Successful appeal about removal of an unsuitable litigation friend
Alexander Learmonth QC was successful in an appeal about the removal of an unsuitable litigation friend.
In March 2022, Chief Master Shuman gave judgment  EWHC 477 (Ch) refusing an application to remove an elderly litigation friend, the wife of the Claimant, despite acknowledging that she was ‘undoubtedly’ under the influence of her son.
On appeal on 11 May 2022, expedited due to the proximity of trial, Alexander Learmonth QC succeeded in persuading Bacon J that the Chief Master’s decision was flawed. Litigation friends need to be able to exercise objectivity and independence, she held. In circumstances where the litigation friend was financially, domestically and emotionally interdependent on her son, whose financial dealings were ‘opaque’ and had and interest in the outcome of the litigation, she was not able fairly and competently to represent her husband in a claim to set aside transactions in favour of her other son’s company.
Practice Area: Trusts, Wills & Estates