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Value judgment: Suggitt v Suggitt

Any challenge to an evaluation as to ‘reasonable’ financial provision is likely to be very difficult to sustain on appeal, says Joseph Goldsmith

6 September 2012

The Court of Appeal’s decision in Ilott v Mitson [2011] EWCA Civ 346 indicated how difficult it is to bring a successful appeal in a claim for reasonable financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

Even though the award at first instance was at the top end of what many practitioners considered to be reasonable financial provision for the claimant, the Court of Appeal held that an appellate court should not interfere in the value judgment made by the trial judge unless ‘plainly wrong’.

In the recent case of Suggitt v Suggitt [2012] EWCA Civ 1140, the Court of Appeal has indicated that it will be equally difficult to overturn on appeal decisions of a trial judge as to whether or not there has been detrimental reliance upon an assurance sufficient to give rise to a claim in proprietary estoppel.

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