Keeping property within company structures fails to protect husband from divorced wife's claims

In Prest v Petrodel Resources Ltd and Others [2013] UKSC 34, The sums at stake were significant, as his wealth was assessed to be roughly £37.5m.

It is an extremely well-established principle that a company has its own legal identity that is separate to, and independent of, its owners. However, in this case, the husband had failed on numerous occasions to give full and frank disclosure regarding the relevant companies. The court found that there was implicit evidence that the properties were effectively held on a resulting trust for his own benefit.

Since the husband was therefore entitled to the properties in his personal capacity, the court was then able to ‘pierce the corporate veil’ to ensure that the wife was not deprived of assets to which she would otherwise have been entitled, but for them being held in the name of the companies…

If you are registered and logged in to the site, click on the link below to read the Taylor Wessing briefing. If not, please register or sign in with your details below.

Sign in or Register to continue reading this article

Sign in


It's quick, easy and free!

It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.

Register now

Why register to The Lawyer


Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.


Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.


Email newsletters

Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.

More relevant to you

To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.

Briefings from Taylor Wessing

View more briefings from Taylor Wessing

Analysis from The Lawyer

  • merger deal

    Corporate crunch time: who will triumph at The Lawyer Awards 2014?

    As the equity capital markets rocketed back into favour and global M&A saw at least a partial return to form, there have been some rich pickings for The Lawyer’s Corporate Team of the Year award shortlisted firms in 2014. 

  • singapore orchid

    Singapore: Cash course

    The city-state is working hard to become a global wealth management hub, and law firms are gearing up for a prosperous new world

View more analysis from The Lawyer


5 New Street Square

Turnover (£m): 241.20
No. of lawyers: 860 (UK 200)
Jurisdiction: UK
No. of offices: 6
No. of qualified lawyers: 73 (International 50)
No. of partners: 29