Case Studies

Wives Win Landmark Ruling

This week the Supreme Court gave judgement on two cases involving a similar legal argument.  In the cases of Sharland & Gohil the Supreme Court allowed the previously agreed order relating to their finances to be set aside and finances to be looked at once again.  This was against a background where it was confirmed that the disclosure provided previously by each Husband was ‘deliberately dishonest’.

In the case of Sharland the dishonesty related to the valuation of the husband’s business; on the husband’s evidence his business was worth £50m and there was no plan for a public sale when in fact he had been making active preparations to float the company and it reportedly had a value of $750m-1bn.

In the case of Gohil, Mrs Gohil settled for £270,000.  The husband’s evidence was that his assets were worth just over £300,000. The financial order contained a recital that the wife did not believe there had been full and frank disclosure by the husband.  Three years post settlement the husband was convicted of fraud and money laundering of £25m.

There was no final order in terms of what would be a fair settlement as the cases are to be looked at again in the High Court. There are no doubt complications relating to the Gohil matter with his criminal act and the proceeds thereof.

It should be noted that although this is a landmark decision it is not enough that there is dishonesty and no full and frank disclosure; it must be likely that the court would have made a substantially different decision if accurate disclosure had been exchanged.

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