Tuesday, April 23, 2013

News Update: 23rd of April 2013

WELCOME to this week's Family Lore News Update.

Co-op goes face-to-face with nationwide family legal aid service
Co-operative Legal Services has today made its major move into family law services by unveiling a telephone advice service for those people still able to claim legal aid help and a network of 78 face-to-face locations across England and Wales. Full story: Legal Futures.

ADCS calls for greater use of kinship care
The Association of Directors of Children's Services has launched new research into the care system. Full story: Family Law Week.

Parents attack Haringey over investigation into false abuse claims
Couple say there is 'culture of bad practice' at north London council children's services. Full story: The Guardian.

Cafcass commits to “doing more with less”
Cafcass has launched its Strategic Plan for 2013-15. Full story: Family Law Week.

High Court upholds separation agreement 22 years later
Mrs Justice Parker has granted a husband's application that a separation agreement signed by the parties in 1991 should be made an order of court. The T v T case. Full story: Family Law Week.

Wife’s fury as husband in £400m divorce battle is freed from prison
The wife in Britain’s most high-profile, bitter divorce reacted with fury today after her husband was freed from jail and pictured partying with his model girlfriend in Soho. The continuing saga of Young v Young. Full story: Evening Standard.

Judge criticises social workers for not challenging police
Social workers have been forced to re-assess a case after the appeal court found they were at fault for not challenging police officers enough. The ET BT and CT (Children) v Islington case. Full story: Community Care.

MoJ seeks to streamline fee remission
New consultation published with a view to a single system for all courts as part of the Government’s strategy 'to protect access to justice'. Full story: Family Law Hub.

Council faces £210k costs bill after "blatantly unlawful" conduct over freeing orders
A High Court judge has ordered a county council to pay up to £210,000 in costs after a freeing orders case where the authority’s conduct was “blatantly unlawful and unreasonable” to the boys affected over many years. The A and S (Children) v Lancashire County Council case - see below. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

Thousands of children abused in their own homes are not being protected by local authorities, damning NSPCC report warns
Hundreds of thousands of children abused in their own homes are slipping through the net as local authorities are unable to protect them, a children's charity has warned today. Full story: Daily Mail. See also the post by suesspiciousminds, below.

Taxpayer saved at least £23,000 per year for each child in informal kinship care
New study examines experiences of children in informal kinship care. Full story: Family Law Week.

Pension advice essential during divorce, research finds
A fifth of women abandon paying into a pension after divorce and a quarter reduce their general savings, according to research from Phoenix Group. Full story: IFAonline.

Official Solicitor's Practice Note of March 2013
In March 2013, the Official Solicitor published a Practice Note entitled: The Official Solicitor to the Senior Courts: Appointment in Family Proceedings and Proceedings under the Inherent Jurisdiction in Relation to Adults. Full story: Family Law.

W (Children) [2013] EWCA Civ 335 (20 February 2013)
Appeal from order refusing applications for direct contact and parental responsibility. Full report: Family Law Week.

H (A Child: Summary Return: Child's Objections), Re [2012] EWHC B32 (Fam) (05 November 2012)
Application by father for summary return of child to USA, where the child objected to the return. Application refused. Full report: Bailii.

Stoke City Council v Maddocks & Ors [2012 EWHC B31 (COP) (31 August 2012)
Court of Protection. Contempt proceedings against daughter of elderly man suffering from Alzheimers. Full report: Bailii.

G (A Child) [2013] EWCA Civ 330 (14 March 2013)
Application by mother for permission to appeal against care order. Application granted. Full report: Family Law Week.

A and S (Children) v Lancashire County Council [2013] EWHC 851 (Fam) (17 April 2013)
Application for costs on behalf of two children who were subject to freeing orders but never adopted, after declarations were made that their human rights had been breached. Costs order made. Full report: Bailii. See also the news story above, and the blog post, below.

B (A Child) [2013] EWCA Civ 166 (14 February 2013)
Appeal by father in relation to committal proceedings for breach of injunctions made in care proceedings. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

The LASPO Changes - In Practical Terms
"On 1 April 2013, the reforms from the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 ("LASPO") took effect and changed the scope of Legal Aid as we knew it." Says Amy Sanders, in this article on Family Law.

Three points from the funding jungle
"What follows is not said to bolster any lawyer's union or to bleat about hard times: it is to warn how slender is the thread of the rule of law." Says David Burrows, in this article on Family Law.

Samantha Bangham’s Week in Cases 19 April 2013
Samantha Bangham looks at the week's case highlights. Full article: Family Law.

Children: Public Law Update (April 2013)
John Tughan, barrister of 4 Paper Buildings, examines two important recent judgments: the Supreme Court's decision in J (Children) and the Court of Appeal's in M (A Child). Full article: Family Law Week.

Private Trusts and the Court of Protection
Claire Van Overdijk looks at recent cases in this area. Full article: No5 Chambers.

Local authority ordered to pay substantial costs in family human rights case
A & S v. Lancashire County Council [2013] EWHC 851 (Fam) [above] was a costs application arising from an extremely important decision by Peter Jackson J in June 2012. Full post: UK Human Rights Blog.

“How safe are our children?”
The NSPCC report on child abuse and neglect. [See News, above.] Full post: suesspiciousminds.

Local authorities and the duty to consult with parents
An examination of R (on the application of H) v Kingston Upon Hull City Council & KS, AS, SS, TS and FS (Interested Parties) [2013] EWHC 388 (Admin). Full post: UK Human Rights Blog.


  1. T -v- T has to be a bid for the Oddest Family Case of the Year.

    Good decision.

    1. Certainly unusual in the length of time since the agreement, although not an unexpected result!

  2. Now I have read it more carefully: the only thing I regret is the suggestion that sufficiently gross negligence of one party's solicitors (in this case the wife's) could justify her in resiling from an agreement or get the order set aside. Quite apart from the obvious unfairness of visiting the wife's solicitors' negligence on the husband it seems to me that (1) if the negligence is that bad the she has an obvious remedy and (2) if that remedy is time-barred then so should any claim against the ex-husband. If that leaves her with nothing, too bad, that is what limitation is about.

    I would imagine that the husband in this case is going to have to get a charging order over the wife's house for the costs. In that case the court should order sale as soon as the daughter graduates - the husband's right to his money should outweigh any hardship to the wife, and of course her son by a subsequent relationship does not come into the picture.

    And like all judgment debts it should carry compound interest, not simple, but that is another issue!

    1. You are referring to paragraph 46 of the judgment. I don't know the case that Mrs Justice Parker mentions there, but she does say that such negligence could only possibly undermine a consent order. That case was 16 years ago - it would be interesting to see it tested today.


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