In Cowan v Foreman  EWHC 349 (Fam), Mr Justice Mostyn held that a widow could not bring a claim for financial provision from her husband’s £16m estate because she was out of time.
Richard Kershaw, Partner at Hunters, commented:
“A High Court Judge has told a widow that she cannot make a claim for financial provision from her husband’s estate because she was too late starting court proceedings. The Judge – who sits in the Family Division of the High Court – is well known for his robust comments and shaping of the law. He has made it clear that agreements between lawyers to, effectively, waive the 6 month deadline for starting such claims, must stop, saying ‘I suggest that it is a practice that should come to an immediate end. It is not for the parties to give away time that belongs to the court…the claim should be issued in time and then the court invited to stay the proceedings while the negotiations are pursued.’
“Mr Justice Mostyn’s comments in Cowan v Foreman  EWHC 349 (Fam) will cause concern and a lot of urgent reviewing of files by lawyers over the next few days as they consider approaching limitation deadlines, and is likely to see a sharp uptick in claims being issued.”
Read the full article in New Law Journal here.