Family Law Specialists

Case Law

Pre-Nuptial Agreement upheld by High Court

Recently a French couple in their 50s who were married after a 4 year cohabitation and lived in Paris, had their French Pre-Nuptial Agreement upheld by the High Court.

The Agreement made in 1994, was considered by the High Court. The couple who moved to Britain in 2007, have 3 children and separated in 2008. Assets of over £15 million were to be shared out.  Both parties had entered into a Pre-Nuptial Agreement freely and with full understanding of its implications.

The Court considered that this was undoubtedly a case where under normal circumstances there would be an equal division of assets were it not for the French Agreement. The wife was awarded 40% of the assets to reflect the Agreement, not the 50% that she would otherwise have received.

We can provide you with expert advice and help you prepare your pre-nuptial agreement setting out what should happen in the event of the marriage breaking down and how the assets owned prior to marriage and accrued during the marriage should be divided.  Pre-Nuptial Agreements are becoming increasingly influential in what is a rapidly developing area of the law.

The Lord, The Lady and The Lover

Have you heard the one about “The Lord, The Lady, her Lover and the £17 million divorce”, as reported in The Sunday Telegraph?

The 7th Marquis of Northampton has agreed to pay his wife, Lady Northampton £17 million following her affair with Romanian multi-millionaire Dan Stoicescu. The exact terms of the Settlement Agreement are subject to confidentiality clauses.

Four times previously married Lord Northampton’s fortune was conservatively valued at £120 million and which included inherited wealth and the stately homes, Castle Ashby and Compton Wynyates and the disputed Sevso Treasure.

Lord Northampton became aware (from his wife’s stepmother) of recordings of secret telephone calls wherein Lady Northampton discussed her private life with her father. Following this disclosure Lord Northampton ejected his wife from Compton Wynyates, the stately home in Warwickshire. They had been married for 22 years. Lady Northampton demanded some £25 million of Lord Northampton’s fortune and he offered her £15 million.

The Noble Lord can trace his family back over 500 years, with Lady Northampton (Pamela Haworth) coming from a working class family in Lancashire. Lord Northampton met Dan Stoicescu about 6 years previous through Freemasonry and was given expensive gifts by the multi-millionaire.

Lord Northampton obtained a then world record price of £8 million shortly after his divorce to wife number 3 and it is reported that a painting of Queen Mary I may have to be auctioned to fund the latest settlement.

The settlement agreement avoided the cost (estimated at £2 million) of a 2-week divorce trial.

For further advice on Prenuptial Agreements, or to discuss your case, please contact Angela Brown through the online enquiry form or telephone 01564 777250

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