LM v DM (Costs Ruling) [2021] EWFC 28 (12 March 2021)

This was a judgment by Mr Justice Mostyn in relation to a cost penalty given due to the Applicant’s failure to negotiate. The proceedings related to applications for maintenance pending suit, interim periodical payments for the children and for a legal services payment Order.  Mr Justice Mostyn stated that in these types of proceedings there was an obligation to negotiate openly and reasonably, however it was felt that the Applicant made no attempt to do this.  As the case was eventually settled in the Applicant’s favour, the starting point in terms of costs would be the Applicant being awarded her full costs.  Due to the Applicant’s failure to negotiate however, Mr Justice Mostyn stated that the Applicant be deprived of 50% of the award that would normally be made.  He therefore made an Order that the Respondent pay 50% of the Applicant’s costs to be assessed on a standard basis if not agreed.  It was also commented that ‘Litigants must learn that they will suffer a costs penalty if they do not negotiate openly and reasonably.’

The full judgement can be read here

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