Posted by Patrick Hart, Partner
On 1 September 2016 Withy King LLP merged with Royds LLP. The trading name for the merged firm is Royds Withy King. All content produced prior to this date will remain in the name of the firms pre-merger.
Tiger charity couple urged to settle their differences as case is opened again
A couple behind a tiger conservation project who ran up legal bills of £2million in a bitter divorce cash battle could see their case continue after the ex-wife was granted a review.
Conservationists Li Quan and her ex-husband Stuart Bray, a former banker, had devoted their lives to protecting the critically endangered Chinese tiger.
They married in 2001 but Ms Li was removed as a director of the UK trust in 2012 after they split.
The former couple, who lived together in London, then descended into a messy battle over their marital assets in the British divorce courts. At the hearing in 2014, she argued that she was entitled to cash put into the charity as it had been used to fund the couple’s personal lives.
Sir Paul Coleridge sided with Mr Bray in his ruling in October 2014, saying the money had to be left out of the divorce.
Now, according to the Daily Telegraph, Ms Li has been granted a review of the case after she complained there had been a ‘lack of detail’ in the judge’s findings.
However, the couple were urged to try to settle the dispute out of court by Lady Justice King, who told them a hearing would not take place for months.
She said: “Over £2million has already been spent on this litigation. I would urge most strongly that the parties attempt to find a resolution.”
But she said she feared that “given the ferocity of the litigation” her call would “fall on deaf ears”.
Mr Bray had told judges that the charity had been “crippled” by the case.
The project, based in South Africa, aims to breed the rare tigers then ‘rewild’ them in their native country. The charity lists Chinese martial arts star Jackie Chan as an ambassador on its website.
Mr Bray – who previously earned millions as a financier for Deutsche Bank – met Ms Li in 1990.
An appeal win for Ms Li would have implications for other cases where funds are placed in trust for charitable purposes.
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