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Crowther v Crowther & Ors (Financial Remedies) (Rev1) [2021] EWFC 88

This is a case which might be described as how not to do it. These were the third set of reported proceedings in relation to the dispute. The parties' total costs were £2.3m, the judge concluded that the parties' net assets were £738,375. The judge describes the lack of cooperation between the parties and their lawyers as "very apparent" and is critical of their failure to make any meaningful attempts to settle even trivial matters.

Although this is clearly a case which turned on its own facts there is some useful commentary as to the interplay between a Tomlin order reached in civil proceedings and financial remedy proceedings at paras 42 – 47 and 53; in relation to non-disclosure at 56 – 62 and as to conduct at 63 – 65.

The judge's final paragraph should be a warning to anyone seeking to litigate in the way that these parties have:

"Last word

87. The only beneficiaries of this nihilistic litigation have been the specialist and high-quality lawyers. The main losers are probably the children who, quite apart from the emotional pain of seeing their parents involved in such bitter proceedings, will be deprived of monies which I am sure their parents would otherwise have wanted them to benefit from in due course."

Case summary by Zoë Saunders, Barrister, St John's Chambers

For full case, please see BAILII