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Fraudulent calumny: poison in the ear

Date:6 JAN 2020

Fraudulent calumny is a mouthful. It is therefore all the more surprising when I hear it come out of the mouths of lay clients when I first speak to them. Three years ago “fraudulent calumny” was at the back of practitioners’ minds; I certainly would not have heard it from clients. We may have been talking about similar facts but those discussions would always have been about undue influence and pressure on the testator (usually to the caller’s detriment). Recently however something has changed and we have seen a real growth in discussions around fraud in the creation of wills.

So why the upturn? One answer may be some recent press interest in cases coming out of the Rolls Building in London – both Rea v Rea and Re Lech received media coverage and garnered a high number of (largely inaccurate and at times objectively horrifying) comments from readers.

But any publicity is good publicity (so they say) so let’s discuss the story behind the headlines – and that lesser spotted claim fraudulent calumny.

What is it?

Fraudulent calumny is a ground (alongside a lack...

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