AB v CD [2016] EWHC 10 (Fam)

17 FEB 2016
Family Division, Roberts J, 11 January 2016)

Financial remedies – Consent order – Appeal – Non-disclosure – Failure by wife to notify court of a forthcoming investment in the company which would increase the share value – Whether the consent order should be set aside

The husband’s appeal was allowed and the consent order was set aside on the basis that the wife had failed to provide full and frank disclosure.

During the negotiations in financial remedy proceedings the wife failed to disclose that an investment of £3.5m was going to be made to the company of which she was a director and shareholder. Both the husband and wife held shares in the company as, as a result of the investment, the share value would increase. One of the terms of the consent order was that the husband would transfer his shares to the wife.

The husband appealed the consent order on the basis that, at the time of the agreement, the wife had failed to provide full and frank disclosure of her financial circumstances.

The appeal was allowed and the consent order was set aside.

The information provided by the wife had not been full and frank but the judge stopped short of finding that there had been deliberate fraud or deception by the wife. The wife believed at the time that she had complied with her duty to the court. There was no hesitation in concluding that the non-disclosure was material to the determination. The husband was deprived of the opportunity of deciding whether to agree to the terms of the proposed consent order on a fully-informed basis. The husband's submission that he would not have agreed to terms if he had been fully informed was accepted. The potential undervalue of the company shares was a fundamental obstacle to the integrity of the consent order.

The matter was relisted for further directions and the parties were urged to reach an agreement.

This judgment was delivered in private. The judge has given leave for this version of the judgment to be published on condition that (irrespective of what is contained in the judgment) in any published version of the judgment the anonymity of the children and members of their family must be strictly preserved. All persons, including representatives of the media, must ensure that this condition is strictly complied with. Failure to do so will be a contempt of court.

Case No: FD11D02580

Neutral Citation Number: [2016] EWHC 10 (Fam)

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
FAMILY DIVISION


Royal Courts of Justice
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL


Date: 11/01/2016


Before :


MRS JUSTICE ROBERTS


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Between :


AB
Applicant


- and -


CD
Respondent


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Mr Nicholas Yates (instructed by Bromets LLP) for the Applicant
And the respondent acting in person 


Hearing dates: 22nd June to 1st July 2015 and 11TH November 2015


 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Judgment

Family Law

journal

"the principal (monthly) periodical dealing with contemporary issues" Sir Mark Potter P

More Info from £49.00
Available in Family Law Online

Family Court Practice, The

(Red Book)

Order your copy today and get the Autumn Supplement

More Info from £465.00
Available in Family Law Online