Family Break-up, Death and Business Disaster – Court of Appeal to Rule


A decision is expected soon from the Court of Appeal, which has been asked to rule in an unusual case in which a divorce which led to a division of substantial assets was followed very shortly by the death of one of the spouses.
Hoteliers Eric and Harriet Richardson were divorced in 2009 after many years of marriage. Under the divorce settlement, Mr Richardson retained a little more than half of the assets of their hotel group – more than £5 million.
Two months after their divorce was made final, Mrs Richardson died and left almost her entire estate to their son.
However, it then transpired that liability for a claim against the hotel group, which could cost it up to £3 million, was being denied by the group’s insurers. At the time of the divorce, this was not considered to be an issue. Mr Richardson asked the court to vary retrospectively the divorce settlement. His son is contesting the claim.
Says <<CONTACT DETAILS>>, “Although the circumstances surrounding this case are highly unusual, the view the Court takes of the claim will be significant.”
Partner Note
STEP Journal, 16 November 2010.

Share this article