In Cerneaz v Cerneaz (No 2)  QDC 73 Smith DCJA capped both parties’ costs after a successful FPA by an applicant spouse. The applicant’s costs were estimated at $140,000 and were capped at $100,000. The respondents’ costs were estimated at $162,417.28 and were capped at $130,000.
The Judge was critical that the actual amount of the parties’ costs were not placed before him at trial (in fact, the applicant’s (old) costs estimate was significantly lower than what the costs actually were), commenting “If the size of the figures now being debated were placed before me at the trial, this may well have made a difference to the amount awarded to the applicant.”
The case is a warning to practitioners and parties in small estates of the dangers of bringing such claims, and the potential costs consequences when they do.