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A DISPUTED WILL. I
ESTATE OF THE LATE MR. ROBERT
THE UNIVERSITY INVOLVED.
THE CASE SETTLED.
A COMPROMISE EFFECTED.
The hearing of the case arising oat of the dispute in connection with the will of the late Mr. Robert Dixson, formerly of Vic- toria, but late of Churoh-roud, Burgess Hill, London, tobacco manufacturer, was resumed in the Banco Court yesterday, "before Mr. Justice Holroyd, without a jury. The tes- tator left the bulk of his estate, which amounted to £40,000, to the Melbourne Uni- versity for the purpose of founding " Dixson Scholarships," only providing Borne £9,000 for his family, who sought to upset the will on the ground 06 testamentary incapacity.
Mr. Purves, Q.C., und Mr. Topp appeared in support of the will, and Mr. Isaacs and Mr. Coldham for the caveators.
AVlien the Court opened,
Mr. PUKVKS said,-Alay it please j'our Honour,-I have to ask your Honour for another concession in the nature of an adjournment. I do not want to take your Honour by surprise. The application is not for counsel's convenience on this occasion. AVe do, however, desire au adjournment. I see your Honour feels some relief nlready. (Laughter.) It is not an adjournment over the vacation, as at one time seemed probable, but simply an adjournment until 2 o'clock. The parties have agreed to take a certain course-a wiso course, I think, tor both aides -but the necessary details have not been arrived at. , During the adjournment these details will bo arranged.
Mr. ISAACS said thut Mr, Purves had repre- sented the present position of affairs, and there was no doubt the details would be arranged during the adjournment.
Mr. PuiiVES suggested that ' perhaps an adjournment until 12 o'clock would meet the
The Court thereupon adjourned until 12
AVhen the Court reassembled,
Mr. PeniVES said,-May it please your nonour,-Counsel on cither Bide have now met and considered the settlement from their several points ot view, and they have arrived at a decision as to what they think is wise and equitable-as to what Bhould be done in this case with a view of terminating these proceedings. Your Honour will have observed that there aro many doubts and difficulties which render this case somewhat unique in the history of these courts at any rate, and that it ia a case of such enormous bulk that there would seem, so far as I can judge, praoticully no end to it in any reason- able time. The University, as a public body, recognise that in a matter of this kind they should not press to the utmost for their legal claims ¡ and I apprehend that my learned friend (Mr. Isaacs), who appears for the family of this unfortunate gentleman, sees there are very good reasons why the Univer- sity should yield to some extent. The terms of the settlement as agreed to between the parties are as follows :
Probate to be granted.
The costa of both sides as between solicitor and client (including shorthand writer) to be paid out of tiie catate.
On the lollowing conditions :
Settlement of Februurj', 1890, to stand good.
Ilulf of the estate, after payment or securing of the £9,000 and the costa of the suit and compromise, togo the University of
Melbourne on trusts of will.
The other half to go equally between Mrs. Ruth Dixson, Hugh Robert Dixson, Miss Lilian Helen Dixson, and AValter Herbert
The caveators to have the option of purchasing one or both of the businesses at a valuation to bo arrived at by arbitration under the provisions of tho Supreme Court Act if the pasties cannot otherwise agree.
Deeds to bo executed embodying the above
In case of difference as to form of deed the same to be settled by chief clerk.
The matter of oosts is in the discretion of the Court, but I apprehend, from your Honour's experience of this case, you will permit us to suggest for your guidance the terms with regard to the costa.
His noNOUit.-I muy be permitted to saj', perhaps, that the parties on both sides have come to a very wise resolution. I am, at the present time, sufficiently seized of the ease to be aware that there would have been a great deal to be urged on both sides, and it was exceedingly doubtful what the decision might have been. At the aame time it is very desirable for all parties that the history of this gentleman's household should not be enteied into more deeply than is absolutely necessarj'. I congratulate the parties on having come to their present decision.
Mr. ISAACS.-The arrangement arrived at is good for all parties, with the exception, perhaps, of the legal gentlemen employed in the case. (Laughter.) There are a number of facts vvhioh your Honour has anticipated, and which should not be dragged forth into the light and exhibited publicly. AVo felt there was only one thing absolutely certain about the Case, and that was there would have been many thousands of pounds of extra costs incurred if the case had gone on, and the course now decided on is the only just and equitable course under the circum-
Judgment was then given on the terms agreed on between the parties.