Top UK court rules oil tycoon must give former wife assets

06/12/2013 // West Palm Beach , Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

London – The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has ruled against Nigeria-born oil tycoon Michael Prest regarding a challenge to a lower court decision that he surrender company held assets to his ex-wife. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), Prest challenged a court decision ordering that seven properties be given to his former English wife, Yasmin, as part of a 17.5 million pound settlement in their 2011 divorce.

The Court of Appeal ruled last year that the companies were a separate legal entity and not eligible for inclusion in the divorce. However, the high court’s ruling determined the company held properties were assets that Prest was “entitled” to therefore did qualify for inclusion.

Michael Hutchinson, a partner at law firm Mayer Brown, is quoted by the AP as stating of the court’s decision, “The Supreme Court has handed down a landmark decision in which, for the first time since at least the end of the 19th century, it has accepted a general exception to the rule against ‘piercing the corporate veil.”

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