High profile & important cases

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    High profile & important divorce cases

    In this section of the Divorce Guide, we examine some of the most important, high profile divorce cases through the lens of our expert opinion.

    Chai v Peng

    The case of former beauty queen Pauline Chai and her businessman husband, Khoo Kay Peng, is one of the largest and most complex to come before the English courts. Read More

    Quan v Bray

    Li Quan and Stuart Bray met in 1990, and married in 2001. Both were united by their passion for saving the Chinese tiger and investigated vast amounts of time and money into a venture to save the endangered animals. Read More

    Young v Young

    Young v Young, which became known in the press as the ‘Brewster’s Millions’ case, became a cause célèbre in both the legal world and the media. The case lasted for many years until Vardags took it over for the final financial hearing, which came before the High Court in 2013. Read More

    Radmacher v Granatino

    Radmacher v Granatino transformed the way English courts, and indeed the public, regard prenuptial agreements. Prenups have always divided opinion but, whether you see them as sensible or cynical, it cannot be denied that they give couples greater control over their marriage. And now, thanks to Ayesha Vardag’s tenacity, couples who do take this opportunity can trust that their prenup is worth the paper it’s written on. Read More

    White v White

    Fairness, like beauty, lies in the eyes of the beholder. This is how Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead introduced an appeal in the House of Lords that forever changed how the family courts distributed marital wealth on divorce and reflected how the concepts of breadwinner and homemaker had evolved in societal consciousness. Read More

    Charman v Charman

    Charman v Charman was, at the time in 2005, the largest ever contested case in English divorce proceedings, with total assets of £131 million. The wife argued that she should be entitled to 45 percent, with the slight departure from equality representing the husband’s special financial contribution – so great that it could not be ignored. Read More

    Gohil v Gohil & Sharland v Sharland

    Sharland v Sharland, along with Gohil v Gohil, was an important case on the issue of fraudulent non-disclosure – when one spouse deliberately hides assets away from the other during divorce proceedings. Read More


    The case of Myerson is a further case clarifying the rules in Barder. The husband and wife had divorced shortly before the financial crisis. At that time, their assets were worth around £25 million, around £15 million of which were made up of shares in the husband’s company. Read More

    Barder v Barder

    The case of Barder shows the rare circumstances in which a divorce award can be varied after it has been made. In the case of Barder, the wife received a settlement which provided for her and her two children. Read More

    Xydhias v Xydhias

    The case of Xhydias is the most important of a number of cases concerning when parties are deemed to have agreed to settle their matrimonial claims. Read More

    Jones v Jones

    The case of Jones concerned the value of a business in relation to matrimonial proceedings. The parties had met in 1996 and separated in 2006. When they married, the husband owned a business worth around £2million. Read More

    SS v NS

    In the case of SS v NS, a recent judgment from Mr Justice Mostyn which shows the changing approach of the courts to spousal maintenance. The husband and wife were 40 and 39 respectively, and had been together for 11 years. Read More

    JL v SL

    JL v SL was a case before Mr Justice Mostyn which focused on how the court was to treat inherited wealth in the context of divorce. In the case, the wife had received total inheritance from her mother of £465,000. Read More

    UL v BK

    In the case of UL v BK the court considered the proper procedure for when a party seeks a freezing order or another emergency, ex parte injunction. Freezing orders are a vital tool in preventing a wealthy party from dissipating assets, but given their severity it is vital that the court follows proper procedures. Read More

    AM v SS

    In 2013, Vardags represented a wife in a successful application for a LSPO against her husband. The application allows judges to order the financially stronger party to contribute towards the financially weaker party’s legal fees under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. Read More

    Y v Z

    Vardags represented the father defending an application by the mother to disclose to the police and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) the fact that the father had lied in statements and on oath in proceedings. The mother also applied for the judgement not to be anonymised. Read More