Nephew of legendary composer loses high court battle

Legal wrangle over Lionel Bart's Churchfield Road home

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Samuel Begleiter, nephew of the late composer Lionel Bart, has lost his high court battle over his legendary uncle's will. 

Mr Begleiter was disputing the clause in the will which stated "To my said nephew Samuel Begleiter, the right to occupy my house at 33 and 35a Churchfield Road, aforesaid for his lifetime should he so wish subject to his being responsible for the outgoings of the house during his period of occupation."

However, the adjoining flat, 33b Churchfield Road in which a long term tenant had been residing, was sold in May 2000 for £87,750.

Mr Begleiter was claiming £90,000 in damages for breach of trust, plus interest and costs stating that Mr Bart's executors cheated him out of a flat after his uncle gave him the right to live in his house after his death.

Mr Begleiter, who had already received £20,000 from his uncle's will and a share of the flat's sale proceeds, was sueing three executors for breach of trust.

His claim was dismissed by presiding judge, Sir Andrew Morritt, who ruled that the self-contained flat had never been part of Mr Bart's house, evident by the fact that Mr Bart had rented the flat while he was alive to his long-standing friend, Mark Jarvis.  He did however criticise the three executors for failing to consult Mr Begleiter about the sale but ordered that Mr Begleiter pay their court costs.

Long time Acton resident Lionel Bart was most renowned for this West End musical hit Oliver!.  He died of cancer aged 68 in April 1999.



January 24, 2006