The ex-wife of a software millionaire has gone to court seeking a fresh financial settlement.
Alison Sharland claims she was misled about the value of her husband’s shares in the software business he co-founded. When she divorced entrepreneur Charles last year she accepted a settlement of £10.4 million in cash and property, along with 30 per cent of her husband’s shares.
The couple had married in 1993, so they had been together for 17 years when they separated in 2010. She ran an autism charity while Appsense grew into a successful multinational business, with Mr Sharland becoming chairman.
Her accountants valued Mr Sharland’s shares in the company, Appsense, at £32 million, while his insisted they were in fact only worth £7 million, the Mail reports. They eventually agreed to a settlement in which she gave up her right to a half share in the company, on the understanding, she says, that her husband’s shares were worth a maximum of £32 million and the company would not be floated on the stock exchange for a number of years.
However, press reports later suggested that plans to float the company were already underway, with an overall value of around £460 million., which would make Mr Sharland’s shares worth around £132 million after tax.
Mrs Sharland took her husband to court but a judge refused to re-open the settlement. She has now taken her claim to the Court of Appeal.
Her barrister argued that the revelations about the company’s value meant she should not be held to the previous settlement.
“This was a case of equality. It was a long marriage. All the assets had been acquired during the course of the marriage and each party had made their full contribution. Part of the wife’s case was that she was busy making post-separation efforts as well. She had the unusual task of lifelong care of the parties’ disabled child.”
Her husband argues that the original judgement was fair.
Lord Justices Moore-Bick and Briggs, along with Lady Justice Macur, reserved judgement until early next year.