Asset tracing: A cat and mouse game

    Following the conclusion of the long running case of Young v Young, Catherine Thomas, who represented Mrs Young, explained to Global Legal Post that she sees more cases of that scale on the horizon, as well as talking about the challenge of asset tracing in divorce.

    She wrote “I have been representing Michelle over the last two months in what has been an incredibly complex and emotional case for all parties involved. Vardags also represented Michelle at various stages during the trial, and called into play draconian measures to make Mr Young engage with the case, from having his passport taken away to committing him to prison for non-disclosure.”

    Having practised for several years at the top of family law, Catherine advised “There is a constant game of cat and mouse going on in which avoidance techniques become more and more sophisticated.  This mirrors the situation in tax avoidance/mitigation. Often the wealthy will originally hide their wealth in order to avoid paying all their taxes, but this then provides a convenient way to hide their assets during a divorce.

    She was, however, optimistic about beating such devious tricks and tracing funds, concluding “The Young verdict sends a strong message to those across the world seeking to hide their true wealth from their spouse – even the most intricate of financial arrangements can be exposed by specialist law firms.”