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The couple married in 1993 and separated in 2010. During the divorce proceedings they reached an agreement about the division of family assets. The settlement gave the wife about £10.355m in cash and the properties and the husband about £5.64m. In respect of the software company the husband part-owned, they agreed the wife would receive 30% of the profits of any sale of the shares in the future.
After the settlement had been agreed, the wife discovered that the husband had failed to disclose that, contrary to what he said in evidence, he was planning to float the company on the stock exchange. She argued that, had she known the true position, she would not have settled in the terms that she did. She sought the order be set aside and attempted to gain a greater share of the husband’s assets.
The Court of Appeal, by a majority of 2:1, found that the husband had been guilty of fraudulent misrepresentation during the proceedings but that, despite his dishonesty and non-disclosure, the order should not be set aside because the wife would not have received a substantially different sum had the court been told the full facts. However, the judges did say that the husband may be subject to criminal prosecution, civil contempt proceedings and/or a costs penalty.
The Wife plans to seek permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.
For further information and advice on this issue, and other family law issues, please contact us for a free initial consultation on 01992 306 616 or 0207 956 2740 or email us.Back to Law Articles