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David Hodson on International Family Law: Plugging the hole of nondisclosure

Date:10 FEB 2011

David HodsonThe Dutch may have found a way of preventing the leaking of assets through non-disclosure. A particular provision in the Dutch Civil Code might have some considerable success in England which is still reeling from the Imerman decision last summer.

Nondisclosure is a very live issue in a good number of contentious cases. Of course it arises in the very big money divorces concerning many millions: conveniently held offshore assets in uncertain accounts and through nebulous financial vehicles - hiding "assets from view amongst complex corporate undergrowth" as Coleridge J colourfully described in J v V (Disclosure: Offshore Corporations) [2004] 1 FLR 1042. However it arises right across the wealth spectrum in ancillary relief applications. One of the perversities of the Court of Appeal judgment in Imerman [2010] EWCA 908 is that the judges continually reiterated their awareness that non-disclosure was both widespread and a very real obstacle in obtaining a fair and just outcome. Nevertheless the result of their technically strict...

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