Mark Baxter and Sam Chandler to speak at Withers event on Gaskin v Chorus Law and Murphy

On 10 June 2019, Sam Chandler and Mark Baxter will be speaking at a Withers LLP event (which is open to attendees from other firms) on the decision in Gaskin v Chorus Law and Murphy. Sam and Mark represented the First and Second Defendants respectively in this case determining responsibility for several years’ worth of legal costs (around £180,000 unassessed in an estate worth some £360,000).

At its heart, it is a sibling dispute between the brother (Claimant) versus sister (Second Defendant) with a probate company (First Defendant) caught in the middle. The proceedings started as a claim for substitution of both Defendants as administrators (notwithstanding that only the First Defendant had taken out a grant); they were already complicated by an additional claim for occupation rent against the Second Defendant (defended on the basis of both non-occupation and the property being unlettable), and were significantly complicated yet further by discovery of a Will, in the course of the proceedings, that removed the Claimant’s locus.

Mrs Gaskin died in 2012. The hearing, which was limited to liability for costs, but nonetheless spanned over two days, took place in January 2019. The First Defendant had been removed by consent in 2017 and outstanding substantive claims were eventually disposed of by consent in 2018. So the 14 page judgment distils over six years of disputes – which continued against a changing (and fairly striking) factual matrix – into various phases, allocating costs in different proportions for differing phases.

Sam and Mark will discuss the principles underlying the attribution of costs in complex factual situations such as this, and lessons to be learnt.

If you would like to attend, or for further information, please click here.