The High Court has rejected a man's allegations of a ‘ring of deceit’ involving a law firm acting for his ex-wife in a divorce case and ordered that he immediately pay expert costs.

Mr Justice Mostyn said there was ‘no evidence that could begin to support such outlandish allegations’ and ordered the man to pay his ex-wife £65,603 so that she could pay it to her solicitors, London firm Vardags.

The court heard the wife applied for her ex-husband to indemnify her for the sum owed to the solicitors who had paid for a single joint expert in the financial remedy proceedings.

In Loggie v Loggie Mostyn said that he expected the wife to make a payment to Vardags to satisfy the outstanding debt and be held responsible for any failure. 

The judge explained this was a ‘very unfortunate case’ which is now in its ninth year of litigation. The divorce petition was issued in 2013 and the final hearing was contested remedy proceedings was completed in 2017. 

Mr Justice Mostyn

Mr Justice Mostyn: 'No evidence that could begin to support such outlandish allegations'

Source: Photoshot

The court heard that the parties had jointly instructed an expert witness firm to prepare a report on the husband’s business interests. Mostyn ordered that the firm’s costs could be equally met in the first instance and importantly did not limit the amount that could invoiced.

The initial quotation of £60,000 was increased to £126,000, and the quantum of the second invoice has been in issue for more than six years. By 2021, the total sums invoiced were £212,407, of which the husband had paid around £147,700 and Vardags paid the difference.

The husband alleged in his statement that the wife had improperly interfered with his negotiations over the expert fees, and further said she was involved in a ‘vindictive alliance’ to ‘create’ the current debt with Vardags and the expert witness firm. This was rejected outright by the judge, who pointed out that Vardags had already negotiated a £10,000 reduction.

The judge added that the moral of this ‘unhappy tale’ was that parties must ensure that the court is asked before the instruction of an expert to place a cap on their costs.