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Family Law

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18 SEP 2014

Marley v Rawlings (No 2) [2014] UKSC 51

Marley v Rawlings (No 2) [2014] UKSC 51
(Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger, Lord Clarke, Lord Sumption, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hodge, 18 September 2014)

[The judicially approved judgment and accompanying headnote has now published in Family Law Reports [2015] 1 FLR 1063]

Costs – Inheritance – Validity of will – Oversight by solicitor

The Supreme Court unanimously decided that the solicitors' insurers should pay the costs of both parties in the High Court and Court of Appeal.  In relation to the costs in the Supreme Court, the insurers should pay the appellant’s costs, the respondents’ solicitors’ disbursements, and, the respondents’ two counsels’ fees, conditional on the respondents’ counsel disclaiming any entitlement to their success fees under their CFA.

Please see the attached file below for the full judgment.

The husband and wife intended to make wills leaving their respective estates to one another. If the other spouse had already died the estate passed to Mr Marley. However, due to an oversight by the solicitor the husband and wife signed each other’s wills instead of their own. The Supreme Court upheld the validity of the wills and as a result Mr Rawlings inherited an estate of £70,000 as opposed to the husband and wife’s two sons. The issue of costs now fell to be determined. Mr Marley asserted that the two sons should meet the costs from all three courts. The sons submitted that the costs should be met by the estate or paid by the solicitor. In the High Court and the Court of Appeal the sons’ solicitors and counsel acted on a traditional basis but in the Supreme Court they were instructed on conditional fee arrangements.The Supreme Court unanimously decided that the solicitors’ insurers should pay the costs of both parties in the High Court and Court of Appeal. In relation to the Supreme Court, the insurers should pay Mr Marley’s costs, the sons’ solicitors’ disbursements and their two counsels’ fees, conditional on counsel disclaiming any entitlement to their success fees under their CFA.
Trinity Term
[2014] UKSC 51

On appeal from:
[2012] EWCA Civ 61

JUDGMENT

Marley
(Appellant)

v
Rawlings and another
(Respondents)

(Costs)

Lord Neuberger
Lord Clarke
Lord Sumption
Lord Carnwath
Lord Hodge

JUDGMENT GIVEN ON18th September 2014
Heard on 3 December 2013



JUDGMENT

Marley v Rawlings (No 2) [2014] UKSC 51 

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