Timokhina v Timokhin [2019] EWCA Civ 1284

This Judgment relates to an Appeal by the mother against an Order made on 02/10/18, in which she was Ordered to pay the costs of the father (£109,394) incurred during Private Law proceedings concerning their children.

The background to the proceedings was that the Russian parents had relocated to London in 2014, with their two children.  The parents had then separated and proceedings commenced in relation to the future arrangements for the children.  The father applied to remove the children from the jurisdiction to live permanently with him in Russia, with an Order subsequently being made in this regard.  The mother, who had been arrested and imprisoned in Russia during the course of these proceedings, made a subsequent Application for permission to Appeal and also an Application to stay the previous Order.  The Application to stay the previous Order was refused and a further hearing was listed in respect of the Appeal Application. 

Due to the mother being sentenced to four years in prison, the father’s Solicitor wrote to the mother’s Solicitor inviting her to withdraw her Appeal and to put the mother on notice in respect of costs.  Correspondence ensued between the parties in relation to withdrawing the Appeal and the position on costs, with various proposals being made and rejected.  A hearing therefore took place on 02/10/18 in respect of costs only, where an Order was made that the mother pay the father’s costs in the amount of £109,394.

The mother subsequently issued an Appeal in relation to the costs Order, stating four grounds which included assessing costs on an indemnity basis and awarding costs of a hearing when the Order was silent on costs.  Upon considering the Appeal, Lady Justice King looked at relevant CPR and Case Law and grounds 1, 2 and 3 were dismissed.  In relation to ground 4, in respect of awarding the father the entirety of his costs, Lady Justice King stated that the fee of Ms Eaton QC was unreasonably incurred pursuant to CPR 44.4(1) (b) (i) as it was unnecessary to have two Counsel instructed to deal with a summary assessment of costs.  In relation to Mr Jarmain’s fee, it was stated that whilst it was reasonably incurred, the amount was unreasonable.  Lady Justice King therefore proposed to ‘reduce the global figure by £31,250, namely a figure equal to Ms Eaton’s brief fee and half of that of Mr Jarmain’.  The Order for Costs in the amount of £109,394 would therefore be substituted for an Order for Costs in the amount of £78,144.  This was agreed by Lord Justice Moylan and Lord Justice Underhill.

The full judgement can be read here

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