A tycoon has claimed that he faces being ‘destitute’ after dropping his household’s multi-million pound property fortune to his spouse in a bitter ‘winner takes all’ divorce battle.
Peter Andreewitch, 60, and long-term accomplice Magali Moutreuil, 49, have been scrapping within the courts over a £2.2 million Grade-II listed house in Christchurch Avenue, Chelsea – a couple of doorways from the cottage the place Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh lived – plus a global property portfolio.
The couple acquired collectively in 1998 and raised 5 youngsters within the household house in Chelsea, London, however cut up after nearly 20 years in 2017.
The tycoon had transferred the shares within the firm which owned the properties to Ms Moutreuil while they have been collectively in a bid to ‘protect himself’ from monetary threat, however then after the cut up insisted the homes have been nonetheless his.
In 2020, Mr Andreewitch – who had earlier overwhelmed a bid by his ex to have him jailed for contempt of courtroom – misplaced a struggle for possession of the properties when a choose mentioned they have been beneficially owned by Ms Moutreuil.
Peter Andreewitch (pictured), 60, claimed that he faces being ‘destitute’ after dropping his household’s multi-million pound property fortune to his spouse in a bitter ‘winner takes all’ divorce battle
An enchantment utility was subsequently refused, however Mr Andreewitch fought on, launching a brand new bid for possession, which was rejected as an ‘abuse of course of’ by Choose Michael Jefferis on the Excessive Courtroom earlier this 12 months.
Mr Andreewitch claimed such a ruling would ‘end’ him, however regardless of being warned that prolonging the courtroom conflict additional might wipe out the household fortune fully, is now making an attempt to enchantment the choice.
At a listening to in June this 12 months the courtroom heard that the properties had been owned by Mr Andreewitch by way of an organization, Pier Funding Firm Ltd, however that over 20 years in the past he transferred ‘the whole lot of the shares within the firm’ to his then new girlfriend Ms Moutreuil.
He made the transfer in a bid to ‘protect’ himself from ‘future publicity’ to collectors and ‘conceal the existence’ of his wealth, he had instructed a choose at an earlier listening to.
Nevertheless he insisted he had by no means meant Ms Moutreuil to be the lawful helpful proprietor of their London home and a string of different properties in Germany.
After their relationship broke down in 2017, however while they have been nonetheless residing collectively within the house with their youngsters, Mr Andreewitch started to insist to Ms Moutreuil that she had no rights or pursuits within the property, the courtroom heard.
Nevertheless she refused to again all the way down to strain from her rich former accomplice, who the courtroom beforehand heard additionally has numerous ‘UK properties’.
Ms Moutreuil gained in the course of the first trial in 2020, however Mr Andreewitch introduced a brand new declare earlier this 12 months, successfully to reopen the possession difficulty and take again the properties.
Ms Moutreuil (pictured) gained in the course of the first trial in 2020, however Mr Andreewitch introduced a brand new declare earlier this 12 months, successfully to reopen the possession difficulty
He pointed to alleged ‘assurances’ from Ms Moutreuil that he wouldn’t be left ‘destitute’ following the row and claimed that he was owed about £2.3m from an unpaid mortgage.
He additionally argued that the German property portfolio purchased by way of the corporate between 2004 and 2010 was being held in ‘belief’ by the corporate for him.
However the choose dismissed the mortgage declare and located the shares and the corporate’s belongings, together with the German property, have been all owned beneficially by Ms Moutreuil, saying that Mr Andreewitch had argued himself that the corporate belongings couldn’t be cut up.
He mentioned any assurances by Ms Moutreuil to Mr Andreewitch had been primarily based on his not prolonging the litigation by interesting and bringing new circumstances, leading to her operating up £300,000 in legal professionals’ payments.
‘In my judgment, wanting on the total place, Ms Moutreuil made her place clear, specifically that she felt an ethical obligation and meant to supply for the claimant, however she by no means made a promise upon which it was affordable for the claimant to rely,’ Choose Jefferis mentioned.
The couple have been in a savage conflict within the courts over a £2.2 million Grade-II listed house in Christchurch Avenue, Chelsea
Though her legal professionals had mentioned she had ‘each intention’ to verify he’s not left destitute, that had been a ‘mere assertion of intention’ on the time and household sources had since been eaten up by the case being dragged out, he continued.
‘Occasions have moved on,’ he mentioned.
‘Cash spent on prices and tax is not there to pay to the claimant and if the litigation goes on, there could also be nothing left.’
His declare that his ex had promised that she ‘meant to present him the identical provision as she wanted for herself’ had not survived the prices of the persevering with courtroom struggle, mentioned the choose.
‘That in all probability was as soon as her intention however it was solely an expression of ‘intention’ and occasions have moved on,’ he mentioned.
‘The defendants have expended some £300,000 in prices and the litigation between them goes on and the businesses’ tax liabilities should be quantified and paid.’
Mr Andreewitch insisted he had by no means meant Ms Moutreuil to be the lawful helpful proprietor of their London home and a string of different properties in Germany
In a single alleged assurance, she had instructed him that when the litigation was completed, ‘there may be provision for you, however in the event you go on making limitations, ignoring courtroom order, bringing extra courtroom battles and authorized charges, merely mentioned much less shall be left.’
‘In my judgment this was a good warning,’ mentioned the choose.
The choose additionally addressed a ultimate alleged promise which Ms Moutreuil had given in response to a declare by Mr Andreewitch’s new accomplice that Ms Moutreuil was ‘making an attempt to systematically strip him of 100 per cent of his belongings and revenue.’
Ms Moutreuil had denied that, however the choose mentioned that didn’t quantity to an ‘assurance’ he might depend on as a declare to cash in courtroom.
‘It’s a denial that she was being vindictive,’ he mentioned.
Dismissing his claims as an abuse of course of, he mentioned: ‘The claimant seems to be making an attempt to problem the judgment as to the possession of the property, which is an abuse of course of.’
He additionally dismissed Mr Andreewitch’s different claims, occurring to order him to foot an additional prices invoice of £18,000.
Mr Andreewitch has since utilized for permission to enchantment Choose Jefferis’ ruling, together with his utility but to be decided.