Will Dispute Case Update – Dunhill v Burgin (2012) EWHC 3163

8 March, 2013
by: Cripps Pemberton Greenish
In Will dispute and other trust and estate cases the situation can arise where a settlement needs to be concluded on behalf of a “protected party”. A “protected party” is a person who lacks capacity to conduct Court proceedings.

In these situations, for any settlement to be binding, it must first be approved by the Court.

However, what happens if the fact that someone was in fact a protected party is only discovered after the settlement has been concluded?

This was considered in Dunhill v Burgin [2012] EWHC 3163 (QBD). In this case the High Court held that CPR 21.10, which requires court approval of a settlement of a claim by or on behalf of a protected party, applies even if, at the time of settlement, the claimant was not known to lack capacity.

This means that a settlement made without approval will be invalid if a claimant is subsequently accepted to have been without capacity.

See case summary attached.

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