Keeping up to Date with the UK's Fast-Changing Divorce Laws - Spear's Magazine

Keeping up to Date with the UK's Fast-Changing Divorce Laws

Precedents are being set with alarming frequency in London's divorce courts, so Withers new guide on international trust and divorce litigation is welcome

Precedents are being set with alarming frequency in London’s divorce courts. In June alone, oil-tycoon Michael Prest had to transfer properties held by companies owned and controlled by him as part of a £17.5 million settlement, thus changing the state of play for UHNWs.

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Michael Prest

Amid the changes, top divorce firm Withers has published a guide entitled International Trust and Divorce Litigation. Authored by partners Mark Harper and Dawn Goodman, counsel Patrick Hamlin, consultant Professor Paul Matthews and associates Paola Fudakowska and Elizabeth Gale, the 424 page book explains international trusts in the context of divorce.

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As one of the leading international practices, Withers is well placed to provide a detailed and practical exploration of the conjunction of these disciplines.

For example, Mark Harper, a partner, acted in Charman v Charman, the case that redefined the English courts’ treatment of offshore trusts by ruling that the trust in question was irrelevant, that the money was the insurance magnate’s and that an order would be made against him personally that could only be met by selling personal assets or raiding the trust. 

As Dawn Goodman, another partner, says, ‘The updated edition of International Trust and Divorce Litigation provides an in-depth explanation of trusts and how to protect them in the event of divorce, as well as conversely looking at enforcement issues for divorce orders relating to trusts. In our view, there are few publications which provide such a comprehensive view of this subject matter.’

As proof of expertise, Withers has advised 34 per cent of the top 100 UK Sunday Times Rich List and over 20% per cent of the top 100 US Forbes list.

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