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Costs in financial remedy cases: LM v DM (Costs Ruling) [2021] EWFC 28A short but important judgment

Date:30 MAR 2021

A short but important judgment emphasising the costs consequence that a litigant may face if they have failed to negotiate openly and reasonably in the context of financial remedy proceedings was handed down by Mostyn J on 12 March 2021 in the case of LM v DM (Costs Ruling) [2021] EWFC 28.

The wife in this case had been successful in her applications for maintenance pending suit interim periodical payments for the parties’ children and a legal services payment order. She applied for an order that the husband pay her legal costs of bringing the applications. Mostyn J considered that the ‘no-order-for-costs’ general rule as per FPR 28.3(5) did not apply to the wife’s interim applications as they are instead governed by a soft costs-follow-the-event principle and the court may make such an order as it sees just as per FPR 28.1.

Although the wife did not achieve as much in quantum as she had requested Mostyn J considered that the outcome of her application was much closer to her position than the husband’s. The wife also succeeded on issues of principle...

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