Thorne & Kennedy  HCA 49 is a decision of the High Court of Australia whereby a Binding Financial Agreement, or ‘pre-nup’, was set aside.
So what good are pre-nups if they can be set aside?
To answer this question, it is important to understand the background to Thorne & Kennedy.
In this case, the parties met on the internet in 2006. Ms Thorne was 36 years old, with no substantial assets, and at the time lived in the Middle East. By contrast, Mr Kennedy was 67 years old and held assets with a value of approximately $18 million.
In February 2007 Ms Thorne moved to Australia, and on 30 September 2007 the parties were married.
On 19 September 2007, Mr Kennedy informed his fiancé that they were going to see a lawyer to sign an agreement. Mr Kennedy informed his fiancé that if she did not sign the agreement, the wedding would not go ahead. Against independent legal advice, Ms Thorne signed the ‘pre-nuptial’ agreement pursuant to section 90B of the Family Law Act 1975 on 26 September; some four days prior to the wedding.
Shortly after the marriage the parties entered into a ‘post-nuptial’ agreement pursuant to section 90C of the Family Law Act. Ms Thorne again signed against independent legal advice.