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News & Articles

Osborne Morris & Morgan > News and Articles > Family > £5 million in legal bills deciding where to divorce

£5 million in legal bills deciding where to divorce

Posted on 22 Mar 2016, in Family

A hearing in London has shown that a Malaysian millionaire businessman and his wife, who are in the midst of an acrimonious divorce, have so far run up over $7.5 million in legal bills. At this stage of the proceedings, the dispute is over establishing which country has jurisdiction over the divorce case. The businessman is seeking to have the divorce settled in a Malaysian court while his wife is contending that the divorce should be heard in a UK court. Among his listed assets is a significant stake in Laura Ashley Plc, a company which residents of Bedfordshire will recognise.

The legal costs for the couple so far, which equate to approximately £5 million, were presented to judges at the Court of Appeal by the legal representative of the husband. It showed that his wife had spent in the region of £3.5 million on the case which has been heard by several judges in the High Court. His costs to date have totalled £1.5 million, and the decision regarding the appeal has yet to be decided.

The arguments over jurisdiction have already been heard in the courts in Malaysia where an order was issued in the husband’s favour stating that the divorce settlement should be decided there. When his wife took the case to the Malaysian Court of Appeal, the court upheld the ruling. Its decision was based on the common law rule that states that a wife does not have choice in where she may legally reside, instead it is defined by her husband’s place of residence.

Divorce settlements decided in Family Court in England do not discriminate against the homemaker in a marriage. A solicitor familiar with situations that involve high asset divorces and offshore accounts may offer a client legal advice and strategies in order to ensure that a fair and equitable divorce settlement is reached.


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