Living under an LSPO
Published: 05/06/2023 09:00
Commentary on legal services payment orders (LSPOs) often concerns their effect on those required to fund them. That is not hard to understand. The (usually) substantial payment to an opposing firm to fund work perceived as contrary to the payer’s interest is never an enjoyable experience, however important a contribution it might make to access to justice and, ultimately, the proceedings’ constructive resolution.
However, life in receipt of an LSPO is also no bed of roses. This article reflects on this aspect in the context of the developing jurisprudence on such orders and to anticipate developments that might be required to make them manageable. Much of the discussion may also have wider relevance, in the context of not only pent-up fury on the bench as to the size of costs generally1 and the accompanying discussion of costs capping, but also the threats to the litigation loan market. If the pending appeal of the decision in Simon v Simon (Integro Funding Ltd (‘Level’) intervening)  EWFC 29 goes against Level, we may see a much-reduced litigation loan market, bringing more cases into LSPO territory.
As legal aid for family cases withered on the vine, the vacuum it created was partially addressed by requiring the wealthier party to meet the other’s legal fees through maintenance pending suit.2 In 2013 this was put on a statutory footing: Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, ss 49–51 inserted s 22ZA into the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and the LSPO was born. It enabled the court, in proceedings for divorce, nullity or judicial separation, or for financial relief in connection with such proceedings, to order one party to pay to the other ‘an amount for the purposes of enabling the applicant to obtain legal services for the purposes of the proceedings’.
Section 22ZA followed the earlier case-law in requiring the court to be satisfied that without an LSPO the applicant would not reasonably be able to obtain appropriate legal services. In particular, s 22ZA(4) requires the court to be satisfied that the applicant is not reasonably able to secure a loan, nor able to secure legal services on a Sears Tooth basis (by granting their lawyers a charge over their award). Mostyn J put flesh on the s 22ZA bones in his obiter comments in Rubin v Rubin  EWHC 611 (Fam). These included the expectation that there be a detailed estimate of the costs to be covered by an LSPO, that any order should cover the period to the FDR after which it should be reviewed, and that monthly instalments are to be preferred to a single lump sum. Whilst the statutory provisions do not apply to applications under Children Act 1989, Sch 1 or Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984, Part III, Mostyn J indicated that such applications are subject to the same basic principles.
As an LSPO is precluded by the availability of a litigation loan, they most commonly arise in cases where loan providers are unwilling to fund, usually owing to the absence of an obvious route to repayment. This includes cases where outright capital provision is not available, of which the prime example is Schedule 1 cases. The dynamics of such cases can be particularly challenging; the power imbalance between the parties is reinforced by the applicant’s inability to make any claim for herself, and, where there has been a very short relationship, the parties may not know each other particularly well, providing little foundation for a constructive postseparation relationship. LSPOs may also be called upon where lenders are not satisfied there is adequate, or sufficiently reliable, security whether because the assets are abroad, in trust, illiquid, in the names of third parties, or where there is a general absence of financial disclosure. All these circumstances are likely to heighten suspicion and mistrust, and the very need for an LSPO might suggest that there does not exist between the parties a relationship sufficiently constructive to make possible voluntary provision for legal fees from one to the other.
Thus, while not an iron rule, the cases in which LSPOs are needed can be amongst the more acrimonious and complex we deal with. This plainly has its effect on the legal costs that can accumulate, and can make managing the budget particularly challenging. However, we also argue that the way in which LSPOs have come to be managed by the judiciary has added to the difficulties faced by solicitors and their clients when subject to an LSPO. We consider the issues arising in respect of four stages: (1) prior to an LSPO; (2) the quantification of an LSPO; (3) operating under an LSPO; and lastly (4) recovering overspend.
Work carried out before an LSPO is made
Unless the client has some resources of their own, solicitors are likely to carry out considerable initial work on credit and without any certainty that they will be paid. Many solicitors in our line of work are ready and willing to do this. However, there will be a limit to the credit that firms can allow, which may leave little scope for work other than the drafting of the LSPO application itself. Such applications are not straightforward; they involve early attention to the substantive case to be advanced, and preparation of a detailed costs estimate to cover many months of litigation at a time when the respondent may not have shown their hand at all. It is a substantial and technical piece of work, made more complex if there is any issue over jurisdiction, and is likely to involve a substantive and contested standalone hearing for which counsel’s fees will be incurred. The cost of an initial LSPO application will therefore be a tidy sum, for which the solicitors will be entirely at risk unless and until an order is made.
