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Widow of multi-millionaire successful in legal battle

The widow of a multi-millionaire property developer has been successful in the latest round of her legal battle against his family.

Ruanne Dellal had sought a closer examination of her late husband’s finances. The High Court has refused the family’s request to throw out her application.

Upon Jack Dellal’s death in October 2012, his will left his entire estate to his wife. The majority of the declared estate was made up of belongings and real estate, with “only minimal cash and no income generating assets”. In total, it was valued at £15.4 million.

In Dellal v Dellal & Ors, his widow claimed this was “an absurd presentation of the true scale of [her late husband’s] personal wealth at his death”. She argued that if his wealth really was only £15.4 million, he “must have given most of it away to the defendants without her knowledge”. She took her claim for “reasonable provision” to the High Court.

She was opposed by Mr Dellal’s sister, six of his adult children from previous relationships and his grandson, who all called for her claim to be “struck out or summarily dismissed” by the court. However, Mr Justice Mostyn wanted to see more evidence before coming to a decision.

He concluded that “it would be fundamentally unjust to terminate the application at this stage” as the documents which could either back up or disprove assertions made by each party were yet to be properly scrutinised.

To read the full judgment, click here.

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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