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Early Neutral Evaluation of cohabitation and Inheritance Act disputes
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In Seals v Williams
 EWHC 1829 (Ch) concerning an Inheritance Act dispute Norris J noted 'An attempt at mediation has largely stalled because of the differing perceptions of the issues and of the strength of the respective arguments.'
Norris J commended the suggestion that the parties engage in judge-led Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) noting 'The process is particularly useful where the parties have very differing views of the prospect of success and perhaps an inadequate understanding of the risks of litigation itself.'
The court went on to find a jurisdictional basis for ordering ENE even if the parties did not consent (they did here) in CPR 3.1(m) which provides the court with the power 'to take any other step or make any other order for the purpose of managing the case and furthering the overriding objective'.From the 1 October 2015 rule 3.1(m) is to be amended
to make express provision for ENE providing power to 'take any other step or make any other order for the purpose of managing the case and furthering the overriding objective including hearing an Early...
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