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The breakdown of a marriage is difficult enough, without the dynamic of lack of fairness in relation to financial matters due to one party hiding or devaluing assets.

Jenny Goldstein — Head of Family Law

Today our highest court has ruled that Alison Sharland and Varsha Gohil can re-open their divorce cases as their Husband’s did not give full financial disclosure. This is a huge development.

In 2012 in the Gohil case, Lord Justice McFarlane, sitting in the Court of Appeal, said it was “simply not open to the court” to decide in 2012 about an issue discussed in 2004.

Both woman saw their positions as a point of principle.

Mrs Gohil discovered the extent of her ex-husband’s deceit when he was prosecuted in the criminal courts. She had a settlement of £270 000 plus a small car. In his criminal trail it became clear he had deliberately mislead the family court and had worked his way through about £35m

Mrs Sharland accepted a £10m settlement in 2010 based on an accountant’s valuation of her Husband’s company at the time of £7m – her team put a value on the company of £32m. Crucially Mr Sharland also stated he had no plans to float the company. It subsequently transpired when Mr Sharland decided to pursue plans to float the company; the open value was £620m, which made the real value of his share at least £150m.

Both cases have been sent back to reconsidered by the Family Court.

The last word goes to Lady Justice Hale, “This case is one of fraud. It would be extraordinary if the victim of a fraudulent misrepresentation in a matrimonial case was in a worse position than the victim of an ordinary case.”

If any of the issues in this article are relevant to your situation please contact

Jennifer Goldstein

Head of Family Department

Resolution Advanced Accreditation Financial Provision and Children Law

Law Society Accreditation Children Panel

Family Arbitrator (CIArb)

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