Share Buyback in Divorce: 4 Key Considerations

When one or both parties to a marriage have shares in a private limited company, it can introduce complex financial considerations upon divorce. One option for addressing this situation is to agree a company buyback of shares.

What is share buyback?

A share buyback in divorce is a financial transaction that occurs when a company repurchases shares from either one or both of the parties. This process can help facilitate a financial settlement.

In some circumstances, it may be that one party manages and runs a business but the other party also holds shares in it. When this is a feature of the divorce, the Court can order the transfer of shares from one party to the other as part of the financial settlement.

Key Considerations in Implementing a Share Buyback in Divorce

  1. Company’s Financial Capacity: Before proceeding with a share buyback, the company must have the financial resources to repurchase the shares. This should be evaluated to ensure that the business is financially stable and can afford to buyback the shares without impacting on future viability.
  2. Share Valuation: Determining the fair market value of the shares is crucial. This valuation may require the involvement of accountants, financial advisors or an independent professional to agree a fair value.
  3. Compliance: Share buybacks in divorce are subject to legal and regulatory requirements. Compliance with these rules and regulations, including prior approval from HMRC, is essential. It is important to have a legal team who can work collaboratively with your trusted advisors to offer a 360 degree approach to your case.
  4. Open Communication: Effective communication between the divorcing parties and the company is vital to ensure transparency and fairness in the process. The terms and conditions of the buyback should be clearly defined and agreed upon by all involved parties.

Benefits of Share Buybacks in Divorce

  • Asset Division: If agreed between the parties, share buybacks can provide an alternative way in which assets can be divided upon divorce offering flexibility.
  • Liquidity: The repurchase of shares provides an immediate source of funds to the divorcing parties, which can be essential for meeting financial obligations or reallocating investments according to their post-divorce financial plans.
  • Business Continuity: Share buybacks can help maintain business continuity by preventing the disruption of operations. If one party wishes to exit the business, a buyback can provide an orderly transition without negatively affecting the company.
  • Financial Fairness: When one party has a significant shareholding in the business, a share buyback can help ensure a fair division of assets, as the other party receives an equitable share of the business’s value.

A share buyback in divorce can provide an effective means of asset division when one or both parties have shareholdings in a company. By facilitating a smooth transition and providing liquid funds to the divorcing parties, it can help achieve financial fairness and business continuity. However, implementing a share buyback in divorce requires careful consideration of financial capacity, share valuation, legal compliance, and open communication between the involved parties. Ultimately, a well-executed share buyback can contribute to a fair and efficient resolution of financial matters in the context of divorce, allowing both parties to move forward with clarity and financial stability.

For more information on this or to have a chat about your shareholding, please get in touch with us here or contact Mercedes or Holly.

Practical Tips: Protection of Property Portfolios in Divorce

Protecting property portfolios in divorce can be particularly complex. We can help you navigate the intricacies of protecting property portfolios during divorce and provide guidance on how to secure your investments.

Understanding Property Portfolios in Divorce

Property portfolios refer to collections of investments, including residential homes, rental properties, commercial buildings, and land. These assets can be valuable in terms of financial worth and future income generation potential.

Dividing Property Portfolios

Dividing property portfolios in a divorce involves several elements:

Valuation: We need to determine the current market value of each property. Properties may have appreciated or depreciated since purchase depending on the location, size and the housing market. This can either be done by obtaining market appraisals from your local estate agent, or by instructing a RICS Chartered Surveyor.

Ownership Structure: The way properties are legally and beneficially owned, whether jointly, individually, or through a legal entity, and how they came to be owned by one party e.g. through inheritance can impact on how they are treated in divorce. We work closely with our property team to ensure that ownership of the properties is identified accurately.

Mortgage Obligations: The division of property assets often involves addressing mortgage obligations and deciding who will be responsible for the loans associated with each property, including obtaining the consent of the mortgagee.

Tax Consequences: The transfer or sale of property portfolios on divorce can often lead to complex tax implications. We work collaboratively with your trusted advisors including accountants and tax advisors to ensure that any adverse tax consequences are identified and taken into account in the financial settlement.

Strategies for Protecting Property Portfolios

To safeguard your property portfolios during divorce, it is important to seek the advice of a experienced family lawyer who understands the intricacies of property division in divorce cases. Denney King can provide legal guidance and ensure your rights and interests are protected. We offer creative solutions to prioritise your long term goals, for example, in some cases, you may choose to offset the value of a property portfolio against other marital assets to achieve a fair settlement.

For more information on this or to have a chat about your shareholding, please get in touch with us here or contact Mercedes or Holly.

3 Practical Points for Protecting Pension Assets in Divorce

Pensions can be one of the most valuable, yet frequently overlooked assets in divorce. Denney King will explore with you the complexities of protecting pension assets during divorce and offer advice on safeguarding your financial future.

