The president of the Family Division of the English High Court Sir James Munby has called for legislation which is the equivalent of the De Facto Relationships Act (NSW). This has been in place in New South Wales since 1984.

The essential problem, Munby said, ‘is that women whose wealthy partners have refused to marry them may have been in lengthy relationships, and made the same career and financial sacrifices to look after children, that married women have made’. The need for legislation has been recognised by English judges since 1973 – which only goes to show that our law moves slowly.

James Bowers, London