This creates pressure to commence proceedings and issue an LSPO application at an early stage. Judicial approaches have reinforced this to minimise firms’ willingness to extend credit in several ways: were the client to change solicitors prior to an LSPO, their costs cannot be recovered on an interim basis (see BC v DE  EWHC 1806 (Fam)); costs incurred prior to issuing an LSPO application may not be recoverable on an interim basis (see LP v AE  EWHC 1668 (Fam) and R v R  EWHC 195 (Fam),  All ER (D) 933) and (as explored in depth below) such unpaid preliminary costs as can be recovered on an interim basis may be subject to a ‘taxation’ of up to 30%.
The cumulative effect is to minimise what prospects may exist of reaching an early, pre-issue, out of court settlement. Whilst Mostyn J suggested in Rubin (at  (x)) that an LSPO application could be made pre-issue to fund alternative dispute resolution, he expressed doubt as to whether this applied to Schedule 1 and Part III proceedings (at ), and it is not clear that any such applications have been made in practice even in matrimonial claims. Nor is making a funding application before or during non-court dispute resolution likely to enhance the prospects of that process succeeding.
The ‘notional standard basis of assessment’
In the Schedule 1 case of BC v DE, Cobb J instigated the practice of applying a ‘notional standard basis of assessment’ to unpaid costs to be met under an LSPO (i.e. those pre-LSPO costs discussed immediately above).4 Cobb J cited earlier, unreported, decisions of Roberts J and Holman J within the same proceedings, explaining that Roberts J had ordered 70% of outstanding costs to be paid under an LSPO to reflect ‘a rough computation of a standard basis of assessment’. He also cited Mostyn J’s decision in MG & JG v JF  EWHC 564 (Fam) in this regard, but it seems clear that Mostyn J was guided by what he considered each party could afford to pay; he made no mention of notional assessment.
In BC v DE, Cobb J applied a 15% discount to the applicant’s incurred and prospective costs, saying (at ):
‘From the costs claimed I propose to make a deduction of 15% to reflect a notional standard basis of assessment; in doing this, I have taken a broad view about whether the costs are reasonably incurred, reasonable in amount and proportionate to the matters in issue, recognising that any costs which are disproportionate in amount may be disallowed or reduced, even if they were reasonably or necessarily incurred (CPR 44.3(2)(a) and PD 44.6.2), and on the basis that the court would resolve any doubt in favour of the paying party (CPR 44.3(2)(b)).’
However, these provisions of the CPR do not apply to LSPOs, as they are not costs orders, nor has any principled basis been offered, in BC v DE or since, for their application by analogy. Indeed, as Mostyn J said in TL v ML  EWHC 2860 (Fam), a judgment which was approved by Wilson LJ (as he then was) in Currey v Currey  EWCA Civ 1338, saying ‘[i]t is clear that a costs allowance is not a costs order’. As Wilson LJ went on to say in Currey, under the then-anticipated ‘no order as to costs’ rule, the ‘proper treatment of liabilities for costs will generally be that they are debts to which the judge should have regard when making his substantive award’, rendering interim provision for costs ‘consonant’ with that approach.
There does not appear to be another reported example of this ‘notional assessment’ approach until it was renewed by Cobb J in Re Z (Schedule 1: Legal Costs Funding Order; Interim Financial Provision)  EWFC 80.5 On this occasion Cobb J deducted 30% of the mother’s costs incurred up to the making of the LSPO ‘to reflect a notional standard of assessment’, having ‘taken a broad view about whether the costs are reasonably incurred, reasonable in amount and proportionate to the matters in issue’, and referring again to the same provisions of the CPR. This approach was repeated by Cobb J in a later hearing in the same case, Re Z (No 2) (Schedule 1: Further Legal Costs Funding Order; Further Interim Financial Provision)  EWFC 72. Peel J then also adopted the ‘notional assessment’ approach in the matrimonial case of MG v GM  EWFC 8, saying ‘I further propose to apply a discount, which is frequently (but not invariably) applied to the sums sought in order to reflect a notional standard basis of assessment’, and applying a 30% discount.6
Principled opposition to the ‘notional assessment’ approach has now been provided by Francis J in DR v ES  EWFC 62 (whilst dated January 2022 the judgment was not published until March 2023). The judge recorded ‘I am completely satisfied, until somebody establishes otherwise, that all of the bills that [the wife’s solicitors] have rendered are bills for time that has been properly incurred’. He went on to say (at ), without directly engaging with the contrary case-law on the point:
‘Mr Hale, on behalf of the husband, made the very valid point that when one goes through an assessment of costs, you get about 30 per cent knocked off. Well, that may be true in civil litigation, it may be true where one party is ordered to pay the other’s costs in some family litigation, but my job at the moment is not assessing costs in that sense of somebody being made to pay an order for costs, it is dealing with debt.’
