The ex-wife of a Swedish property magnate who says a divorce court judge created a “nightmare” situation by giving £51 million plus company shares “worth very little” to her is waiting to hear whether she has won the latest round of a legal battle.
Camilla Versteegh, 52, who was married to Gerard Versteegh for more than 20 years, has complained that Sir Peter Singer 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 – and has asked three appeal judges to order a fresh trial.
Lord Justice Lewison, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Holroyde finished analysing legal argument at a Court of Appeal hearing in London on Thursday.
They are expected to publish a ruling in the near future.
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.
Appeal judges heard that the couple had lived in £62 million west London home, after marrying in Stockholm, and enjoyed a “truly exceptional” standard of living prior to a “traumatic” marriage breakdown.
Tim Bishop QC, who is leading Mrs Versteegh’s legal team, said the marriage had broken down in “traumatic circumstances”.
“The impact on (Mrs Versteegh) of these events was devastating,” he told appeal judges. “The trust between the parties and ability to co-operated permanently lost.”
He added: “What this wife seeks is financial freedom. Her worst nightmare has come to pass if she is locked into a business structure with her ex-husband. A re-hearing of this case is regrettable but necessary.”
Lewis Marks QC, who is leading Mr Versteegh’s legal team, said “the £50 million alone far exceeded” Mrs Versteegh’s “needs” and 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
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.”