The media is widely reporting this ‘mega-divorce’ case in which the Wife struggled and failed, at vast expense, to prove her entitlement to a share of the Husband’s trust assets. Although the norm in divorce cases is that each side pays their own legal costs, in this instance the Husband has been ordered to foot the Wife’s legal bill of over £300,000. Given that the total legal costs of the case were over £2million, however, it may not feel like much of a ‘victory’ for the lady in question.
A High Court judge has penalised a husband for his 'blatant dishonesty' by ordering him to pay all of his wife's divorce costs of £344,000. Sir Peter Singer described the aviation tycoon husband's evidence a 'rotten edifice founded on concealment and misrepresentation' .
The couple enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, the main source of their wealth being a £50 million offshore trust which the husband set up before the marriage, & included a £20 million collection of vintage cars & land in Switzerland.
The wife sought £27 million or a share of the trust. Husband argued that he was no longer entitled to the proceeds of the trust.
The judge reluctantly concluded that the trust was not capable of being varied by the court but was likely the trustees would provide the husband with access to the funds in the future.