Nicholas Allen QC, 29 Bedford Row
The decision in Tchenguiz-Imerman v Imerman  2 FLR 814, CA catapulted the term “Imerman documents” into the everyday vocabulary of the family practitioner. It shifted the baseline and the boundaries of confidence. It changed the way in which we view, treat and advise clients in relation to the obtaining of the other spouse’s confidential documents within financial remedy proceedings. Significantly, it imposed obligations in relation to those documents on both the spouse and the practitioner.
This article considers the nature of those obligations as they have been developed through subsequent decisions. It identifies an important and understated distinction between confidential documents and the confidential information that may be derived from those documents. This information can be keenly remembered by the most determined of divorcing spouses long after the strict obligations to return the documents have been complied with. Behind the Imerman obligations may lie legitimate (if unforeseen) opportunities for a spouse to capitalise on what is remembered in financial remedy proceedings. These opportunities carry risk. But they may also carry reward. This article considers both, and concludes that, even nine years on from the decision in Imerman, much remains untested.
The full article will be published in the October issue of Family Law.