a notch. The interesting thing is that the question at the top of this article is always stated as being at the top of everyone’s agenda, and even in

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Government Delays in Acting on Pension Scams

Back in September of 2016, Phillip Hammond announced a government initiative to ban cold calling to sell pension products in the wake of victims being defrauded to the tune of £43 million by scam artists.
Almost a year on, the government is still discussing the finer points of bringing the plan into action, and has been broadly criticised for the snail-like nature of implementation, amid concerns that cold calling might still continue till 2020. Meanwhile, more innocent pension holders are being defrauded every day.
A continuing problem
Over the past three months, an astonishing 1.8 million people have been targeted, and around £5

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Estranged Daughter Gains Share of Late Father’s Estate

The dangers of concluding that estranged children will have no claim against a deceased person’s estate was highlighted in a recent case in Leeds County Court, in which the daughter of a man who had been estranged from her for many years successfully brought a claim for a share of his estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975, alleging that ‘reasonable financial provision’ had not been made for her in his will.
The man’s children had had no contact with him for many years. In a note he left for his Executor, he justified his failure to

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Breaching Your Employer’s Confidentiality Can Lead to Imprisonment

Sharing confidential information with those outside their workplace can have serious consequences for employees, but many will be surprised to learn from one High Court case that such behaviour can even lead to imprisonment.
The case concerned a cleaning company that had lost a major contract to a rival. As a result, many of those who had serviced the contract on behalf of the company had their employment transferred to the competitor under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006. (TUPE).
The company was also competing with its rival in respect of other contracts and was concerned that its former

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‘Sham’ Redundancy

It is common for employers to cite redundancy in order to get rid of workers they do not like and when cases of this nature come before an Employment Tribunal (ET), its job is to find out where the truth lies. In Billig v Gardline, an Employment Tribunal found that a supposed redundancy was nothing more than a sham.
Mrs. Billig had worked for the company for some years and there had never been any complaints about her work. However, a personality clash developed after a man with whom she had a difficult relationship was promoted to head of her department.

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Skulduggery in Divorce Proceedings

Resorting to skulduggery in divorce proceedings is common but almost never does either side any good. That was certainly so in one case in which a man surreptitiously took documents from his ex-wife’s home and sought – unsuccessfully – to rely on them in court.
During their five-year marriage, the couple had lived largely on income from a family trust of which the wife was a beneficiary. After their divorce, it was agreed between them that the husband would receive a total of £68,000 and a car, in full and final settlement.
Some years after the end of the marriage, the husband

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