A search order, made pursuant to section 7 of the Civil Procedure Act 1997 and CPR Part 25, is one of the most draconian orders the English civil courts can make. No Respondent really wants a search team to enter their premises but because of Covid -19 the search team is even less welcome than usual.
It is not uncommon in claims involving trusts and estates for one or more of the parties to be a child or other protected party. This is particularly true of claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and in cases involving trusts with minor beneficiaries. The procedures for litigation by or on behalf of a protected party are covered by Part 21 of the Civil Procedure Rules.
Solicitors and barristers owe a duty to their clients to act with reasonable care and skill at all times, not least when conducting settlement negotiations and providing advice on settlement. With the majority of claims settling outside of court, common complaints of negligence in this area include giving incorrect or negligent advice about settlement offers, failing to properly assess the value of the claim or advising a client to “under settle” a claim.
Legacy disputes are on the rise and may present a significant threat to the principle of testamentary freedom. High-net-worth family advisors should therefore be alive to the risk of a legacy dispute and, where possible, ensure appropriate steps are taken to lessen the likelihood of a successful claim.