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Out of Control Divorce Cases

“The cost of worldwide litigation is completely out of control” – the words of Mr Justice Colman following a one day maintenance hearing last week, costing £55,000!

Foreign divorce cases being heard in England are increasing at an alarming rate.  This particular divorce case is between a major Laura Ashley stakeholder (Mr Khoo Kay Peng) and his wife (Ms Chai), a former Miss Malaysia – in which she is seeking a settlement of £500 million pounds.  If she succeeds, this will be the biggest divorce settlement in Britain to date.

But Mr Justice Colman is not happy with dealing with these cases as “neither of them are British citizens. Neither of them currently pays any English taxes whatsoever”. 

He went on to say: “Very serious issues ought to arise as to just how much time of an English court these parties should be able to take up on these preliminary skirmishes, whilst squeezing out the many needy litigants who need precious court time to recover their children from abduction or seek their return from care, and other such issues”.  Quite damning comments there – said in the wake of 10 days having been set aside for this divorce matter in October, to deal just with the issue of venue (here or Malaysia).

No wonder London has earnt itself the nickname of divorce capital of the world!  I will be following this case carefully and report back on other interesting twists and turns, notably the decision of where this case is to be heard.

This particular case is actually one in a long line of foreign couples seeking a multi-million divorce in the UK.  It is so essential to be quick off the mark, where you are part of a divorcing couple especially where there are significant assets to take in to consideration.  Building up and establishing a clear and defined strategy, will ensure that you do not fall in to a downwards spiral: losing control and losing sight of the long game.

Divorce is not easy. Get the right team, the right support and you will already be a step ahead of the soon to be ex.

Rupinder Bains

MD – Pinder Reaux & Associates