High Court judge criticises €500k legal costs for woman’s separation

Four CourtsA judge of the High Court has said the €500,000 legal bill for a woman’s judicial separation from her husband exposes a “serious flaw” in Ireland’s legal system, The Irish Times reports.

Mr Justice Michael Twomey also noted that the costs did not include separate divorce proceedings which have yet to be heard.

He said he was concerned that litigants in “highly personal and acrimonious” family law disputes were not protected from “their own unreasonableness” in incurring substantial legal fees.

Lawyers for the woman sought €635,000 in fees, which she did not seek to have reduced, and a High Court taxing master held that €508,000 was properly charged. Her husband’s legal costs were €127,000.

Mr Justice Twomey said it was “an inordinate amount” of money to pay for a judicial separation and there was a “serious flaw” in any legal system which permitted and facilitated such fees in a separation.