I would be interested to see the full report of this case, mentioned in The Telegraph yesterday.
The case involved a couple who had been married for twenty-five years and had a total wealth of between £21 and £24 million, most of which had been inherited by the husband from his father. The wife sought a £7 million share, but the husband argued "that applying the “sharing principle” to give the wife a stake in her husband’s inherited wealth would be an “invasion” of a fortune he owed to his father".
Mr Justice Moylan agreed, ruling that the wealth of the couple was “not the product of their endeavours”, so the sharing principle should be ignored. He said the husband’s wealth was 'non-matrimonial' and that it was fair to base the wife’s award on a “generous assessment” of her needs. Accordingly, she was awarded a lump sum of £3.3 million, on top of her £1 million assets, which would enable her to buy a £1.1 million house and give her an income of £115,000 a year, plus additional "discretionary" spending.
Whether the case actually breaks any new ground is not clear from the Telegraph report, but hopefully a full report will shortly be available - I'll put it on Family Lore Case Digest as soon as I find it.