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Viberts Partner, Jamie Orchard acts in landmark family law case

31 October 2019

In a landmark ruling handed down today, Viberts, working with leading London Chambers, 1KBW and 1GC, has successfully defended an appeal in the Privy Council in a family law case that has been ongoing since 2011.

The case, C v C, which involved the jurisdiction of the Children (Jersey) Law 2002 and private international law, was initially heard before Jersey’s Family Registrar and concerned a mother who had applied to the Jersey court for child maintenance from her partner, after they had separated.

While the court ruled that he was liable for said maintenance, he subsequently appealed (twice) to the Royal Court and to the Jersey Court of Appeal in 2016, before the matter was passed to the Privy Council. Viberts represented the mother in all proceedings during this time.

In today’s judgment, the Privy Council has upheld the decision of the Jersey courts. Following this, there are no further avenues of appeal open to the father.

The Privy Council is the highest appellate court for all of the Commonwealth countries and typically only hears a small number of Jersey cases each year. It is particularly rare for a case involving family law to be heard in the Privy Council (from Jersey or elsewhere).

Advocate Jamie Orchard, Partner at Viberts, who represented the mother, said: “The success of this case over such a long period of time relied heavily upon Viberts’ ability to draw from a number of different areas of expertise as well as our proficiency in family law. The father has been able to use his significant wealth to pursue this case to its extremities.

“With the Privy Council handing down such a significant judgment, this has become a very important case not just for Jersey but potentially for the rest of the Commonwealth. We are hugely grateful to 1KBW and 1GC for their invaluable assistance. This really has been a case of David versus Goliath.”

To read the full judgment please click here.

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