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Private children costs and unreasonable and reprehensible conduct (C v S)

Published on: 04 May 2022
Published by: LexisPSL
  • Private children costs and unreasonable and reprehensible conduct (C v S)
  • What are the practical implications of this case?
  • What was the background?
  • What did the court decide?
  • 2015 relocation application
  • Fact-finding hearing
  • Welfare hearing 2020

Article summary

Family analysis: This was an appeal by a father against a decision refusing his application for costs in relation to three hearings. The first-instance judge had refused to make an order for costs for any of the hearings, but on appeal, Mrs Justice Arbuthnot held, inter alia, that while in relation to the mother’s 2015 application to relocate the children, no costs award should be made because the judge at that hearing had made ‘no order for costs’ and that decision could not be re-opened, that the first-instance judge had been wrong to refuse to make an award of costs in respect of the fact-finding hearing and therefore the mother should pay £37,000 of the father’s costs in relation to that hearing. In relation to the welfare hearing, Arbuthnot J found that the first-instance judge had been correct to make no order for costs. This judgment provides useful guidance on when exactly costs orders should be made in private children cases. Jessica O’Driscoll-Breen, barrister at QEB, considers the approach. or take a trial to read the full analysis.

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