Nathan Wells appeared for the Defendants in a claim to propound an alleged will by oral evidence. The claim was dismissed.
Hedley Marten (Richard Hedley Westwood Marten), until very recently Head of these Chambers, died on Wednesday 18th September 2013 aged just 70. He was much loved and respected by his friends and professional colleagues within and beyond these Chambers as well as by his immediate family, of whom he was so very proud. Hedley was born on 24th January 1943. He was educated at Winchester and Magdalene College Cambridge (MA). He was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn in 1966 and became a bencher of the Inn in 2000. He practised at the Chancery Bar from 1968 to 2012, initially at 3 New Square, Lincoln’s Inn, once the Chambers of Sir Cyril (later Lord) Radcliffe, from which connection the present name of our Chambers was derived. He himself became Head of those Chambers in 1996. In 2001 he and the majority of his colleagues from 3 New Square joined 11 New Square, then the Chambers of Sonia Proudman QC, whom he succeeded as Head of Chambers. He saw through the merger of those chambers with 11 Old Square, then the Chambers of Malcolm Waters QC, to form our present Chambers. He was the unanimous choice of the members to become the Head of these Chambers after the initial year of sharing the position with Malcolm. He remained Head until his illness compelled his premature and (by us) deeply regretted retirement from Chambers and practice at the Bar. Those of us who had the privilege of being in Chambers with him have many reasons to remember his kindness and light touch as Head of Chambers and as a much respected leading member of the Junior Chancery Bar. He wore his considerable learning so lightly that, when asked to give the benefit of that by one less knowledgeable,he would do so in such a kind and modest way as to suggest that the question asked of him was not one asked by one having a lesser intelligence and learning than himself. It was not for nothing that he was reported in Chambers Guide “as having a reputation as good as any silk”; it was not just his reputation, it was the truth. The same Guide reported that Hedley’s peers described him as “a forceful advocate who leaves his opponents prey to the liveliest apprehensions when they encounter him”, and this of a man whose personal charm to his opponents as well as to his clients was renowned. He had a client list and case record of considerable quality and was particularly respected in contested probate matters. He co-authored the useful and readable book Contentious Probate Claims. He was a member and past president of that club for select lawyers, The Institute. But it would be quite wrong to remember Hedley only in respect of his contributions to his Chambers and the Bar. He was at the Bar to earn a living; the Bar was not his life. He was a man with, as they used to say of some politicians, a wide hinterland. His knowledge and appreciation of the arts, particularly music, was immense. He was himself a gifted pianist and organist. He was also a keen and competent cricketer (he played for the Butterflies Cricket Club and indeed played a creditable innings in a game into which he was inveigled by a member of these Chambers only a couple of years ago), a tennis player (he was still playing until the injury which resulted in his illness) and enjoyed alpine walking. He was a lover of Italy and of Romanesque architecture. He was an altogether civilised man. He was devoted to his children and grandchildren. He was a generous and loyal friend. Above all, he was such fun. He will be greatly missed by so many. A Memorial Service is to be held in Lincoln’s Inn Chapel on Tuesday 14th January 2014 at 5pm. There will be a reception in the Old Hall afterwards.
The Appellant appealed against part of the decision of DJ Hart giving summary judgment against the entirety of his claim. Ed Hicks represented the Respondents in their application before DJ Hart and in defending the appeal before HHJ Baucher. The Appellant’s appeal failed in its entirety. The case related to a building in Mayfair divided into two units; a maisonette situated on part of the ground and the upper floors and a “showroom” situated on part of the ground floor and in the basement. Both units had been let on 999 year leases in 1995. The Respondents were assignees of the lease of the upper maisonette. When the maisonette was originally let the upper floors comprised the first, second and third floor, above which was the roof. The Lease of the maisonette provided that the demise was “all that maisonette situate on part of the Ground, First, Second and Third Floor of [the building] . . . which flat shall be deemed to include . . . the roof thereof”. In an agreement for lease pre-dating the demise, the freeholder had given the Respondents’ predecessor in title consent to construct a new opening from the third floor to the roof for the purpose of constructing a roof terrace. In 2000-2001 the Respondents’ predecessor in title had constructed what was in essence a loft extension with a roof terrace to form a new fourth floor.