Divorce & Separation

20 April 2011

WHSmith - shopping for divorce

WHSmith (WHS) has announced plans to provide ‘in-store’ legal advice which is likely to include family law. The backdrop is the implementation of the Legal Services Act which comes into effect in October. This seeks to de-regulate the provision of legal services which will no longer be the preserve of traditional law firms and so ‘alternative business structures’ will be licensed to provide legal services. WHS (in common with others e.g. Tesco) plan to offer legal advice in conjunction with new businesses set up for the purpose e.g. QualitySolicitors (a franchise of small rebranded law firms).

11 April 2011

London – Still the Divorce Capital of the World?

The Court of Appeal have upheld an award of £2.8 million to a 27 year old wife after a two year marriage. Both parties are Russian and lived in a £4 million property in Kensington. The husband is 26 and the parties have a two year old daughter. The husband contested the lower Court’s decision on the basis it was disproportionate to the length of the marriage, the majority of his wealth emanated from his parents and the English Courts had no jurisdiction.

8 February 2011

What's mine is yours...depending on what it is and when I got it.

In the recent case of JvJ, the Court of Appeal gave guidance on the treatment of non matrimonial assets, which in this case was a company that the Husband had acquired and operated for 10 years before the marriage. The Wife accepted that she should have a lower than 50% share of the total assets and the Husband accepted the Wife should have an equal share of the matrimonial assets.

Connie Atkinson

13 December 2010

The European marriage contract - a different animal to the pre-nup?

I have read with interest the commentary on a highly contested divorce currently proceeding in New York, the divorce of Olivier Sarkozy (the half brother of Nicolas Sarkozy) and his wife Charlotte. According to the press reports (even reported in the English press - eg see Telegraph of 5 December) Mrs Sarkozy is trying to overturn the terms of a French 'pre-nup' the parties had entered into when they married in the 1990's. Olivier apparently had been 'summoned' by his future father in law to sign the contract to protect Charlotte's family trusts. Since then Olivier's career and financial position had gone from strength to strength and, by the time of the parties' separation, the terms of the agreement no longer suited Charlotte and to the contrary were very much in her husband's interests .

Charlotte Bradley

19 November 2010

A cheat’s charter?

This summer, the Court of Appeal judgment in the case of “Tchenguiz v Imerman” was widely reported in the press, with family lawyers taking widely differing views on its implications.

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