Sharland v Sharland: SC 14 Oct 2015

The Court considered the impact of fraud upon a financial settlement agreed between divorcing parties where that agreement is later embodied in a court order? Does ‘fraud unravel all’, as is normally the case when agreements are embodied in court orders, or is there some special magic about orders made in matrimonial proceedings, which means that they are different? W now appealed from rejection f her request that the settlement be re-opened, it having been shown that the order had been obtained despite the deceit of H. He request had been rejected on the bassi that if full disclosure had been made, the order would not have been substantially different.
Lady Hale said: ‘the majority in the Court of Appeal in this case were correct to say that matrimonial cases were different from ordinary civil cases in that the binding effect of a settlement embodied in a consent order stems from the court’s order and not from the prior agreement of the parties. It does not, however, follow that the parties’ agreement is not a sine qua non of a consent order. Quite the reverse: the court cannot make a consent order without the valid consent of the parties. If there is a reason which vitiates a party’s consent, then there may also be good reason to set aside the consent order. The only question is whether the court has any choice in the matter.’

Lord Neuberger, President, Lady Hale, Deputy President, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Sumption, Lord Reed, Lord Hodge
[2015] UKSC 60, [2015] WLR(D) 408, [2015] 3 FCR 481, [2015] Fam Law 1461, [2016] 1 All ER 671, [2015] 2 FLR 1367, [2015] 3 WLR 1070, UKSC 2014/0074
Bailii, Bailii Summary, WLRD, SC, SC Summary, SC Video
Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 33A
England and Wales
See AlsoGohil v Gohil SC 14-Oct-2015
The Court was asked ‘Do the principles referable to the admissibility of fresh evidence on appeal, as propounded in the decision of the Court of Appeal in Ladd v Marshall [1954] 1 WLR 1489, have any relevance to the determination of a spouse’s . .
CitedJenkins v Livesey (formerly Jenkins) HL 1985
The parties had negotiated through solicitors a compromise of ancillary relief claims on their divorce. They agreed that the house should be transferred to the wife in consideration of her release of all other financial claims. The wife however . .
At FDS v S FD 29-Apr-2013
W sought to re-open a sttlement of the financial arrangement on her divorce, saying that there had been substantial non-disclosure by H.
Held: ‘any order which would have been made if proper disclosure had taken place would not have been . .
Appeal fromSharland v Sharland CA 10-Feb-2014
Appeal against the order of Sir Hugh Bennett dismissing the application of the appellant wife to resume the hearing of her claim for financial provision following her divorce from the respondent.
Held: (Briggs LJ dissenting) The appeal failed. . .
CitedXydhias v Xydhias CA 21-Dec-1998
The principles of contract law are of little use when looking at the course of negotiations in divorce ancillary proceedings. In the case of a dispute the court must use its own discretion to determine whether agreement had been reached. Thorpe LJ . .
CitedHyman v Hyman HL 1929
The husband had left the wife for another woman. The parties had entered into a deed of separation under which the husband had paid two lump sums and agreed to make weekly payments of 20 pounds for the life of the wife. The deed included a covenant . .
CitedDietz v Lennig Chemicals Limited HL 1969
Before proceedings, the plaintiff widow accepted the defendants’ offer to settle her and her infant son’s Fatal Accidents Acts claim ‘subject to the approval of the court’. A summons was then issued for the court to approve that settlement. The . .
CitedPurcell v F C Trigell Ltd CA 1971
The court will not interfere with an existing consent order, save in circumstances in which it could interfere with a contract as a matter of substantive law. A consent order derives its authority from the contract made between the parties. . .
CitedSmith v Kay HL 1859
A party who has practised deception with a view to a particular end, which has been attained by it, cannot be allowed to deny its materiality.
Lord Cranworth rejected what he described as ‘a very desperate argument’ that a representation could . .
CitedJonesco v Beard HL 1930
The plaintiff was a race horse trainer. He had made two claims against the defendant owner alleging first that the defendant had agreed to give him a share in some horses and second that the plaintiff had sold two horses to him but not been paid for . .
CitedCS v ACS and Another FD 16-Apr-2015
Rule Against Appeal was Ultra Vires
W had applied to have set aside the consent order made on her ancillary relief application accusing the husband of material non-disclosure. She complained that her application to have the order varied had been refused on the ground that her only . .
CitedWales v Wadham FD 1977
H and W agreed a consent order following a divorce under which H was to pay W andpound;13,000 from his half-share of the matrimonial home in settlement of W’s claims for financial provision for herself. Both consulted solicitors and the agreement . .
CitedRe L and B (Children) SC 20-Feb-2013
The court was asked as to the extent to which a court, having once declared its decision, could later change its mind. Though this case arose with in care proceedings, the court asked it as a general question. The judge in a fact finding hearing in . .
Citedde Lasala v de Lasala PC 4-Apr-1979
No Revisiting of Capital Claim after Compromise
(Hong Kong) Where capital claims are compromised in a once-for-all court order they cannot be revisited or reissued in the absence of a substantial mistake. Capital orders are ‘once-for-all orders’. The legal effect of the order derives not from the . .
CitedRobinson v Robinson (Disclosure) Practice Note CA 1982
The court considered the duty of parties in finacial relief proceedings to give full disclosure.
Held: In proceedings for ancillary relief, there was a duty, both under the rules and by authority, on the parties to make full and frank . .
CitedRadmacher (Formerly Granatino) v Granatino SC 20-Oct-2010
The parties, from Germany and France married and lived at first in England. They had signed a pre-nuptial agreement in Germany which would have been valid in either country of origin. H now appealed against a judgment which bound him to it, . .
CitedMacleod v Macleod PC 17-Dec-2008
(Isle of Man) The parties had signed a post-nuptial agreement.
Held: It was not open to the courts to find that such agreements might be enforced. They had been unenforceable under common law, and if the law was to be changed it must be by . .
CitedL v L FD 2-May-2006
The husband had accepted an obligation to make periodical payments to the wife but the obligation had been expressed as an undertaking on his part rather than as an order by consent for periodical payments pursuant to section 23(1)(a) of the Act. . .
CitedTommey v Tommey FD 1983
W asked the court to set aside a consent financial relief order. She was to transfer her half of the home to H, in return for andpound;8,000 paid by H in settlement of her financial provision. She said that in the negotiations leading up to the . .

Cited by:
CitedHayward v Zurich Insurance Company Plc SC 27-Jul-2016
The claimant had won a personal injury case and the matter had been settled with a substantial payout by the appellant insurance company. The company now said that the claimant had grossly exaggerated his injury, and indeed wasfiully recovered at . .
CitedGohil v Gohil SC 14-Oct-2015
The Court was asked ‘Do the principles referable to the admissibility of fresh evidence on appeal, as propounded in the decision of the Court of Appeal in Ladd v Marshall [1954] 1 WLR 1489, have any relevance to the determination of a spouse’s . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Family, Torts – Other

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.553310