The former Oasis frontman Liam gallagher and his ex-wife Nicole Appleton ran up more than £800,000 in legal bills while arguing about how to divide assets worth almost £11m after their divorce, a judge has said.
Judge Martin O’Dwyer has ruled that the assets should be split in half, with Gallagher and Appleton each getting nearly £5.5m. He said the level of spending on legal costs had been “manifestly excessive”. The details emerged in a ruling on the case delivered by the judge on Friday.
Gallagher and Appleton argued about money at a private family court hearing earlier this year. limits were place of what the public should be told, about that hearing, but O’Dwyer has now ruled that much of his judgment can be reported.
Neither Gallagher nor Appleton, a singer with the 1990s group All Saints, attended Friday’s hearing. The judge said the couple, who have a son, had started living together about 15 years ago, married in 2008 and separated in 2013. He said they had “lived a very good lifestyle”.
He raised concerns about the amount of money the pair had spent on lawyers, saying: “The level of costs in this case, totalling over £800,000, are manifestly excessive for the determination of the dispute, which involves capital sums not much greater at the end of the day than £10m.” The judge concluded that Gallagher and Appleton had assets totalling £10.8m and each should get £5.4m.
Judge O’Dwyer said Gallagher and Appleton had enjoyed “freely” the money Gallagher had made from music and his involvement in the fashion brand Pretty Green.
He said he had taken into account income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources when deciding how to divide assets. Both Gallagher and Appleton had given evidence and been cross-examined, he added.
He said there had been “substantial disputes” about what comprised matrimonial assets and their value. Under dispute had been the value of Gallagher’s shareholding in Pretty Green, the value of the former matrimonial home, and Gallagher and Appleton’s earning capacities.
Appleton had claimed that Gallagher’s legal costs were “manifestly excessive”, said O’Dwyer. The judge was told that Gallagher’s solicitors charged higher fees and he said there was “clearly here a disparity between the costs”.
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But he added: “I do not see in this case that there is an evidentially established basis in fact to find that the husband’s costs were in some way inappropriately occurred or wantonly expended.”
Appleton’s lawyers had also alleged that Gallagher had lied and deliberately concealed plans and intentions relating to Pretty Green.
O’Dwyer said he was not satisfied that it had been proved that Gallagher had lied in these proceedings. But he was satisfied that Gallagher had “wilfully disassociated” from the activities of Pretty Green with the aim of suggesting that he had no knowledge of up-to-date company plans.
Lawyers for Gallagher had claimed that Appleton’s spending had been extravagant in the latter part of the marriage and in the months leading up to the hearing of the dispute. Appleton denied the allegation.
The judge said Appleton had been represented by Patrick Chamberlayne QC and Gallagher by Tim Bishop QC.
Do you agree that they split it by half? He cheated, she got a high sum! She was the faithful one. Let us know your opinion!