Xanthopoulos v Rakshina [2022] EWFC 30

Published: 12/04/2022 09:00

https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/HCJ/2022/30.html

Mostyn J.

Comprehensive survey of law on anonymisation of judgments; [74]–[142]. Correct question is 'Why is it in the public interest that the parties should be anonymous?' rather than 'Why is it in the public interest that the parties should be named?' Section 12(1) Justice Act 1960 permits a financial remedy judgment (which is not mainly about child maintenance; [90]) to be fully reported without anonymity unless the court has made a case-specific reporting restriction order. That order must comply with CPR 39.2(4) and follow the Article 8/Article 10 balancing exercise described in Re S (A Child) [2004] UKHL 47. Mostyn J considers that ‘this freedom can only be restricted by primary legislation and not by rules of court’. (Further commentary on this decision can be found using the search mechanism on this site.)

This was an interim hearing in proceedings under Part III Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 on W’s application to be released from undertaking not to touch a particular bank account, and H’s application for a further legal services payment order. The parties, who had filed overly long documents late, were warned that:

‘deliberate flouting of orders, guidance and procedure is a form of forensic cheating, and should be treated as such. Advisers should clearly understand that such non-compliance may well be regarded by the court as professional misconduct leading to a report to their regulatory body.’ [3]

Parties’ costs c.£7 million were ‘beyond nihilistic’ [12], although significant questions over value of W’s assets. H, whose solicitors had come off the record, should instruct new solicitors who should reapply for LSPO with detailed budget. However, court reluctant to make further LSPO given overspend on existing LSPO, and not all of the monies were for appropriate expenses [35ff]. W’s undertaking not to touch bank account was so restrictive as to render further litigation about it likely. £500,000 of the parties’ costs had already been spent on litigating about costs. Order therefore relaxed.

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