High profile divorce settlement

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June 12, 2013

Senior Partner Marilyn Stowe was featured in the Daily Mail today as she commented on a high profile divorce settlement involving a British oil tycoon.

Michael Prest, one of Britain’s most successful businessmen with a company worth 2.5 billion was ordered to pay his wife £17.5million by the Supreme Court.

Mr Prest had argued that he was unable to pay his former wife because his “assets were owned by his companies, not by him”.

However, after reviewing the situation, the court ordered Mr Prest to transfer the £4 million family home to his former wife. The property was held by different companies that he owned, rather than in his own name.

The couple were married for 15 years and have four children together.

The pair spent almost £3 million in legal costs and the ruling has “raised the prospect of wealthy husbands being able to ‘bury’ their assets in companies” to prevent them being included in divorce settlements.

Mr Prest originally offered his wife a £2 million lump sum and £27,000 a year maintenance. However, his former wife was challenging for more than £30 million in a lump sum and £730,000 a year to allow her to continue her standard of living.

Mr Prest was ordered to pay his former wife a settlement of £17.5 million and transfer the London family home worth £4 million. She would also receive £24,000 a year in child maintenance from Mr Prest.

Marilyn described the ruling by the Supreme Court as “a victory for common sense”.

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