The U.K.'s highest court has done away with the "corporate veil" and "cheats' charter."
The Supreme Court has ordered that a £17.5 million settlement against Michael Prest, founder of the Nigerian oil firm Petrodel, must be enforced even though his assets were said to be tied up in his companies. In a unanimous ruling it found that Mr Prest controlled the companies and therefore owned their assets….
Lawyers said the ruling would secure London’s reputation as the “divorce capital of the world” for wives and sweep away a law which had become a “cheats’ charter”.
But others warned that the court had instead created a “gold-diggers' charter” and placed a new burden on business by threatening the basic independence of companies and opened family wealth up to “smash and grab raids”….
Mr Justice Moylan, who heard the original case, rejected Mr Prest’s claims to be heavily in debt, finding him to be a “wholly unreliable” witness and concluded that the other directors of Mr Prest’s companies were just "stooges”.