News Update: 25th of June 2013

WELCOME to this week's Family Lore News Update.

Married couples to be offered tax breaks before the next election
Tax breaks worth up to £150 to married couples will be written into law by David Cameron before the next election, a Treasury minister has promised. Full story: The Telegraph.

Cumbria's child protection services described as inadequate
Child protection services in Cumbria have been described as "inadequate", by Ofsted inspectors. Full story: BBC News.

'Clare's Law': Police urge women to help identify domestic abusers, after low take-up of scheme
Nearly 100 men with a history of abuse have been unmasked during the scheme's pilot. Full story: The Independent.

Financial pressures during a recession 'does NOT lead to more break ups'
Marriages can ride out the recession and couples stick together despite the strains of economic hard times, a research report said today. Full story: Daily Mail.

Revealed: How UK justice is dispensed out of hours down the phone line
Investigation by ‘The Independent’ shows judges making life-or-death decisions away from the public gaze. Full story: The Independent.

PLO roll-out will not affect court bundle claims under Family Advocacy Scheme
Legal Aid Agency guidance released. Full story: Family Law Week.

Coleridge J offers guidance on approach to ‘lesser issues and assets’ in financial remedy cases
In B v B [2013] EWHC 1232 (Fam) [below] Mr Justice Coleridge has made remarks, approved by the President of the Family Division, which practitioners will need to keep in mind when dealing with what the judge described as 'the lesser issues and assets'. Full story: Family Law Week.

Britain’s biggest divorce battle nears end after seven years
Business leaders expected to give evidence in climax of tycoon Scot Young’s bitter dispute with ex-wife, Michelle. Full story: The Independent. See also this story on Family Law Week.

Family mediation video launched
The video has been created to explain to people who are separating or divorcing how mediation can help, for example in agreeing arrangements for their children and financial matters. Full story: Ministry of Justice.

Quarter of councils 'inadequate' under new Ofsted inspection regime
Judy Cooper finds out how councils are responding to Ofsted's 'tougher' inspections, as Community Care reveals a quarter have failed under the new regime. Full story: Community Care.

Doncaster brings in Impower to overhaul children's services
Doncaster Council has appointed consultants Impower and Penna to help it turn around its failing children’s services department. Full story: Children & Young People Now.

College publishes code of ethics for its social workers in England
The College of Social Work has published a code of ethics setting out the professional values and standards is expects its members to uphold. Full story: Community Care.

Family Justice Council fears impact of legal aid reforms on public law cases
Government plans to limit legal aid to those with a strong connection to the UK are unlikely to lead to a reduction of expense in family cases and could impact on the 26-week time limit for care proceedings, the Family Justice Council has warned. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

Divorce ‘costs £2,600 per year in expected retirement income
Divorce reduces average expected retirement income by around £2,600 or by as much as 16 per cent a year, according to new research from Prudential. Full story: Actuarial Post.

MP seeks to widen legal definition of neglect
An MP will today launch a bid to make the emotional and psychological neglect of children a crime. Full story: Children & Young People Now.

Mother sues lawyer for £15m over 'millions lost’ in divorce
A mother is suing her former solicitor for £15 million, claiming that his poor advice cost her millions of pounds in a divorce settlement. Full story: The Telegraph.

Visits to domestic violence charity website quadruple after Charles Saatchi assault
A domestic violence charity has seen visits to its website increase fourfold since Charles Saatchi was seen assaulting his wife, Nigella Lawson, in public. Full story: The Telegraph.

A (A Child) (Vulnerable Witness), Re [2013] EWHC 1694 (Fam) (17 June 2013)
Judgment relating to the giving of evidence by a vulnerable witness in private law children proceedings. Full report: Bailii.

Re T (Brussels II Revised:Art 15) [2013] EWCA (11 June 2013)
Appeal by mother against determination that proceedings should be continued in Slovakia. Appeal dismissed. Report: Family Law.

Re R (Inherent Probability of Mother Harming Baby) [2013] EWCA (12 June 2013)
Successful appeal by mother against finding that she was responsible for the injuries to the child. Report: Family Law.

Wyatt v Vince [2013] EWCA (13 June 2013)
Appeal by husband relating to the setting aside of an A v A order of £125,000 representing past and future legal fees. Report: Family Law.

B v B [2013] EWHC 1232 (Fam) (21 May 2013)
Financial remedies judgment dealing with issues relating essentially to achieving an agreed equal division of capital assets. Full report: Bailii. See also the news story, above.

L and M (Children), Re [2013] EWHC 1569 (Fam) (04 June 2013)
Re-trial of findings of fact hearing relating to the cause of injuries to a child. Full report: Bailii.

G and E (Children) (Vulnerable Witness), Re [2011] EWHC 4063 (Fam) (16 June 2011)
Ruling in preliminary application as to whether a child should give oral evidence in public law proceedings relating both to herself and her younger brother. Full report: Bailii.

Rule 25.1 and the President's Guidance in H-L - A 'necessary' evil?
Christopher Rank, barrister, of Cornwall Street Chambers considers expert evidence, rule 25.1 of the FPR and The President’s recent guidance in Re H-L (A Child). Full article: Family Law Week.

Technology creates 24/7 duty of care on lawyers to respond to clients
"Technology has transformed the way in which lawyers across the world conduct their work." Says David Hodson, in this article on Family Law.

Samantha Bangham’s Week in Cases 21 June 2013
Samantha Bangham looks at the week's case highlights. Full article: Family Law.

Children: Private Law update (May 2013)
Alex Verdan QC of 4 Paper Buildings considers three important recent judgments in Children private law proceedings. Full article: Family Law Week.

Prest v Petrodel Resources Limited 2013 UKSC 34 a victory for common sense
"In summary, the Supreme Court (comprising Lords Neuberger, Walker, Mance, Clarke, Wilson, Sumption and Lady Hale) has unanimously upheld the wife’s appeal and found that the Respondent group of companies held the assets on trust for the Husband. The assets therefore constitute property to which the husband is “entitled, either in possession or reversion” for the purposes of section 24(1)(a) MCA." Full article: Zenith Chambers.

The Supreme Court grasps the nettle in Prest v Petrodel Resources Ltd
“On 12th June 2013, the Supreme Court delivered judgment in the eagerly anticipated appeal in Prest v Petrodel Resources Limited [2013] UKSC 34. For the second time this year, the Supreme Court has had to grapple with the circumstances in which it is appropriate to pierce the corporate veil, the previous decision being that of VTB Capital plc v Nutritek International Corp [2013] 2 WLR 398 (a case in which a number of 11 SB members were involved). Unlike in VTB Capital, however, this time the Supreme Court grasped the nettle and gave some practical guidance as to the reach and limitations of the doctrine.” Full article: 11 Stone Buildings (PDF).

Rather thin on the ground this week, mainly because suesspiciousminds is away. Damn him.

Supreme Court considers conditions for removing child for adoption
Rosalind English examines the Supreme Court decision in In the matter of B (a child). Full post: UK Human Rights Blog.