(Family Division, Baron J, 27 June 2012)
The parties married in their early twenties and when the husband inherited his family estate, worth £35.8m gross, they made the mansion house on the estate their matrimonial home. During the marriage the husband and wife led an expensive lifestyle akin to that of landed gentry.
When the marriage ended after 26 years the wife had no assets or income of her own. The main source of family income was rent from the estate properties which amounted to £475,620 per annum at the most. The husband had also borrowed £6.7m in order to re-invest and maximise the commercial effectiveness of estate. They had five children the youngest of whom were in the final years of school.
On a needs basis a fair award for the wife would be a housing budget of £5.4m and an income fund of £3m as well as periodical payments of £17,500 for the dependant children.
The estate was expensive to upkeep and in all likelihood a sale in the future would be necessary. The financial difficulties were not solved by demoting the wife's needs.