Family Law Hub

Appeals

Latest updates

  • The Court of Appeal recently gave judgment in Read v Panzone & Anor [2019] EWCA Civ 1662, an appeal concerning s37 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. The Court gave significant warnings to first instance judges about the dangers of making findings of fact on alternate bases: although judges may be tempted to take this ‘belt and braces’ approach, it may simply muddy the waters and confuse the issues for the parties. News, 06/12/2019, free
  • After some delay, the husband sought a stay of a periodical payments order, arguing that the judge had fallen into error in treating his future earning capacity as a matrimonial asset which could be shared. In circumstances where there was no final version of the judgment, nor a sealed order, Francis J held that it was unfair to hold the relevant time limits against the husband. He agreed that the judge had been plainly wrong, and reduced the annual payments from £150,000 to £68,000. This hearing had been listed for only a day, causing further delay, and he stressed that there is a general duty on counsel and solicitors to inform the court if a time estimate is plainly incorrect. Judgment, 22/07/2019, free
  • The father applied for permission to appeal orders relating to financial remedies, care of the two children and non-molestation, claiming in particular that the assessment of income had been improper, and that there had been bias and error on the part of the judge. Theis J refused permission to appeal, except with regard to a narrow but important issue regarding the child arrangements order. Judgment, 19/07/2019, free
  • The judge had ordered a change of residence for the son, but there had been direct communication between the judge and the National Youth Advocacy Service without the parents' knowledge, including a telephone conversation during a break in the hearing. Newton J understood how the judge reached the conclusions which she did, but the hearing was fundamentally flawed and the appeal was allowed. Judgment, 26/06/2019, free
  • The wife had applied for an occupation order for a property. The husband had claimed that the marriage certificate was a forgery. The judge found that there was a marriage and the husband was a serial liar. The husband now sought permission to appeal the findings and the consequent orders, and an extension of time to do so. Williams J allowed the appeal, on the basis that the hearing was procedurally irregular and the outcome consequently unjust. The matter was remitted to the Family Court. Judgment, 25/06/2019, free

Latest know-how

  • In a tweet: Child determined to have insufficient understanding to conduct an appeal independently of a child’s guardian. Case note, 04/11/2019, members only
  • The judge had been asked by the wife to reconsider his conclusions on the grounds that there was a significant and material omission in the figures. Case note, 02/10/2019, members only
  • A successful appeal in relocation proceedings where the decision of the trial judge, who had refused the mother's ("M") application to relocate, was restored. Case note, 19/01/2018, members only
  • Appeal by husband against a suspended committal order, variation order and order for costs. The committal order was set aside due to procedural errors, the costs order falling with it, but the appeal against the variation order failed. Case note, 09/09/2016, members only
  • Financial provision case which has been running for 16 years. The case was decided against the W and she appealed, arguing that the delay and the judge's reliance on counsel's submissions had led the judge into error. Appeal dismissed. Case note, 05/08/2013, free

Latest training

  • Richard Bates from 29 Bedford Row explains the appeal process. Webcast, 26/09/2014, members only

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