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Oil tycoon Michael Prest’s wife wins divorce ruling

After a legal struggle lasting more than five years Yasmin Prest has finally succeeded in her claim for financial provision on divorce and can now appeal against an earlier ruling.

The Judges ruled that seven properties at the centre of the dispute could be counted as assets of Mr Prest. Oil tycoon Prest had argued that certain properties could not be transferred to his wife as they did not belong to him. Prest claimed that they belonged to a number of companies which had their own separate legal personality, and were therefore not owned by him.

Appeal Judges in October had concluded that an earlier ruling ordering Michael Prest to transfer the properties held in the names of the companies he controlled was wrong. However, Mrs Prest asked the Supreme Court to review the case.

The Supreme Court have today allowed the appeal and reinstated the order to transfer properties to the wife even though they were owned by the former husband’s companies. The Supreme Court have ruled that the homes were “held on trust’ for Mr Prest by the companies.

The facts of this case were quite specific however the ruling will be watched by many wealthy couples, in particular those involved in an international divorce, with assets outside of the UK. The Supreme Court has shown itself to come down on the side of fairness and in favour of the financially weaker party and the decision represents a triumph for the recognition of reality.

Should you need any advice in relation to financial settlement following divorce, do not hesitate to contact our team of family law solicitors who are experts in financial cases.

By Antonia Love, Divorce Solicitor in Lancashire

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