0800 731 5821

Husband jailed for failing to disclose assets in divorce case

A businessman has been jailed for persistently failing to provide details about his finances during his divorce case.

Scot Young says he is bankrupt and penniless but his wife Michelle claims he is a multi-millionaire. He has failed to comply with court orders demanding details about his financial circumstances.

The case dates back several years. In 2009, Mr Young was given a six-month suspended sentence for failing to provide financial information.

High Court judge Mr Justice Moor has now gone a stage further and jailed Young for six months for contempt of court.

Mr Justice Moor said: “In essence, the husband says he is penniless and bankrupt. The wife, on the other hand, contends that he is a very wealthy man worth up to £400m. She says he has hidden his entire resources to avoid his legitimate obligations towards her and the children.

“I make it clear that I am not deciding that dispute today. It is, however, equally clear that, to be able to decide where the truth lies, it is vitally important that the husband provides full and frank disclosure of his financial circumstances, to include the relevant documentation to support his contentions.”

Mr Justice Moor added that Young could purge his contempt by complying with the disclosure orders.

The tough approach has been welcomed by many family lawyers who believe it will deter others from wasting time and being obstructive during divorce proceedings.

Such tactics rarely work and can make a person’s position worse. It is far better for both parties in a divorce case to honest and open from the outset.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of family law.
Musician receives £73,000 compensation for unfair dismissal

A musician who said he’d been subjected to harassment and bullying at work for several years has been awarded £73,000 compensation for unfair dismissal.

Murray Johnston was principal oboist with the Welsh National Opera for 34 years but was sacked in 2008. The company said his playing had fallen below the high standards required.

However, Mr Johnston claimed the dismissal followed 16 years of bullying and harassment by the company’s musical director at the time, Carlo Rizzi. He said the problems began after he asked Mr Rizzi to stop singing during a rehearsal.

Mr Johnston’s claim of unfair dismissal was rejected by an employment tribunal but he later won his case in the Court of Appeal. It ruled that his dismissal had involved procedural unfairness. It referred the case back to the tribunal which has now awarded Mr Johnston £73,000. Welsh National Opera has also been ordered to pay his legal costs.

Mr Johnston said afterwards that he hoped the ruling would strike a blow for others. He said: “It was a test case as far as the musical profession was concerned, it means that managers basically can’t just drive a cart and horses through their own contracts if they feel like parting company with one of their members.”

Anyone who feels they have been discriminated against at work or unfairly dismissed is entitled to claim compensation. Please contact us if you would like more information.