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Boodle Hatfield overturn £3.75m divorce settlement at Court of Appeal

Law firm Boodle Hatfield has today (25 January) successfully appealed six orders made during the course of a long-running divorce battle between Mr Jawaid Iqbal and Mrs Marie Iqbal in proceedings that have been ongoing for over six years.

The Court of Appeal decision overturns court orders made between 2010 and 2015, including a final order that provided for the husband to pay a lump sum of £3,220,000, together with arrears of periodical payments in the amount of £530,000 and ongoing spousal maintenance of £10,000 per month to the wife. The Court of Appeal also overturned committal notices made against the husband which carried the threat of a prison sentence.

Boodle Hatfield’s Harriet Errington and Michael Glaser of Fourteen Chambers were appointed by Mr Iqbal in 2015 following the final order in these long-running proceedings.

Harriet Errington, a solicitor in the Family team at Boodle Hatfield said: “We were instructed to appeal the final order together with five separate orders made during the course of these proceedings. The six appeals were joined and heard at a substantive hearing in November 2016. Our appeal highlighted, amongst other things, numerous and serious procedural irregularities which today resulted in all of the orders being set aside.”

In delivering their judgment, Lord Justice Ryder, Lord Justice Patten and Lord Justice Simon concluded that “elementary procedural protections that the husband had a right to expect would be observed were not”. The Lord Justices criticised the lower courts for their failure to adhere to effective case-management, the result of which was to put the husband at an unfair disadvantage as the evidence filed by him during the course of the proceedings appeared to be disregarded at the final hearing. The judgment highlights the “glaring omissions that characterise the decision making process in this case”.

The Lord Justices also condemned the decision to commit the husband to prison for failure to make the payments ordered by the lower courts, citing procedural irregularities such as no evidence having been filed by the wife and no findings having been made as to the husband's means to pay.

Lord Justice Ryder commented that “the absence of any analysis of the parties’ needs and the husband’s ability to make the payments ordered was a fatal absence of reasoning on the facts of this case”.

Harriet concludes: “The judgment highlights the failings of the lower courts in this long-running case. The parties' financial remedy proceedings can now be dealt with afresh.”

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