FRB v DCA (No 2) [2020] EWHC 754 (Fam), [2020] All ER (D) 204

Date of Case: 30 March 2020
Case Reference: [2020] EWHC 754 (Fam), [2020] All ER (D) 204

The husband and wife were both from extremely wealthy Indian families. They flew regularly by private jet, and spent over £5m per year. Cohen J determined the parties’ cross-applications for financial remedy orders, and had to consider whether the fact that the wife had allowed the husband to bring up her child by another man in the belief that he was the child’s natural father amounted to conduct.

The husband had significant wealth. His assets were held in various jurisdictions and through various structures, including offshore companies and trusts. The husband claimed that his assets were subject to (a) family arrangements (both general and specific) such that the assets were held by him but belonged to members of his family and/or (b) clawbacks such that the assets were held by him but could be recalled by members of his family. Cohen J rejected both of the husband’s claims, but treated a proportion of his disclosed wealth (c.25%) as non-matrimonial. Cohen J found the husband to be guilty of serious non-disclosure and made a series of condemnatory findings against him. The wife was awarded £64m, 50% of the disclosed matrimonial assets. Cohen J found the wife to be guilty of conduct that it would be inequitable to disregard in that she allowed her husband to bring up their son in the belief that he was his biological father, but did not reduce the wife’s award on account of her conduct, effectively offsetting the wife’s conduct against the husband’s serious non-disclosure instead.

Judgment in Family Law Week:


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