April 2011 Archive

Inheritance rights of a cohabitee

The Law Commission has recommended that in certain circumstances, unmarried couples should have the same inheritance rights as spouses when a partner dies without making a will. Cohabitation is widespread and increasing. According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of cohabiting couples in England and Wales will increase from 2.3 million in 2008 to 3.8 million in 2033. Yet the Law Commission has suggested that cohabitants are among the people least likely to have a will, meaning that surviving cohabitants are often left with nothing.

Can an entire agreement clause succeed in excluding misrepresentation?

The case of AXA Sun Life Services Plc v Campbell Martin Limited and Others (2011) has served as a useful reminder that an entire agreement clause must be completely unambiguous if it is to succeed in excluding liability for misrepresentation. An entire agreement clause is a standard clause commonly found in a contract which seeks to prohibit the parties from relying on anything, such as representations or statements (and particularly those made during the course of the negotiation of the contract), apart from that which is expressly stipulated within the contract itself.

Loans to directors of private companies

Under the Companies Act 1985 (the “1985 Act”) all companies were prohibited from making loans to their own directors, directors of their holding companies or persons connected with such directors. Under the 2006 Act the general prohibition on making loans to directors was removed and all companies are now permitted to make loans to their own directors or to directors of their holding companies, provided that shareholder approval is obtained.
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