A recent Clifton Ingram child care case has been used in the Supreme Court to test a point of law regarding child cost orders.
This case relates to the approach for ordering costs to be paid by Local Authorities in child care proceedings. Clifton Ingram’s client successfully took his case to the Court of Appeal contesting an order by a Local Authority to place his child for adoption. The adoption order was overturned on the basis that the judge had been wrong to make the order without an in-depth and up to date assessment of the situation, and the child was placed in her father’s care after further assessment. In bringing the appeal the father incurred legal costs, which the Court of Appeal ordered the Local Authority to pay because it had resisted the appeal.
The Local Authority brought an appeal against the costs order to the Supreme Court on a point of law. The Supreme Court judge decided, so as not to deter local authorities from protecting children by bringing proceedings in the future, that the Court of Appeal was wrong to ask the Local Authority to pay the father’s legal costs. The Supreme Court, however, also ruled that in this case the father should not have to pay his legal costs as his case was used a test on an unusual point of law and the local authority had agreed not to recoup them in the event.
For more information please contact Sarah Benfield