12 February 2014
Disclosing Your Assets in Divorce Proceedings
The former wife of multi-millionaire businessman Charlie Sharland has lost her appeal for a bigger slice of a potential £150 million family fortune; although it was accepted that her husband had been dishonest in the divorce proceedings.
During the divorce the husband didn’t disclose his plan to float his company on the stock market which would have increased its value, and she agreed a settlement without that knowledge.
The husband lead the wife to believe that his shares were worth £7 million whereas press reports suggested the company could soon be floated on the stock market for more than £460 million.
The Judge said “It’s inevitable that the husband is and will be, rightly subject to the opprobrium of this and the lower Courts and law abiding members of the public generally and may be subjected to criminal prosecution, civil contempt proceedings and/or a cost penalty”.
The couple had lived in Cheshire during their marriage. On the original settlement the wife received £10.4 million in cash and property, paid less than her husband in to a Trust fund for their disabled son, and in return agreed to receive 30% of the shares of the business when sold. She accepted this as the husband had given evidence that he did not have plans to float the company for at least five years.
Although the husbands conduct was “deliberate and dishonest”, there were good reasons for concluding that it had not resulted in his ex-wife being left in a worse position; said Lord Justice Moore-Brick.
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