Understanding pension assets

Private pensions are retirement savings plans offered by employers which provide you with an income in retirement. They may come in various forms, such as defined benefit (final salary) pension or defined contribution plans. It is important to remember that they represent a valuable financial asset in divorce proceedings which is as important as savings, investments or the equity in your home and can be divided as part of your financial settlement through the use of a Pension Sharing Order.

The complexities involved in dealing with pension assets

  1. Valuation: Pensions are not like other assets that can usually be easily valued. Valuing a pension requires expertise and specialist calculations based on factors including the plan’s term, any guaranteed benefits, your age, and expected retirement date. Therefore, in many cases, and in particular when dealing with a defined benefit pension it is essential that a Pension Expert on Divorce (PODE) is instructed to provide expert advice as to how a pension should be shared.
  2. Tax Implications: The division of pension assets may have tax consequences, and the timing of withdrawals can result in a tax liability. It’s crucial to consult with financial and tax professionals to understand the implications involved with this.
  3. Timings: The value of a pension cannot be accessed until the retirement date provided for in the plan. In some cases this means there is a gap or shortfall in income from the date of separation until retirement benefits can be drawn.
  4. Offsetting: The complex nature of pension assets means that they are not directly comparable with other matrimonial assets such as property and investments which makes offsetting complicated and risky without the benefit of expert actuarial advice.

Strategies for protecting pension assets

To safeguard your pension assets during divorce, consider the following strategies:

  1. Consult with Experts: Seek the advice of professionals, such as a family lawyer, financial advisors, and actuaries experienced in pension valuation. Their expertise can be invaluable in navigating the complexities.
  2. Be Prepared: Have a good understanding of your pension plan and obtain a Cash Equivalent Value (CEV) at an early stage together with the policy document, as this can take some time to be provided. This will give you a guide of the valuation of your pension to take into account in the negotiations.
  3. Plan Ahead: During and After the divorce process you should take advice from a financial advisor to evaluate your needs in retirement.

Protecting pension assets in divorce can be a daunting task, given the nature of these investments and that they are commonly misunderstood. However, with professional guidance and a clear understanding of the complexities involved, you can navigate this process successfully. By taking steps to protect your pension assets, you can secure your financial future and feel confident that your needs in retirement are taken care of in your divorce settlement.

If you would like further advice contact us or get in touch with Holly. 

Mercedes King Jones: Why I like working with divorce coaches…

Divorce is a complex, stressful and often highly emotional time for everyone involved and I am increasingly seeing the advantages of working more closely with a divorce coach. I find my clients benefit from a wider team of professionals supporting them through the process.

What is a divorce coach

Divorce coaches are professionals who provide counselling, emotional support and guidance to anyone going through a divorce or separation or thinking about doing so. They do not give legal advice, but they are an impartial third party, able to offer an objective perspective and bridge the gap between the legal issues and the emotional impact the process can have upon those involved.

What support does a divorce coach give?

A good divorce coach will be able to support my clients through the emotional rollercoaster and practical challenges they will face during the divorce process. They can help to separate out the legal issues from the emotional ones and help my clients deal with the stress and anxiety of a difficult breakup and advise them on effective coping strategies.

How do we work together?

Although I take great care to deliver my advice in a kind and compassionate way, a divorce coach can help my clients to imagine a life beyond divorce and separation. As a family law solicitor, I focus on giving clear, practical, honest, jargon free legal advice. I support my clients through the legal process to help them make informed decisions and achieve an outcome which is realistic, fair and will secure their future.

This collaborative approach gives my clients back some control over the process which can at times feel very overwhelming. In separating out the legal and emotional issues, it helps to ensure that the work I do for my

clients is focussed and cost effective. With a full understanding of the divorce process and a clear strategy about what it is they wish to achieve, my clients can face the future with confidence and resilience, armed with legal advice and emotional and practical support.

Why do I need a solicitor AND a divorce coach?

It is always better to reach an agreement if possible and as family lawyers, we advise on the approach of the court and deal with financial negotiations on behalf of our clients. A divorce coach can help to minimise conflict and acrimony, and so together, we can ensure that we achieve the fairest outcome for our clients whilst supporting and empowering them throughout the process.

Any agreement which a couple are able to reach can only become legally binding if approved by a court. I can advise on drafting the agreement into a legally binding document known as a Consent Order and can arrange to send that document to the Court for approval. If the agreement includes a clean break and/or a pension sharing order, then a final sealed approved Court Order will be necessary.

Together with my team at Denney King, I can assist with all of the legal aspects of the divorce process and I am happy to work alongside a divorce coach (and frequently recommend that my clients consider working with one). By adopting this approach, at Denney King we aim to help reduce the stress and uncertainty of the divorce process, while providing a more efficient and cost effective approach to achieving a settlement. Our aim is that, once the divorce has been finalised, our clients will continue their journey and to start a new chapter in their lives.

