(Family Division, Peter Jackson J, 15 June 2012)
The 8-year-old girl was adopted by her aunt. The aunt claimed costs of £22,734 from the adoption proceedings. It was not the case that an order for costs against a local authority could only be made where there had been unreasonableness.
A departure from the usual outcome was warranted by the need for some degree of equality of arms between the State body and an unrepresented litigant who was of cardinal importance to the welfare of the child and where the local authority had elected to put her to the test over a protracted period. The local authority was ordered to pay half of the aunt's costs.