A Real Housewives of Cheshire star owes nearly £1 million after becoming embroiled in a family court litigation following the breakdown of her marriage, a judge has been told. Lauren Simon had borrowed to pay for lawyers to represent her during a dispute over money with Paul Simon, Deputy High Court Judge Nicholas Cusworth heard.
But she had subsequently entered into an out-of-court agreement which “compromised all of her financial claims”. A litigation lending firm called Integro Funding, which trades under the name Level, had given her a series of loans which now totalled, with interest, nearly £1 million, the judge was told.
Judge Cusworth has now concluded that Level should be a party to ongoing litigation involving Lauren and Paul. The judge has outlined detail in a ruling on the latest stage of the litigation, which began in 2016, following a recent family court hearing in London.
He named both of them in the ruling. Another judge had ruled, in 2018, that Lauren should get a £3 million payout. Court of Appeal judges had overturned that ruling.
Judge Cusworth said Lauren and Paul had then agreed, out of court, that she would get a home but “no additional liquid capital”. He said she had entered into an agreement, the “effect of which was to compromise all of her financial claims”, after parting company with her lawyers.
Level had written to the court days after the agreement was reached, explaining that she was a “party to a loan agreement in relation to a substantial sum” and asking to be “joined to the proceedings”, said the judge.
A letter from the company said: “We have been made aware that she might be attempting to enter into an agreement with the husband whereby she surrenders the entirety of her lump sum which would prevent her from being able to discharge her obligations under the loan agreement.”
Judge Cusworth said it was “desirable” that Level was a part of proceedings so that “clearly connected issues” between the company and Lauren, and between her and Paul could be “fairly and expeditiously resolved”.
Judge Cusworth said the out-of-court agreement gave Lauren “the right to reside in a property” owned by Paul’s trust for the rest of her life. He said the litigation between Lauren and Paul involved other issues besides money.