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Family Law

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02 AUG 2007

COSTS/ENFORCEMENT: Re C (Costs: Enforcement of Foreign Contact Order) [2007] EWHC 1993 (Fam)

(Family Division; Munby J; 2 August 2007)

In a case in which the mother had conceded during the hearing that she did not have any effective answer to the father's application under Art 41 of Brussels II Revised, seeking enforcement of an Italian contact order, the judge commented adversely on the level of costs incurred by the father's solicitors, which amounted to no less than £18,260.08. Unless and until such time as it emerged that the defendant in his or her own evidence, or otherwise, was able to articulate some basis of defence requiring the submission by the applicant of more substantial material, a case based upon Art 41 should proceed with the maximum of despatch and the minimum of delay and, as part of those necessary objectives, the minimum of documentation. In the instant case vast bundles had been generated, including a substantial volume of material translated in anticipation of defences that the mother had not raised; it might be thought that, in the absence of a defence identified in materials filed by the defendant mother, all that was required in support of the originating summons was a very brief formal affidavit, deposing to the fact of and exhibiting the relevant orders of the foreign court and the relevant certificate. In the circumstances of the case it was appropriate to make the mother pay only a modest contribution to the father's costs.

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