Insights and inspiration
And So It Continues
24 March 2014
The case of Strahan has been occupying the Family Court since 2005, and the parties have spent millions of dollars on the litigation.
In late December, yet another decision in the saga came before the courts and the case has still not reached a final hearing.
This hearing involved three issues:
- The wife wanted the husband to sign an authority to the Australian Taxation Office and the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department to direct them to provide information to her;
- She wanted a further substantial sum by way of partial property settlement and future legal costs as well as spouse maintenance (having already received $12.5 million); and
- Her lawyers had claimed privilege over some documents she was meant to disclose, meaning that the husband and his lawyers were not allowed to look at them.
In each case, the Trial Judge ruled against her and she appealed. In each case the Appeal Court (The Full Court) agreed with the Trial Judge.
On the authority question, the Judge refused to order the husband to sign these authorities because there was no real evidence that he was hiding anything. The best the wife could say was that she was suspicious.
On the costs issue and interim payments, the wife's case was defective because she could not explain what had happened to all the money she had already been given, particularly in relation to $750,000.
On the third point about inspection of documents, the court said that it was necessary for the lawyers to be very careful in saying why privilege was claimed, and not just resort to formulae. They had to address each particular document with care, and not just make blanket claims.
There is still no news about when this case will end.
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