Bloomsbury Family Law Briefing: May Teaser


Re C (A Child) [2021] EWFC 32 (13 April 2021), Sir James Munby – Another cri de coeur from Sir James as to the failure of lawyers to abide by bundles rules.

Re A, B and C (Children) [2021] EWCA Civ 451 (1 April 2021) – Appeals allowed in care proceedings where there were errors in ABE evidence which made the recorders findings unsafe.

Re YY (Children: Conduct of the Local Authority) [2021] EWHC 749 (Fam) (26 March 2021), Keehan J – Judgement highly critical indeed of local authority’s treatment of children in care and involvement of parents in decisions concerning them; and of their treatment of views of expert witnesses.

AS v CS (Private FDR) [2021] EWFC 34 (19 April 2021), Mostyn J – Parties are not permitted jointly to agree adjournment of a court FDR in the absence of a formal application by one party on which the court can adjudicate.

Akhmedova v Akhmedov & ors [2021] EWHC 545 (Fam) (21 April 2021), Knowles J – A substantial judgment against bankers, trusts (including in Lichtenstein) and the parties’ son (Timor) for enforcement of a record lump sum payment due from her former husband.

Beattie Passive Norse Ltd & anor v Canham Consulting Ltd [2021] EWHC 1116 (TCC) (30 April 2021), Fraser J – A letter sent to a judge by a party’s solicitors during the course of litigation explaining evidence should not ever have been sent.

Res Judicata and Issue Estoppel 


What is the meaning of res judicata and of issue estoppel? Is there any difference between each of the terms; or between issue estoppel and cause of action estoppel? To what extent do these terms apply in family proceedings? In Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd v Zodiac Seats UK Ltd [2013] UKSC 46, [2014] AC 160 Lord Sumption defined the res judicata rule as: 


[17] … a portmanteau term which is used to describe a number of different legal principles with different juridical origins. As with other such expressions, the label tends to distract attention from the contents of the bottle.’ 


Lord Sumption then broke down the term res judicata into six categories or principles which included ‘cause of action estoppel’ and ‘issue estoppel’; the rule in Henderson v Henderson (1843) 3 Hare 100 at 115 (which precludes a party from raising in subsequent proceedings matters which were not, but could and should have been, raised in the earlier ones); and the procedural rule against abusive proceedings.


This article considers especially cause of action estoppel and issue estoppel in the context of family proceedings; with as brief introduction to explain the meaning of abusive proceedings.


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

David Burrows

Written by David Burrows

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