If you would like to discuss this with myself or my team in any more detail or if you are a divorce coach who would like to discuss working with us, please feel free to get in touch with Holly and I on 01386 764728 or email us on &





Mercedes King-Jones


Avoid Farming Family Disputes by Making a Will

Succession planning is an essential part of running a family farm business and when it is done properly it can reduce the risk of family disputes. It puts you in control of what happens to your interest and assets either during your lifetime or upon your death.  It is important as it can avoid leaving behind issues for your family or the potential for large tax bills which could cause cash flow difficulties, this is especially crucial if your intention is that the farm business is to continue.

As many farms are often run by families and can provide both a family home and an income, they can be particularly susceptible to disputes, particularly where family members have different visions for the future of the farm after the older generation have passed away.

What happens if you die without a Will?

If you die without making a valid will, then your estate will be subject to the ‘intestacy rules’. For many people these rules do not distribute their assets how they would have chosen. Under these rules, only married or civil partners and some other close relatives can inherit. If you have separated but not divorced from a former partner, then they will still inherit your estate regardless as to whether you are co-habiting with a new partner or not. Co-habiting partners cannot inherit under the rules of intestacy.

The intestacy rules can also have high capital gains tax consequences, these can be easily avoided by having a carefully prepared Will.

What are the benefits of having a Will?

Having a Will in place allows you to decide what happens to your estate and who benefits from your property, interests and belongings on your death. This also includes what happens to the farming partnership, company, or any tenancies.

How can Denney King help you?

Costly mistakes are often made when distinguishing, within a Will, farming business assets and the farm itself.  We can help examine your personal and business assets and identify any areas of potential confusion at an early stage to help minimise any future family arguments.

We encourage an open dialogue with your accountant to ensure that there is joined up thinking amongst your advisors, with the aim of providing a clear picture to the Revenue following your death, particularly if reliefs such as Agricultural Property Relief and Business Property Relief are to be claimed.  Our expertise in succession and inheritance planning will help achieve the best overall outcome for you and those you care about.

The most effective way to make sure your wishes are carried out is to take specialist legal advice. Our Agricultural and Private Client specialists work closely to provide you with the expertise you need.

Contact our Evesham or Leominster offices for more information

Sarah Denney-Richards

Director of Farming & Estates |

Rebecca Mainwaring

Senior Associate Solicitor – Denney King |

Call: 01386 764728

Farming Partnerships – do you have your paperwork in order?

Operating a farming partnership without a Partnership Agreement poses many problems, some of which farmers may not be aware of, and these can have a drastic effect on the business.

When two or more persons carry on a business in common with a view of profit, a partnership is formed under the Partnership Act 1890, without any formal registration requirements. However, in the absence of a written Agreement, the Act governs the business, and its provisions can have unforeseen consequences.

For example, the Act states that the partnership is automatically dissolved for all partners if one partner dies. There is no power under the Act to expel a partner, and partners have no automatic right to retire either.

Also, in the absence of any written agreement to the contrary, the partners must share equally in the capital, profits and losses of the business, regardless of what they may individually have contributed. This can create inadvertent ‘gifts’ of land and property to the other partners, leading to tax consequences for all.

Creating a Partnership Agreement avoids these pitfalls, and can include specific provisions agreed by the partners.




These Agreements can set out how the capital, profits and losses are to be divided between the partners, how to resolve any disputes, how new partners will be admitted, retirement provisions stating the basis on which an outgoing partner will be paid, restrictive covenants on outgoing partners to prevent competition from new businesses, and whether or not the farm is a partnership asset, or the property of one or more of the partners with an implied licence for the business to use it etc.

As Partnership Agreements affect all parts of the business, they should always be made in conjunction with the Accountants, Solicitors and any other relevant advisers. It is easy for partners to regard the cost of a Partnership Agreement as an unnecessary expense. However, it is money well spent when considering the cost of rectifying the problems which can arise without one.

Rebecca Mainwaring

Senior Associate Solicitor – Denney King

07923 228 598

01386 764728 |


Don’t make promises you can’t keep!

Are you from a farming family? Do you or your children work in the family farming partnership or business? Do you farm land owned by a family member, friend or neighbour under an informal arrangement rather than an Agricultural Holdings Act tenancy or Farm Business Tenancy?

If so, the decision in Guest may impact your life and on your family!

Holly Smith, Associate Solicitor in the Family team discusses the decision in Guest and another v Guest [2022] UKSC 27 case, and the impact that judgment will have on farming families generally.

Andrew, the adult Son in Guest, lived and worked on his parent’s farm for over 30 years. Andrew worked long hours for minimal pay over a long period of time on the promise that he would inherit part of the farm on his parent’s death. Like many farming families, the family arrangements were discussed informally “around the kitchen table” and had not been recorded in writing.

