Costly ancillary exercise

24 APR 2007

In Moore v Moore [2007] EWCA Civ 361, 20 April 2007 (see Cases below) the husband obtained a divorce in Spain and the proceedings in England had been concerned to date largely with the question of whether the Spanish court or the English court should exercise jurisdiction to deal with the financial consequences. An extraordinary feature of the case was that the parties had spent about £1.5 million in legal fees just to determine that issue yet it was common ground between the parties, their Spanish lawyers and their eminent Spanish experts that, if the Spanish court were to take jurisdiction to determine those issues, it would apply English law. As the Court of Appeal said: 'Despite the enormous financial and human resources put into the present litigation, the English lawyers were not able to give the court an up-to-date assessment of the likely progress in the foreign proceedings. We think that it is elementary that in cases involving overlapping proceedings in different jurisdictions there should be someone on each team who is co-ordinating the proceedings and understands what is going on, and is able to inform both courts of the progress in the other jurisdiction.' For further information see June [2007] Fam Law.

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