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Substantial Logistics Business

Substantial Logistics Business

Brett acted for a client who had a substantial logistics business. The relationship in this matter was a second relationship for both parties of about 20 years. There were no children although each party had children from other relationships.

The matter was somewhat difficult due to different contributions made by each party, but also due to the substantial growth of the logistic business over the later years of the marriage.

The business was valued at about $30M and the other complication was that there was a third party (a 10% shareholder) who had risen up through the management ranks and was unrelated to the parties.

The matter became further complicated due to some serious issue that the wife had been suffering from for some period of time. The husband had contributed his business at the commencement of the relationship, but the business value at that stage was considerably less than current value.

The husband was also nearing retirement age and was concerned that his plans to pass over the business or to sell eventually to the 10% shareholder may be upset by a bitter and acrimonious matrimonial dispute.

After an extensive disclosure, valuations and mediation process, the parties were able to come to agreement and settle the matter without court litigation.

This was a pre covid matter and the husband and his business partner were able to secure funding instead of making a cash payment to the wife and also transfer various properties to her to affect her settlement that was acceptable to both parties at Mediation.

This was a matter that had many complex distinguishing features that made the matter look more difficult than what it was. The success in this matter was concentrating on how best to provide a property settlement to the wife and to do that in a clean matter so to enable the husband to keep the business and to keep the third-party business party onside.

Experienced commercial lawyers were involved in relation to the third-party deal eventually brokered (after the property settlement) with the 10% owner. In making the detail of this deal and intentions of the husband known to the wife prior to the mediation, it assisted in the transparency and trust between the parties and helped them to reach a commercially sensible outcome.

Sometimes, matters can be more complex and the complexity of the matter can get in the way of common sense. It is always important to make sure that you have all the details about all the little issues that can impact upon a settlement, but ultimately one must recognise counter arguments to each of those complex issues.

In other words, just because our client also received a substantial inheritance before separation, plus controlled a business, it did not mean that other contributions by the wife (a substantial redundancy early in the marriage, as well as smaller inheritances during the marriage) did not deserve due credit. There were competing arguments both with sold grounds as to how a Court may treat the different complex issues of the case.

A successful outcome was obtained in this matter by knowing about those complexities but at the same time by still concentrating on a commercial common-sense outcome of the client, that enabled him to be able to keep his business and also his goodwill with his business partner for future endeavours.


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