Archive for October, 2014

Tiger Charity at Heart of £25 Million Divorce Dispute

In a venomous dispute which involved a collision between divorce and charity law, endangered Chinese tigers were the focus of a case in which a former couple who had devoted their lives to conserving the animals fought it out over a £25 million charitable trust. The wife, an internationally renowned tiger expert, and her financier husband had formed a formidable team and were instrumental in saving the Chinese tiger from extinction. The couple’s UK-based charity had set up a breeding programme in South Africa with the objective of reintroducing the animals into the wild. However, their marriage failed and the wife was ultimately removed as a director of the charity. That sounded the starting gun for bitter recriminations and enormously costly High Court litigation in respect of approximately £25 million held in a South African trust. The wife argued that the trust ... Read more

Family Court Confronts Fall-Out from Human Trafficking

In a striking example of the pernicious effects of human trafficking, the High Court has had to deal with the fall-out after a 15-year-old gypsy girl was allegedly ‘sold’ by her mother and spirited into Britain for appalling sexual exploitation. The Romanian-born teenager, of Roma descent, lived in Spain with her family until her mother allegedly sold her to a young man when she was aged just 13. He was said to have trafficked her to the UK and to have repeatedly raped and abused her, also forcing her to steal for him, before she eventually escaped his clutches. She had thrown herself on the mercy of a local authority, which placed her in foster care and applied to the Court for a care order. However, a vexed issue arose as to whether she was ‘habitually resident’ in England. If not, ... Read more

Ex-Husband Can’t Have Slice of Deceased Mother-in-Law’s Estate

In a case in which the bitter fall-out from divorce affected not only the ex-couple but their entire family, a disgruntled ex-husband has suffered defeat in a High Court bid for a share of his deceased former mother-in-law’s £250,000 estate. The man had argued that, under the terms of his divorce, he was entitled to about £75,000 of his ex-mother-in-law’s money. That was on the basis that, when he divorced her daughter, the latter had agreed that he should have an equal share of any inheritance which she received from her mother which exceeded £100,000. When the woman died, she left £100,000 to her daughter and most of the rest of her wealth to her grandchildren. On the face of it, the terms of the will had the effect of defeating any claim against the estate by the ex-husband. However, he ... Read more

A Brief Guide to House Purchase and Sale

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