News Essentials: 24th April 2017

A brief summary of the essential family law news and cases from the last two weeks:

Prisons and Courts Bill dropped
The Prisons and Courts Bill was today dropped ahead of the dissolution of Parliament as MPs prepare for June’s general election. Full story: Legal Futures.

Paid McKenzie Friends “play on uncertainty and victimhood” of separating fathers
‘Professional’ paid McKenzie Friends associated with fathers’ rights groups play on their “uncertainty and sense of victimhood” to attract business, academic research has found, saying that there needed to be a code of conduct and a greater role for law school clinics in their place. Full story: Legal Futures.

Child abuse victims 'let down by system' children's commissioner claims
Children who are the victims of child abuse are being let down by the system, with professionals often failing to pick up signs of abuse, England's children's commissioner has said. Full story: Children & Young People Now.

High degree of variation in adoption decision-making across country
Number of approved adopters has almost halved in last three years. Full story: Family Law Week.

Care applications in March 2017
In March 2017, Cafcass received a total of 1288 care applications.  This figure represents a 4.3% increase compared with those received in March 2016. Full story: Cafcass.

Cafcass private law demand
In March 2017, Cafcass received a total of 3,907 new private law cases. This is a 16% increase on March 2016 levels. Full story: Cafcass.

Judges reject US banker's claim to be a genius in divorce case
Randy Work must pay ex-wife Mandy Gray half of their fortune after the appeal court backs initial ruling that his contribution to the marriage was not exceptional. Full story: The Guardian. See Work v Gray, below.

Charlie Gard case: Doctors can withdraw baby's life support
Doctors can withdraw life support from a sick baby with a rare genetic condition against his parents' wishes, a High Court judge has ruled. Full story: BBC News.

Samantha Baldwin 'gave children drugs'
A mother who fled with her two sons drugged them with sedatives and made allegations of abuse against their father, a judge has said. Full story: BBC News.

B (Child), Re [2017] EWCA Civ 264 (12 April 2017)
Appeal by mother against dismissal of application for leave to oppose adoption. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

Work v Gray [2017] EWCA Civ 270 (11 April 2017)
Appeal by husband against decision that he and the wife were entitled to an equal share of the marital wealth, rejecting the husband's case that he had made a special financial contribution which justified an unequal division of that wealth in his favour. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

Giggs v Giggs [2017] EWHC 822 (Fam) (17 February 2017)
Application within financial remedy proceedings for exclusion of media and reporting restriction order. Full report: Bailii.

Chai v Peng & Ors [2017] EWHC 792 (Fam) (06 April 2017)
Final hearing of wife's application for financial remedies, in case involving a 'kitty' of £205 million. Full report: Bailii.

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