A Financial Investigation in Family Law

    Vardags in-house financial expert spoke to the Global Banking and Finance Review about the techniques employed to uncover hidden assets in divorce litigation.

    He explained to the paper “Many men are becoming increasingly savvy to ways in which they can reduce their spouse’s settlement in a divorce case. There is a constant game of cat and mouse going on in which avoidance techniques become more and more sophisticated.” Stephen set out Vardags’ innovative approach to such games “Our solution to this lies in providing an integrated service in which legal and financial professions join forces to ensure the client is in the best possible position,” he said “In my view this model is now necessary and should replace the more traditionally structured law firms.”

    He set out some of the cases in which Vardags had successfully traced hidden assets, adding “Often it can be the smallest lead that ends up unravelling the whole picture.  Imagine, for example, that you know your husband has been on a business trip to the US.  The court requires your husband to disclose his credit card statements but you can see no evidence of the business trip expenditure on his credit cards.  You ask how he paid for his meals and find that he discloses a company credit card.  By looking at the credit card statements you can see that the credit card balance has been paid off by a company in France, and by looking at French company information you learn that the company is owned by another company in the Cayman Islands.  You then find a disgruntled former employee who says that the Cayman Island Company is owned by a Cayman Island trust and that your husband is the beneficiary.  Finally you ask your husband to declare the trust accounts and find that there is an international web of companies worth a fortune.”

    He concluded “Having financial expertise on tap is absolutely fundamental in a divorce case.   As the case unfolds justice should be pursued using a critical combination of both financial and legal knowledge.”