I was in the Supreme Court on 3 December when Marley v Rawlings was dealt with. The case finished on the morning of the first day of a hearing listed for two days. At the time I assumed the appeal was being thrown out on short order.
Leave to appeal had been refused by the Court of Appeal and there seemed to be a more straightforward remedy in professional negligence, especially after Feltham v Freer Bouskell.
The shortened hearing must have made some savings in costs, but there seems to be nothing in the judgment available online about the economics of a case taken to this level (or at all), with only £70,000 at stake.
Normally one would think that contentious probate litigation is only worth the candle if the net estate exceeds the inheritance tax threshold – these days perhaps nearer the £1m mark, while the Legal Ombudsman has the power to award up to £50,000 in compensation.
Brendan Cotter, Kingston upon Thames