A man has gone to the Court of Appeal in an attempt to have a previous judgment – which saw his ex-wife awarded £2.7million a decade on from the couple’s original divorce settlement – overturned.
Millionaire businessman Glen Briers has built up a vast fashion empire after starting a business in the family’s garage almost 30 years ago.
His relationship with Nicola, with whom he has three children, had ended in 2002, by which time his firm was already making an annual turnover of more than £1million.
When the couple divorced three years later, they came to a settlement which involved Mr Briers paying off the mortgage and allowing his wife to keep their £700,000 home. She would also receive an annual “salary” of £10,000 and child maintenance payments.
But when her relationship with a new partner ended, Mrs Briers went back to the courts to make the case that she should be awarded a more substantial package.
A Judge ultimately ruled that she should receive a £2.7million share of the businessman’s fortune, which according to newspaper reports stands at around £10million.
Mr Briers said the terms were “excessively favourable” and has gone to the Court of Appeal in an attempt to have the previous decision overturned.
He argues that, for almost ten years, his ex-wife had given no indication that she felt she had an outstanding claim, while she has maintained that she played a significant role in the formation of the company and that the business has to be considered a matrimonial asset.
Mr Briers’ company, which encompasses popular brands including Vision and Lambretta, now turns over in the region of £30million a year. The 61-year-old tycoon had been working as a teacher when he started the enterprise from less than £100 in savings.
Peter Martin, head of OGR Stock Denton’s family team, said: “It is essential when settling a case that you also get a court order which finalises matters. There are numerous occasions where litigants in person or clients say that they have an agreement and they don’t need to do this as it only incurs extra costs.
“The extra costs that Mr Briers would have incurred doing this at the time pails into insignificance against the £2.7 million he may now have to pay. We always try to ensure that our clients get the court orders they need. Saving pennies costs pounds.”