in relation to the division of family assets
in the current economic climate.
Myerson v Myerson
Many have been tempted to try and revise
consensual orders in relation to the division
of family assets because of the reduction
in value of those assets and as a result
of the credit crunch.
11th March 2009 the Court of Appeal
handed down an important judgment in
of Myerson v. Myerson given
the current financial climate.
As a result of the downturn in the
economy, many clients’ financial
circumstances have dramatically changed
since agreements were made and implemented
by the courts.
Myerson has stated that such course
of action is fraught with difficulty. The
briefly as follows:-
Mr. and Mrs. Myerson reached an agreement
to divide £25,800,000.00 worth of family
Mrs. M receiving £11,000,000.00 (this
represented 43% of the total). Mr.
M. retaining £14,500,000.00 (57%).
Mr. M. had made his fortune as a fund manager
operating Principal Capital Holdings Limited
(PCH). Of her £11,000,000.00
Mrs. M. received £9,500,000.00 in cash
and the balance was represented
by the transfer of a holiday home in South
Mr. M. retained his substantial shareholding
in P.C.H. and other properties. The
of P.C.H. at the time of the hearing was £2.99p
per share making his shareholding worth approximately £15,000,000.00. The
agreement was reached on 19th March 2008
when the shares were valued at £2.75p
per share. A year later the value was £0.275p
In December 2008 Mr. M. sought to appeal
the order on the basis that the downturn
in the economy had rendered the order unfair.
It was argued on behalf of Mr. M. that the
drop in the share price and house values
made the order unworkable. It was argued
that the “basis or fundamental assumption
upon which the original order had been made” was
no longer practicable.
The reduction in the share value reduced
Mr. M’s share of the assets to a negative
position of minus £539,000.00
whereas the wife retained £11,000,000.00
worth of cash and assets.
The Court of Appeal had to consider whether
or not it could review the consent order.
The Court of Appeal did not allow the appeal
stating that the order had been reached by
consensual agreement and that Mr. M. must
have known the risk, or potential risk, he
to face. In reaching the agreement
he had taken a speculative course by seeking
to retain the
risk laden shareholding. Given that
he had agreed to take this risk the court
felt that it had no obligation to relieve
him of the consequences of the risk he took.
The Court of Appeal repeated the court’s
stated position that it must do its upmost
to uphold parties to the terms of an order
particularly one made by consent.
It stated that to vary a consent order the
circumstances had to be extreme and the court
would expect the payer to find whatever legitimate
means may exist to fulfil payment of the
order, for example, the borrowing of more
monies or the selling of all assets.
It is believed that Mr. M. will now take
his appeal to the House of Lords. Family
be particularly careful in the current climate
when entering into agreements and should
bear in mind the potential problems which
could be caused by the downturn in the value
of the assets which form the substance of
If you require further information regarding
this article or any Road Traffic Act
prosecution matter, please contact:
Graham Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit www.premierdivorce.co.uk for