(Family Division, Moylan J, 30 May 2012)
The wife applied for disclosure of documents connected with the husband's criminal proceedings in order to support her application to set aside the financial order. The Secretary of State and CPS opposed the application on the basis that the information requested was obtained from foreign governments pursuant to requests for mutual assistance.
The husband was a solicitor who was convicted of money laundering offences and sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment 6 years after the financial order was made. The CPS sought a confiscation order and alleged that the husband's benefit from criminality amounted to over £45m. The husband had realisable assets of £35m.
The financial order following divorce provided for the husband to give the wife a lump sum of £270,000 which he had claimed at the time he could only pay with family assistance.
An order for full disclosure was made. Full disclosure would ensure that the wife was in the same position as the husband, otherwise there was a clear risk that the wife and court would obtain an inaccurate picture. Providing such orders were only made very sparingly the MLA regime would not be undermined. The wife undertook not to further disclose the information save for the purposes of her application to set aside the financial order and any consequent ancillary relief application.