News Essentials: 24th April 2021

A brief
summary of the essential family law news and cases from the last week:


Council to go on improvement plan after High Court lambasts ‘utter failures’ in false allegations of abuse case
Herefordshire children’s services will undergo external review and an independently monitored improvement plan following case where social workers ‘ignored’ senior judge and experienced psychiatrist. Full story: Community Care.

Oligarch’s son told to pay mother £75m after world’s biggest divorce case
Court rules that Temur Akhmedov had worked with his father to help him avoid £453m settlement. Full story: The Guardian.

Message from Mr Justice Mostyn: amendments to standard public law orders
Following the publication of the report of the Public Law Working Group, and in particular noting the observations about the standard orders in public law cases, a small committee comprising HHJ Hess, HHJ Dancey, HHJ Moradifar and Alex Laing has recommended amendments to the standard orders. Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.

New Family Division Liaison Judge Appointed
The President of the Family Division, following consultation with the Lord Chancellor, has announced the appointment of a Family Division Liaison Judge. Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.

Survey supports recommendations for a review of supervision orders in care proceedings
According to a survey carried out by Nuffield Family Justice Observatory, nine out of ten professionals think standalone supervision orders should continue to be an option in care proceedings. Full story: Family Law Week.

New public law cases received by Cafcass rose by more than 13 per cent in March
Cafcass received a total of 1,612 new public law applications (involving 2,555 children) in March – 190 applications (13.4 per cent) more than in the same month last year. Full story: Family Law Week.

New private law cases received by Cafcass in March rose by more than a third
Cafcass received a total of 4,659 new private law cases (involving 6,627 children) in March 2021 – 38 per cent (or 1,282 cases) more than the same month last year. Full story: Family Law Week.

LAPG launches 2021 Legal Aid Census ‘to show true state of social justice sector’
The Legal Aid Practitioners Group is urging lawyers throughout England and Wales to 'stand up and be counted' by taking part in a survey which seeks to gather extensive data about the backgrounds and lived experiences of those working on the social justice frontline. Full story: Family Law Week.

BASW England releases new Domestic Abuse Guidance for social workers
BASW England has published new guidance for child and family social workers supporting victim-survivors of domestic abuse. Full story: Family Law Week.


Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council v A & Ors [2021] EWFC B17 (23 April 2021)
Care proceedings concerning child who had suffered unexplained skull fracture. Judgment considering whether fact-finding required. Full report: Bailii.

A (A Child) (Abduction: Jurisdiction: 1996 Hague Convention) [2021] EWHC 581 (Fam) (10 March 2021)
Application by father that jurisdiction in relation to children proceedings be transferred to Switzerland. Full report: Bailii.

Akhmedova v Akhmedov & Ors [2021] EWHC 545 (Fam) (21 April 2021)
Further judgment in proceedings relating to enforcement of financial remedies order by W, including claims against the parties' son and companies to which assets were allegedly transferred by H in an attempt to prevent W effectively enforcing orders against him. Full report: Bailii.

AC v NC [2021] EWHC 946 (Fam) (21 April 2021)
Application by father for summary return of child to USA. Held that there was no wrongful removal or retention. Application dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

CD v EF (Temporary Relocation) [2021] EWHC 955 (Fam) (29 March 2021)
Judgment in child arrangements proceedings, where F lives in Japan and M in England. Full report: Bailii.

E v E (Anti-suit Injunction; Children) [2021] EWHC 956 (Fam) (31 March 2021)
Application by M for anti-suit injunction requiring H to discontinue Nigerian proceedings pursued by him in respect of the parties' three children. Full report: Bailii.

AS v CS (Private FDR) [2021] EWFC 34 (19 April 2021)
Application by H for order that directions hearing be converted into a FDR, W having unilaterally cancelled private FDR. Full report: Bailii. See also my short note, here.