Honesty is the best policy: Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne misleads the divorce courts

Honesty is the best policy: Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne misleads the divorce courts

A judge has rejected the entrepreneur’s bid to gag newspapers from reporting the claim that he “misrepresented” the terms of a business agreement during his divorce.

The cases of Sharland and Gohil served as a warning to anyone thinking of misleading their spouse, and the Courts, about the extent or value of their assets.

The recent newspaper revelations concerning Duncan Bannatyne’s divorce in 2012 goes to show how seriously the Courts now treat this issue.

It seems Mr Bannatyne ‘came clean’ during the course of the divorce and corrected the false information placed before the Court.

However, the recent court action between Mr Bannatyne and Associated Newspapers related to whether the press should be stopped from reporting his misleading disclosure during his divorce, or he was entitled to privacy and confidentiality.

The Judge made it clear there was no entitlement to privacy where attempts have been made to mislead the Court:

"In my judgment, the public interest lies in exposing attempts to mislead the court, even if the person making such attempts then repents of what he has done and corrects the situation.

“There can be no public interest in inhibiting full, frank and honest disclosure to the court; but there is a public interest in encouraging full, frank and honest disclosure, and disclosure which is not full, frank and honest should be publicised."

What this decision means for you

Mr Bannatyne will not be facing the re-opening of his divorce settlement, as it seems the correct information was eventually provided before the settlement was finalised.

But his action against the newspapers shows that the Court allows no hiding place for anyone who tries to mislead their spouse and the Court.

This case is simply another reminder that honest and clear financial disclosure is the best policy.

Need advice? We can help you

Please call Mark Reeves on 01482 324252.

Or email mar@gosschalks.co.uk.

You can find out more about our Family Law services here.

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