We are pleased to share that judgment is now available in a complex financial remedies case conducted by Trudi Featherstone and Hannah Lamb, instructing Miss Sarah Phipps KC of QEB.
Among the issues grappled with in the case were serial non-disclosure by the respondent wife (to the extent that the court comments that “nearly four years after the application was made, the wife’s disclosure is lamentably bad”), lack of litigation capacity, the role of the litigation friend, and the non-engagement in proceedings by the respondent wife and, subsequently, her court-appointed litigation friend’s performance being so poor that the court made a costs order against the litigation friend in excess of £42K for the wasted costs of an ineffective final hearing.
Importantly, this decision highlights the serious and solemn nature of the role, duties, and responsibilities of a litigation friend, to the court and to the litigants they assist. The costs order in this case reflected the court’s findings that the litigation friend’s performance here had been so ‘wholly inadequate’ that ‘he should not escape the consequences of what has happened’ – a resounding statement from the court that the role is not to be taken up lightly.
The Law Society Gazette’s coverage of the case can be found here.