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Court of Appeal refuse permission to appeal in Clitheroe v Bond [2021] EWHC 1102 (Ch) and [2022] EWHC 2203 (Ch)

On 6 October 2022 the Court of Appeal refused permission to appeal the decisions of Mrs Justice Falk in Clitheroe v Bond [2021] EWHC 1102 (Ch) and [2022] EWHC 2203 (Ch) in which she upheld the trial court’s findings that Jean Clitheroe’s 2010 and 2013 wills were invalid by reason of insane delusions.

The Court of Appeal will therefore not (at least in this case) be reviewing the line of High Court authority culminating in the analysis of Falk J in her first judgment that the Banks v Goodfellow test remains good law as the touchstone for testamentary capacity and has not been replaced by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Falk J’s analysis of the test for insane delusions in the context of testamentary capacity and her holistic approach to the assessment of evidence in establishing insane delusions stand as the most comprehensive modern authority on the point.

Similarly, the Banks v Goodfellow approach to causation applied by Falk J in the second judgment, by which the propounder of a will of a testator suffering from insane delusions has the burden of proving that the delusions did not influence the will, stands. Thomas Dumont KC and Edward Hicks acted for the successful respondent.