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Doing the maths: costs orders in the family court

Date:11 DEC 2012

Chris Bevan

Barrister KCH Chambers:

The recent decision of the Supreme Court in Re T (Costs: Care Proceedings: Serious Allegation Not Proved) [2012] UKSC 36 [2013] 1 FLR (forthcoming) has returned the issue of costs in family proceedings to the spotlight. In view of the court's judgment this article asks whether against a backdrop of imminent and swinging cuts to legal aid the time has come for the family courts to make greater use of costs orders in both private and public proceedings. In Re T the Court restated the general practice of not awarding costs against a party in family law public proceedings including against a local authority. The Court made it plain that in the absence of reprehensible behaviour or an otherwise unreasonable stance by a party no costs would be granted

Of course to practitioners this decision came as no surprise given that unlike other civil proceedings family law exists as an exception to the accepted principle that 'costs follow the event' (CPR 1998 r 44.3(2))...

Read the full article here.