There is yet more focus on the issue of “proportionality” in the wake of the high profile judgment in the divorce case of Mr & Mrs Young. Mrs Young incurred costs of £6.4m in order to achieve her settlement of £20m. The Judge described this level of costs as “completely unacceptable”.
Proportionality has been an issue for family lawyers for some time. Civil lawyers will now need to do the same as family lawyers. The Civil Procedure Rules have been amended to place proportionality of costs as a major consideration.
Whether it is considered reasonable to incur costs of £6.4m to achieve £20m depends on the facts of the case and we will have to wait to see. One hopes that the conduct of the other party throughout the negotiations will be taken into account otherwise the Claimant may be placed in the difficult position of having to pursue a case in the face of an intransigent Defendant but not being confident that costs will be recovered.
If you have any family issues you would like to discuss please contact our family team on 01737 854 500 or email [email protected]