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Last Updated: Friday, 2 December 2005, 15:10 GMT
Couple in 100m divorce wrangle
A Lloyd's underwriter and his estranged wife are locked in a bitter court battle over assets of 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 courts in the UK and Bermuda have heard claims by Mrs Charman that her husband has direct access to a family trust which she said is worth 64.6m.

But he said the "dynastic" trust cannot be taken into account in the divorce.

Courts in the UK and Bermuda have heard the case in private up until Friday, when it moved to its first public hearing in the Court of Appeal in London.

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.

The case continues.

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