There have been a number of reports in the press recently in the long running case of Young v Young, where Mrs Young claimed that Mr Young had hidden billions of pounds from the Court. The newsworthy details of the case included that the boss of Topshop, Sir Philip Green, had been called to give evidence and that fact that Mr Young had been sentenced to 6 months in prison for contempt of court in January for failing to provide full financial disclosure to his wife.
Mr Justice Moor was tasked with considering the evidence to decide how much Mr Young was really worth. Mrs Young claimed that he was worth several billion, and Mr Young claimed that he was bankrupt. In his judgment the judge is highly critical of both parties, with neither Mr Young or Mrs Young escaping unscathed.
In a judgement given on 22 November, Mr Justice Moor found that Mr Young had been dishonest, and had hidden around £45 million of assets from the Court. The judge allowed debts of £5 million, and held that Mrs Young was entitled to half of the balance. He has ordered Mr Young to pay this sum within 28 days of the date of the Order, together with the arrears of maintenance that he had failed to pay. It is worth noting that the Court found that Mrs Young’s reasonable needs would be met by a sum of this size.
Mrs Young’s costs in this case totalled £6.4 million, and the judge gave a provisional view that Mr Young’s non-disclosure had been so great Mrs Young should be entitled to a costs order, which is contrary to the general presumption of no costs orders in matrimonial finance proceedings. He did qualify this by saying these costs should be payable to the extent to which they would have been if the case had been “properly conducted.” The judge concluded by expressing sympathy for the two children of the family, caught in the middle of a family breakdown played out in the media.
Image by Images_of_Money under a Creative Commons Licence