In the Matter of S(A Child) [2015] UKSC 20


28th November 2015

Amy Stout appeared in the Supreme Court in In the Matter of S(A Child) [2015] UKSC 20, which is a case relating to appellate costs in family proceedings. The Supreme Court held that a Local Authority on appeal should not be ordered to pay the Father's privately funded costs if they lost and questions of a parent's non-entitlement to legal aid should not be taken into account.

The Supreme Court adopted the argument of Father's legal team that there are circumstances when it might be appropriate to deviate from the Re T rule that a costs order should only be made where there has been unreasonable or reprehensible behaviour, namely when the child may experience extreme hardship as a result of his parents having paid privately for the costs of their appeal.

This is an important judgment in times of restricted access to legal aid as the Supreme Court provides clarification to In re T (Care Proceedings: Costs) [2012] UKSC 36 and clarification on the point of Pro Bono Costs Orders.



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