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Standstill Agreement Signed By Solicitors

Non-status quo agreements are a common instrument used in litigation where, for countless different reasons, complainants and defendants want to buy more time to avoid the (increasing) costs and troubles that come with taking legal action. However, despite their importance, they are often poorly worded, which may be due to the fact that they are generally sought and agreed only shortly before the statute of limitations expires. This has resulted in numerous satellite disputes, as un rage-free errors can cause a complainant to lose the opportunity to pursue his case and then point his anger and the lawyers freshly interned on those who have been detained before. Non-status quo contracts are often negotiated and concluded under the pressure of time, often because a client seeking advice at the eleventh hour. Despite this pressure, the recent decision of the High Court in (1) Exsus Travel Limited (2) Coronation Limited v (1) Baker Tilly (2) Baker Tilly Audit LLP [2016] EWHC 2818 (Ch) underscores the importance of clear development of status quo agreements. This is a case that was recently tried by the High Court. The two applicants had negligently filed an appeal against the defendant auditors for their audit for the year ended December 31, 2005. The parties agreed to enter into a status quo agreement and one was signed on November 31, 2011 (status quo agreement). Recital B of the status quo agreement provided that the Cowan case against Foreman (as executor) and other FD18F00079 is a questionable estate right when the wife of the deceased avails herself of her estate under the Inheritance (Commission for Family and Dependents) Act 1975. The property was estimated to be worth nearly $16 million at the time of death.

Under Section 4 of the 1975 Act, an application cannot be made after the six-month period from the date of the grant of the estate has expired, unless the Court has authorized it. Here, the right was issued almost 17 months after the 6-month period expired, but part of that 17 months was the subject of a status quo agreement. Last February, the judge, Justice Mostyn, told Cowan/Foreman (2019 WEHC 349 Fam) that he was setting out status quo agreements under inheritance legislation and calling for an end to their use.

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