Enforcement against a company or trust
Produced in partnership with David Salter, deputy High Court judge and Recorder
Enforcement against a company or trust

The following Family practice note produced in partnership with David Salter, deputy High Court judge and Recorder provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Enforcement against a company or trust
  • Enforcement against a company
  • Enforcement against a trust
  • Piercing the corporate veil
  • Adding trustees, beneficiaries or directors as parties
  • Enforcement of judgments in a foreign trust jurisdiction

Enforcement against a company

A company is a legal entity distinct from its owner and controller. The same principle applies to trust assets owned by a trustee on behalf of beneficiaries. See: Enforcement against a trust and Piercing the corporate veil.

Where the court is able to enforce a financial order directly against company or trust assets, this is commonly known as ‘piercing the corporate veil’. Effectively, the barrier that exists between the party and the assets through the creation of a company or trust is put to one side by the court to enable enforcement of an order that could not otherwise be enforced due to a lack of assets held directly by that party. Such orders are now extremely limited following the Supreme Court decision in Prest v Petrodel Resources.

Enforcement proceedings in relation to a family business or family company should be dealt with by the family courts rather than in the Companies Court. Pending a final hearing, every effort should be made to preserve the status quo and to discourage or prevent either spouse/civil partner from a pre-emptive strike.

Consideration may be given to an application to set aside a transfer to a company under section 37(2) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA 1973) (or the civil partnership equivalent), where it can be shown that the transfer was a disposition intended to defeat

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