When relationships broke down between Andrew and his parents, they (as the legal owners of the property in which Andrew lived) forced Andrew and his family to leave the property, and they wrote him out of their wills, so that he was no longer set to inherit part of the farm and/or the farming business when they died.

Andrew sought to secure his home and his inheritance and therefore the judges in Guest had to consider whether Andrew should receive monetary compensation or, should he be entitled to receive what was promised to him, i.e., an inheritance of part of the farm and/or his family home?

Whilst there are legal complexities to the case, the judgment ultimately provided that if one party (the parents in this case) promised the other something, (Andrew), and the person who was made the promise, relied on it and acted to their detriment, which Andrew did, then his parents having made the promise would be required to fulfil it, unless it would be unfair or “unconscionable” for them to do so.

If you are in a similar situation to Andrew or his parents, and you would like to discuss your options with us. Please contact us for a free initial chat using the below details.

We are also able to advise in relation to wills, lifetime tax planning, probate work including administering estates, lasting power of attorneys, partnership and shareholders agreements and transfers of agricultural land and property.

Holly Smith

Associate Solicitor – Denney King

07936951063 | |

Why make a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Lasting Power of Attorney

Lasting Power of Attorney. Whether you are young, fit, and healthy or starting to take things a little slower, a lasting power of attorney is an essential item in the toolbox of life!

Environmental stewardship in light of BREXIT

“paying farmers for protecting the environment and enhancing animal welfare is front and centre of our future farming policy” …it could not be clearer!

The often criticised and complex “basic (oh the irony) payment scheme” which currently sees our farmers receive a direct payment based on the area of land which they farm,  will slowly be phased out, replaced with the new kid on the block: ELM  

ELM, which stands for “Environmental Land Management” will pay farmers for delivering “public goods”.  This may conjure up thoughts of free school meals and battle ships, but what DEFRA has in mind is of wider national and global significance.

Environmental Land Management is the corner stone of the UK’s environmental and agricultural policy following BREXIT.  The focus is on land managers providing improved air, water and soil quality, increased biodiversity, climate change mitigation and cultural benefits.  

How will this all be measured and rewarded?  Well watch this space! With pilot schemes currently underway across the country, we all wait with bated breath for further clarity on how payments will be calculated, and outcomes measured.

So how do we get from where we are, to where we want or need to go?

What is happening to the current payments?

Currently our farmers receive around £250 per hectare of land that they farm, and payments are linked to area of land.  The rules of the scheme are quite complicated, farmers make a claim once a year and are paid a single annual lump sum payment, usually around December. 

The scheme has attracted criticism for rewarding landowners for simply owning land rather than producing food or delivering enhanced environmental and animal welfare standards.  The single annual payment can also cause extreme cash flow problems for those farmers are rely on the scheme.

The scheme relied on money coming out of the EU; in fact, around £13 billion was coming directly out of the EU under the Common Agricultural Policy to fund the Basic Payment Scheme. Now that we have left the EU, any money used to fund the scheme going forward will come from the Treasury.  

The Government has pledged to commit the same levels of money in funds to support farmers until the end of the current Parliament, but they have made it clear that ongoing future funding will a decision for “future fiscal events.”

“Phasing out”

The current scheme will be phased out over the next 7 years.  The detail of how this will work in practice is awaited, but the suggestion is a tapered % reduction in the amount that our farmers receive each year.  

Those farmers that have received the greatest amounts under the scheme will see a larger % reduction for each year leading up to 2027.

So, what is Countryside Stewardship (CS)?

Countryside Stewardship is a separate rural payment scheme from the Basic Payment Scheme (although the rules do overlap in areas and the applications are made via the same online service).  

CS provides financial incentives for land managers to look after the environment.  There are several elements to the scheme, ranging from simple and effective environmental management under ‘Mid-Tier’ such as woodland support and basic wildlife offers, through to bespoke schemes for more environmentally significant sites under ‘Higher Tier’.

The Scheme provides for the payment of grants to management options and capital items which support activities benefiting the site and the wider environment.

In recent years, there has been a relatively low take up of Countryside Stewardship, blamed on payment issues and uncertainty over multi year scheme options in light of an uncertain BREXIT.

It remains to be seen if in the current climate of transitional “calm”, we see a sea change, as the application for the 2021 Countryside Stewardship Scheme opened earlier this month.

Certainly, that is how George Eustice is playing it!  He is urging farmers and landowners to get involved this year.  He says “entering a Countryside Stewardship Scheme is a good steppingstone to [that] future policy.  There is nothing to be gained by holding back. We are guaranteeing that anyone who joins our new scheme in the future will be able to leave their CS agreement early in order to do so.”

and by “our new scheme”he of course means Environmental Land Management.