Will the corporate veil be pierced?

The Supreme Court has handed down its ruling on the Prest v Petrodel Resources case, restoring the original decision for the companies to transfer various properties to Mrs Prest. This ruling means that, in a divorce, people will not be able to withhold their assets from their spouses just because they have previously transferred them into companies.

This ruling will severely limit the availability of this so-called ‘cheat’s charter’.

However, it is important to note that the reason used for the ruling was not the same as that used by the original trial judge. The Supreme Court specifically stated that they were not piercing the corporate veil in this case, and that this principle could only be used in extremely limited circumstances. They were also very firm in their view that family courts cannot simply give company assets to wives just because the sole owner and controller of the company is the husband…

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