Presenting matrimonial finances and valuing businesses
The firm has presented the parties financial position and valued private companies for the purposes of divorce proceedings on many occasions, including for UHNW and international parties. One of the firm’s expert witnesses acted in the landmark matrimonial case, Prest v Prest  EWHC 2956 (Fam) (see below), a case where the Supreme Court subsequently provided guidance on piercing the corporate veil (Prest v Petrodel Resources Ltd  UKSC 34.)
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Case Study – UHNW Divorce – Prest v Prest  EWHC 2956 (Fam)
The Judgment in the Family Court is not available in the public domain. However, in the Court of Appeal, in associated proceedings brought by some of the husband’s companies, Lord Justice Thorpe started his Judgment by describing the proceedings in the family courts in which our expert gave oral evidence as follows:
Mrs Prest, in her financial provision case for herself and the four children following divorce
Mr Prest, former husband, a Nigerian barrister as well as a prominent and successful businessman in international oil development and trade
Our team were appointed by solicitors acting for for the wife. She sought an overall award of £30.4 million. The husband proposed a package that amounted to a little over £2 million.
The husband had repeatedly flouted his duty to give full, frank and clear disclosure of his finances. The two expert accountants’ evidence were able to agreed that neither had received the information and documents that would enable them to make any worthwhile assessment or valuation of the husband’s net worth or income. They each presented their best understanding of the financial position and gave expert evidence in court for a day each.
This was a truly extraordinary case even within the breadth and depth of family division bounds, partly because of the lack of full disclosure, but also the parties’ willingness to pursue their case as far as the Supreme Court. That court addressed the question of whether family proceedings could breach the corporate veil.
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