B v S (Financial Remedy: Marital Property Regime)  EWHC 265 (Fam)
Partner Bradley Williams acted for the wife in a case which concerned the impact of separate property regimes and a post nuptial agreement on a divorce. The case adds an extra gloss to Radmacher and is also being cited in relation to Mostyn J's comments on how courts should assess ongoing maintenance.
Grubb v Grubb  Court of Appeal
Partner Bradley Williams acted for the husband in the case of Grubb v Grubb in the Court of Appeal. The court considered how to determine what constitutes the "reasonable needs" of a spouse in a case involving inherited wealth. The case attracted substantial press coverage amid claims that the courts have lost touch with the idea of "reasonable needs" for wives in big money divorce cases.
L v L  EWCH 2207 (Fam)
Partner Nicole Hackett acted for the wife on an appeal in financial remedy proceedings where a non-extendable spousal maintenance order was made by the High Court even though this point had not been argued at first instance.
Golubovich v Golubovich  2 FLR 1614, Court of Appeal
Partner David Allison successfully acted for the husband, Ilya Golubovich, in a case in the Court of Appeal which established once and for all that an English court should recognise decrees of divorce made competently and within the rules of another jurisdiction where the other jurisdiction was outside the EU or with whom the UK did not have a reciprocal treaty arrangement. In this case a divorce decree had been granted in Russia by a competent court and there was no reason for the English court not to recognise it simply because the wife had obtained orders in England attempting to prevent the husband from applying for divorce in Russia.
K v L  EWHC
Partner Nicole Hackett and assistant Elizabeth Fletcher acted in a case for the husband of a multi millionairess worth about £57m. Most of the money was inherited prior to the marriage. The couple had lived very modestly during the marriage with the husband playing a home making role. Mr Justice Bodey held that the husband's needs, generously interpreted, could be met by a payment of £5m. This case is interesting in that it is clear that the court will look differently at the needs of a home-making wife from those of a home-making husband.
Re S (Leave to Remove: Costs)  EWHC 3120 (Fam)
Partner Gillian Bishop and assistant Elizabeth Fletcher acted for a Swedish mother who wished to return to Sweden with her then 8 year old son. Despite losing the original application we acted for the mother in her successful appeal and subsequent re-hearing following the child's father's redundancy. The reported aspect of the case was the mother's successful application for costs against the father in light of the father's unreasonable litigation conduct and his failure to take stock of the likely outcome of the appeal and the re-hearing.
McFarlane v McFarlane  2 FLR 1322, FD
Partners James Pirrie and Bradley Williams acted for Julia McFarlane on her application to vary the Order of District Judge Redgrave. When the House of Lords confirmed, in 2006, that District Judge Redgrave's maintenance award was fair in all of the circumstances they set out the principles governing such awards. Charles J gave important guidance on how these principles were to be implemented in practice in relation to Mrs McFarlane's variation application. In awarding a significant increase in Mrs McFarlane's periodical payments Charles J decided that the focus had shifted to ensuring security of income in retirement. It was right that Mrs McFarlane should be entitled to save and invest an enhanced share of Mr McFarlane's income. As Mr and Mrs McFarlane approach retirement the principles of compensation and sharing become less important than the overarching principle of needs, generously interpreted.
Partners Gillian Bishop and Bradley Williams were part of the team acting for Ms Blades on her application for permission to Appeal.
The Court of Appeal overturned a stay of an Order for the payment of a lump sum which had been made against Bradley’s client. The Court of Appeal found that there was no jurisdiction to make an Order for Security for Costs “by the back door.”
The first case to be reported since McFarlane where the court was required to say whether the compensation principles established by McFarlane applied to an ex-wife applying for an upward variation of her maintenance award. We persuaded the court that the principles did apply and as a result our client had her maintenance order doubled.
A history of criticism for non-co-operation against our client, running back over 12 years was finally laid to rest when the members of the Court of Appeal read our client’s history. Their Lordships then clarified that the penalty assessment should be removed where he had produced the information needed.
The wife and her lawyers had seized our client’s laptop computer without his permission in an attempt to obtain information. We were successful in preventing the wife and her legal team from accessing the information on the laptop and having it returned.
We successfully acted for a husband whose ex-wife was trying to set aside a consent order because of an increase in the value of the family home following the settlement. This case confirmed the important principle of finality of consent orders save for material non-disclosure.
The Court of Appeal had decided that the daughters of a biological mother should reside with her former lesbian partner (who was not their biological parent). We helped the mother overturn that decision in the House of Lords so that they remained living with her.
The successful end point for a woman who had pursued her former husband for child support, this case established how the incomes from a wide range of businesses should be dealt with for child support. It became harder for earners to hide behind the figures in their published accounts
Confirming that Mrs McFarlane should be entitled to share in the high-earnings of her former husband, when they had been created by the partnership of their marriage, this case shattered the glass-ceiling that had previously existed for maintenance claims (and also created a new benchmark for child-maintenance awards).
The case established that, in matrimonial finance cases, the court had a duty to inquire into the parties’ means. In a case where a party was in breach of his duty to disclose and was in breach of orders of the court he forfeited his right to legal professional privilege – the court ordered production of the solicitors file.
The case established that it was the function of the court to resolve a parental disagreement (in this case schooling) and that the court could not abdicate responsibility by giving one parent a veto.
We were successful in assisting a mother of two small children to return to live in her country of origin with the children although their father wished them to remain in England.
The case dealt with the issue of whether the English court was able to make orders concerning an English child resident in another country. It established that a new habitual residence could be acquired even where a move to a foreign country was for a short or trial period and that the court should be slow to make orders that conflict with pre-existing orders in any friendly foreign state.
We were successful in rescuing a fair share of the resources for our client, despite the pincer claims of his wife and mortgagee. This remains one of the leading cases on beneficial interests in property and how these should be viewed when mortgagees intervene to recover their security.