Family Law Hub

Costs

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  • The mother had applied without notice for a specific issue order for the father to return their two children to her care, asserting that he had retained them at the conclusion of an agreed period of contact. After the matter was listed on notice to the father, he told the court that he had not returned the children due to concerns about their welfare. No substantive order was made at that hearing. The mother now applied for a costs order. In the view of HHJ Middleton-Roy, this was not a case where it would be appropriate to depart from the general principle that each party should bear their own costs. There would be no order as to costs. He noted with approval that the parties had now agreed to attend therapeutic mediation with a view to improving the communication between them and to resolve issues in respect of the children. Judgment, 25/09/2020, free
  • The mother applied for costs, arguing that the father had acted unreasonably in only conceding the application for summary return at lunchtime on the first day of a three-day hearing. The father's representative pointed out that in a matter such as this, costs did not automatically follow the event and the court had a broad discretion. In Lieven J's view, if either party had been prepared to act more reasonably and take a more consensual approach, costs and court time could have been saved, but it would not be appropriate to depart from the general approach that in family proceedings involving children no order for costs is generally made. Judgment, 29/07/2020, free
  • The couple had been together, unmarried, for just over ten years and had two children. There had already been three trial judgments given in separate actions consequent on that breakup, leading to costs orders against the female partner totalling about £90,000, none of which had been paid or were likely to be paid. This new Chancery claim arose out of allegations that the male partner, in his capacity as director of a company in which both parties had held shares, had run substantial parts of it on a cash in hand basis. He applied to strike out or dismiss the claim, and for an extended civil restraint order (CRO) to prevent his former partner making further claims or applications against him without permission. HHJ Parfitt, sitting as a judge of the High Court, struck out the particulars of claim and the claim form on the ground that taken together they impeded the just disposal of the proceedings – they provided no basis for the case to be understood, defended or tried – and did not comply with the rules regarding statements of case. He also struck out the claim on the grounds that it sought to reopen matters decided in previous claims and otherwise failed to set out a cause of action with a reasonable chance of success. An extended CRO was justified, on balance, but it would not extend to family proceedings and it would exclude any application to have an existing limited CRO set aside. Judgment, 24/07/2020, free
  • The father sought an order for the mother to pay one half of the costs of the expert witnesses instructed in the case. The child's care had been transferred from the mother to the father, and the mother had declined to engage in the therapy required by the court and thus contact had not yet been resumed. The mother opposed this application on the grounds that she could not afford to pay a one-half share, and that she did not appoint the parental alienation expert, nor the other professionals involved, nor agree to their instruction. Keehan J said that the latter argument was "totally misconceived": the court had considered their instruction to be necessary and had given permission for their instruction. Keehan J was not persuaded that the mother did not have the means to pay the costs sought by the father. She was ordered to pay £2,783.60 forthwith and the remaining balance in 16 instalments of £500 per month. Judgment, 05/06/2020, free
  • Investigations revealed that the husband had misled the court about the true scale of his unencumbered liquid funds, meaning that the factual footings of a previous judgment were faulty. A new hearing was conducted on Zoom. Mostyn J revised the freezing order, to a total sum of £200,000, and made further costs orders against the husband. A late challenge to the quantum of those costs was rejected. The costs would be assessed on the indemnity basis due to the husband's misconduct. Judgment, 16/04/2020, free

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Latest training

  • In this recorded webinar, Petra Teacher from 29 Bedford Row discusses how the courts have dealt with add-backs and financial conduct arguments. Webcast, 14/06/2017, members only
  • Recording of webinar first broadcast on 8 February 2017 Webcast, 10/02/2017, members only
  • Course Objective: By the end of the session you should have an understanding of the regulatory issues relating to unbundled services and learnt how you can manage your client when offering such services. First broadcast on 3 February 2017. Running time 69 mins. Webcast, 07/02/2017, members only
  • Philip Cayford QC and Simon Calhaem of 29 Bedford Row, who represented Mrs Wyatt in the Supreme Court, are joined by members of the Mills & Reeve family law team to review and discuss the issues raised by the case and the impact of the Law Lords decision on practice. Webcast, 18/03/2015, members only
  • Webcast recorded on 22 January at 1pm. Lysney Cade-Davies and Petra Teacher of 29 Bedford Row review some of the leading cases of 2014 and highlight the lessons for the year ahead. Webcast, 22/01/2015, members only

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