ANDREW MEEHAN, Senior Solicitor, Mills & Reeve
The Court of Appeal's decision in the conjoined appeals Tchenguiz v Imerman; Imerman v Imerman  EWCA Civ 908,  2 FLR (forthcoming) was handed down at the end of July 2010. It has attracted great controversy and concern amongst ancillary relief practitioners, most of whom will be able to recite details of a case in which they have acted in which a client has brought in documentation they have ‘happened across' and which has subsequently demonstrated that the other spouse has not complied with their obligation to provide full and frank disclosure of their financial circumstances. Without that vital documentation, non-disclosers would have benefited from their conduct and justice would not have been done.
This anecdotal evidence is backed up by empirical evidence from Grant Thornton's most recent Matrimonial Survey published in July 2010 (ie evidence obtained before the Court of Appeal's decision in Imerman) in which those divorce lawyers polled reported that there were significant concealed or missing assets or income in between 10%-30% of cases. Non-disclosure was, therefore, already a significant and serious problem even before the Court of Appeal's decision.
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