Sofia Moussaoui comments in the Press Association and The Guardian re Joy vs Joy-Morancho

Husband wins court tussle with estranged wife over classic car collection

By Brian Farmer, Press Association

View a PDF of the original article here.

A solicitor representing a businessman who won a High Court tussle with his estranged wife over the ownership of a £20 million collection of about 35 classic cars says she is “extremely pleased” with a judge’s ruling.

Clive Joy-Morancho, 56, and Nichola Joy, 48, are fighting over money following the breakdown of their five-year marriage. Ms Joy claimed that Mr Joy-Morancho owned the collection of ”vintage and other collectable motorcars”.

She said cars could be transferred to her as part of a divorce payout. He said it was owned by a company with which he had links.

A judge has ruled in Mr Joy-Morancho’s favour – following a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London – and dismissed Ms Joy’s claim for the transfer of cars to her.

Sir Peter Singer analysed arguments earlier this year and published a ruling last week.

Solicitor Sofia Moussaoui, who works for law firm DWFM Beckman, said today: “I am extremely pleased with the main thrust of the judgment which demonstrates that it is possible to refute what now seems to have become the presumption in high-net-worth family cases that a husband who claims that certain assets do not belong to him and are not available to him and the court for division, must be making a false presentation.”

The couple had lived in on the Caribbean island of Bequia and in a chateau in the south of France when married, the court heard. Ms Joy had started divorce proceedings after making domestic violence allegations, said the judge.

Sir Peter said the ”substance” of the couple’s wealth derived from Mr Joy-Morancho’s ”business activities”.

And the judge said there was ”extreme” disagreement over how much Ms Joyshould get as a result of the marriage breakdown.

Ms Joy argued that there was £54 million in the pot and wanted a lump sum of £27 million. Mr Joy-Morancho said he was facing ”financial ruin” and argued that Ms Joy should get ”nominal” maintenance only.

The judge said he would have to decide whether Mr Joy-Morancho’s ”plight” was ”genuine or a contrived facade” – and indicated that he would make rulings on MsJoy’s cash claims at a later date.

Sir Peter indicated that the car collection included a Ferrari, bought for about £5.5 million three years ago, and an Alfa Romeo. He said two ”particularly rare and exceptional vehicles” were a McLaren F1 and a McLaren P1.

The judge had made an order in 2014 ”restraining” Mr Joy-Morancho from ”disposing of or dealing with” a 1928 Bentley racer he had bought for nearly £400,000 in 2009.

Mr Joy-Morancho had said the Bentley was ”personally owned” – and the judge indicated that it was not part of the car collection about which he had been asked to make decisions.

Mrs Moussaoui, a partner at DWFM Beckman and a family law specialist, suggested that Sir Peter’s decision might have been “unique” .

View this article in The Guardian here.