Head of 3PB's Family Law Group Hamish Dunlop draws conclusions from The Blue Cross and others v. Heather Ilot [[2017] UKSC 17]

Head of 3PB’s Family Law Group Hamish Dunlop draws conclusions from The Blue Cross and others v. Heather Ilot [[2017] UKSC 17]

On 15th March 2017, the Supreme Court gave judgment in the appeal of The Blue Cross and others –v- Heather Ilot [[2017] UKSC 17].  The case concerns Mrs Ilot’s application brought under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (‘the Act’).

Although the Act is now over 40 years old, it has never received substantive review by the most senior Court in the country.  This appeal has therefore been eagerly awaited by practitioners in the expectation of guidance in particular in relation to: managing the frequent tension between a Claimant’s needs and the testator’s wishes; and the definitions of reasonable financial provision and maintenance under the Act.

The case concerns the class of Claimant whose dependency arises in a context of being other than a spouse or civil partner.  It obviously remains to be seen whether the Court will now find an opportunity to review the law in cases involving a spouse as Claimant.  In the meantime, this case provides specific assistance in relation to ‘non-spouse’ cases and some general jurisprudence in relation to all claims under the Act.

To read Hamish’s analysis, please click here.