In 1974, Lord Lucan, British aristocrat (think James Bond and Martinis, according to the New York Times), vanished after the body of his children’s nanny was found dead in the basement of his house.

A year later, in 1975, Lord Lucan, otherwise born as Richard John Bingham, the seventh Earl of Lucan, was declared the killer of his children’s nanny. Since 1974, Lord Lucan was never found notwithstanding an international Scotland Yard manhunt.

25 years later, Lord Lucan was declared dead in 1999, which allowed for the devolution of his assets to his Estate.

By virtue of a law that came into effect in 2014, Lord Lucan’s son, George Charles Bingham, petitioned the Court for a death certificate in order to become the eighth Earl of Lucan. Neil Berriman, the son of the murdered nanny, opposed Mr. Bingham’s petition for a death certificate on the basis that Lord Lucan could still be alive.

42 years later, the High Court has ruled that Lord Lucan is now presumed dead and a death certificate was issued on February 3, 2016.

In Ontario, the Declarations of Death Act, 2002 governs the relief sought by Mr. Bingham in London. An Application may be made to the Superior Court of Justice for a declaration that an individual has died if i) the individual disappeared in circumstances of peril; or ii) if the individual has been absent for seven years.

Thanks for reading!

Doreen So