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Prest: An open road and a fast car?

Date:28 JAN 2013

Roger Bamber

Partner Mills & Reeve LLP:

The decision by the Court of Appeal in Petrodel Resources Ltd and Others v Prest and Others [2012] EWCA Civ 1395 [2013] 1 FLR (forthcoming) has excited a great deal of concern amongst family law practitioners.  The judgments of Rimer LJ and Patten LJ handed down on 26 October 2012 criticised the approach of judges in the Family Division and stated that Nicholas v Nicholas [1984] FLR 285 was no longer good law.  Thorpe LJ who gave a dissenting Judgment stated:

'If this Court now concludes that all these (Nicholas) cases were wrongly decided they present an open road and a fast car to the money maker who disapproves of the principles developed by the House of Lords but now govern the exercise of the judicial discretion in big money cases.' (para [63])

Moylan J at first instance found that the London properties held by a Group of companies owned exclusively by the husband were property to which he was 'entitled...

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