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  • The substantive final hearing of the former wife's application under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 for financial relief. The wife and two children lived in England and had dual Russian and British citizenship. The husband was Russian, had kept a second family in Moscow, and had obtained a Russian divorce without the wife's knowledge. He had not participated in these proceedings. He had made no disclosure and had not paid a penny following an interim order for maintenance and legal costs funding. Holman J ordered the husband to pay or cause to be paid a lump sum to the wife of £2,250,000, and to pay her costs on the indemnity basis. Judgment, 11/03/2020, free
  • Mr Justice Cohen recently gave judgment in MB v EB (No. 2) [2019] EWHC 3676 (Fam), and sounded a cautionary note to parties in needs-based cases in financial remedy proceedings who run up unreasonably large legal costs under the (mistaken) belief that the financially stronger party will be ordered to pay them. Referring to the recent amendments to FPR 2010 Practice Direction 28A, Cohen J was firm in his judgment that it was not for the wife, in this case, to ‘bankroll this litigation’ which he found to have been unreasonably conducted by the husband. This case serves as a warning to parties who have a needs-based claim that this does not give them a so-called ‘license to litigate’, and underlines the importance of making sensible proposals in negotiations. News, 25/02/2020, free
  • The Court of Appeal recently gave judgment in XW v XH [2019] EWCA Civ 2262, an appeal by the wife (‘W’) against the financial remedy order made by Mr Justice Baker (as he then was) on 21 December 2017 (see XW v XH [2017] EWFC 76). He had ordered that W should receive capital resources which, when added to her own assets, would give her approximately £152m – a significant sum, but equal to only 29% of the parties’ combined capital resources of £530m. Judgment, 03/02/2020, free
  • An assessment of whether the husband had an outstanding needs claim which the wife should meet. The husband had no realistic prospect of meaningful employment. Cohen J held it would be proper to provide an award of £325,000 to meet the husband's needs for an income and a further £10,000 for a car replacement. However, the case had been conducted by the husband in a manner that Cohen J found to be irresponsible and unreasonable. The wife did not seek her costs from the husband, and Cohen J saw no reason why she should pay the husband's unreasonably incurred costs. Inclusive of costs of £150,000, the husband would receive a total award of £485,000. Judgment, 27/01/2020, free
  • Leave to apply for financial relief had been granted to the wife at an ex parte hearing under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984. The husband applied to set it aside. The parties lived only in Russia throughout the marriage, and had become very wealthy during the 1990s. There had been a blizzard of litigation since the divorce. The husband alleged that Cohen J had been materially misled by the wife's representatives when making the order. Cohen J regretted having been persuaded to hear the application without notice, and decided that the grant of leave was indeed given as a result of the court being misled, . The leave to apply for financial relief was set aside. The wife's application was considered afresh and dismissed. Her case was not appropriate for determination in England and Wales. Judgment, 12/11/2019, free

Latest know-how

Latest training

  • Joe Switalski, of 29 Bedford Row, reviews the current case law and judicial thinking surrounding 'short marriages' in financial remedy proceedings. Recorded 19 March 2018. Webcast, 21/03/2018, members only
  • Alexis Campbell QC and Charlotte Trace, of 29 Bedford Row, review the key financial remedy cases and themes from the past 12 months and look at how they will affect judicial thinking and your own cases in the year to come. Webcast, 16/03/2018, members only
  • Matthew Long, from 29 Bedford Row, reviews the caselaw regarding maintenance and variation of maintenance Webcast, 28/09/2017, members only
  • Recording of webinar first broadcast on 8 February 2017 Webcast, 10/02/2017, members only

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