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Property can be transferred from one person to another in different ways, one of which is through a trust. Trust is a concept by which one person (called “the trustee”) is nominated by another person (called “the settlor”) to hold the legal title in his property for the benefit of some other person (called “the beneficiary”)[1]. Thus, the settlor gives his property to the trustee to hold or apply it for the benefit of the beneficiary. A trust must be completely constituted in order for the court to give effect to it i.e., enforceable. This means that all the necessary elements must be present and all conditions met in order for a trust to be properly established.[2] There are two ways of creating a trust: inter vivos trust (living trust) and trust post mortem (testamentary trust). Living trust is one that is created by a settlor to take effect during the lifetime or after the death of that settlor. It can be created in a manner so that the settlor is at liberty to make changes to the instrument up until the time of his/her demise, or it can be made irrevocable so that the settlor cannot change the terms or cancel...

The Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) [1] (the “Act”) defines a domestic worker as “a person who is not a member of the family of a person who employs him or her as a househelp”. In effect, a person who is employed to perform domestic chores in any home or domestic setting, do informal work in the home, provide assistance in petty commercial activity, security services and gardening, child minding and food preparation qualifies as a domestic worker where the person in question is not a family member of the employer.[2] Beyond defining who a domestic worker is, Act 651, Ghana’s primary legislation for the regulation of labour and employment issues in Ghana, offers limited protections to domestic workers as they are exempt from the provisions on maximum working hours limit; overtime pay; and rest periods; which are afforded workers in general under the Act[3]. This has led to calls in recent times for a recognition of domestic work as legitimate work and the need for a separate piece of legislation to regulate the employment relationship within the context of domestic work. In response, the Labour (Domestic Workers’) Regulations, 2020 (L.I. 2408) has been passed to establish a governance framework for...

Traditionally, it has been the responsibility of the State to provide public amenities with limited involvement by the private sector. Over the years, the revenue available for such projects steadily declined which called for the need to explore fiscally prudent alternative sources of funding such as Public Private Partnerships (PPPs).Read more...

What is a Patent? A patent is a title granted exclusively to protect an invention within a specific period.   What law governs patents in Ghana? The Patents Act, 2003 (Act 657) and Patents Regulations 1996 (L.I. 1616) provide the legal framework for regulating patents in Ghana. What is patentable? An invention is patentable if: it is new (i.e. it has not been anticipated by a prior art anywhere in the world); it involves an inventive step; and it is industrially applicable. The invention must ultimately provide a solution to a specific problem, particularly in the field of technology. What cannot be registered as a patent? (a) discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods; (b) schemes, rules or methods for doing business, performing purely mental acts or playing games; (c) methods for treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy, as well as diagnostic methods practised on the human or animal body; (d) inventions that prevent a country from maintaining public order or morality. How do you register a patent? A patent application must be filed with the Registrar at the Intellectual Property Office and must contain the following: a request containing a petition to the effect that a patent be granted, the name of and other prescribed data concerning the...

What is a Trademark? The Trademarks Act, 2004 (ACT 664) defines a trademark as any sign or combination of signs capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from the goods or services of other undertakings including words such as personal names, letters, numerals and figurative elements.  As such, anyone who registers their trademark will have the exclusive right to the use of the trademark. What is the procedure for registering a trademark in Ghana? An application for registration of a trademark must be made through the Trademark Registry of the Intellectual Property Office. A trademark registration begins with an optional trademark search at the Trademark Registry. The rationale behind this is to ascertain that no identical trademark has been registered or is pending registration in Ghana. Applicants whose principal place of business is located outside the jurisdiction are required to apply for registration through a legal practitioner resident and practicing in Ghana. What criteria must the trademark application meet? Trademark applications must be in conformity with the following requirements: The sign or combination of signs the applicant seeks to register must be capable of distinguishing the goods or services of the undertaking of the Applicant from the goods or services of...

“The law has been careful to limit the acts of officers and agents that could be deemed acts of the company to particular transactions. Officers and agents have no general authority for their acts to be turned into acts of the company even if they are carrying out the business of the company in the usual manner.”   The 1st Defendant presented some Local Purchase Orders, VAT Invoices and Waybills to the Plaintiff which showed that his Company, the 2nd Defendant, supplied telecommunication equipment to the 3rd Defendant and was awaiting payment. The Finance Manager of the 3rd Defendant confirmed the order on the letterhead of the 3rd Defendant and signed letters to the effect that his employer owes the 2nd Defendant. Based on this assurance, the Plaintiff accepted a loan request and disbursed money to the 1st Defendant and his Company. The 2nd Defendant refused to pay as scheduled. Further investigations by the Plaintiff revealed that the Finance Manager of the 3rd Defendant connived with the 1st Defendant to defraud the Plaintiff. The issue for determination was whether the 3rd Defendant was vicariously liable for the act of its agent (the Finance Manager). The High Court and the Court of Appeal dismissed the...

“…a Power of Attorney constituted by a statutory declaration attested by a Commissioner for Oaths or Notary Public has more gravitas than one stated on a paper signed by the donor and attested by a witness without an oath…”   The Plaintiffs, two Italian nationals, instituted an action through a Lawful Attorney to recover property which belonged to their deceased mother after it was confiscated during the revolutionary period. Authority to represent the Plaintiffs in initiating the action was given to their Lawful Attorney by a Power of Attorney. The Court was tasked to determine two main issues: the capacity of the Plaintiffs to bring an action to recover the property; and the validity of the Power of Attorney that had only been attested to by a Notary Public. On the first issue, the Defendants argued that the Plaintiffs did not have the capacity to bring the instant suit because they had not applied for letters of administration. The Supreme Court held that, the Plaintiffs had not sued on behalf of the estate of their deceased mother but rather had sued in their own right by virtue of the fact that the property had devolved on them by operation of Italian Law, which was...

" In Family Law, a marriage is either valid or invalid and there is no third category of "marriages of convenience" or "connection marriages" which are partly valid for some purposes and partly invalid for some purposes."   The wife met the husband in Belgium. They got married under the Customary Law in Ghana. Subsequently, the wife petitioned for divorce, praying for dissolution of the marriage and a declaration of joint ownership of two landed properties in Ghana. The husband disputed the wife’s claim to joint ownership of the properties. He claimed that after their marriage, he discovered that the wife was in a subsisting monogamous marriage which made their customary marriage void. The wife alleged that the deceased was aware of the earlier marriage, which was only for immigration documents ("marriage of convenience"). The husband passed away during the subsistence of the suit. The deceased husband’s family were granted letters of administration over the estate of the deceased, including the properties that were the subject matter of the pending matrimonial case. The wife applied to substitute the deceased’s family for the deceased so the case could be determined. The Court struck out the application based on the fact that divorce proceedings are in...