Millionaire developer fails in bid to seize 3m home

An eighty-five year-old millionairess has lost a court battle to strip her only daughter of her £3 million Chelsea home.

Retired property developer Diana Lindsay took court action to claim the house after her daughter, Beverly Lindsay, married a twice divorced man. Mrs Lindsay claimed the house was her second home but this was untrue.

However, Judge Patrick McCahill, of Bristol Crown Court, said it was clear her daughter was the sole owner of the house and that Mrs Lindsay was a shrewd and astute business woman full of ‘exaggeration and a selective recall of events’, who was ‘trying to re-write history’.

Mrs Lindsay and her late husband built up a property portfolio, including a £1.5million home in Sussex and property in Spain, and loaned Beverly £256,000 to buy the £275,000 lodge in 1991. The judge has ordered Miss Lindsay to re-pay the £101,000 outstanding on the loan.

The family dispute first started when Beverly decided to marry Michael Palmer, a 64-year-old tax inspector, in 2008. Before this, Mrs Lindsay and her daughter had a good relationship.

In 2008 Mrs Lindsay urged her daughter to obtain a pre-nup before her nuptials and wrote to her saying she would “fight to the death … like a lioness with her cubs” to make sure her daughter “got something when I’m dead”.

“Please my love have a pre-nup, don’t be too gullible,” she said.

Mr Palmer said Mrs Lindsay had also asked ‘inappropriate questions’ about his previous marriages.

Judge McCahill concluded: “This was a case of comparatively wealthy parents seeking to help their only child on to the property ladder, not by giving her the money, but by allowing her to borrow the purchase price.”

He added that Miss Lindsay had always believed the house was solely hers and the loan did not mean that Mrs Lindsay had ‘beneficial interest’ unless she expressly said so at the time.

Despite the mother and daughter’s falling out Miss Lindsay still remains the sole beneficiary of her mother’s will.

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