An Expensive Divorce…But Who Is To Blame?

A Wealthy Divorcee Sues Her Solicitors for Negligent Representation

A wealthy mother has claimed her multi-million-pound divorce settlement was far smaller than it should have been because her solicitor, John Seigal of Clintons, was negligent and is now suing the firm for up to £15million!

Caroline Mathiesen, has told the High Court that Mr Seigal failed to stop her ex-husband from utilising £2million a year from the family business and allegedly showering the profits on his children from a former marriage and his new partner.

According to Mrs Mathiesen, she instructed Mr Seigal to provide “full protection” of her ex-husband’s ongoing dissipation of the profits. Following the advice of her lawyer, which Mrs Mathiesen claims included specific provision that the agreement that her ex-husband be restricted to an income of £250,000, with small annual increases only, her lawyer omitted to include the same, which was subsequently entered into by both spouses.

Mrs Mathiesen claims she was unaware of the omission and was lead to believe that the agreement drawn up by Clintons limited her ex-husband's salary to £250,000, with a 5-per-cent annual increase. Dividends and bonuses from the company would go into a joint account to pay for the family's living expenses. However what transpired was that the agreement did not prevent Mr Mathiesen from being paid huge sums because it linked his pay rises to the company's burgeoning profits.

Mrs Mathiesen’s new legal team argued that because of the way the agreement was worded, her ex-husband was able to take huge annual sums from his company, which by doing so, left Mrs Mathiesen with a significantly smaller share of the matrimonial assets for division upon divorce.

Mr and Mrs Mathiesen had married in 1993 and have three children and during their marriage they reportedly enjoyed a “jetset” lifestyle, with a £4.5million UK home and another luxurious home in France. It is even reported that Mr Mathiesen once bought his ex-wife a £230,000 horse as a gift.

Denying all the claims, Clintons insisted the £250,000-a-year figure had never been mentioned and furthermore, Mrs Mathiesen had not been in a position to make such demands to her ex-husband.

The case continues at the High Court and whilst many solicitors will be waiting with bated breath as to the outcome of this dispute, it is clear to us at Pinder Reaux & Associates that the Court should never have been involved.

It is unfortunate that Mrs Mathiesen finds herself in the situation where she is both dissatisfied with the outcome of the financial settlement of her divorce and the alleged competency of her lawyer.

Mrs Mathiesen is a wealthy individual and the assets involved in the marriage were copious and significant in value. As a soon to be divorcee, she required strategic protection of the matrimonial assets at an early stage and it is unfortunate that she now claims, her lawyer fell short of her best interests and left her position exposed to significant financial loss.

Whilst we certainly do not wish to speculate as to rights or wrongs of Mr Seigal’s alleged advice and management of this case, it is clear that the client’s expectations were not managed sufficiently and (according to Mrs Mathiesen), it is concerning to read that she claims her instructions were not adhered to by her legal team.

Here at Pinder Reaux & Associates our client’s objectives and concerns are identified from the outset with the emphases of creating a strategy to achieve our client’s goals.

The emphasis of strategy planning places our clients in the driving seat of their divorce from day one; whereby both you and our legal team are clear on the intended outcomes to ultimately achieve the financial settlement that is right for you.

Can you really afford to take the risk like Mrs Mathiesen claims she has done by losing a significant share of the matrimonial assets upon divorce?

Having the Pinder Reaux team on board is a small price to pay in comparison to your future financial security.