Family Law Hub

Evans v Evans [2012] EWCA Civ 1058

  • Case No: B6/2012/1615

    Neutral Citation Number: [2012] EWCA Civ 1058

    IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)

    ON APPEAL FROM THE PRINCIPAL REGISTRY

    FAMILY DIVISION

    (THE PRESIDENT OF THE FAMILY DIVISION)

    Royal Courts of Justice

    Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

    Date: Friday 6th July 2012

    Before:

    LORD JUSTICE THORPE

    and

    LORD JUSTICE RIMER

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    Between:

    EVANS

    Appellant

    - and -

    EVANS

    Respondent

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    (DAR Transcript of

    WordWave International Limited

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    Mr Charles Howard QC and Mr Richard Castle (instructed by Hughes Fowler Carruthers Limited) appeared on behalf of the Appellant.

    Mr Martin Pointer QC and Mr Tim Bishop QC (instructed by Alexiou Fisher Philipps) appeared on behalf of the Respondent.

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    Judgment

    (As Approved by the Court)

    Crown Copyright (c)

    Lord Justice Thorpe:

    1. Mr Howard applies on behalf of the wife for permission to appeal the order of the President of 30 May, by which he directed that the decree nisi in this suit should be made absolute on a date which he fixed for Tuesday last. We heard the case on Tuesday morning, given that pressure point. Mr Howard said that he could demonstrate that if the decree was made absolute before the resolution of his client's ancillary relief application, and the implementation of whatever order emerged, then she would be at risk of sitting on an empty judgment.

    2. Mr Pointer, responding, said that this was all fanciful illusion on the part of the wife; there was no risk; his client was a man of honour, and that if there seemed to be some sort of consequence of divorce in the management of the affairs of Confluence, which is the key company, according to the law of the United States, then it was easily met by some sort of statement or assurance from a legal officer within the company.

    3. That was put in great issue by Mr Howard for the wife, and accordingly we adjourned over until today in the hope that there would be some sensible arrangement negotiated between the highly experienced legal team on each side to ensure that there would in reality be an elimination of the wife's anxieties.

    4. This morning we reassembled with nothing but evidence which has been obtained by the wife from her own American lawyers, who no doubt will be looking at all questions through eyes that reflect their retainer. There is nothing from the other side other than response to this material. What might have made our task easier this morning would have been some concrete proposal from the husband to bring into some sort of stakeholder position a sum equivalent to the wife's award in the tainted trial.

    5. Accordingly, with great reluctance I am persuaded that we have to give permission to appeal. The appeal will be listed on a date to be fixed for a court of three, and I would not give it much time estimate beyond two hours. But I would like to make it plain that it is open to the husband at any time to come with a proposal which would beyond argument demonstrate that the consequence of his proposal would be to eliminate any risk that the wife would be left with an empty judgment at the conclusion of the second trial.

    6. The intervention by grant of permission is for me based on the fresh evidence that was not before the President. It is quite clear from paragraph 79 and 81 that, in considering possible adverse consequences to the wife of making the decree absolute, his focus was entirely on fiscal questions rather than the risk of receiving an empty judgment. All this evidence that we have before us today was not available to the President. It is, I think, properly admissible given the procedural complexities that the wife had been represented on the 9 and 13 May by a different legal team to the team that she has today, with the exception of her junior counsel, Mr Castle, who has been in the case throughout. Only for those reasons I would grant the permission and stay the order made by the President.

    Lord Justice Rimer:

    7. I agree.

    Order: Application granted

Judgment, published: 06/07/2012

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Published: 06/07/2012

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