Pump Court Chambers

High Court Judge names and shames ‘abysmal’ ex-husband in long-running financial remedy case

News 30th October 2015

Mr Justice Mostyn has handed down judgment in Veluppillai v Veluppillai [2015] EWHC 3095 (Fam)’, a long-running financial remedy case, in which His Lordship made the unusual decision to name the parties involved, in order to expose the ‘absymal’ behaviour of the husband.

Jennifer Lee of Pump Court Chambers was instructed to represent the wife, Ms Anushiya Veluppillai, who was awarded a total of £733,518, approximately 50% of the matrimonial assets, a position which the Court determined was eminently reasonable and fair.

The case has generated widespread media interest particularly because of Mr Justice Mostyn’s unusual decision to publish the Judgment in full and without anonymisation in order to expose the ‘absymal’ behaviour of the husband, who has persistently failed to comply with court orders, failed to provide full and frank disclosure, transferred various assets to third parties in order to place them out of wife's reach, sent abusive emails and threatened wife and her legal team, judges and court staff. In one instance, he assaulted wife and her previous counsel at court, and was duly convicted.

Despite recently insisting family cases should be heard behind closed doors, because it was not right to lay bare the intimate details of people’s private lives, Mr Justice Mostyn decided to name Michael Veluppillai and his ex-wife to expose his conduct. In so ruling, His Lordship said “There is no doubt Mr Veluppillai’s misconduct has been at the extreme end of the spectrum. It is in the public interest for his conduct to be exposed. The public should be aware of the scale of problems that courts administering justice have to face at the hands of unrepresented and malevolent litigants determined to do everything they can to destroy the process”.

Due to his extreme litigation misconduct, the husband was ordered to pay the entirety of the wife’s costs. Mr Justice Mostyn said that the costs order would allow the wife to abandon her legal aid certificate, and that “[T]his is … a very reasonable course. Legal aid firms depend for their survival for inter parties costs orders being made…”. His Lordship also made an extended civil restraint order against the husband, which shall last for a period of two years.

To view the judgment in full please click here. To read more on the story as reported in the press please see the below links.

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