Fraudulent Evidence Entitles Wives to Return to Court

“Fraud unravels all” - Supreme Court Divorce Judgements

A landmark court ruling on 14th October found in favour of two wives in their divorce cases. Both women had originally agreed to divorce settlements, without knowing that their husbands had lied about the assets.

Alison Sharland, aged 48, had been married to Charles Sharland for 17 years. They had three children, the eldest of whom had severe autism and would need his mother’s care for the rest of his life. Mr Sharland, a software entrepeneur, had built up his business during the marriage. At the time of the divorce in 2012, he said that his company had a value of £47 million. Mrs Sharland believed him, and agreed a settlement. Later she discovered he had lied. The company in fact was worth around £600 million.

Varsha Gahil accepted a car and £270,000 as a settlement when she divorced her husband Bhadresh in 2002. He was a solicitor with an international practice based in Mayfair. Eight years later he was convicted of money laundering and jailed for ten years. Evidence in his criminal trial revealed that he had deliberately hidden his true wealth during the divorce proceedings.

Yesterday the Supreme Court found that both wives had been deprived of a fair hearing because of their husbands’ fraud. They were now both entitled to go back to Court and have their cases reconsidered.

Sabina Smith of our Family department comments:

“This was a clear signal from the Court that deliberate dishonesty will not be tolerated. Family lawyers will always encourage clients to negotiate and settle divorce claims by agreement whenever possible, to save legal costs and avoid an adversarial battle in court. The Court supports this approach, but this depends on both parties being honest about their financial circumstances from the outset."

Parties to a long marriage are expected to share the property, savings and investments fairly. This means that for some there is a temptation to hide the full extent of their assets. But in the interests of justice, the truth must come first, and where fraud is proved, any agreement should be set aside."

For more information on divorce and financial claims, contact our Family department “Relationship and Finance Team” on 01392 258451 who will deal with your enquiry sensitively.


Inquest Reveals Basic Errors Caused Tragic Death

Tragic Death of 20 Year Old Man Should Never Have Happened 

Crosse + Crosse Solicitors acted for the family of Oliver Jones at the inquest into his tragic death which concluded at County Hall on Monday 5th October.

The family’s solicitor, Richard Stevinson, said:  “Oliver Jones, who was just 20,  drowned off the coast at Budleigh Salterton on 16th October 2013 in a kayaking accident. Oliver was a novice kayaker. He had been lent a kayak by a friend which was unseaworthy. The kayak was designed to be fitted with a bung or plug which enabled the kayak to be emptied of water after use. The expert, who examined the kayak, concluded that the kayak that Oliver had been lent was missing the bung. This would have led to water entering the kayak. Ultimately this affected the kayak’s stability so that it caused Oliver to capsize. Oliver and his friend had not been provided with a life jacket or any other buoyancy aid. Once his canoe had capsized, Oliver tried to swim to the shore which was 10-20 metres away but, despite being described by various witnesses as a strong swimmer, he failed to make it and drowned. There was then an unfortunate delay in the emergency services being called and matters were compounded because of communication issues between the Police and the Coastguard.

Mr Stevinson added: ”We all feel so sorry for Oliver’s family and friends, many of whom came to the Inquest on Monday. It so sad to see a young man lose his life but especially in such a needless way. This accident should never have happened.”

Crosse + Crosse are happy to provide support and advice in relation to any Inquest, Clinical Negligence or personal injury matters. Please feel free to contact a member of our Personal Injury Team on 01392 207603.

Personal Injury Success

Clinical Negligence Claim Success for Claimant Left With Life Changing Injuries 

Crosse + Crosse Solicitors LLP have just succeeded in a claim for clinical negligence against the Royal Devon + Exeter NHS Foundation Trust following a three day trial in August in the County Court at Exeter.

Mrs J underwent spinal surgery in July 2010, following which she was left with significant complications. She instructed Crosse + Crosse to purse a claim against the Hospital Trust for clinical negligence. That claim was brought on the basis that:

(1)   The surgery had been carried out negligently; and/or

(2)   She would not have consented to the operation going ahead if she had been advised of the surgeon’s identity.

Mrs J had assumed that her operation was to be carried out by a highly experienced consultant spinal surgeon with a leading reputation in this field only to discover, on the day of the operation, that he would not be operating and then, post-surgery, that the operation had actually been undertaken by one of the consultant’s assistants.

The Court found that Mrs J was entitled to be told who was to carry out her surgery but that she had not in fact been informed of her surgeon’s identity and that this amounted to a breach of the duty of care that the Hospital Trust owed to her. The Court found that, whilst the operation had not been carried out negligently, it was likely that Mrs J would have had a better outcome had the surgery been performed by the more experienced surgeon.  Mrs J recovered substantial damages to reflect the serious complications which had arisen from the procedure.

Richard Stevinson, who acted for Mrs J, said: “ We are delighted for Mrs J that her claim succeeded. It was a long and hard fought battle.  It is unfortunate that the defendants chose to maintain their defence of this claim to the very end so that Mrs J had to endure a three day trial to win her case, to be compensated properly for the serious injuries she sustained.”

He added: “This is an unusual case. It is notoriously difficult for a claimant to win a claim based on an issue of consent, so this could prove to be an important landmark decision for other claimants in the future. If a patient is not advised of the identity of the surgeon carrying out their operation and the outcome from surgery is not as good as they had expected it to be, then the patient might want to consider seeking specialist legal advice.”

Read more: Personal Injury Success

Park Homes - Quiet Enjoyment

Tim Selley’s client Jack Parr became frustrated over his rights to “quiet enjoyment” of his plot being ignored by his site owner and in the end and with Tim’s help made a claim to the Tribunal.

Read more: Park Homes - Quiet Enjoyment

Park Homes - Another Success

Solicitor Tim Selley has just successfully represented Graham Budworth on behalf of home owners at a Wyldecrest Site, Radcliffe Park.

Read more: Park Homes - Another Success