Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sir Andrew Cook in court divorce row over home and curtains

Sir Andrew Cooke
Image caption Sir Andrew Cook and his ex-wife Baroness Angelika Hirsch-Stronstorff ran up £2m legal bills in the divorce

A wealthy businessman and his ex-wife have drawn divorce court hostilities to a close after a judge ruled on the ownership of their curtains.

Conservative Party donor Sir Andrew Cook and interior designer Baroness Angelika Hirsch-Stronstorff had been contesting a High Court trial.

Mr Justice Holman was told the pair had run up £1m in lawyers' bills in the case over property and furnishings.

The judge said the pair's marriage had been "a disaster".

Evidence showed Sir Andrew - chairman of William Cook, a firm based in Sheffield which produces components for the rail, energy and defence industries - was worth about £25m and Baroness Hirsch-Stronstorff about £4m, the judge said.

He had been told that no-one was arguing their combined wealth should be shared.

Lawyers representing Baroness Hirsch-Stronstorff said she wanted to walk away with £2.8m.

Sir Andrew, who was treasurer of the Conservative In campaign which sought to remain in the European Union at the 2016 referendum, had made an initial offer of £1m and then increased it to £2m.

Lawyers have now told the judge that Sir Andrew and Baroness Hirsch-Stronstorff had agreed an out-of-court settlement.

But the judge heard that they could not agree on who owned the curtains in a house they had shared in London.

Lawyers said that, under the agreement, Sir Andrew was keeping the house and wanted the curtains to remain.

But interior designer Baroness Hirsch-Stronstorff was keeping the contents and said the curtains belonged to her.

At the Family Division of the High Court,Mr Justice Holman ruled that the curtains should stay but if Sir Andrew sold them, as part of a house sale, in the next five years he must split the money with his ex-wife.

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