Aristocrat loses court battle with parents over ownership of family’s estate

A millionaire has lost a court battle over the family’s 230-year-old estate.

William Reeve, 38, says the future of the 3,000-acre Leadenham Estate, in Lincolnshire, is at risk due to his parents’ divorce.

He claimed the estate had been promised to him by his father and it was ‘unconscionable’ to split it up in the divorce. 

His arguments were last year rejected by a judge, who said any assurances given to him by his father were ‘not sufficiently clear’ to be relied upon.

However, William challenged the ruling saying Judge Evans-Gordon was biased.

The Court of Appeal dismissed claims that the judge was ‘biased’ against him.

William told the court, “The goal of my case is to keep the estate together…my primary aim is securing the future.”

Dismissing his appeal, Lord Justice Baker said there were ‘no grounds whatsoever for thinking that Judge Evans-Gordon was biased.’

Lord Justice Baker said, “Far from supporting William’s assertion that the judge was concealing information from the matrimonial proceedings, the transcript demonstrates conclusively that she was doing her best to ensure that anything relevant to his claim was disclosed to him.


“No fair-minded and informed observer…would conclude that there was any real possibility that Judge Evans-Gordon was biased.”

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