The Panama Documents & the impact in Divorce settlements

On 22 November 2013 after more than 6 years of bitterly disputed financial remedy proceedings Michelle Young was awarded a lump sum of £20 million to be paid within 28 days failing which interest would accrue @ 8% ie an additional £1.6m per annum.

Throughout the numerous Court Hearings, Scott Young pleaded poverty - indicating that his lifestyle relied on the financial generosity of friends.

Mr Justice Moor assessed that Scott Young had hidden £45million from the Court.  Mrs Young assessed her ex-husband's worth at many hundreds of millions "a few billions at least" alleging that he held very considerable assets in off shore Accounts.

Michelle Young spent £6.4m in costs - not all of which had been paid - to be awarded the £20 million lump sum that the Judge considered unlikely she would ever receive.   The likelihood of recovery diminished further when Scott Young died after falling from the window of his Fiance's London flat in December 2014.

Now it appears that Scott Young's name has been found on some of the Panama documentation.

How many other cases might there be where an ex Spouse has challenged the disclosed wealth of the other but until now has been unable to produce evidence of hidden assets?

Will we see a whole raft of cases over the next year utilising the decision in Sharland of failure to make full and frank disclosure to set aside Consent Orders?  How many applications to Appeal out of time Court determined Orders might be lodged in the coming months?  How many former spouses have sought legal advice over the last couple of weeks?  How many deals will quickly be done in order to avoid scrutiny and the full glare of publicity falling on financial arrangements that until now it was hoped and believed could be kept private?

The disclosed Panamanian documents may have far reaching consequences not only for politicians.

Posted on: 11/04/2016

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.

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