Swedish property magnate and ex-wife in cash battle at London appeal court
Camilla Versteegh says High Court judge did not give her a fair share of fortune after marriage to Gerard Versteegh ended.
A Swedish property magnate and his ex-wife who lived in a £62 million west London home and enjoyed a “truly exceptional” standard of living are embroiled in a money battle following a “traumatic” marriage breakdown.
Three Court of Appeal judges are analysing the latest stage of the dispute between Gerard and Camilla Versteegh, who married in Stockholm and lived in Kensington, at a hearing in London.
Mrs Versteegh, 52, has complained a judge did not give her a fair share of assets she says amount to £273 million following a trial at the Family Division of the High Court in London in 2016.
She wanted to walk away with a package worth £116 million – including £67 million in cash.
But she says judge Sir Peter Singer’s award left her with £51 million plus shares “worth very little” to her.
Her lawyers want appeal judges to order a new trial.
Mr Versteegh, 56, says Sir Peter’s ruling has left Mrs Versteegh with a “very substantial and liquid fortune” which is “more than sufficient” to meet her needs.
He says her appeal should be dismissed.
Appeal judges Lord Justice Lewison, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Holroyde began considering legal argument at a Court of Appeal hearing on Wednesday.
The hearing is due to end later this week.
Tim Bishop QC, who is leading Mrs Versteegh’s legal team, told the three judges the couple were together for 21 years and had three grown-up children.
He said Mrs Versteegh had given up a career in the music industry and become a “mother and homemaker”.
The couple had moved to England after marrying in Stockholm in 1993 and lived in a £62 million home in Kensington.
“Over the course of this long marriage the family accumulated immense wealth,” said Mr Bishop.
“The standard of living was truly exceptional.”
He said the marriage had broken down in “traumatic circumstances” in 2014.
“The impact on (Mrs Versteegh) of these events was devastating,” he said.
“The trust between the parties and ability to co-operated permanently lost.”
He said Mrs Versteegh wants a “re-hearing” of all issues in light of “deficiencies and errors” in Sir Peter’s ruling.
Lewis Marks QC, who is leading Mr Versteegh’s legal team, said Mrs Versteegh had not demonstrated any “error of approach” by Sir Peter.
“The appeal should be dismissed,” he said.
“None of the grounds of appeal, whether taken individually or collectively, demonstrate that the judge fell into error so as to undermine either his central conclusions.”
Mr Marks added: “The effect of the award is to give (Mrs Versteegh) a very substantial and liquid fortune, very much more than sufficient to meet her needs real and imagined, as well a prospective share – upon realisation – in the business projects commenced and undertaken by (Mr Versteegh) before and during the marriage.”