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Camilla Versteegh, the ex-wife of property magnate Gerard Versteegh, has failed in her attempt to get her High Court divorce settlement increased.
Ms Versteegh, who was married to her husband for more than 20 years and had signed a pre-marital agreement. She had claimed that the award of non-business assets amounting to £51.4 million, along with a 23.41 per cent share in H Holdings, one of her husband’s businesses, was not enough to meet her needs.
She had argued that Sir Peter Singer, presiding over the original divorce proceedings, had not given her a fair share of the assets, which she claimed amounted to £237 million. She also said that the company shares were “worth very little” to her.
The appeal addressed matters concerning the impact of pre-marital agreements, non-matrimonial assets and the sharing principle, but the main driver of the hearing concerned Sir Peter Singer’s finding that he was unable to determine the value or future liquidity of H Holdings, along with the decision to award Ms Versteegh shares as opposed to a lump sum representing her stake in the company.
Lady Justice King, who gave the lead judgement in the appeal, found that the original judge had been justified in reaching a conclusion that he could not make an estimate of the company’s value, and had been right to use his discretion to award shares.
She dismissed the appeal, saying: “The judge was entitled, and really had no option, but to give weight to the non-matrimonial assets in a more general way as part of the totality of his discretionary exercise. This involved consideration of not only the non-matrimonial assets but the pre-marital agreement and all the circumstances of the case before he ordered that the wife should receive 50 per cent of the non-business assets and 23.5 per cent of the business assets.”
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