London Borough of Hounslow v A Father & Mother (Costs in the Court of Protection - Disproportionate litigation)  EWCOP 23
Costs were awarded against the LA after a dispute in which the LA alleged the mother had mismanaged the P's funds.
The LA was ordered to pay half of the Official Solicitor's costs because of the LA's failure to make a timely application to review the P's deprivation of liberty, thus necessitating the involvement of the OS.
A review of the P's deprivation of liberty was not made by the LA in accordance with a previous court order, leading to delays in arranging an alternative placement for him and also the involvement of the OS. The OS was seeking a costs order against the LA in the sum of over £25,000, saying that but for the conduct of the LA, the streamlined procedure may have been appropriate. There would therefore have been no need for the OS to act (and incur costs) at all. The involvement of the OS was necessary and appropriate primarily because of the conduct of the applicant authority in failing to make timely application for review; or alternatively because, having failed to make a timely application, the placement had broken down and an urgent move was required.
The court ordered the LA to pay half the costs incurred by the OS. The explanations for the failure to comply with the requirement to apply for review, in so far as any explanations had been offered, were wholly inadequate. However, the court was not persuaded that a timely application for review would have avoided the need for the Official Solicitor's involvement completely.
Read the full text of the judgment on Bailii
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This judgment should be read in conjunction with the reported judgment on this case at  EWCOP 21.
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