Lies and Legal Fees
  • 31st Oct 2016
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If you read The Times recently, an article about one of Britain’s leading female entrepreneurs and her husband’s financial proceedings arising from their divorce may have caught your eye.

The case involved significant assets.  The couple managed to reach a financial agreement which involved the husband transferring shares to his wife at a price of £11.59 each. The total value of the shares was £225,000.00. A few years later the same shares were valued at £122.00 each, meaning that the husband’s investment would have been worth £2.37 million pounds. The husband claimed that his wife had deliberately concealed a pending deal and she was aware that the company would increase in value.

Mrs Justice Roberts hearing the case set aside the couple’s previous financial agreement as she ruled that the wife actively mislead the husband.

The Judge, unsurprisingly, appeared to be astonished by the legal fees that the couple incurred; an eye watering £1.32 million pounds. Somewhat ironically, the wife has had to sell her shares in the company to settle her legal bills.

Perhaps, had the wife not actively misled her husband and provided an honest picture of the finances, their financial agreement may have been upheld. This potentially could have saved a fortune on legal bills.

When resolving finances arising from divorce, each party is under a duty to provide full and frank financial disclosure. The Family solicitors at Whitehead Monckton can advise and assist you with that duty; to ensure you meet your obligations, and take steps to ensure that your spouse has also complied with their duty.

In some cases, Court is the appropriate forum to resolve matrimonial finances. However, in most cases matters can be resolved using an alternative form of dispute resolution for example, Mediation, Collaboration or informal round table meetings. Although the recent case reported in The Times appears to be complex, the level of legal fees is astounding. Processes like Mediation can save considerable amounts of money in comparison to litigation, but all such processes demand full and frank disclosure.

At Whitehead Monckton, each member of the Family department prides themselves on offering clients all of the options in order to resolve matters in a way which is in your best interests.