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(Chancery Division; Briggs J; 26 April 2012)
The claimant refused the defendants' offer which was more advantageous than the final award ordered. The claimant was entitled to her costs up to the date of the defendant's offer but defendant's claimed their costs plus interest from that date onwards. That result would leave the claimant with capital of £380,000, allowing for a Duxbury fund of £235,000, she would have a cushion of £145,000, a modest but not inadequate sum. That result would not be precluded by part 36.14(2) for being unjust.
The claimant ordered to pay 80% of defendants' costs after the date of the offer to account for the fact that they refused to accept the will failed to make reasonable provision throughout, they also initiated the exchange of a number of irrelevant considerations about conduct. Disparity in approach to costs in the Inheritance Act claims and financial proceedings which have the same underlying objective but the modern approach to Inheritance Act claims had the potential for very substantial costs shifting to the successful party.
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