Certainly, solicitors hope that these words are heeded. ‘Notional assessment’ presents solicitors with several challenges. Not the least of them is the strain on the solicitor–client relationship as the result of the judicial suggestion that a third of the work done by the solicitor to that point was not reasonable.
Most solicitor practices operate on a profitability ratio of between 30 and 40%. A notional assessment of 30% (unless later reversed) removes virtually all profit from the work. Solicitors therefore face the possibility of significant work for little or no profit. Whether to undertake such work at all is a reasonable question to ask.
Lastly where costs have been ‘notionally assessed’, the ultimate recoverability of the difference at a Final Hearing remains possible, and therefore constitutes an interest that the solicitors have in the proceedings. (The same applies to overspends on the LSPO awarded, addressed below.) When, in BC v DE, Cobb J held that the costs of the currently instructed solicitors could be recoverable under an LSPO, he explained the desirability of this on the basis that significant outstanding costs can impact the solicitor’s conduct of the litigation and motivate a client to accept a settlement that is less than fair if it settles her debts. Yet that is the result of leaving the client owing a significant debt to their solicitor.
The LSPO budget
Judicial approaches to applicants’ costs budgets have varied in recent case-law, with the costs of the other party often a factor. Yet this was not always so: in A v A  1 FLR 377, the case in which Holman J established the pre-statutory interim costs provision, he took a straightforward approach. The wife set out in her affidavit that she required £4,000 per month towards her legal fees and Holman J held: ‘Of course, that affidavit was settled by, or on the instructions of, the wife’s solicitor himself and may be self-serving. But I see no reason why I should not accept the truth and reality of it’. Such an approach has not much been seen in recent case-law.
There have been cases where a judge has reviewed a proposed budget and explained their reasons for reducing it. In LP v AE  EWHC 1668 (Fam), Cohen J ordered an LSPO of £48,000 where the mother had sought £89,000, explaining that he considered it unreasonable for the father to pay for a partner at £620 per hour, or for hearings and conferences to be attended by a partner and an associate.
More often, a broad approach is taken based on the other party’s (i.e. the payer’s) costs. This can result in the amount sought being granted, even where it seems high to the judge, as in Chai v Peng  EWHC 1519 (Fam) where the wife’s (reduced) budget of £60,000 per month was described by Holman J as ‘enormous’, but given the scale of the case and ‘the rate at which the husband himself is expending legal costs necessary and reasonable’. Similarly, in LKH v TQA AL Z (Interim Maintenance and Costs Funding)  EWHC 1214 (Fam), Holman J described the £250,000 sought by the wife as ‘eye watering’, but granted it as it was proportionate to the husband’s costs.
Alternatively, this comparative approach results in a reduction of the applicant’s budget, and to repeat a point made before, the LSPO application often has to be made before the respondent’s legal team have got into their stride at all. In Re Z (No 1), Cobb J reduced the amount sought by the mother from £95,000 to £65,000, which he explained as a caution against encouraging the mother to litigate, and ‘to reflect the lower bills of the father’.7 In MG v GM  EWFC 8, Peel J described the costs sought by the wife of between £381,000 and £423,000 as ‘too high’ and awarded £250,000, taking into account the projected costs of the husband (who did not pay VAT) of £175,000.
The apogee of this approach is the ‘pound for pound’ order, under which a respondent is required to pay £1 to the applicant’s lawyers for each £1 paid to their own. Simon Calhaem, considered such orders in a blog on the Family Remedies Journal website,8 noting that they are, anecdotally, becoming more common. He convincingly argues that such orders were made as enforcement mechanisms, and should be restricted to these circumstances, as they break the causal link between what the applicant reasonably needs to be represented and the quantum of the LSPO.
