(Family Division; Munby J; 8 December 2008)
The wife suspected that her father in law was involved in various business transactions with the husband, and eventually joined the father in law as a party. However, the wife failed to file a document setting out her case against the father in law. ties failed to comply with the case management arrangements. After the judge became involved in trying to focus attention on the key issues, the wife abandoned her claims against the father in law. The issue of costs remained.
The father in law was entitled to his costs. The wife had embarked upon and pursued for far too long a claim that was in all probability always flawed and had never stood any great prospect of success. This was a sobering and deeply saddening case in which over £430,000 had been squandered in costs, leaving almost nothing with which to house the wife and children. Something must be done about the problems highlighted by this and similar cases. The expenditure of costs on this scale was a scandal, and must be brought under control.