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Gohil granted permission to take divorce case to Supreme Court

Further evidence of Mr Gohil's non-disclosure transpired during his criminal trial

19 November 2014

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Further evidence of Mr Gohil's non-disclosure transpired during his criminal trial

Varasha Gohil, the former wife of Bhadresh Gohil, will have her case heard in the Supreme Court to prove that her former husband mislead the court about the value of his wealth during their divorce, and seek a new settlement.

The couple's original settlement was finalised in 2004 but in 2006, Mrs Gohil was given leave to have the consent order for their original divorce settlement overturned, as it became clear that Mr Gohil had not fully disclosed the true value of his assets.

Mrs Gohil's application was then postponed pending investigation into Mr Gohil's criminal activities in 2010; he was found guilty of fraud and laundering almost £37m. Further evidence of his non-disclosure about the value of his assets transpired during the criminal trial.

In June 2012, Moylan J, sitting in the High Court, ruled that her husband had failed to properly disclose his financial circumstances and agreed to scrap the original divorce settlement.

However Mr Gohil's representatives were successfully able to appeal because the courts were not allowed to use evidence from the husband's criminal trial, which was held in open court but not released by the crown prosecution service, so couldn't therefore prove that he was being dishonest in the original proceedings.

Ros Bever, representing Mrs Gohil, said of the Supreme Court's decision to hear the divorce case: "This is yet another case in which an unfair settlement has been agreed because of one party being dishonest and not sharing all the details of their wealth to the courts.

"We are pleased that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear this case alongside Alison Sharland's. Both cases raise serious issues about how the courts should handle cases where information shared with the court and used to agree a divorce settlement is later found to be false or incomplete.

"We believe the situation that both women find themselves in is unfair and that is why we applied for permission to take their cases to the Supreme Court.

"In this case the Court of Appeal judges admitted having sympathy with Mrs Gohil's situation. In our view, if family law judges, who are given broad discretion to ensure fairness in proceedings are having to acknowledge this, then something in the letter of the law has stopped that fairness from prevailing.

"Dishonesty in any legal proceedings should not be tolerated; the family court should not be an exception. There are numerous legal arguments to be heard by the Supreme Court but we hope that ultimately justice will be done and will be seen to be done."

The cases of Mrs Gohil and Alison Sharland are expected to be heard in June 2015.

 

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