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Bloomsbury Family Law Briefing: June Teaser

Top five cases

N (Children) [2019] EWCA Civ 903 (22 May 2019) – Father’s appeal against Hayden J’s refusal to review an earlier Children Act 1989, s 91(14) order allowed, where no proper notice of s 91(14) application given to him.

A Local Authority v A Mother & Ors [2019] EWCA Civ 799 (9 May 2019) – Local authority’s appeal allowed against judge’s findings as to crushing injuries to one-month old child: an unusual case of appellate setting aside a judge’s finding on facts.

Lachaux v Lachaux [2019] EWCA Civ 738 (1 May 2019) – Wife/mother’s appeal did not show Mostyn J’s assessment of the evidence and his application to the case of Dubai law left any room for appeal.

R (A Child) [2019] EWCA Civ 482 (15 February 2019) – Journalist’s successful attempt to have a reporting restrictions order lifted where the case concerned facts which had been aired already on the mother’s successful earlier appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Uhd v McKay [2019] EWHC 1239 (Fam) (15 May 2019), MacDonald J – A father’s application for the summary return of his three-year-old child, Ruby, to Australia, granted; and unanonymised judgment permitted.

Statutory charge and solicitors’ costs

For many civil proceedings lawyers – including family lawyers – the law on which the statutory charge under Solicitors Act 1974, s 73 can provide a remedy for unpaid bills in privately paid cases. Solicitors are entitled to a lien or charge on the fruits of a client’s litigation where those fruits – a property, say, or a lump sum – were in issue in court proceedings conducted by the solicitor. Statute, common law and equity all create rights for the benefit of lawyers (mostly solicitors). The Supreme Court have recently explained the scope of the lien (Gavin Edmondson Solicitors Ltd v Haven Insurance Co Ltd [2018] UKSC 21, [2018] WLR 2052). In GE Lord Briggs explains the modern lien: from the legal lien which a solicitor has, for example, to retain papers until a bill is paid, to the equitable lien which attaches to cash: first, on a judgement debt, then on the proceeds of arbitration and now on settlement proceeds.

Procedure for an application under s 73 is not clear under Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (where most family proceedings costs rules are to be found), whether for family or other civil proceedings; and the article goes on to suggest a procedure for family proceedings.

The Family Law Briefing is part of the Bloomsbury Law Online Service. The full briefing is available here.

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