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Calderback to the future?

Date:23 NOV 2015
Edward Floyd Senior Associate Penningtons Manches

Practitioners could be forgiven for believing that Calderbank offers (without prejudice offers that are only admissible in arguments as to costs at the conclusion of proceedings) are an extinct species. However in the debate about legal costs in family cases there are growing calls from some corners of the profession for Calderbank's reintroduction (either in full or in modified form). In a forthcoming article in the December issue of Family Law Joanna Edwards and Charlotte Doherty explore in detail whether Calderbank offers should be reintroduced or if not what the political alternatives could look like.

Against that backdrop the decision of Moor J in WD v HD [2015] EWHC 1547 (Fam) has provided a timely reminder and clarification of the circumstances in which Calderbank offers can still be used.

The question Moor J was faced with was whether a Calderbank offer was admissible in determining the costs of an appeal against a financial order. The Family Proceedings Rules (as they were then) were amended in 2006 to introduce the current costs regime for financial applications under which the...

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