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Ex-wife of businessman allowed to appeal divorce at the Supreme Court

The ex-wife of a successful software entrepreneur is to be allowed to appeal her divorce settlement at the Supreme Court.

Alison Sharland and her husband Charles divorced in 2012 after 19 years together. Mr Sharland founded the firm AppSense, which specialises in software allowing the management of user data. It now has offices in six countries around the world and a user base which exceeds 4,000 companies.

The couple reached a divorce settlement in which Mrs Sharland received more than £10.3 million in cash and properties, plus 30 per cent of her husband’s shares in the firm. She accepted this settlement in lieu of half the company because, she claims, she was told it would be not be floated on the stock exchange for a period of time.

Later, however, the former charity worker heard of plans to float the company and also read reports suggesting that the company was worth more than she had been told at the time of her divorce settlement. Mrs Sharland launched court action. But despite “fraudulent misrepresentation” on the part of the husband, a judge ruled that she would not have received a significantly different settlement and the husband’s statements had not therefore been “material” to the settlement.

However, the Supreme Court has now agreed to hear Mrs Sharland’s appeal, saying the case raised an important point of law. When the case reaches court in June 2015, her lawyers will argue that the original settlement was unjust due to Mr Sharland’s failure to fully declare his assets.

Read the earlier Court of Appeal judgement here.

Photo by beana_cheese via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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