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Tycoon's wife to appeal settlement

The estranged wife of a property tycoon was today awarded a £20 million lump sum by a High Court judge after an "extraordinary" legal fight over money.

But Michelle Young, 49, insisted that husband Scot, 51, was worth "billions" and described Mr Justice Moor's award as "disgraceful".

Mrs Young said it was not the settlement she deserved and said she wanted to appeal.

Mr Justice Moor assessed Mr Young to be worth £40 million - after analysing evidence at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London - and said Mrs Young was entitled to half.

And he said Mr Young should pay £5 million of a £6.5 million legal bill run up by Mrs Young.

But he said Mr Young's passport - seized by the court more than four years ago - could be returned to him.

"It's disgraceful ... He's worth billions," said Mrs Young, after the ruling.

"Many people will be watching this and think it's a fortune but at the moment all this order is a piece of paper."

She added: "This isn't over."

Mr Young, who says he suffered a financial "meltdown" seven years ago, said: "I don't want to say anything."

Mr Justice Moor said he knew Mrs Young would find it hard to enforce his order but said Mr Young would never be free of the debt.

He said the litigation - which began more than six years ago - had been "quite extraordinary".

"Mr Young has misled the court very significantly as to his financial position," said the judge. "Effectively he has been responsible for this litigation."

He added: "It is undoubtedly the most difficult financial remedy case I have ever come across."

The judge had heard that the Youngs, who live in London and have two daughters, separated in 2006 after starting a relationship in 1989.

Mrs Young, who had employed 13 sets of lawyers and four sets of accountants over the years, claimed that Mr Young had hidden "a vast fortune".

She claimed that she was a victim of ''fraud'' and said Mr Young had manipulated his affairs so as to do her down.

Mr Young said he was bankrupt, penniless and had debts adding up to £28 million.

The judge criticised Mr and Mrs Young.

He said Mr Young was "hiding the truth" and was not "a penniless man of straw with huge debts".

But he said Mrs Young's evidence had not been reliable and said she saw "conspiracy everywhere".

And he said he had sympathy for the couple's children.


From Belfast Telegraph