An alternative, and arguably more realistic, approach was (again) taken by Francis J in DR v ES, where he recognised that in some cases costs will, due to the nature of family law work, exceed what may seem ‘reasonable’, and that it will sometimes be reasonable for the applicant’s costs to exceed those of the respondent. He wrote (at ):
‘Now, I know from my own experience when I was at the bar that, sometimes, a vulnerable or anxious or talkative client can spend two or three hours doing something that should have taken one, and sometimes I would have said to my client, “You know, this is quite expensive social work”, but sometimes you have just got to do it, and it is important for the husband that the wife is properly advised and that she understands what she is doing. He is a commercially aware sophisticated businessman dealing with property and companies in England. The wife came to England in the circumstances that I identified, and she is not commercially aware, she does not understand the husband’s business circumstances, she has to ask the questions through her lawyers, and it does not surprise me at all that she incurs greater costs than he does in the initial phase. It may be, of course, that the time will come when his costs will be greater because his team have to spend a lot of time preparing detailed answers to questionnaire and all of the documents that go with those answers but, at the moment, I am not prepared to accept the criticisms made of the lawyers’ bills.’
Francis J granted the wife the amount she sought to take the case to the next stage, saying ‘[i]t is essential that she is fully funded so that she can conduct the FDR with the benefit of her experienced solicitors and counsel’. Even in cases where the applicant is not a ‘vulnerable or anxious or talkative’ client their costs burden may be higher, particularly in Schedule 1 cases where the respondent is running the millionaire’s defence.
As solicitors, we do our best to put forward careful and considered budgets. We know our clients and will often have the measure of the other side. We are experienced in running these cases and are in the best position to assess what it will cost to run them well. As officers of the court with a duty to act with integrity, a starting assumption that the amount we posit is realistic (as offered by Holman J in A v A) would seem justified. As with the approach to ‘notional assessment’, it is to be hoped that Francis J’s approach to budgets will be followed.
Working under an LSPO
The first task after an LSPO is made will often be to explain to the client why the budget you put forward has been reduced and the impact this will have on the conduct of their case. The very fact of the reduction can affect the solicitor–client relationship and the client’s confidence in their lawyer and their worth. The lawyer’s need to limit the time they spend on the case in an effort to remain within the costs estimate may also create difficulties, particularly in the case of an especially anxious and/or demanding client. As matters progress, solicitors may need to decline to take steps requested by the client on the basis that it was not anticipated when the budget was prepared, or to ensure later headroom. This potentially raises contractual and regulatory issues, and attention will have to be paid to the terms of retainer letters to make clear that we can refuse to carry out instructions falling outside the funding arrangements. Beyond what this might sometimes do to client relations, it could place us into a degree of executive control of proceedings with which we may not feel comfortable.
Family solicitors are accustomed to operating within costs estimates – most of our clients do not have unlimited resources. This does not generally create a large imbalance between the parties; where resources are generally limited both parties are operating within tight constraints. In bigger money cases, so long as they are conducting the litigation reasonably, the weaker financial party can expect their costs to be accommodated within the award. Yet where one party is operating under an LSPO, perhaps one set at a lower amount than their solicitor assessed as necessary, with the other party free to litigate as they wish, a significant power imbalance arises.
This imbalance can be exacerbated by the characteristics often exhibited in cases in which LSPOs tend to be made, and which make the cutting of budgets particularly painful. The opposition is often a top firm occupying a land of plenty with a wealthy client ready to litigate vigorously with no judicially applied limit on what can be spent. The LSPO is most unlikely to have anticipated all of the issues that the respondent(s) might wish to raise and which will create work which the award was not designed to meet – indeed, that might sometimes be the motive. In short, it cannot come as a surprise that an LSPO made months before might not have anticipated everything that has subsequently occurred in vigorous litigation. Unless a further LSPO is successfully applied for, this will likely result in an ‘overspend’, for which the client will be indebted to their lawyer.
Anecdotal evidence as well as case-law illustrate that in practice solicitors acting under an LSPO do, indeed, frequently ‘overspend’. However, the recent decisions of Cobb J in Re Z (No 4) and Cohen J in Xanthopoulos v Rakshina  EWFC 50 make clear that solicitors should expect that the respondent will not be ordered to pay such costs, leaving the debt with their client.
