By: Alfonso Chen (Articled Student)
In an article published on June 8, 2018 by the Vancouver Sun, columnist Ian Mulgrew wrote about an assessment of special costs for a four year family trial that burdened a husband “hugely financially and emotionally”, and “was protracted by the ‘mendacity and manipulations’ of the wife who lied repeatedly under oath, fabricated financial documents and refused to accept any reasonable settlement”. Based on the wife’s reprehensible and scandalous conduct at the family trial, Justice Bernard ordered special costs against the wife. On paragraph 3 of the costs judgment, J.M.S. v Y.S., 2017 BCSC 59, Justice Bernard provided that:
The trial – indeed, the entirety of the litigation process – was seriously tainted by the wife’s ongoing deceit and orchestration of events to further her personal objectives. To add insult to injury, the wife accused the husband of paranoia in relation to his suspicions that she was “setting him up” and altering financial documents; these were, eventually, demonstrated to have been well-founded suspicions.
Joyce Ling, of Henderson & Lee Law Corporation, was the husband’s lawyer for the cost assessment hearing for special costs, to determine the reasonableness of the fees paid by the husband for the entire litigation process. If they were found to be reasonable and proper, then the legal fees, disbursements and taxes will be paid by the wife to the husband. The costs hearing assessment took place over the course of five days.
Ms. Ling advocated for the full 100% of the legal fees, disbursements and taxes to be reimbursed to the husband. Instead of being awarded a portion of the trial costs, which is common in special costs cases, the husband was awarded the full 100% of his trial costs claimed, of $104,172.48. Ms. Ling was successful in establishing that all the legal fees, disbursements and taxes paid were reasonable and proper. As well, a majority of the father’s costs for the cost assessment hearing was also ordered to be reimbursed.
The judgment of the hearing, J.M.C. v Y.S., 2018 BCSC 915, concluded on paragraph 66, that:
The total award of special costs is therefore $133,672.48 consisting of $104,172.48 in special costs in relation to the family law case and $29,500 in special costs to the special costs assessment.
Costs associated with litigation are often unpredictable and dependent on other parties’ conduct during the litigation process, whether they be those of the opposing party or those of third parties. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Link to the Vancouver Sun Article: http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/ian-mulgrew-b-c-divorcees-scandalous-and-outrageous-conduct-blasted-by-judge
Link to the Assessment of Special Costs: http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/sc/18/09/2018BCSC0915.htm
Link to Joyce Ling’s page: http://www.hendersonleelaw.com/legal-team/joyceling/