Christopher Stirling successful in final financial remedy order enforcement application invoking controversial Thwaite jurisdiction

24 July 2023

Christopher Stirling represented a husband who successfully applied for enforcement of a final financial remedy order invoking the controversial Thwaite jurisdiction. The judgment confirms the survival of the Thwaite jurisdiction to revisit unexecuted final orders where it would be unjust not to do so.

The doctrine's survival had been questioned in recent authority, particularly by Mostyn J.

In this case, HHJ Madeleine Reardon accepted Christopher's arguments that:

  1. despite Mostyn J’s forceful criticism, the weight of authority suggested the continued existence of the jurisdiction; and
  2. Thwaite was particularly apt, as here:
  • enforcement of the original order as envisaged had been rendered impossible by the deliberate actions of one of the parties
  • such frustration could not be said to be unforeseeable, and
  • the only way to do justice between the parties was to vary the original final order.

Read the judgment  in H v W [2023] EWFC 120