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Standish v Standish: Court of Appeal decision

Standish v Standish: Court of Appeal decision


The Court of Appeal reduces a divorce award from £45m to £25m, setting a landmark precedent

In a significant ruling, the Court of Appeal has made a landmark decision in the case of Standish v Standish, concerning a high-profile divorce settlement. The appeal, brought by Anna Standish, sought to increase her £45 million award to £66 million, half of the couple's wealth. However, the court not only dismissed her appeal but also allowed a cross-appeal from her husband, Clive Standish, reducing the original award to £25 million.

The original award, made by Mr Justice Moor in October 2022, was based on Anna Standish's claim for a half share of the couple's wealth. The Court of Appeal, consisting of Moylan LJ, King LJ, and Phillips LJ, upheld Clive Standish's argument that the source of the funds, primarily accumulated before the marriage, was a crucial factor that had been inadequately considered by Mr Justice Moor.

Tim Bishop KC, who represented Clive Standish, commented, "I am delighted that the Court of Appeal has made a £20 million adjustment in the award in favour of our client, which we believe to be the largest such reduction ever made." The court recognised Clive Standish's substantial pre-marital contributions to the wealth, emphasising the principle that such contributions should be properly reflected in divorce settlements.

The case has drawn attention due to the significant reduction in the divorce award, which is unprecedented in its scale. It highlights the complexities involved in determining fair financial settlements in high-net-worth divorces and underscores the importance of properly accounting for pre-marital wealth.

The decision marks a critical point in family law, emphasising the need for careful consideration of the origins of assets in divorce cases. The legal community awaits the further hearing to assess whether the reduced award of £25 million will adequately meet Anna Standish's needs.

For further details, the full judgment can be accessed here.