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  • The wife appealed from an order that had reduced the lump sum awarded to the husband from £814,000 to £733,650 (£630,000 and £550,000 net after payment of capital gains tax) and reduced the husband's pension share from 48.6% to 34%. The wife had retained 73% of the non-pension assets plus the balance of her pensions. Both the district judge and the judge had considered that a significant departure from an equal sharing of the matrimonial assets was justified. Following receipt of the judge's judgment both the husband and the wife had sent what were said to be requests for clarification. The judge concluded that these requests were in fact an impermissible "critique of the judgment and an attempt at further argument". In Moylan LJ's view, the judge had clearly decided that it was too late for further evidence to be adduced, and this decision was one which had been open to him and it had not been shown to be wrong. Parties should not expect a judge to permit further evidence to be adduced at such a late stage of the proceedings, particularly following an appeal. Lewison and Nugee LJ agreed, and the wife's appeal was dismissed. Judgment, 01/02/2021, free
  • The judge had allowed the husband's appeal from a maintenance pending suit order, principally on the basis that the the deputy district judge had "failed to apply the law appropriately" and had not undertaken any "critical analysis of the wife's needs". The wife now appealed against that decision. In Moylan LJ's view, the deputy district judge had undertaken a sufficient analysis of the relevant factors to support her decision, including the wife's listed needs and likely income, and the husband's budget. She had been entitled to include the amount sought for school fees, and had reached a fair decision as to what level of maintenance would be reasonable. In those circumstances, there was no basis on which the judge could properly interfere with the decision. Asplin and Macur LJJ agreed. The appeal would be allowed, with the judge's order being set aside, including the costs order. The maintenance pending suit order made by the deputy district judge would be restored, save for a paragraph dealing with the mortgage. Judgment, 22/01/2021, free
  • The Court of Appeal considered how a court should assess reasonable and immediate needs when faced with an application for maintenance pending suit. News, 14/01/2021, free
  • The husband appealed from a financial remedy order made in February 2020, on the ground that the judge had failed to assess or take into account the husband's needs and only considered the wife's needs. Part of the order had been for the husband to sell a property in Miami, with the wife to receive the lump sum. The day before the hearing the court – and the husband's own solicitors – learned that the husband's beneficial interest in that property had been transferred to his mother. In Moylan LJ's view, the judge had been entitled to take the husband's litigation conduct into account. The disparity in outcome could be justified in this case. The judge had found that the burden of maintaining the children was likely to be met by the wife. Moylan LJ did not accept the submission that the judge's consideration of the husband's needs had been inadequate. Patten LJ and Newey LJ agreed. The appeal was dismissed. Judgment, 25/09/2020, free
  • An appeal by the husband against the final order made by a district judge in an application for financial remedies. The parties had married in 2013 and separated in 2018, and in the course of the marriage the wife had received a large settlement from the NHS in compensation for clinical negligence. The husband argued that the final order was unfair because it departed from equality in giving 99% of the assets to the wife, that the district judge had gone too far in making allowances for the wife being a litigant in person, that the district judge's assessment of the party's respective needs was flawed, and that the district judge should have taken into account the wife's post-separation spending. HHJ Vincent decided that the appeal should be allowed. The district judge's decision to admit at the last minute an extract from counsel’s advice in respect of the clinical negligence claim had been wrong. The damages award formed part of the matrimonial assets. The district judge had fallen into error in her assessment of the parties’ respective needs, and in concluding that the wife’s needs outweighed the consideration of the husband’s needs, leading her to make an award which was unfair. HHJ Vincent's substituted assessment differed from the district judge's in one regard: a property in Spain would be sold and the proceeds split fifty-fifty. Judgment, 02/07/2020, free

Latest know-how

  • The husband appealed a final financial remedy order made by Cohen J. The sole ground of appeal was that the judge failed to assess or take into account the husband’s needs, and only considered the wife’s needs. Case note, 20/10/2020, free
  • In a tweet: Consideration of “substantial” in leave for Part II MFPA 1984 proceedings. Case note, 18/10/2019, members only
  • In a tweet: Needs based order appropriate if pre-nuptial agreement fails to provide for reasonable needs. Case note, 02/10/2019, members only
  • In a tweet: The courts’ poor service - which had effectively forced the parties into arbitration – did not dilute the magnetic importance of the arbitration agreement. Case note, 04/07/2019, members only
  • A case summary of Vasilyeva v Shemyakin [2019] EWHC 932 (Fam), by a Pupil at 1 Hare Court. Case note, 10/05/2019, members only

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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