Charman v Charman: CA 20 Dec 2005

The court considered orders to third parties abroad to produce docments for use in ancillary relief proceedings. The husband had built up considerable assets within an offshore discretionary trust. The court was asked whether these were family assets.
Held: Asking what would be the approach of an English court, a request would not be met if it was a fishing expedition, but if only oral evidence was required the question was whether there was reason to believe that he had knowledge of matters relevant to the issues at trial. The letters of request were to be subject to a minor modification, but otherwise the appeal against the order granting it was rejected.


Mr Justice Wilson Lord Justice Lloyd Sir Mark Potter President of the Family Division


[2005] EWCA Civ 1606




Family Proceedings Rules 1991 3.1, Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 25(2)(a)


England and Wales


CitedBrowne v Browne CA 1989
The court considered under what circumstances money held in trust for a party could be included within assets to be considered in an application for ancillary relief in family proceedings.
Held: The question is more appropriately expressed as . .
CitedWhite v White HL 26-Oct-2000
The couple going through the divorce each had substantial farms and wished to continue farming. It had been a long marriage.
Held: Where a division of the assets of a family would satisfy the reasonable needs of either party on an ancillary . .
CitedKhanna v Lovell White Durrant (A Firm) ChD 19-Jul-1994
The practice of requiring a third party to produce documents with a subpoena ad duces tecum at an interlocutory stage was a good one and was designed to produce evidence at an earlier stage, reducing costs. No greater inconvenience was suffered by . .
CitedIn re Westinghouse Uranium Contract HL 1978
‘The fact, if it be so, that evidence so obtained may be used in other proceedings and indeed may be central in those proceedings is no reason for refusing to allow it to be requested’ Lord Fraser said: ‘in judging the nature of the letters rogatory . .
CitedIn re Asbestos Insurance Coverage HL 1985
A London insurance brokerage company had been ordered to produce documents pursuant to a letter of request issued by a Californian court in proceedings brought by manufacturers of asbestos against their insurers. The 1975 Act empowered the court to . .
CitedIn re State of Norway’s Application (No 1) CA 1987
There were taxation proceedings in Norway. One question was whether the Norwegian taxpayer controlled a trust which owned some shares. Letters rogatory issued by the Norwegian Court requested the oral examination of two witnesses in the United . .
CitedIn re State of Norway’s application (Nos 1 and 2) HL 1989
The House considered an application by a foreign state seeking assistance in obtaining evidence here to be used in enforcing its own revenue laws at home.
Held: Rule 3 of the Convention encapsulated a ‘fundamental rule of English Law’, but did . .
CitedPanayiotou and Others v Sony Music Entertainment (UK) Ltd ChD 21-Jul-1993
The rules do not limit the inherent jurisdiction of the court to make requests to foreign courts to ensure the production of documents from abroad. There is no logical reason why the principles by reference to which the court determines whether, and . .
CitedNetbank v Commercial Money Center 2004
(Supreme Court of Bermuda) Before the court was an issue as to the enforcement of a letter of request from Ohio for oral evidence to be taken from employees in Bermuda of an insurance company. The island’s Evidence Act 1905 had provisions identical . .
CitedLetterstedt v Broers PC 22-Mar-1884
(Supreme Court of the Cape of Good Hope) Lack of harmony may be of itself a good reason for a trustee to resign or be dismissed. Lord Blackburn approved a passage in Story’s Equity Jurisprudence, s 1289: ‘But in cases of positive misconduct, courts . .
CitedMorgan v Morgan 1977
In ancillary relied proceedings the wife’s father was ordered to disclose his testamentary intentions toward his daughter.
Held: Such an order was oppressive, and he should be protected against it. . .
CitedParra v Parra CA 20-Dec-2002
The court considered the division of family assets on an ancillary relief application where a family company assets were involved but the assets had been divided equally: ‘The parties have, perhaps unusually, ordered their affairs during the . .
CitedZakay v Zakay 1998
In financial proceedings in England following divorce the wife alleged – and the husband denied – that he was the beneficial owner of shares held by a Gibraltarian trust company. The English court had ordered the issue of a letter of request to the . .
CitedD v D (Production Appointment) FD 29-Nov-1995
An accountant’s professional privilege was overborne by the court, and a wider disclosure was approved. The court set a wide boundary around the scope of the documents which he was ordering the wife’s accountant to produce: ‘If the boundary is set . .
CitedB v B (Matrimonial Proceedings: Discovery) CA 1978
The wife applied for ancillary relief, and sought disclosure from a third party.
Held: Whilst a party must disclose all documents in his possession, custody or power the court has a discretion whether to order inspection. ‘Custody’ in RSC Ord . .
CitedFrary v Frary CA 1993
A spouse’s wealthy cohabitant, who had been ordered to produce evidence not just as to the support provided by her (or him) to the spouse but as to her (or his) overall resources may be able successfully to invoke the courts jurisdiction to protect . .

Cited by:

See AlsoCharman v Charman (No 2) FD 27-Jul-2006
Ancillary relief claim – very substantial assets. The court provided for a possible substantial debt by a reverse contingent lump sum. . .
See AlsoCharman v Charman CA 11-Dec-2006
Ancillary relief – substantial assets – application by the respondent wife in relation to an appeal by the appellant husband from a judgment and order in ancillary relief proceedings. The judge ordered the husband to pay pounds 40 million to the . .
See AlsoCharman v Charman (No 4) CA 24-May-2007
The court considered what property should be considered in an ancillary relief claim on divorce, and said: ‘To what property does the sharing principle apply? The answer might well have been that it applies only to matrimonial property, namely the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Family, Litigation Practice

Updated: 04 July 2022; Ref: scu.236566