(Family Division, Moylan J, 23 November 2016)
Financial remedies – Rehearing – Non-disclosure of interest in trusts – Whether it was possible to leave original order intact and make an additional award
The wife was awarded an additional lump sum in respect of trust assets which were not disclosed in the original financial remedy proceedings.
The husband and wife were married for 10 years and had three children together. The husband worked for and was given an interest in the family company which was later sold and the husband received £15m.
He purchased another company of which he owned 82% of the shares with the balance being held by a trust for the benefit of his children. In addition he owned shares in his brother’s company which he received in return for financial assistance.
In the first financial remedy proceedings the wife received the former matrimonial home worth £3.25m and a lump sum of £4m.
The husband was subsequently found to have given a false presentation of the trust assets and the financial order was set aside. As at June 2016 the trusts had total assets of £12.67m.
The wife submitted that she should receive an equal share of the current assets including the trust assets that had previously not been disclosed. She sought a lump sum in excess of £14m in addition to, in the event of the sale of the company, an additional sum equal to 40% of any excess value over the current value of the company.
The husband contended that the wife should receive a share of the value of the trust assets as at 2010 plus an amount to reflect that she did not receive her share at that time. He proposed a lump sum of £3.5m plus 15% compensation.
Subject to one point, the parties' resources were divided in 2010 in a way which was fair and which, remained fair. The wife received less than half of the disclosed assets but that reflects the fact that the husband’s business interests formed a significant part of the wealth retained by him. In this instance it was fair to isolate the resources which were not disclosed and to deal only with those. The current value of the business was the product of post-separation endeavour and gave the wife no entitlement to a further share in addition to that which she received in 2010.
The wife would be awarded a further sum of £6.42m representing a half share of the trust assets in addition to the outstanding lump sum that was due to her under the previous order of £280,000 and £200,000 in recognition of the fact that she should have received the additional sums in the original proceedings.