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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 December 2005, 12:25 GMT
Court backs wife in 100m divorce
Divorced couple (generic)
The Charmans had been married for 27 years
A wife has won the latest round in her bitter divorce battle over assets worth more than 100m.

Tax exile John Charman, 53, offered wife Beverley, 52, the family home in Sevenoaks, Kent, and 6m after he ended their 27-year marriage in 2003.

But on Tuesday, Mr Charman failed in an appeal against a High Court order giving his wife access to an offshore trust said to be worth nearly 65m.

He claims the "dynastic" trust cannot be taken into account in the divorce.

Mr Charman said the trust is being administered in Bermuda for the benefit of future generations of Charmans and cannot be touched.

52.8m in Mr Charman's sole name
5.4m in Mrs Charman's sole name
2.1m in joint names
64.4m in Dragon Trust
25m in trust for sons

The couple met in 1970 and moved to Strood in Kent after their marriage in 1976.

By the time they split up, Mr Charman was listed at number 263 on The Sunday Times Rich List.

He became an underwriter at Lloyd's of London, forming his own syndicate, Charman Underwriting Agencies, in 1986.

The family trust, Dragon Holdings, was set up a year later with initial funds of 10,000.

The trust assets were switched from Jersey to Bermuda in 2002.

As well as the Dragon Trust, documents put before the court by Mrs Charman revealed assets of 52.8m in her husband's sole name, 5.4m in her sole name and 2.1m in their joint names.

Mrs Charman, whose home is in Wilderness Avenue, said a trust for their two sons also has assets of 25m.

The dispute moved to the Court of Appeal after Mr Charman challenged a High Court ruling that the Bermudan courts should reveal information about Dragon Holdings.

But the case is by no means closed as Mr Charman is now seeking permission to appeal to the House of Lords against Tuesday's ruling.

The judges are considering this application in private.

5m divorce payout row continues
28 Nov 05 |  London

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