Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Divorce Tycoon Must Pay Wife Everything (Plus 5%)

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Divorce Tycoon Must Pay Wife Everything (Plus 5%)

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL CHESTON Courts Correspondent

A RULING by a senior judge today sent a warning to millionaires hoping to renegotiate their divorce settlement as a result of the credit crunch.

Lord Justice Thorpe spoke out as he rejected an attempt by a City businessman to win back part of his [pounds sterling]9.5 million divorce settlement from his ex-wife.

Brian Myerson, 50, said the economic downturn had severely reduced his wealth. The original settlement would leave him [pounds sterling]500,000 out of pocket instead of receiving [pounds sterling]14.6 million from the couple's assets.

But Lord Justice Thorpe, sitting with Lady Justice Smith and Lord Justice Sullivan in the Court of Appeal, threw out the fund manager's claim.

Lawyers viewed the case as having major implications for future divorces where wealth has been lost in the financial crash.

The judge said: "There may be many contemplating an attempt to reopen an existing order on the grounds of subsequent financial eclipse.

"They would be well advised to heed the warning that very few successful applications have been reported. The natural processes of price fluctuation -- whether in houses, shares or any other property, and however dramatic -- do not satisfy the [legal] test." During the hearing Mr Myerson, a fund manager operating through Principle Capital Holdings, said that under the divorce settlement from his wife Ingrid in March last year he was to pay 43 per cent of their then total [pounds sterling]25.8 million assets to her.

But an "unforeseeable and unforeseen combination of forces at play within the global economy" had undermined the order. She now stood to take 105 per cent of the assets while he was left with minus five per cent, the court heard.

Mrs Myerson's lawyers insisted the settlement had been agreed on the basis that she would get a cash sum and he would assume the risk over the shares in his company.

Mrs Myerson is a sculptor who lives in Hampstead. …

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