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Aristocrat and estranged wife begin latest round of Anglo-Scottish legal battle

Five Supreme Court justices are analysing the dispute.

The case is being considered at the Supreme Court in London (Fiona Hanson/PA)
The case is being considered at the Supreme Court in London (Fiona Hanson/PA)

By Brian Farmer, PA

An aristocrat and his estranged wife who disagree over where they should stage a fight over money have begun the latest round of an Anglo-Scottish legal battle which has spanned more than four years.

Five Supreme Court justices began analysing the dispute between Charles Villiers and Emma Villiers at a hearing in London on Monday.

Mr and Mrs Villiers, who lived near Dumbarton and separated 18 years after marrying, are divorcing in Scotland.

But they disagree over whether arguments over money should be heard in an English or Scottish court.

Mr Villiers, 56, says because divorce proceedings are taking place in Scotland any fight over money should also be staged in Scotland.

His wife, who now lives in England, disagrees.

A judge based in the Family Division of the High Court in London initially considered the case.

Mrs Justice Parker, who began analysing arguments in 2015, said any fight over the division of assets should take place in England.

In 2018, three Court of Appeal judges in London upheld that decision and dismissed an appeal by Mr Villiers.

They said divorce proceedings in Scotland and a money fight in England were not “related actions”.

Mr Villiers then asked Supreme Court justices to consider the case.

Five Supreme Court justices are due to hear arguments from lawyers representing Mr and Mrs Villiers and the Ministry of Justice over two days.

They are expected to publish a ruling next year.

Mr and Mrs Villiers are listed on the website www.thepeerage.com.

The website provides a “genealogical survey” of the peerage in Britain.

Lawyers representing Mr Villiers say he is a relative of the Duchess of Cornwall.

PA

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