Martin v Martin [2018] EWCA Civ 2866

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Spring 2019 #174

A company was incorporated by the husband and a friend in 1978 as equal shareholders. The husband and wife started living together in 1986, and married in 1989. At this point, the husband acquired 99% of the shares and the wife 1%. They separated in 2015.

On a wife’s application for a financial remedy order, the judge found that the capital assets were £182m in properties and pension funds, and 100% of the shares in a private company, which he valued at £221m before tax and costs of sale. He found that 80% of the company’s value was marital property, by applying a straight-line ap...

Financial provision: Sharing the risk

Jemma Pollock reviews the treatment of ‘copper-bottomed’ assets when compared to assets with a higher risk and less certain value in a case involving a private company ‘The impact of the uncertainty will of course be felt more in cases where resources outside of a family business are lower and where achieving a balance is …
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Financial provision: Sharing the burden

Charles Eastwood discusses when it may be fair for a party to use capital awarded following the application of the sharing principle to generate income ‘The court will always need to look at all the relevant circumstances of each case when deciding whether and how a party should fairly be using their free capital to …
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Marital agreements: Proceed with caution

Joe Ailion highlights a case in which, inter alia, a lack of legal advice in relation to a pre-marital agreement did not protect a dissenting party ‘It would be impractical, and prohibitively expensive, for parties to obtain advice in any of the multiple possible matrimonial regimes in which a “globe-trotting” couple may divorce.’ In a …
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Non-matrimonial property: Diverging views

Moji Sobowale examines non-matrimonial assets and the differing approaches to such assets that have developed in case law ‘The court has a wide discretion as to how to arrive at a fair apportionment of the capital assets and can simply apply a broad assessment of the division that would affect “overall fairness“.‘ The Court of …
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Pensions: Balancing fairness

Kathryn Mason reviews the approach to pension assets accrued prior to marriage, including the significance of needs ‘Pension contributions made prior to the marriage fall into the category of assets that have not been “the financial product of or generated by the endeavours during the marriage”.’ This article considers the courts’ treatment of pre-marital pension …
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Non-Matrimonial Property: Beyond reach?

In the conclusion to a two-part analysis, Deborah Jeff considers the law on non-matrimonial assets and the key principles applied ‘While non-matrimonial property is subject to the sharing principle, it still typically results in a departure from equal sharing – anything from 0-100%.’ The first part of this article looked at the Privy Council decision …
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Business Assets: Alternative methods

John Oxley considers the valuation of assets, where the formation of such assets predated the marriage, and the different approaches taken by the courts ‘Businesses often grow in spurts and splutters, rather than straight lines. A linear approach fails to consider the active and passive aspects of any such growth.’In high-value matrimonial cases, the court …
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Disclosure: Coming clean

Emma Doughty explores the practical challenges when dealing with the ongoing duty to provide full and frank disclosure in financial proceedings ‘It is a decision for the client as to how much they investigate their interest in a discretionary trust, but they should be warned that if it later transpires that they have failed to …
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Non-Matrimonial Assets: Further distinction

Fiona Turner considers whether inherited wealth is more likely to result in a departure from equality than earned wealth ‘Assuming the parties’ needs are met, the courts may distinguish between different categories of non-matrimonial property.’Parties on divorce usually have a strong claim to share in the matrimonial property that has been built up during their …
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