Today’s Supreme Court ruling on the Petrodel vs Prest divorce dispute was big news in legal circles. Would the justices of the Supreme Court come down on the side of commercial law or would they favour the perspectives of family law? In the end they found an elegant compromise between the two, in which Mrs Prest won her multimillion pound settlement thanks to the particular nature of her husband’s property purchases.
In the midst of a very busy day in London, I appeared on Sky News to discuss the implications of the case for divorcing couples and family law. My verdict? Mrs Prest has squeaked home!
Naturally other legal authorities had their say on the case. For barristers’ chambers 1 King’s Bench Walk the case has very limited implications for future family law cases:
“Although Mrs Prest won in her appeal, she did so in prescriptive circumstances. On the facts of this particular case …. a finding was made regarding…ownership of the properties ostensibly owned by the companies.”
“Time will tell as to the willingness of Family Division judges to make findings as to…ownership on the facts of cases in the future.”