April 2017

What does litigation really cost? I was sitting in Court recently waiting for my directions hearing to be called. A trial had been running before the same Judge and she was hearing cross-examination of the wife (who was self-represented) conducted by an experienced Barrister. The cross-examination focused on the wife’s spending as evidenced by bank statements from 2 years earlier. The wife was seen as evasive when she couldn’t recall what she had drawn funds to pay for – did I mention that the statements were from 2 years earlier?! The wife looked very stressed and was becoming more confused as the questioning progressed. It struck me yet again how artificial our litigation system is. I know I struggle to remember what I spent money on 2 weeks ago and yet here this lady was being expected to recall with accuracy her spending from years before – in circumstances where she was already very stressed and anxious and a lot was riding on the outcome of the proceedings. On another day recently, I learned of a litigant having to turn up for a trial and actively participate in circumstances where their parent had died that morning and they were too afraid to ask for...

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