Freedom Law

Most expensive family law case?

Most expensive family law case?

Strahan & Strahan [2019] FamCAFC 31 (21 February 2019)

REPRESENTATION

COUNSEL FOR THE APPELLANT:
Mr Hooper SC
SOLICITOR FOR THE APPELLANT:
McInnes Wilson Lawyers
COUNSEL FOR THE RESPONDENT:
Mr Geddes QC with Mr Wilson
SOLICITOR FOR THE RESPONDENT:
Kennedy Partners Lawyers
  1. The wife brings three appeals against orders made by Cronin J. The appeals were heard together and these reasons relate to all three.
  2. The husband and wife separated after 11 years of marriage in January 2005 and divorced in February 2006. They have been litigating about their marriage longer than they were married.
  3. Since the first Initiating Application was filed shortly after separation, over 700 documents have been filed resulting in a vast number of different hearings. Sixty-one sets of reasons have been published. Ten previous appeals have been heard and determined. By March 2017, the parties had between them spent some $35 million in legal fees. They have each spent more since. The wife has instructed approximately 16 different firms of solicitors. Inclusive of senior counsel who argued the instant appeals, the wife has instructed eight different senior counsel and 14 different junior counsel.

COSTS OF THE APPEALS

  1. At the conclusion of the hearing the Court reserved its decision but, in order to save further time and expense, sought submissions in respect of costs from each of the parties in the event that the appeals were either successful or unsuccessful.
  2. Senior counsel for the wife made no submissions in opposition to the application by the husband that the wife pay his costs of and incidental to the appeals in the event they failed.
  3. We consider that circumstances here justify an order for costs in all three appeals. The wife has been wholly unsuccessful. We have considered the financial circumstances of the parties. The appeals have their genesis in the refusal by the trial judge to grant what was a significant indulgence and an indulgence which in substance had been refused previously.
  4. We will order that the wife pay the husband’s costs of and incidental to all three appeals.

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