The new ancillary relief costs rules (see my previous post here) have now filtered down to the popular press, albeit in an article by District Judge Stephen Gold in the Law section of the Times Online. In the article District Judge Gold summarises the changes in the law, but he also makes an important point: that one party may feel pressurised into accepting an inadequate offer, fearing a substantial increase in their costs, which they will not be able to recover from the other party. It is often the case that one party in 'ancillary relief' (i.e. financial/property) proceedings will be in a considerably weaker financial position than the other party. For that party, finding money to pay costs will be far harder, and therefore refusing an offer from the other party will be far more difficult.
The District Judge also points out the recent court fee increases (also mentioned by me previously here), and speculates (no doubt tongue in cheek) that these changes "might all encourage reconciliations". Somehow, I doubt that!