Yet this was not always Cobb J’s approach. In BC v DE (as discussed above, the case in which ‘notional assessment’ approach was instigated) the mother’s lawyers had underestimated their fees by over 50%. Cobb J said (at ):
‘I understand the father’s lawyers’ surprise and frustration at this miscalculation on the part of the mother’s lawyers, but I see no reason why the mother should not be entitled to recover the balance for the work done, which seems to be reasonable where a legal costs funding claim is made in relation to outstanding incurred costs, at least the court and the paying party can see the reasonableness of the costs incurred.’
A few days later HHJ Booth, in M v F  EWHC B12 (Fam), rejected the father’s argument that he should not have to pay the mother’s overspend as she should have kept within her budget. He said ‘“[c]osts budgeting” has no place in family proceedings. The sums awarded were not expressed to be a limit’. He added ‘any reduction of the sums awarded for the benefit of the child to pay towards litigation costs would, absent something exceptional, be impermissible’. Given these comments, solicitors could reasonably have expected flexibility in respect of any overspend, at least in Schedule 1 cases.
The subsequent case-law reflects a diversity of approaches. There are cases in which it was ordered that overspend not be repaid because of the applicant’s poor litigation conduct (such as the matrimonial case of H v H  EWFC B81 (Fam)), or where an overspend was ordered to be paid because it arose from the respondent’s poor litigation conduct (such as MT v VA (Second Application: Legal Services Provision Order)  EWHC 3087 (Fam), where the applicant’s overspend was incurred defending an appeal against the LSPO and in taking enforcement action, and A v V  EWHC 3501 (Fam), where it was held that ‘the litigation has been fuelled by the [respondent] father’s unreasonable and remarkable conduct’).
In other cases – seemingly and understandably only Schedule 1 cases – respondents have been ordered to pay an overspend notwithstanding the applicant’s poor litigation conduct. In CA v DR  EWFC 21, Roberts J expressed sympathy for the father’s objection to paying £12,000 of the mother’s costs on the basis that that sum had been unreasonably incurred, but noted that it was ‘a contractual debt for which the mother is liable’ and represented a financial need which she would order the father to pay. Recorder Chandler KC sought to balance the competing interests in Re A (Schedule 1: Overspend: Costs Clawback) (Rev 1)  EWFC 21, where the father objected to paying £70,000 of the mother’s costs which related to her unsuccessful appeal of an interim maintenance order, and £60,000 which represented an overspend. The judge set out (at ), ‘[w]hile I have sympathy with [the Father’s] submissions, and I agree that the Father should not in principle have had to pay the costs of the appeal or the overspend, my overarching point is that the Mother’s hard liabilities have to be paid, and the only way this can happen is by the Father paying these’. He therefore ordered that the sums be paid, but subject to a clawback to be enforced only with leave of the court if the mother made further applications. Cohen J, hearing the appeal as G v W  EWHC 1101 (Fam), accepted that this approach was unusual but considered it to be ‘eminently within the discretion of the judge in the circumstances of the case’.
Yet in two other recent cases – one Schedule 1 and one Part III – judges have taken the opposite approach, foreshadowed in interim decisions and affirmed at the final hearing. In Re Z (No 2), Cobb J criticised the mother’s solicitors, saying they ‘were not entitled’ to assume overspends would be retrospectively authorised and warning that ‘[a]ny potential overspend will require prior court authorisation, or will otherwise need to be accepted at the solicitor’s risk’. Mostyn J endorsed Cobb J’s approach at an interim hearing in Xanthopoulos v Rakshina  EWFC 30. At the final hearing in Re Z (No 4), Cobb J made no award in respect of the mother’s overspend, criticising her solicitors for ‘ignoring’ the terms of the LSPO and saying ‘I am not prepared to foist the largely unauthorised expense on the father’. By the time of the final hearing in Xanthopoulos v Rakshina  EWFC 50, the husband – unrepresented and absent at the final hearing – owed £900,000 to five different former solicitors, all of which represented overspend. Cohen J made no provision for this, saying (at ):
‘[i]t is not the job of the court to act as the insurers of solicitors who overshoot, let alone dramatically overshoot, the sum provided by way of LSPO If the solicitors run short of funds then it is their duty to apply to the court for a further order. If they choose to carry on with their work and incur further fees then they do so at their own risk’.
