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Liberty, compliance, and discipline in 2017

Jean-Yves Gilg predicts a busy year ahead for private client practitioners and for law firms generally as they adapt to the new competence regime

16 December 2016

Ongoing pressure on budgets and the reduction in cash in the system are likely to encourage litigation further in the private client sphere.

Just before Christmas, the Supreme Court heard the appeal in Ilott. The ruling, likely to be handed down in the first quarter of 2017, could extend the reach of the Inheritance Act. Melita Jackson’s estranged daughter, Heather Ilott, made a claim under the Act after being written out of her mother’s will. She won in the High Court and again in the Court of Appeal.

If the decision is upheld, it could widen the scope of the Act to claims based on needs rather than strict dependency. This would require clients to make their intentions much clearer and give explanations for their decisions if future claims are to be resisted.

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