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24 June 2013

Ex-wife sues lawyer for £15m over 'millions lost’ in divorce

An ex-wife is suing her former solicitor for £15 million, claiming that his poor advice cost her millions of pounds in a divorce settlement, reports The Telegraph.

Caroline Mathieson, 51, alleges the solicitor botched an agreement she had asked him to draw up to prevent her former husband, Per, from taking more than £250,000 a year out of the family business. She sought the agreement after a friend told her Mr Mathieson, 82, had made it on to the Sunday Times Rich List.

The wording of the agreement did not stop Mr Mathieson paying himself up to £2  million a year for nearly a decade, reducing the value of her share of their assets when they divorced last year, she said.

The High Court heard that Mrs Mathieson learnt of her estranged husband’s large drawings from the firm Matki in 2002. She said she had developed a “deep distrust” of him, believing him to be having an affair, and said she was “flabbergasted” by what her friend had said. She said she asked John Seigal, of Clintons law firm, to draw up an agreement with “full protection” to stop her husband taking large sums out of the family’s shower fittings business.

“I told him there were severe problems in the marriage and I had very good reason not to trust Per,” she told the court. She said she was “in the dark” about how he was able to take “so much more than I thought he was supposed to be taking”. She believed the agreement, drawn up in 2003, would limit his salary to £250,000, with five per cent yearly increases.

Read the rest of the story here.