The ‘incumbent’ daughters of a big banker who called their father ‘the checkbook’ have lost a second legal fight with their stepmother over his Â£ 7million fortune.
Lawyers for Juliet Miles, 40, and Lauretta Shearer, 38, told the High Court that senior judge Sir Julian Flaux was “perverse” to dismiss their case against their stepmother Pamela Shearer, who was left in court. almost total control of the millions left behind by their father Tony Shearer upon his death.
The “gifted financier” Mr. Shearer, the former director of the investment bank Singer and Friedlanderl, died at the age of 68 in October 2017 of a brain tumor and almost all of his fortune is remained in Pamela’s hands.
Earlier this year, the sisters lost a High Court fight against their stepmother after asking for “maintenance” of their late father’s estate to replace the “generous financial provision” they expected from him. while alive.
Their case collapsed after Sir Julian overheard Ms Shearer, 68, a marketing executive who married Mr Shearer in 2007, insist that the girls did not have to pay anything and say they were ‘entitled “and” were only interested in their father for his money “.
Pictured: Sisters Lauretta Shearer (left) and Juliet Miles (right) lost a second Supreme Court battle with their stepmother over the Â£ 7million fortune of late banker father Tony Shearer
In evidence, she said Mr. Shearer cut them off because he was “upset” by their “demands for money”, telling the judge: “I’ll quote King Lear here:” sharper than a tooth de serpent “is an ungrateful child – and that’s how my husband felt.”
But last week the sisters took their case to court, where their lawyers urged Sir Julian to let them fight, arguing he had been ‘evil’ to prefer Pamela’s evidence over theirs and was wrong not to not conclude that she had ‘lied to the search’.
The sisters sued their mother-in-law for “reasonable disposition” of the estate, claiming that after leaving their mother in 2006 and meeting Pamela, their father had unfairly left them out, having taken care of them all financially. their life.
Although her will left an estate worth Â£ 2,184,976 to Pamela, the sisters said that when other non-real estate, including heirlooms and expensive wine, was taken into account, their beautiful -mother was left with almost Â£ 7million so there was a lot to share.
Juliet, who lives with her mother Jennifer in a large, detached Â£ 1.6million period house on expansive land with a swimming pool near Pewsey, Wiltshire, has claimed Â£ 915,991 from her estate father.
Her sister, who earns Â£ 57,000 a year working for the Sotheby’s auction house and lives in West London, claimed Â£ 350,154, both claiming they intended to use the money for housing.
The court heard that Mr Shearer (left) had excluded his daughters from his will because he found their constant demands for money “unpleasant” according to his wife Pamela Shearer (right)
Part of the girls’ request was based on the suspicion that their stepmother had altered her will to “mirror” after Tony’s death, contrary to her wishes, to totally exclude them or their children from any future inheritance. after his own death.
Pamela declined to give the “private” details of her will, but told the judge she had “not revoked” any arrangements Tony might have made for his extended family.
Barry Coulter, on behalf of the girls, seeking leave to appeal, said the judge should have drawn an “adverse inference” about Pamela’s honesty from her refusal to specify the contents of her will.
The girls’ lawyers should have been allowed to continue the cross-examination when in fact Sir Julian cut them short, it was argued.
“The plaintiffs have not been able to challenge the issue of the testamentary disposition of Juliette and her children in (Pamela’s) will,” Coulter said.
But dismissing the girls’ challenge, Sir Julian told her: âPamela testified that she had not changed her will and that she would respect Tony’s wishes. That’s what she said.’
Judge rejected sisters’ request to allow appeal against original judgment
The girls’ lawyers repeatedly told her that she changed her will and she denied it. Further cross-examination would have gone in circles and I was not ready to conclude that she was lying in court, âhe added.
âThe plaintiffs’ case failed because of gaps in their own evidence, not because I misjudged the defendant’s evidence.
âI also had the right to conclude that (their mother) Jennifer would continue to provide financial support to her daughters.
‘Tony had made it clear that they shouldn’t expect an inheritance.
“It cannot be said that my value judgment was clearly wrong and that this proposed appeal has no chance of success,” he concluded.
During the case’s trial earlier this year, the girls claimed their father had “changed” when he married Pamela, with a breakup so deep that he refused to accompany Lauretta down the aisle to his marriage after learning that his new bride was not invited.
In the witness box, Pamela told the judge that it was Juliette and Lauretta’s “repeated demands for money” that brought down their father before he made his will, leaving everything to him.
âParents deserve a little respect. These two girls had a luxurious lifestyle, âshe said.
On this point, the judge said in his first ruling: “Pamela’s evidence was that Tony said he didn’t always like seeing the plaintiffs because he knew the meeting would end with a demand for money. , which he found unpleasant.
âI am convinced that he said that and that there was an element of truth in it.
âHe told her they were temperamental and out of control (as a teenager).
âHe also told her that (when they were younger) both applicants called him ‘The Checkbook,’ which they found funny but he found hurtful.
âIn my opinion, not only was she telling the truth about what Tony had told her, but the things he had told her were essentially correct.
“I have concluded that Tony had no obligation or liability to any of the claimants at the time of his death.”