Liam Gallagher and Nicole Appleton spent £800,000 on divorce cash fight


Rock star Liam Gallagher and ex-wife Nicole Appleton ran up more than £800,000 in legal bills while arguing over how to divide assets worth about £11 million after their divorce, a judge has said.

Judge Martin O'Dwyer has ruled assets should be split in half and said Gallagher and Appleton should each get about £5.5 million.

He said the level of spending on legal costs had been "manifestly excessive".

Detail has emerged in a ruling on the case delivered by the judge on Friday.

Gallagher and Appleton had argued over money at a private family court hearing earlier this year.

Limits were placed on what the public could be told about that hearing, but Judge O'Dwyer has now ruled much of his judgment in the case can be reported.

The judge published a ruling after analysing issues around reporting at a hearing in the Central Family Court in London.

He had analysed the dispute at a hearing in the same court a few months ago.

Neither Gallagher, 43, a former member of Oasis, nor Appleton, 41, a singer with the group All Saints, were at Friday's hearing.

They had attended the earlier hearing.

The judge said Gallagher and Appleton had started living together about 15 years ago, had married in 2008 and separated in 2013, and they have a son together.

He said they had "lived a very good lifestyle".

He raised concerns about the amount of money the couple had spent on lawyers, and said: "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 £10 million."

The judge concluded Gallagher and Appleton had assets totalling £10.8 million, and each should get £5.4 million.

Judge O'Dwyer said Gallagher and Appleton had enjoyed "freely" the money Gallagher had made from music and from his involvement in fashion firm Pretty Green.

He said he had been asked to decide how to divide assets and had taken into account income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources.

Both Gallagher and Appleton had given evidence and been cross-examined, he said.

He said there had been "substantial disputes" about what comprised "matrimonial assets" and about their value.

Those included disputes over the value of Gallagher's shareholding in Pretty Green and the value of the former matrimonial home.

There had also been a dispute about both Gallagher and Appleton's earning capacities.

Appleton had claimed that Gallagher's legal costs were "manifestly excessive", said the judge.

The judge was told that Gallagher's solicitors had "higher charging rates" and he said there was "clearly here a disparity between the costs".

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.

Judge O'Dwyer said he was "not satisfied" that it had been proved that Gallagher had "lied in these proceedings".

But he said 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 current 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.

And the judge said he was not satisfied that "alleged wanton expenditure" had been proved.

The judge said Appleton had been represented by barrister Patrick Chamberlayne QC and Gallagher by barrister Tim Bishop QC.