Michael George Jan 2021

Michael George

Year of Call: 1990
Email Address: michael.george@3pb.co.uk
Telephone: 0121 289 4333

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Overview

Michael George is a specialist family practitioner with over 30 years experience. He has a reputation for a good humoured and robust forensic approach with careful analysis.

Reported and Notable Cases

  • T v T: Medium to medium large asset case. Analysis demonstrated £1.2M of assets not accounted for in the SJE report. Successful submissions on trust issues at FDR.  Negotiated settlement.
  • X v X: Medium asset case where proper analysis of police pensions and retirement dates by counsel increased pension pot for distribution to client by £350,000.
  • S v V: Jurisdiction and forum issues in context of internationally wealthy family with offshore tax structures.  Contested issues of billionaire financial resources.  Successful LSPO and MPS appeal leading to successful negotiated settlement covering multiple jurisdictions.
  • Re T: High net worth member alleged billionaire family issues of offshore trusts, family bounty, jurisdiction, forum, and circumstances of the marriage. Successful MPS and LSPO appeal.
  • Re T: Asset base circa £6M. Intervener claims whether constructive trusts or estoppel, inaccurate business accounts, liquidity issues. Opposing Leading Counsel.
  • Re X and Re Y: Two unrelated cases involving topflight motorcycle racers. Issues earnings structure of professional service company. Tax efficient strategies for extracting monies.
  • Re M: Asset base circa £6M multiple corporate entities in UK and republic of Ireland, dividend accounting irregularities breach of directors’ duties, Reduction of Capital / Liquidation Reconstruction Demerger issues. Opposing Leading Counsel.
  • Re S: Children private law, international contact issues and historic domestic violence. Opposing Leading Counsel.
  • Re H: Farming case and commercial operation asset base circa £8M. Multiple plots, synergistic values, easements, demerger of asset base for tax implications.
  • Re B: Farming case asset base £6M with overlapping family farming partnerships, leases, differential ownership of ransom strips, easements affecting valuations and caravan businesses.
  • Re H: asset base circa £13M interim property portfolio reallocation before end of tax year to defer £600K of CGT. Opposing Leading Counsel.
  • Re C: Variation of maintenance application. Husband was major shareholder in 8 private companies that had merged into one under complex and opaque arrangements. In original financial relief Wife alleged Husband had undisclosed offshore funds. No forensic accountant instructed – Wife’s original Counsel had failed to penetrate the web of arrangements and advised there was no evidence to pursue matter. On a variation application under cross examination Husband eventually accepted he was a beneficiary of a hitherto undisclosed Lichtenstein trust and that he had concealed assets from Court    in earlier proceedings. Further inquiries revealed the existence of a secret trust to which Husband was a beneficiary and    a further trust holding cash and loan notes against Husband’s company and a holding company incorporated in further offshore tax haven in the British Virgin Islands. Given these disclosures Wife capitalised her maintenance claim and the case settled on advantageous terms.
  • Re L: Family business was valued at about £5m. Negotiated settlement using a variety of tax efficient methods including dividend waiver and share buyback and cancellation. Opposing Leading Counsel – now Judge of Family Division. Post consent order Wife alleged Husband had concealed a £200,000 policy and threatened to reopen proceedings. Persuaded Wife’s advisers that it was not worth the litigation risk to reopen.
  • Re O: Complex portfolio of vested and unvested share options and LTIP scheme with differential tax regimes depending upon when options exercised. Client relocated from Kazakhstan to India during negotiations. Complex schedules of assets and contingent tax liabilities and international taxation considerations.
  • B v B: Departure from separation agreement based upon Husband’s false representation that his retirement was imminent.
  • AK v RB and MB [2011] EWHC 3317: Relocation to Kyrgyz Republic, expert evidence on socio political situation in the absence of international social services or diplomatic relations.
  • Askey v Woods [2005] EWCA 574: Contributory negligence and causation where there is no evidence that the Claimant’s negligence would have contributed to the accident that did happen.

Expertise

  • Finance
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    Michael George has over 30 years’ experience in big money cases and cases with limited assets, where creative solutions are needed to meet needs be it Divorce, Dissolution, Separation, Schedule 1, Intervener and Inheritance Act Claims.

    Michael regularly acts for overseas or internationally based clients where habitual residence, jurisdiction and forum are in issue. He is familiar with the practical and technical challenges these present. His expertise ranges from acting in financial remedy cases, advising on commercial and farming assets, tax efficient settlements for splitting assets as well as negotiating the complexities of undisclosed assets, financial manipulation, offshore funds, international assets, trust and corporate assets. He has a keen forensic and tactical brain and is particularly adept in cases involving company or trust assets and a significant element of his day-to-day practice involves dealing with corporate and trust structures that need unravelling.

    Michael is well versed in both civil and family legal procedure.

    He regularly lectures on some of the more complex aspects of family finance, trusts and company valuations.

  • Remote FDR Hearing Service
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    Michael is available for private remote FDR hearings. For more information on private remote FDR hearings please click here.

  • Property
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    Michael regularly undertakes cases relating to trusts of land both as intervener claims within financial remedy proceedings and as freestanding Civil Proceedings under trust of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act.  He also undertakes significant volumes of professional negligence work arising from leaseholder issues.

    Michael also undertakes a considerable amount of traditional Chancery work including Inheritance Act Claims, contested Probate and trusts both on shore and offshore with particular emphasis on the interplay with Financial Remedy proceedings.

    His extensive financial remedy practice gives him a significant advantage when advising and negotiating on contentious probate matters where the divorce comparator and family dynamics play a significant role in outcome.

  • Property and affairs
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    Michael also undertakes a considerable amount of Court of Protection Property and Affairs work including Inheritance Act Claims, contested Probate and trusts both on shore and offshore with particular emphasis on the interplay with Financial Remedy proceedings. Such experience extends to; revocation of an enduring power of attorney, proper exercise of the powers of a deputy, capacity to create a lasting power of attorney and the contested approval of a statutory Will.

  • Professional Negligence
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    Michael is member of the Professional Negligence Bar Association and as a former Head of Chambers Michael has extensive experience of adjudicating on professional standards issues and is on the Chambers’ professional adjudication panel.

    He frequently advises and acts in professional negligence matters with a focus on leasehold advice and claims with a matrimonial finance and property focus.

  • Articles
    • We all need a G v T

      Michael George provides a briefing note on G v T [2020] EWHC 1613 in which he explores the topic of business valuations and provides an up-to-date approach to run off.

      View Article
    • May you live in interesting times

      3PB's specialist family law barrister Michael George reviews economic disruption and financial remedy claims.

      View Article
  • Recommendations

    ‘ Michael is a robust negotiator and an excellent advocate and drafts-man, who repeatedly achieves excellent outcomes for clients. ’

    Legal 500 2022/Divorce and Financial Remedy/Leading juniors/Midlands Circuit

    ‘He combines sound judgement and excellent knowledge of the law with an approachable and reassuring manner.’

    "Michael George is praised for his 'exceptional aptitude for financial remedy work, particularly cases involving company law, complex accounts and pensions'."

    Legal 500 2021/Divorce and Financial Remedy/Leading juniors/Regional Bar/Midlands Circuit

  • The Legal 500 - Leading Individual 2022 Logo

Professional bodies

  • Family Law Bar Association
  • Chancery Bar Association
  • British Association for Adoption and Fostering
  • Association for Lawyers for Children
  • British Library – Reader
  • Library of Congress – Reader

Direct Access

Michael George is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public and professional clients under the Direct Public Access scheme.

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