Patrick Steel has provided a case commentary of X & Y (Intermediary: Practice and Procedure) [2024] EWHC 906 (Fam).

In the recent case of Re X & Y (Intermediary: Practice and Procedure) [2024] EWHC 906 (Fam), Mr Justice Williams addresses the practice and procedure concerning the instruction of intermediaries in family court proceedings. Williams J considers FPR 3A, PD 3AA and, Lieven J’s analysis in West Northamptonshire Council (acting via Northamptonshire Children’s Trust -v- KA and NH (Intermediaries) 2024 EWHC 79 (Fam).

Context of the present case

During the course of care proceedings, a respondent Mother sought an intermediary assessment. An application was made on a form C2 for a “Part 25 for an Intermediary Assessment”, and the statement in support detailed that:

The personal and intimate nature of proceedings, as well as the client’s dual diagnoses [ADHD and PTSD], may impact the client’s ability to understand, focus and digest documents and information throughout the hearings, and proceedings more generally but a specialist assessment is required to identify these issues and to ensure the Mother’s Article 6 rights are protected and she is able to give her best evidence.

Sarah Taite, acting on behalf of the Mother and instructed by Emma Taylor from GoodLaw Solicitors LLP, sought to adjourn the application generally. Williams J was content to grant the adjournment but considered that the present case illustrated the issues emerging in the family court in relation to the use of intermediaries.

A copy of counsel’s commentary can be downloaded here.