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The deceased had effectively divided his estate into two fiduciary corporations, primarily for tax reasons, for the benefit of the applicant and his grandchildren, but the applicant subsequently challenged the manner in which the agents exercised their discretion and attempted to assert a right under the law. A status quo agreement was reached on December 7, 2017 (approximately six months after the deadline expired) which expired on May 1, 2018. Mostyn J did not comply with the moratorium period and investigated the 13-month delay. He said: “I was told it was “practical” to conclude such a silent agreement. If this is a common practice, I suggest that it is a practice that should cease immediately. It is not connoisseurs who are in court. If the parties wish to agree on a moratorium for negotiations, the request should be issued in due course and then ask the court to suspend the proceedings during negotiations. For the rest, as I said in the argument, it is simply to get angry at the clear parliamentary intent. The applicant filed an application under the Estates Act 1975, but the application was filed 17 months after the expiry of the authorized period (6 months from the date of grant of the estate). The applicant referred to a stage agreement between the parties, which was to allow the investigation to continue. The application was rejected and the parties` approach was initially criticized by Mostyn J, he stressed, that “the practice of status quo agreements must be completed immediately” because “it is not up to the parties to be part of the tribunal” to give time.

The first case, in February 2019, was Cowan v Foreman. In that case, Mr. Justice Mostyn of the High Court ordered that the power to extend the time limit under the 1975 Act be exercised in a “robust” manner and refused to authorize an extension of approximately 17 months, even though a status quo agreement had been reached between the parties. He ordered that the “common practice” of using status quo agreements be “immediately” because “it is not for the parties to give to the Court.” Instead, he ordered the parties to initiate legal proceedings and obtain the Court`s approval to suspend the proceedings during negotiations.