My oldest friend and I run a successful international company into an international operation. He plans to marry next year. I would like to be reassured that if the marriage does not work out his wife won’t have any claim to our company, its profits, or ownership. What can I do?

Your friend and his fiancée should sign a prenuptial agreement.

English law requires that, on divorce, the reasonable needs of the couple must be met. Depending on his financial situation, a pre-nup should enable your friend to ring fence the shares he owns from any claim.

A shareholders’ agreement may be needed to regulate more private aspects of the shareholders’ relationships.

The Supreme Court demonstrated its readiness to take a robust approach to an artificial situation and found a way, via a trust, of clawing back assets that had been stashed away in a company that was in effect the husband’s alter ego.

At Hylton-Potts we can draft a prenup for a competitive fixed fee, and you can email or phone details to our confidential helpline.