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Ex-wife can appeal Court of Appeal decision


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Published 9th September 2014

Alison Sharland, who claims her former husband cheated her out of millions in their divorce settlement, has now been given permission to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold the original sum.

The Sharlands divorced after 17 years of marriage, with Mrs Sharland receiving £10.355m in cash and properties in the divorce settlement and her ex-husband getting £5.64m. However, he would also retain a larger proportion of the profit received when selling the shares in his business that had been valued between £31.5m and £47.25m.

Not long after the divorce settlement, it became apparent that the company could in fact be worth up to $1bn (£600m) and an initial public offering was being prepared. This was contrary to Mr Sharland’s evidence in Court.

At this time, Mrs Sharland sought to set aside the divorce settlement that had been approved in the High Court. The Judge accepted that her husband had wilfully concealed information and had lied to the court, but refused to set aside the agreement on the grounds that the Court would not have made a substantially different order even if they had been party to this information.

Two of the three Court of Appeal judges upheld the High Court’s decision, while Lord Justice Briggs disagreed. He felt that the husband’s fraud undermined the whole agreement. However, despite accepting that Mr Sharland’s ‘deliberate and dishonest’ non-disclosure was ‘deplorable’, the Court of Appeal ordered Mrs Sharland to pay her former husband’s appeal costs.

The new case will be heard in June 2015, at which time the Supreme Court will need to consider whether the original decision was unfair due to Mr Sharland’s dishonesty.

Written by James Haworth

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Lawson-West specialise in commercial, business and employment law. Our team of dedicated commercial solicitors can help with buying or selling a business, business law and disputes, landlord and tenant issues and commercial property. Our expert employment team can offer practical advice and guidance on all aspects of employment law including redundancy, compromise agreements and dismissal procedures. Visit for more information.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2014-09-18 09:03:16 in Legal Articles

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