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Louisa Gothard
Louisa Gothard
Senior Solicitor, Head of Family Law
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REPORTING RESTRICTION: W v M (TOLATA Proceedings: Anonymity [2012] EWHC 1679 (Fam)
Date:5 FEB 2013
Law Reporter

(Family Division, Mostyn J, 25 June 2012)

The woman made a claim pursuant to s 14 of the Trusts of Land Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 that by virtue of a common intention formed over the course of a long cohabitative relationship she was a beneficial tenant in common of two properties worth £12.5m in total.

The defendant sought an order under CPR 39.2(4) that all relevant people and places be anonymised in the main proceedings and final judgment. He asserted that without that level of anonymity the proceedings would have a detrimental impact on his new partner and his children.

In conducting the balancing exercise on the specific facts of the case the court held that the general rule of public proceedings was not displaced and the application was refused.

Following the hearing, the defendant was granted permission to appeal and a reporting restriction order was put in place pending that hearing. In the meantime the parties settled the main action and signed heads of agreement including the claimant's agreement to support the defendant's application to anonymise the judgment.

In order to secure the confidentiality which the parties had agreed it was appropriate to anonymise the judgment. The issue was finely balanced but now that the parties had settled the claim the argument of ‘daylight as disinfectant' had fallen away and the judgment should be anonymised accordingly.