Recalcitrant Husband Banned From Paying His Lawyers Until Arrears Cleared

7th January 2019 By Alireza Nurbakhsh

It is commonplace for one spouse to control the family finances and, while relations are amicable, this usually causes few issues. However, if the relationship falls apart and separation or divorce is in train, this is often no longer the case.

When a spouse attempts to put pressure on their estranged partner by denying them access to funding to cover their legal fees, this can certainly be a problem, but as a recent case shows, the courts take a dim view of those who seek to deny legal representation to others. The solution was novel and likely to prove effective.

The case in question reached the Family Court after the husband had dragged his feet over filing the required statement of financial means (Form E). Two months after the expiry of the extension date for producing the statement, it had still not been submitted, leading the judge to comment that ‘the considerable delay in producing the Form E after two earlier consent orders setting a timetable for its production is not excusable’. This is the sort of comment that seldom presages good news for the client about whom it is made.

The ire of the Court was further stirred up by the fact that the husband (a wealthy Omani) was some £100,000 behind with the maintenance payments he had been ordered to make. Nor had he made the payments ordered for his wife’s own legal representation – some £120,000 – whilst having paid his own solicitors in the region of £95,000.

The judge’s solution was strict. He issued an injunction against the husband, banning him from paying anything further to his solicitors until he had cleared the arrears due to his wife and paid pound for pound to her any legal costs he had paid to his (or any other) solicitors.

Source: Concious

Latest News

Disinheriting Relatives Can Be a Recipe for Discord

21st March, 2019 By Alireza Nurbakhsh

You may have good reasons for writing close relatives out of your will but, as any lawyer will tell you, the consequence of doing so can be family discord after you are gone. That was certainly so in one case concerning a father who disinherited his daughter by his first marriage. The man's will left the whole of his estate to his second wife and appointed her and one of his nieces as his executors. In a statement attached to the will he explained that he was leaving nothing to...

Tribunal Paves the Way for Suburban Garden Development

18th March, 2019 By Alireza Nurbakhsh

Restrictions on land use appear in the title deeds of many properties – but the law permits their deletion or modification if they become obsolete over time or stand in the way of reasonable development. Exactly that happened in one case in which the Upper Tribunal (UT) opened the way for construction of three new homes in a large suburban garden despite neighbours' objections. The garden once formed a large field on the outskirts of a major city. Part of it was subject to a restrictive covenant, dated 1928, which...

Commercial Surrogacies Abroad Are Not Illegal – Court of Appeal Ruling

15th March, 2019 By Alireza Nurbakhsh

Although commercial surrogacy businesses have long been banned in the UK, the Court of Appeal recently ruled that a clinical negligence victim would not be breaking the law were she to enter into such an arrangement in California, where a more liberal surrogacy regime prevails. The woman is unable to have children after she developed cervical cancer and had to undergo radical surgery. The NHS trust that was responsible for her treatment was ordered by a judge to pay her almost £600,000 in compensation after it admitted that four opportunities...

Social Media – Be Careful!

12th March, 2019 By Alireza Nurbakhsh

The legal dispute between Elon Musk and Vernon Unsworth, the man who helped to rescue boys trapped in a cave in Thailand, may have dropped out of the press over the last few weeks, but a recent case shows the lack of accuracy of Mr Musk's assertion that Twitter was just the forum for a 'schoolyard spat' that would not be taken seriously by users who expect to read 'opinion, not facts'. The case involved a tweet made by the agent of a former chairman of UKIP in the run...