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Bloomsburry Family law


Problems in assessing mental capacity

For legal practitioners, determining client capacity is an essential process to protect and enable a client to live as independent a life as possible. However, where there should be cooperation between the legal and medical profession, there is often a gap in understanding in mental capacity assessment. Dr Amrit Singh, a consultant psychiatrist, describes the medical approach, in particular, how different illnesses and conditions might affect a client’s decision-making abilities.

R v Chapman

Sentencing - Public Order - Violent disorder - Copycat riot - Large number of youths - Stones thrown at police - Riot lasted for four hours - Appellant actively involved for 15 minutes - Three years’ detention not manifestly excessive - Public Order Act 1986, s 2

Ralph Hume Garry (a firm) v Gwillim

Costs-Solicitors - Gross sum bill for contentious work - Client solicitor claimed that fee notes rendered monthly for professional services by his solicitors were not bills bona fide complying with Solicitors Act 1974 because they did not give adequate description of the work done - Client failed to show that there was no sufficient narrative in bills to identify what he was being charged for and that he did not have sufficient knowledge from other documents or from what he had been told reasonably to decide whether or not to apply for taxation - Bills were bills bona fide complying with Act - Solicitors Act 1974, ss 64, 69

Fair access to care services

The Department of Health has published the final version of its guidance for councils managing access to care services, in the hope that it will remedy the national variations that have been experienced to date. In this article, Caroline Bielanska, solicitor, TEP and freelance consultant, examines the latest guidelines and assesses how far they will solve the problems in care service funding and distribution.

The assessment of quantum in Inheritance Act claims

The position of the surviving spouse in relation to Inheritance Act claims can be tricky and there has been some debate as to how to best proceed in deciding the amount that should be awarded following the death of a partner. Sidney Ross, a barrister at 11 Stone Buildings, continues his two-part article to consider surviving spouse cases that have passed through the courts since White v White.