Paul was a successful entrepreneurial businessman. With the support of his wife, Justine, he had built up an empire of various businesses primarily in the hospitality and retail area. When he came to see us, he and Justine were amicably separated and wanted to make sure their settlement worked effectively for both of them. He said their combined net assets were worth approximately $18,000,000, but he readily conceded that the value was “loose” at best. He and Justine had come to that figure after looking at various finance documents, as their primary lender had recently conducted a review of their financial position and had undertaken formal and informal valuations of various components of their assets. They had agreed to equally divide their assets, and had set out how they thought this could happen.
At the outset we were able to identify a number of areas of their in principle agreement which required further consideration. The values did not appear reliable and there were very significant tax implications of the proposed distribution which needed to be taken into account.
We organised for a highly experienced accountant to work with Paul and us to structure the settlement to achieve the best possible outcome for both parties. Thankfully the common sense and goodwill of Paul and Justine allowed us to work collaboratively with Justine’s lawyers and her accountant to ensure that the necessary investigations into values were able to be conducted efficiently and then to structure a very complicated settlement which enabled the parties to minimise potentially disastrous tax consequences of their initial proposal.
This is a classic example of parties working collaboratively for both of their benefit.
For further information or assistance please contact Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers.
All names and identifying features have been changed for privacy reasons in our case studies. These case studies only have basic detail in them, and you should always bear in mind that every case is unique. These case studies are examples only, and cannot be applied to your circumstances without consideration of all relevant facts.