Family Law Hub

Beneficial Interest

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  • The husband had been ordered to pay the former wife a lump sum of £20m in full and final settlement of her claims. Eleven years later, not a penny had been paid. A without notice order had been made appointing receivers of shares in a Spanish company, of which the husband had been found to be the beneficial owner. This receivership order was set aside following an application by other parties, and the wife now appealed against the set-aside order. Baker LJ decided that the judge had been wrong to set it aside on the mere assertion by the other parties that they were the owners of relevant shares. A third party could not expect to receive the protection of the court if it wasn't prepared for the rights it claimed to be scrutinised. Arguments on limitation, jurisdiction and estoppel also failed. Moylan LJ and Longmore LJ agreed, and the receivership order was restored, the latter adding that the application to set aside the receivership order had been misconceived from the start. Judgment, 23/12/2019, free
  • The district judge had found that the husband was the beneficial owner of a Panamanian property, held by a company of which his mother owned all the shares. King LJ found that there had been no procedural irregularity in that finding, and it was not contaminated by an avoidance of disposition order that had also, erroneously, been made. Moylan LJ and Leggatt LJ agreed, with the latter also observing that judges should be careful, when given alternative bases for their decisions, not to introduce confusion into what would otherwise be straightforward factual findings. Judgment, 11/10/2019, free
  • The couple married in 2016 after a long relationship, and the husband died later that year. The appeal was concerned with whether an application under s 2 of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 could be made out of time, whether a beneficial interest under a discretionary trust instead of outright provision amounted to reasonable financial provision, and the relevance of a "stand-still agreement" in place while an out of court settlement was pursued. Asplin LJ found that the explanation for the lapse of time in this case was clear, and it had been wrong of the judge to find that the wife had received sufficient advice about the time limit and the 1975 Act. King LJ and Baker LJ agreed. The court exercised the power in s 4 of the 1975 Act to allow the wife to bring a claim out of time. Judgment, 31/07/2019, free
  • The former wife sought permission to bring a claim out of time for reasonable financial provision from the estate of the deceased. No provision had been made for her in the will, and a pre-nuptual agreement had provided that in the event of the marriage failing she would receive a lump sum of £10,000 and a flight to the Philippines, but no maintenance, property or financial provision. Master Shuman found that the former wife had not given a sufficent explanation for the delay, and decided that permission should not be granted. Judgment, 30/07/2019, free
  • The wife had applied for an occupation order for a property. The husband had claimed that the marriage certificate was a forgery. The judge found that there was a marriage and the husband was a serial liar. The husband now sought permission to appeal the findings and the consequent orders, and an extension of time to do so. Williams J allowed the appeal, on the basis that the hearing was procedurally irregular and the outcome consequently unjust. The matter was remitted to the Family Court. Judgment, 25/06/2019, free

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  • For use in registering joint ownership of property at the time of acquisition Form (external), 15/01/2013, free

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