Family Law Hub

HW & WW (Covid 19 pandemic: set aside a financial remedy consent order?) [2021] EWFC B20

HHJ Kloss had to decide whether the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact upon the value of a key asset was a sufficient ground to set aside a financial remedy consent order. The husband had not paid the first lump sum of £750,000, and had at first applied to stay the lump sum provision for one year with a review in nine months, due to the impact of Covid-19 upon his ability to raise the lump sums. He had then applied to have it set aside entirely. HHJ Kloss set aside the stay application as having been superseded. He then dismissed the husband’s application to set aside the order. In principle, the pandemic was a potential Barder event, opening the door to set aside, but the risk of the event had been reasonably foreseeable to the husband when the agreement had been made in March 2020, and an overall assessment of the impact of the pandemic and more general factors led the court to exercise its discretion against the husband. The Barder threshold was deliberately set very high, and this change was not fundamental enough to meet it. Among other reasons, the company remained viable, and was projected to bounce back significantly. The husband had chosen for himself the path of greatest personal risk, which was projected to lead to the greatest personal reward. Although he would not have made the same deal had he known what lay ahead, sympathy and fairness did not form part of the test to be applied. The case would be listed for further applications and directions to be considered.

Judgment, published: 26/05/2021

Topics


Published: 26/05/2021

Copyright 

Copyright in the original legal material published on the Family Law Hub is vested in Mills & Reeve LLP (as per date of publication shown on screen) unless indicated otherwise.

Disclaimer

The Family Law Hub website relates to the legal position in England Wales and all of the material within it has been prepared with the aim of providing key information only and does not constitute legal advice in relation to any particular situation. While Mills & Reeve LLP aims to ensure that the information is correct at the date on which it is added to the website, the legal position can change frequently, and content will not always be updated following any relevant changes. You therefore acknowledge and agree that Mills & Reeve LLP and its members and employees accept no liability whatsoever in contract, tort or otherwise for any loss or damage caused by or arising directly or indirectly in connection with any use or reliance on the contents of our website except to the extent that such liability cannot be excluded by law.

Bookmark this item