Traharne v Limb [2022] EWFC 27

Published: 31/03/2022 09:00

Cohen J. Final hearing in W’s financial remedies application in which argument centred on a post-nuptial agreement (PNA) entered into by the parties shortly prior to separation. W argued that she had been subjected to coercive and controlling behaviour and was unable to freely enter into the PNA. Cohen J held that coercive and controlling behaviour plainly falls within the Edgar criteria: had Ormrod LJ written his judgment today, he might have employed those words. It was not, however, borne out on the facts of this case.

In any event, the PNA did not provide for W’s long-term needs. In the circumstances the exploration of W’s allegations had been 'entirely unnecessary'; [54]. Her needs were assessed at £378,545, before her costs liability was considered. Applying the test in MacLeod and the Radmacher considerations it was unfair to uphold the PNA.

W’s costs expenditure of £403,150 was criticised as 'woefully excessive' [91] in the context of global assets of c.£4m. In light of (a) her misconceived conduct argument and (b) a failure to respond constructively to H’s realistic open offer, she was left with a costs liability of c.£80,000 in calculating the final lump sum ordered.

Class Legal

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