Record settlement businessman avoids tax claims31st May 2012
An insurance businessman, who was once forced to pay out on the UK’s most costly post-divorce claim, has had a case against him regarding unpaid tax thrown out of court.
John Charman who lived in Sevenoaks, Kent, was defending an £11.5 million claim of unpaid taxes from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC).
But on Monday the case was thrown out of the High Court after he managed to halt HRMC’s attempts to get hold of confidential court information concerning his previous divorce.
Mr Charman, 59, who has two children, now resides in Bermuda. His divorce from Beverley, also of Sevenoaks, made national news in 2006 as at the time Mr Charman was believed to have assets of more than £131 million.
Following the divorce proceedings, HRMC sought to get hold of documents relating to the case, but Mr Charman’s lawyers said they should not be given the documents as they were simply on a “fishing expedition”.
Presiding over the divorce case, Mr Justice Coleridge agreed and did not hand the documents to HRMC.
Since the divorce Mr Charman has been in tax exile, but he denies owing £11.5 million in unpaid tax between 2001-08.
The judge said that HRMC was looking to get hold of these financial papers as it thought they would support its case, but this was refused as Mr Charman had disclosed them to the court in confidence during divorce proceedings.
Even though Mr Charman did not agree to hand over the documents, his ex-wife Berverley, 58, had no objection.
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