Jeremy Levison reflects on a previous case that highlights the need for sound legal advice and a lawyer who will, if necessary, litigate hard for you in Court.
My client, a wealthy businessman, entered into a (third) marriage with a somewhat younger lady.
Reluctant (mistakenly!) to pay lawyers’ fees for doing so, the couple went online and drew up a pro-forma pre-nup. There were three copies of this (only) which were placed in the home safe.
A mere five years later, abandoning her husband in their New York apartment, the wife returned to England, raided the safe, destroyed the three copies of the pre-nup and denied that it had ever been entered into in the first place.
She then embarked on a vicious crusade against her husband, accusing him of domestic violence and making gold-digging claims far in excess of her entitlement under the pre-nup.
In a campaign lasting many months we were able to:
- disprove, entirely, the concocted allegations of domestic violence;
- establish the existence of the pre-nup;
- authenticate its validity;
- hold the wife to the terms she had entered into by signing up to it;
- prove that her entire case had been a self-serving, gold-digging exercise, full of libellous untruths, as a result of which:
- she had to pay all of my client’s legal costs.
The case required a high degree of tenacity and resilience as we countered the wife’s determination to evade the terms of pre-nup and a high level of pro-active input as we sought to demolish her dishonestly fabricated case.
It also proves the power of the pre-nup but oh, how much simpler it would have been if it had been properly drawn up by a specialist lawyer and held in safe keeping from the off.