These two decisions, notwithstanding their inconsistency with other recent High Court authorities, means solicitors must now assume that we will not recover overspends, irrespective of the circumstances. Such an approach makes the prospects of acting under an LSPO even less appealing. The options where original estimates – or judicially reduced budgets – are about to be overtaken by events are not palatable. An application for an increase will cost a further tidy sum, for which the solicitors will be entirely at risk, with no guarantee that the application – probably contested – will succeed. From the client’s perspective, the remaining funds may be better expended on taking substantive steps in the proceedings. Further, unless there happens to be an approaching and available interim hearing shortly before the budget is likely to be breached, a standalone hearing will be needed. The time it can take to obtain one means that either a high degree of prescience and a very early application are required, or the litigation must slow down whilst a hearing is awaited. The alternative of standing down entirely, with the risk that the applicant might be left unrepresented, goes completely against the grain. We suspect the result, more often than not, may be that no charge whatever will be made for those steps which the original estimate did not cover.
The costs budgeting regime which exists in much of the civil litigation sphere by which the costs recoverable from the losing party are limited to a pre-approved budget does not apply in the Family Court. It may, of course, be where some in the Family Court would like to go; Mostyn J expressed that view in J v J  EWHC 3654 (Fam) 9 years ago.9 In a November 2021 article for Resolution’s The Review, James Pirrie highlighted that the court’s approach to LSPOs could be seen as the court’s ‘first tentative steps’ towards costs capping in family cases.10 The latest judgments validate his assessment. It now seems that a form of costs capping applies to one party in LSPO cases, limiting recoverability of the applicant’s costs in excess of the permitted budget (which has generally been subject only to a broad assessment rather than a detailed analysis). This not only exacerbates the power imbalance between the parties as explored above, but discriminates between applicants who require an LSPO and those who are able to fund their cases through other means, e.g. loans.
The need for a clear and principled approach furthering the purpose of LSPOs
LSPOs must be workable if solicitors are to be willing to act under them. That five firms in a single case are unlikely to recover a total of £900,000 owed to them (little outright provision was made for the otherwise impecunious husband) suggests that this may not be the case. Part of the solution no doubt lies with us – as solicitors we must prepare thorough budgets, do our best to act within them, and apply for a further LSPO as soon as it is clear that one will be needed (albeit that this is likely to increase expenses, slow down cases and drain court time). Yet the situation would also be assisted by the judiciary displaying trust that solicitors provide realistic budgets and reverting to showing flexibility where there has been some overspend but the costs have been reasonably incurred.
The current law is muddled in terms of principle, and potentially unfair to both solicitors and their clients. Authoritative guidance on the following points is needed:
- Is the deduction of up to 30% of costs incurred prior to the making of an LSPO by way of a notional assessment appropriate? If it is, should the respondent be ordered to pay the deducted sum at the end of the proceedings? Alternatively, should the court, in line with Francis J’s approach in DR v ES, assume that pre-LSPO costs have been properly incurred and should be provided for under the LSPO unless otherwise established?
- Should applicants be penalised for delay in making an LSPO application through limited interim recovery of pre-application costs? Should the same approach apply where delay reflects efforts to reach a negotiated solution? If a penalty is applied, should the balance generally be payable by the respondent at the end of the proceedings?
- How should judges approach an LSPO budget for future costs? Should solicitors’ budgets generally be trusted save where there is an obvious cause for concern? Should a judge conduct a detailed consideration of the budget, akin to the costs budgeting process in civil cases? Is it appropriate for an applicant’s costs to be limited to the respondent’s (anticipated) costs?
- In what circumstances may an overspend be recovered? Does this differ in matrimonial cases and in Schedule 1 cases?
Until there is both clarity and an approach that is perceived to be broadly fair to all involved, solicitors may be reluctant to act under LSPOs. Combined with the threat to litigation lending arising from the Level litigation, access to justice for those lacking assets in their own names could be in placed in jeopardy.
The authors are much indebted to Anna Roiser, the Knowledge Development Lawyer in the Hunters Law Family Department, for her considerable contribution to the drafting of this article, and wish to express their considerable thanks to her.