Family Law Hub

Practice & Procedure

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  • The questions were whether a child should be told of his biological father, whether the husband (the psychological father) should be allowed to take the child on holiday to France, and what directions should be given relating to a deceit claim. The mother did not want the child to be told, and the biological father denied his paternity. Cohen J decided that the child should be told when an independent social worker, agreed upon by the parents, thought the time was right. He refused permission for the holiday, not being confident that the child's return could be achieved if the husband took him to the UAE. Cohen J allowed the mother's application to strike out the deceit claim to proceed to a hearing. Judgment, 18/08/2019, free
  • Whether a judge who conducted an FDR appointment in protracted financial remedy proceedings could later hear applications in relation to the substantive order made in those same proceedings. The hearing was well under way when the husband reminded Holman J of the earlier FDR appointment. Both parties urged the judge to waive the rule, making reference to the overriding objective. He held that any waiver would run totally contrary to the absolute prohibition that the rule currently provides, and brought the hearing to a complete halt. It would have to be heard from scratch before another judge. Judgment, 05/08/2019, free
  • An appeal from orders for costs made against those responsible for keeping two children in the Ukraine, in breach of repeated orders of the High Court. This was described by Peter Jackson LJ as "the grossest breach of trust perpetrated by individuals who appear to consider obedience to the law to be optional and disobedience affordable". He considered that there was nothing remotely surprising about the orders made in this case, and indeed found it difficult to envisage any proper alternative. Patten LJ and Lindblom LJ agreed, and the appeals were dismissed. Judgment, 30/07/2019, free
  • The mother appealed against an order that she pay £109,394 in respect of the father's costs of a previous appeal. She had dropped that previous appeal after an attempt to bribe a Russian police officer (to instigate criminal charges against the father) led to her imprisonment. King LJ found that the judge had the jurisdiction to make the order for costs, and had made a decision within the ambit of his discretion. However, counsels' fees were unreasonable, and the appeal was allowed on that ground. The sum to be paid was reduced to £78,144. Underhill LJ and Moylan LJ agreed. Judgment, 22/07/2019, 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

Latest know-how

Latest training

  • Recording of webinar first broadcast on 21st March 2019 Webcast, 26/03/2019, members only
  • Recording of webinar first broadcast on 6 March 2019. Presented by Matthew Warmoth, barrister at Fourteen. Webcast, 07/03/2019, members only
  • Tim Scott QC of 29 Bedford Row tries to make sense of what might happen to international family cases after 29th March next year and reviews a few recent key international finance cases. Recorded September 2018. Webcast, 07/10/2018, members only
  • Roshi Amiraftabi of 29 Bedford Row, reviews the key private children law cases, themes and practice developments from the past 12 months. Webcast, 31/05/2018, members only
  • Alexis Campbell QC and Charlotte Trace, of 29 Bedford Row, review the key financial remedy cases and themes from the past 12 months and look at how they will affect judicial thinking and your own cases in the year to come. Webcast, 16/03/2018, members only

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