The full judgement has just been published in the case of M and M (2013). This case has been heavily publicised given the unusual circumstances and the substantial amount of money involved.
The traced assets amounted to £107 million. Remarkably the husband didn’t attend the final hearing. Mrs Justice King condemned the husbands behaviour as ‘appalling’ as the husband failed to appear in court to give evidence, the judge made it clear that adverse inferences could be drawn, which resulted in a less than favourable order to him being made.
It’s surprising that a party to court proceedings could simply fail to attend court to give evidence, particularly in this case given the enormity of the assets that were at stake. Failure to comply with court orders and to disrespect the court will not do anyone any favours. When a judge is asked to make an order distributing assets, they apply a checklist of factors set by statute and one of those factors is considering a parties conduct in the proceedings.
By Family Law Solicitor Lorraine Harvey.