Many consumers ‘defaulting over billing and poor service’

An increasing number of consumers are defaulting on payments even though they have sufficient funds to cope, according to recent research.

A survey of 1,500 people carried out by Echo Managed Services found that 48% had withheld payments because of customer service or billing issues. Nearly 1 in 8 people had refused to pay an invoice because it was incorrect, 1 in 20 because the bill was difficult to understand and 1 in 20 because they had received poor service.

Less than 1 in 3 said failure to pay was due to lack of funds.

Court orders that abducted girl should be returned to her mother

A court has ordered that a nine-year-old girl who was abducted by her father should be returned to her mother.

The case involved an English father and a Polish mother who had separated after a long relationship.

Following a dispute over their daughter’s residence, the English court declared that the child had become habitually resident in Poland and that she should remain there in her mother's custody.

An order was made that the father should not remove her from her mother’s care.

Wife awarded share of husband’s business in divorce settlement

A wife has been awarded more than £1.5m in a divorce settlement that acknowledges her contribution to the marriage but protects the wealth her husband had accrued before they met.

The case involved a husband and wife, currently aged 83 and 67, who began cohabiting in 1998 and married in 2000.

At the time of the marriage, the husband owned two care homes and an investment property portfolio worth more than £11m. Throughout the marriage, the wife worked in the care home businesses.

Companies must now declare who owns or controls them

The regulation obliging companies to declare to Companies House who owns or controls them has now come into force.

The People with Significant Control register became operative on 30 June 2016. It includes information about the individuals who own or control companies including their name, month and year of birth, nationality, and details of their interest in the company.

Family amend trust to give rights to partners of gay descendants

A family has amended a trust to ensure that if any of their descendants are gay, their partners will have the same rights as heterosexual spouses.

The Pembertons have lived at Trumpington Hall in Cambridgeshire for three centuries. The hall has often been used for as a location for films and TV programmes such as Grantchester.

The family’s inheritance arrangements are governed by a longstanding trust dating back more than 200 years.

Agent awarded £500,000 damages in breach of contract case

An agent for a software company has been awarded nearly £500,000 in damages and commission following a breach of contract dispute.

The issue arose after the agent entered into an agreement to promote the company’s products. The company became dissatisfied with his work and gave him 90 days’ notice of termination in accordance with the agreement.

A few weeks later it terminated the agreement with immediate effect claiming the agent had failed in his duty to provide the required services because he had become involved with another company.