Setting Aside a Consent Order because of Undue Influence or Duress

A Consent Order can be challenged and Set Aside if there has been Undue Influence or Duress placed on one party, to force them into agreeing to the Consent Order. This is called ‘Undue Influence or Duress’ and it is the fourth (and last) of four ways in which a Consent Order can be challenged and set aside. These types of cases are also sometimes referred to as ‘blackmail’ cases.

4.Undue Influence or Duress

In the case of NLW v ARC [2012] EWHC 55 (Fam) which came before Mr Justice Mostyn in the High Court, permission was granted to the wife to appeal a consent order in financial proceedings on the basis of undue influence and non-disclosure.

Rather more recently I had my own client (AB v JB) who had been a prominent International athlete at the All England Rugby Club. My client was bisexual and his wife had found out. She threatened to go public with revelation unless he agreed to one of the most unfair Consent Orders I have ever seen. It even had sections forcing him to pay £1,500 maintenance per month to the wife’s DOGS! And; if that wasn’t enough he even had to pay £200 a month contribution to maintaining each dogs grave after they died!

Cyrus Mansouri

When my client came to me he was a broken man. Imagine a great big muscular International Rugby player crying his eyes out. I could hardly blame him. He told me that being found out as bisexual in the Rugby world would have ended his career. He would have made front page in the tacky press. When he came to me his Consent Order was already 3 years old and he had paid her so much he could hardly afford to rent a room for himself!

I acted fast. I obtained a gagging injunction against his wife without her even knowing (ex-parte) stopping her from going public with the photos and evidence she was using the blackmail him and, I then went on to challenge this ridiculous consent Order. His wife tried every trick on the book and she managed to drag the case on for several years. She ignored court orders and was repeatedly held in contempt. But in the end I got my client justice and his fair share of the assets. It was plain and simple – blackmail, but justice won in the end. The judge binned the original Consent Order and gave us a new proper Final Order, which was fair.

There are altogether four separate reasons for challenging a Consent Order. These are:

  1. Non-disclosure of relevant facts
  2. Fraud & Misrepresentation
  3. Supervising events & significant change in circumstance; or
  4. Undue influence (see above)

I have dealt with each of these separately and by clicking the highlighted links, you can start to get into the details of each category and see whether it fits your own circumstances. If you think it does, then perhaps it’s worth contacting us for more specific advice.

Cyrus Mansouri