Laura Dand represents the wife in Kaur v Randhawa [2015] EWHC 1592 (Fam) and successfully enforces the payment of a lump sum which the husband had been ordered to pay on divorce.

The wife applied for general enforcement of an order made in 2013 which required her husband to pay her a lump sum of £80,000 on divorce. She sought a third party debt order of over £100,000 against sums frozen in a bank account held by the husband’s brother.

In 2013 an Order was made that the husband should pay a lump sum of £80,000 to his wife by February 2014.  If the sums were not paid by the due date the husband’s property should be sold.

By February 2014 the husband had not paid any part of the lump sum.

The husband said that in December 2013 he met the wife and paid her £40,000 in cash, she having earlier agreed with him to accept this sum as a compromise.   The wife flatly denied this.  The husband said that he borrowed the £40,000 from his brother.  Both the husband and the brother gave evidence to this effect from the witness box on oath.

Mr Justice Mostyn rejected the evidence of the husband and his brother as implausible and uncorroborated by contemporaneous documentary evidence or subsequent events. Most significantly in February 2014 the husband had a conversation with the wife’s solicitor and said he “was not going to comply with the order”.

From February 2014 the wife took steps to enforce the order for sale of the husband’s property, however, in May 2014 the property was secretly sold by the husband and his brother.   The net sale proceeds were received into the husband’s brother’s bank account.  The wife successfully applied to freeze the brother’s bank account.

Mr Justice Mostyn found that the money captured by the freezing order was unquestionably the husband’s money, and made a third party debt order against the bank for the principle sum of £80,000, plus interest and legal costs.  Mr Justice Mostyn commented that the work done by the wife’s solicitor was to a value considerably in excess of the figure claimed.  The Judge further found that the conduct of the husband and the brother well justified an order for indemnity costs.

As a result of the evidence given by the husband and his brother during the proceedings it was directed that the judgment and the court bundle be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for her to consider whether charges of perjury should be brought against the husband and the brother.

Read the full judgment here: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2015/1592.html

Laura Dand of Goodman Ray comments:

“Contemptuous parties are well advised to take heed of this judgment.  The Court will not take contempt lightly and has a wide range of powers to enforce orders for the payment of money.  In this case the Judge found the conduct of the husband and the brother so disgraceful that not only were they ordered to pay the wife’s indemnity costs but also now face a criminal prosecution.”

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