London, 12 June: In a landmark judgment, the UK’s highest court today ruled that “dishonest” husbands cannot seek to protect their assets by hiding them in companies in case of divorce. In a case expected to have wide-reaching implications over what has been termed as a “cheats’ charter”, the Supreme Court ordered that a settlement against Michael Prest, founder of the Nigerian oil firm Petrodel, must be enforced even though his assets were said to be tied up in his companies.
In a unanimous ruling it found that Prest controlled the companies and therefore owned their assets. His estranged wife, Yasmin Prest, said she was “delighted and relieved” by the judgment. pti