Hayes v Hayes (2017) EWHC 2806 (Ch)


  • There was a long history of litigation between H and W. H had been made bankrupt in 2005 and discharged in 2006.
  • This was an appeal by W against the decision of a judge to dismiss W’s application to set aside a statutory demand which had been served upon her by H. The statutory demand was in respect of debts arising from several court orders – the earliest from 2007 - for W to pay H’s costs in harassment proceedings, totalling over £15,000.
  • The costs orders originated from H’s claim for damages which had been issued while he was still bankrupt. H’s trustee in bankruptcy and the defendants (including W) had signed up to a consent order which ended proceedings, and which sold H’s claim for damages to W for £34,000. W argued that this meant that the costs orders were no longer operative.

Held, dismissing the appeal

  • Mr Justice Morgan held that the agreement sold only the settlement of the H’s damages claim for personal loss. The costs orders were outside the terms of the agreement, and therefore remained vested in H.
  • H had not been a party to the agreement. Accordingly, the agreement had no effect on orders for costs made in H’s favour.