The recent Supreme Court decision in Prest was long awaited by family lawyers because it related to the use by the husband of several different companies that he controlled to move his assets from his personal name to those companies to try and put them out of the reach of his wife’s financial claims. The judgement has generally been viewed as a victory for fairness by most solicitors.
It is not clear how the judgment is going to be interpreted in future cases. Whilst the end result was that the court did look behind the companies owned by the husband, it did so by applying trust rather than company law to reach its decision. Some are saying that in fact the court did not pierce the ‘corporate veil’ and so do not believe that there will be a significant impact on company law as a result of the decision.
Whilst some of us feel very relieved that the husband was not allowed to get away with his actions, there are those who wish that the court had gone further in setting out its power to look behind the corporate veil of companies when it comes to family matters, to achieve a fair outcome.