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Litigation Funding

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  • The former husband applied for a legal services payment order pursuant to section 22ZA of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. As matters currently stood, neither party owned assets of any significant value. The former wife had been engaged in offshore litigation, which so far had proved unsuccessful, reducing but not eliminating the likelihood of recovery from that source. Roberts J was satisfied that legal services funding was not an option open to the former husband, nor was he a candidate for a commercial litigation funding arrangement. Focused legal advice could serve to narrow the issues which were currently preventing a settlement. The question then was whether the former wife was in a position to satisfy a legal services provision order. After considering the criteria in section 22ZB(1)(a)–(g), Roberts J decided that she would be able to procure the funding to meet such an order, and would not thereby be exposed to undue hardship or prevented from obtaining her own legal advice. The former wife was ordered to pay the former husband £95,000. Judgment, 21/11/2020, free
  • Mr Justice Cohen recently gave judgment in MB v EB (No. 2) [2019] EWHC 3676 (Fam), and sounded a cautionary note to parties in needs-based cases in financial remedy proceedings who run up unreasonably large legal costs under the (mistaken) belief that the financially stronger party will be ordered to pay them. Referring to the recent amendments to FPR 2010 Practice Direction 28A, Cohen J was firm in his judgment that it was not for the wife, in this case, to ‘bankroll this litigation’ which he found to have been unreasonably conducted by the husband. This case serves as a warning to parties who have a needs-based claim that this does not give them a so-called ‘license to litigate’, and underlines the importance of making sensible proposals in negotiations. News, 25/02/2020, free
  • Judicial consultation process started in February 2016 News, 26/02/2019, free
  • The court injuncted the husband from paying any further money to his solicitors unless he paid an equal amount (i.e. pound for pound) to the wife's solicitors. Judgment, 19/09/2018, free
  • Appeal against an order requiring the husband to pay the wife £2,500 per month by way of interim periodical payments until further order and to pay directly to her solicitors, £3,000 per month by way of a legal fees allowance order. Appeal dismissed. Judgment, 18/05/2018, free

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