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If you’re a lawyer and in particular a practising or non practising family lawyer like myself, the recent Supreme Court ruling in favour of Irwin Mitchell’s clients who have successfully been able to set aside their divorce settlements will be of great interest. Two women that had been duped by their husbands in divorce proceedings have been found to have acted dishonestly by failing to disclose the full extent of their asset and finances. This has ultimately resulted in the Supreme Court setting aside the divorce settlements made in the family court. Please take a look at the full article in the Guardian for more detail on the case http://www.theguardian.com/law/2015/oct/14/women-right-reopen-divorce-settlements-supreme-court
This is a landmark ruling that has set precedent for significant repercussions on any party engaged in divorce proceedings that deliberately attempts to hide behind technical legal arguments to conceal their true asset value which would normally fall into the matrimonial pot.
Irwin Mitchell solicitors led the case in the Supreme Court on behalf of the two women who had been victim of such dishonesty during the course of their divorce proceedings resulting in unfair settlements. This dynamic ruling will now enable both women’s cases to be reassessed in light of new evidence before the court.
Now that I am no longer a practising as a family solicitor, I am still always keen to stay well informed of the legal market and significant changes that will affect solicitors now or in the future and how they will adapt with those changes. I say this having witnessed how the legal profession adapted to changes when the Jackson and Mitchell cases came into play. Personal injury lawyers overnight had to change the way worked due to costs implications. Same way presumably family lawyers will now change how they deal with disclosure in view of the Supreme Court ruling.
In my opinion this new ruling will present all kinds of challenges to family lawyers, I know first hand how difficult financial proceedings can be. At every juncture you are revisiting disclosure and it is not only the client’s responsibility that they are open and honest about their finances but there is a distinct responsibility on the solicitor’s shoulder to ensure that is being done. Solicitors will inevitably be beyond cautious when it comes to disclosure now to ensure they are not in a position after a final order has been made to be at risk of being subject to an application to set aside and potentially incurring costs penalties.
If you are a lawyer that is keen to make a difference and want to work for a national or international firm that are responsible for making history in the legal world please contact Bhavisha Duggal at BCL Legal to have a private and confidential chat about new opportunities across the Midlands and South West.