A successful banker has failed in his bid to appeal against an order that he must pay large sums owed to his ex-wife.
In a long-running financial dispute following the couple’s divorce, the former husband sought a reduction in or cancellation of court-ordered maintenace payments, claiming he could not afford them. But he failed to convince His Honour Judge Brasse at a hearing in November 2015. The Judge duly imposed a so-called Hadkinson order. These prohibit the recipient from taking any further legal action in a dispute until a previous legal order (in this case, to pay maintenance) is complied with.
The former husband had worked for the international banking groups BNP Paribas and Crédit Suisse. He and his ex-wife married in London, eventually separating in 2007. Both relocated to the United States but their divorce proceeded through the English courts.
At a hearing in November 2013, a judge assessed the banker’s annual income as approximately $1 million, and almost tripled the wife’s maintenance payments, legally termed ‘periodical payments’, from $132,000 to $380,000 per year. But the husband insisted that he could not afford to pay this.
He appeared in court without a lawyer, saying legal representation was beyond his means and that an apartment in New York worth more than $3 million “doesn’t mean I’m rich”.
The Hadkinson order related to his failure to pay the money ordered at the November 2013 hearing. The husband’s appeal against this, in which he argued that it had been based on incorrect information, failed to sway the Court however. Senior President of Tribunals Sir Ernest Ryder upheld Judge Brasse’s ruling. Key issues remained unexplained he said, such as why a salary paid of nearly £1million paid by one business had abruptly stopped the following year.
The order had been correct, Sir Ernest declared, and the outstanding sums, not specified in the judgement, must be paid.
“…the husband is the author of his own misfortune and comes to the court with less than clean hands having failed to file evidence that would have sufficed to show that his application to vary or discharge the November 2013 periodical payments order was well founded.”
The husband was, continued Sir Ernet, in “wilful default” and he had failed to make a “full and frank disclosure” of his finances to the court.
Read the ruling here.