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Case details

Villiers (Appellant) v Villiers (Respondent)

Case ID: UKSC 2018/0114

Case summary


Do the courts of England and Wales have the power to stay an application for maintenance pursuant to section 27 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 on the grounds of forum non conveniens when divorce proceedings are taking place in Scotland? Are divorce proceedings and maintenance proceedings ‘related actions’ for the purposes of Article 13 of the Maintenance Regulation 2011? Is Schedule 6 of the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments (Maintenance) Regulations 2011 ultra vires section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972?


The Appellant Husband (‘H’) and Respondent Wife (‘W’) were married in 1994 and lived almost the entirety of their married life in Scotland. Following their separation, W moved to England with the parties’ daughter and W issued a divorce petition in the English Courts. This was dismissed with W’s consent in favour of the writ of divorce which H had issued in Scotland. W also made an application under section 27 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 in England seeking maintenance from H. H argued that the Court did not have jurisdiction to deal with this application. At first instance, at an interim hearing, Parker J considered that the English Courts did have jurisdiction and made an order that H pay W £2,500 per month in interim maintenance as well as £3,000 per month for legal funding. The Court of Appeal upheld this order.

Judgment appealed

[2018] EWCA Civ 1120



Charles Alastair Hyde Villiers


Emma Mary Jane Villiers



Lady Hale, Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson, Lady Black, Lord Sales

Hearing start date

09 Dec 2019

Hearing finish date

10 Dec 2019

Watch hearing
09 Dec 2019 Morning session Afternoon session
10 Dec 2019 Morning session

Judgment details

Judgment date

01 Jul 2020

Please Note - This judgment was amended on 21 December 2020. The only change to the previous version is that the words "the Maintenance Regulation as applied by" have been added to paragraph 59(iv).

Neutral citation

[2020] UKSC 30

Watch Judgment summary
01 Jul 2020 Judgment summary