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  • Writer's pictureJohn Pratley

Olive Groves And Olive Branches.

Divorce Lawyer Bristol and Exeter
Olive Groves And Olive Branches.

Olive Groves And Olive Branches.

Mr Christoforou has enjoyed a brief, but probably unwelcome period in the limelight, at least amongst divorce lawyers.

He and his ex-wife had a financial dispute arising from their divorce, which was heard in the High Court. During the course of the proceedings it was noticed that all the mature olive trees on a plot of land in Cyprus he expected to have to transfer to his ex-wife, mysteriously disappeared, and reappeared on a patch of land he was keeping. Mrs Justice Roberts had no hesitation in making him pay a lot of money to have them put back.

Most divorce lawyers have a few such tales of direct action and revenge to tell. But it happens less often than most people probably think.

I get that it must be tempting, if you feel you have been treated unfairly by your ex, to do something about it., but it is not a good idea. Of course you will upset and anger them – which is probably exactly what you want to achieve, but it is never helpful.

Perhaps more importantly, much in family law comes down to the discretion of an individual judge. So when you get to court impressions matter. The law says that, in a financial dispute arising from a divorce (or dissolution of a civil partnership) the judge can only take account of misconduct which is “such that it would be inequitable to ignore it”. That means only things which are very extreme are specifically taken into account - petty acts of revenge would probably not qualify. So no judge would risk appeal by actually saying something in their judgement. But there is no doubt that it gets taken into account somewhere in their thinking.

So, if you want to get even don’t get mad. Instead get advice about how best to achieve the outcome you are looking for in your case.


John Pratley is an expert divorce lawyer, who has more than 25 years experience advising clients purely about divorce and related family law issues, such as the financial consequences of separating and divorcing. After establishing the first niche family law practice in Bristol, and going on to senior management roles in a national firm, John set up Apple Tree Family Law in 2018. Apple tree family Law solicitors specialise in advice about divorce and financial issues.

We are based in Bristol and Exeter, but we have clients all over the UK and further afield. We offer, simply, clear and accurate advice about divorce and family law issues, and the very best client service, for a clear and reasonable price.



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