Goddard-Watts v Goddard-Watts [2023] EWCA Civ 11515 February 2023

Published: 05/03/2023 09:00


Lady Justice Macur, Lady Justice Nicola Davies and Lady Justice Carr.

W’s appeal of order made by Sir Jonathan Cohen in January 2022 (see previous case summary) using the ‘Kingdon approach’. On two separate occasions since settlement of financial claims, the court had found that the H misrepresented his assets and failed to make appropriate disclosure. Two final orders had been set aside.

W argued that the Kingdon approach resulted in H benefitting from his fraud as she would not receive ‘fair’ resolution without investigating all financial matters afresh. The question was how to approach the case where the increase in value of the H’s company was not part of the matrimonial acquest but the matter had come to the court’s attention because of the H’s wilful non-disclosure.

The court concluded that Kingdon is authority for the principle that the court retains wide flexibility as to how to deal with such cases, and the approach taken in Kingdon is one possible approach. The procedure used must be ‘bespoke’ and fact specific.

Ultimately, the court concluded that the H’s fraudulent non-disclosure was so far reaching that it required the judge to consider the ‘entire financial landscape’ completely anew.

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