25 July 2013 by

Non-disclosure: Does it really matter?

The parties in Financial Remedy Proceedings have an ongoing duty to provide full, frank, clear and accurate disclosure of their financial and other relevant circumstances. Indeed, they must sign a statement of truth to that effect when completing their financial statement, which contains a warning that proceedings for contempt of court can be brought against any person who makes or causes to be made a false statement. So it’s very serious stuff, but in reality very rarely happens.

It is far more common for the aggrieved party to try and reopen the entire case by applying to the Court to have the order set aside because of non-disclosure. In order to succeed the applicant will need to satisfy the Court that there has been a ‘material’ non-disclosure that would have resulted in a different outcome had it been disclosed.

In the case in question the husband (H) had been asked whether his company was contemplating an initial public offering (IPO), which is the first step towards floating the company on the stock exchange. He claimed that an IPO was only one way in which he could realise his shares, that any exit or IPO was three to seven years away and that no planning was taking place for an IPO. It later transpired that this was the not the case and that planning had been taking place in 2012 for an IPO contemplated in early 2013 and an IPO was the only exit which was being considered and planned.

Although there had been a clear non-disclosure by H the Court found that any order which would have been made if proper disclosure had taken place would not have been substantially different from the order that was in fact made. The non-disclosure by H was therefore not a material non-disclosure and the wife’s application to set aside was refused.

So in answering the question of whether non-disclosure really matters the answer has to be a resounding YES, unless you want to risk being committed to prison for contempt of Court or having the entire case re-opened . But if you are looking to set aside an order because of non-disclosure it is worth bearing in mind that it must be material non-disclosure that would have resulted in a substantially different outcome.

If you have any questions regarding the above article or are contemplating a divorce, please contact the team at Bolt Burdon.

19 July 2013 by

To BBQ or not to BBQ that is the question!

Summer has finally arrived and it’s the perfect time to dust off the barbeque, or is it?

25 July 2013 by Vincent Billings

Signed, sealed, delivered…but by whom?

As all company directors will know, it is very important to keep your personal and professional lives separate. When it comes to contracts, things are no different.

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