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Specialism: Lawyers Family and Matrimonial
Company: Manders Law
Location: London, England
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Average client size: £5 million - £25 million
Fixed fee offering: Yes - Bespoke Fixed Fee packages offered for all suitable matters, including fully contested Court hearings up to and including trial.
Number of offices globally: 1-5
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Acrimonious divorce of a British couple of Indian heritage
Acting for husband (45 years), a wealthy businessman and entrepreneur of Indian heritage in financial remedy/a variation of “ante nuptial settlements” including a 1997 Settlement “the Trust”, initiated by his Wife (43 years) in the High Court. Both parties were British nationals, but the husband asserted Indian domicile through his father (which was vulnerable to challenge by HMRC). At the time of proceedings, the parties had been married for fifteen years. There were no children.
The couple was at the time of proceedings living separately in luxury properties located in the West End and north London. The former matrimonial home had been gifted to the husband by his father as part of inheritance tax planning. The wife forcefully but erroneously sought to claim that this property was gifted to the parties on marriage. The property occupied by the wife was owned by the husband.
This was an extremely acrimonious case where the wife had also issued applications for Maintenance Pending Suit and a post FDR Legal Services Provision Order (LSPO). The pure maintenance element of her application was agreed at £14,000 per month. Her application for a LSPO was hard fought as to both necessity and quantum. The husband did not accept that the wife had made any reasonable efforts to obtain litigation funding and secondly considered her demand for a lump sum of £610,000 to fund her outstanding costs and costs to trial as excessive and unaffordable. He had already voluntarily paid her £140,000 for legal fees by way of a lump sum and had agreed to pay a further £2000 per week for each week that the hearing of her further applications for Maintenance Pending Suit and a LPSO was delayed for listing by the Court. In the event she incurred costs that were more than double this which she sought to recoup.
Wife also initially sought joinder of the Trustees of the 1997 Trust which held assets of £15 million (out of a total pot of £20 million) she later abandoned this application in the face of objection and argument by the Trustees.
The matter was finally concluded at the end of a ten-day trial where the wife received the £7 million that the husband had offered at the private FDR some months previously.