Family law team acts in three reported cases

11th September 2020

Members of 3PB’s family team have been involved in three reported cases this quarter, which will make a real difference to everyday practice.

The first of these cases involved our head of team, Vanessa Meachin QCVanessa Meachin QCCall: 1990Silk: 2018 and Lucy HendryLucy HendryCall: 1988 in the case of Lancashire County Council v M and others [2020] EWFC 43 which involved an application to adjourn a part-heard final hearing due to complications caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  The full judgment can be accessed here.

Rachael GoodallRachael GoodallCall: 2000 appeared for the wife in a case involving the treatment of pensions on divorce. The case was before HHJ Hess, Deputy Lead Judge of the Financial Remedy Court. The authority quotes widely from the Pensions Advisory Group report published in 2019 and has very useful guidance as to how pensions should be treated on divorce. Rachael was successful in arguing that the total £2.1m pension fund should be shared between the parties on the basis of equality of income, despite the husband's pre-marital contributions.  The case also provides helpful guidance on global maintenance orders and costs orders. A link to a summary of the case is available here.

Finally, Liz McGrath QCElizabeth McGrath QCCall: 1987Silk: 2014, appeared for the mother, and Lawrence MesslingLawrence MesslingCall: 1983 for the local authority in the case of Re ABC (Children: Overlaying Child) [2020] EWFC 57. The case involved a fact-finding hearing to establish the cause of the tragic death of a 2-month-old baby. In delivering his judgment, Keehan J concluded that “The death of D was entirely preventable and resulted from the parents' very ill-advised practice of co-sleeping. I accept that the parents are stricken with guilt and regret that their actions resulted in the death of their baby. I do not doubt they will each endure this guilt and regret for the rest of their lives.” Further setting out that he hoped that “the publication of these judgments will highlight and underscore the dangers inherent in co-sleeping with babies and young children.” The case concluded with D’s three older siblings being subject to an agreed rehabilitation plan, supported by all parties. Read the full judgment here.

For more information, email Family Practice Group Directors Robert Leonard or Ian Charlton, or on 0330 332 2633.