08 SEP 2015
Joy v Joy-Morancho and Others  EWHC 2507 (Fam)
(Family Division, Sir Peter Singer, 28 August 2015)
[The judicially approved judgment and accompanying headnote has now published in Family Law Reports  1 FLR 815]
Financial remedies – Trust assets – Application for lump sum – Husband claimed he had been excluded from access to £70m of trust assets – Whether those assets would become available to him – Whether his assertions had been intended to defeat the wife’s claims
Please see attached file below for the full judgment.
The wife’s application for a lump sum order was adjourned and a periodical payments order was made in her favour against a husband who claimed he had been excluded from substantial trust assets.
The husband and wife were married for 5 years and had three children together. When the marriage broke down the wide applied for financial remedies. The family wealth originated from the husband's business activities and most of the £70m assets were placed in a BVI trust.
The wife sought a lump sum of £27m on the basis that the matrimonial acquest was approximately £54m. The husband claimed he was only able to pay modest periodical payments and no capital lump sum due to his personal financial ruin. He submitted that the trustees of the BVI trust were pursuing him for debts that exceeded any assets that were available or likely to become available to him. His case was that he had been permanently and irrevocably excluded from any potential future benefits from the trust. The wife disputed this position and it fell to be determined what the husband's actual financial position was.
The court found the wife's suspicions that the husband's claims were an elaborate charade to defeat the wife's application were made out. His case had been conducted ruthlessly without regard to cost. Furthermore, when the time came trust assets would become available to the husband. It was undeniable that the assets had been vigorously protected by the trustees who had attempted to ensure that they would not be shared with the wife.
Although ordinarily it was desirable for finality in litigation to be achieved there were cases such as this where fairness and justice had to prevail. It was foreseeable that an accommodation would be made to give the husband access to the assets held within the trust.
The wife's claim for a lump sum would be adjourned. Periodical payments would be ordered at a rate of £120,000pa, payable monthly in advance on a joint lives basis. The order was backdated to November 2014.
The husband was ordered to pay all of the wife's costs since May 2013 on an indemnity basis apart from hearings at which no order for costs was made. In cases such as this where one party hatched a wholly deceptive presentation, pursued it persistently to the conclusion, and was found to have done precisely all of that, then he should expect no quarter from the court when it came to costs. Such conduct unravelled all and could and should in an extreme case, where the conclusions were clear, have clear costs condemnation meted out as the court's response. Addressing the global perspective of the litigation with as broad brush, the husband should, in principle, take responsibility for the wife's costs at large.
Neutral Citation Number:  EWHC 2507 (Fam)
Case No: FD11D03744
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
Royal Courts of Justice
28 August 2015
B e f o r e :Joy v Joy-Morancho and Others  EWHC 2507 (Fam)
Sir Peter Singer
Nichola Anne Joy
- and -
Clive Douglas Christopher Joy-Morancho
- and -
Nautilus Fiduciary (Asia) Ltd(the trustee of the New HuertoTrust)
- and -
LCAL Anthology Inc
Mr Richard Bates (instructed by Sears Tooth Solicitors) for the Petitioner
Mr Martin Pointer QC and Mr Nicholas Wilkinson (instructed by DWFM Beckman) for the First Respondent Husband
No representative appeared for either the Third or the Fourth Respondent
Hearing dates: 27 to 31 October, 3 to 7 November, 2 and 3 December 2014, 17 and 18 June 2015