In the case of Davies v Davies  The Court of Appeal dismissed a husband’s appeal against an award of £2.2m to his ex wife.
The husband was the owner and occupier of a very successful hotel. The hotel had been started by his grandfather and had been passed to him by his own father.
When dealing with the financial aspects of the divorce the judge found that when the husband acquired the business the value was effectively nil apart from the buildings themselves. The judge found that the husband and wife had equally contributed to building up the business and should therefore share in the increase in value of its assets. The wife was awarded a lump sum of £2.2m – a third of the value.
The husband appealed arguing that he had been denied proper relief from the sharing principle to reflect that a substantial part of the assets came from family inheritance and these should have been ring fenced.
The appeal was dismissed. Although the judge had made an error accepting that the business was of no value when the husband inherited it, the judgement had not been ‘infected’ by this error. The wife had been given approximately a third of the total assets which was declared as a fair percentage.