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(Court of Appeal, Thorpe, Rimer, Dame Janet Smith LJJ, 5 July 2012)
The mother applied for permission to appeal a decision to remove her child into care. Her solicitors failed to obtain permission prior to instructing an expert to produce a report and failed to inform the guardian of the date of the appeal hearing until 2 days before at which time he was on holiday. The Court of Appeal refused permission to appeal and the local authority and the guardian sought to recover their wasted costs.
The conduct of the mother's solicitors was open to criticism but the local authority had failed to demonstrate it caused any loss. However, the position of the guardian had been different and therefore the solicitors were ordered to pay counsel's fees for attending the permission hearing.