A self-styled aristocrat who left a trail of debt across Scotland has failed in a bid to claim a slice of his late aunt’s £4 million estate in Australia.
Twice-bankrupted “Lord” Andrew Battenberg made headlines here when he faced eviction from his Perthshire country mansion, Dunfallandy House, amid claims he had not paid the rent. His former chauffeur was also suing him for unpaid wages.
Australian-born Battenberg – also known as Andrew Lee, Lord Battenberg or Lord Andrew of Craigstown – had moved to Scotland, where he went by the name of Lord Leitrim, in 2004.
He was bankrupted in Australia for not paying the costs of an unsuccessful lawsuit against his solicitors over a property deal.
Battenberg is back in the legal spotlight again Down Under. His aunt Minnie Condon died three and a half years ago leading him to launch a lawsuit claiming part of her multi million-pound estate.
Condon, whose banker brother Harold Lee and his wife Ailsa adopted Battenberg, had changed her will in November 2016 to specifically exclude him. She died the following month, aged 86.
In a judgement released by the Supreme Court in New South Wales, judge Trish Henry dismissed Battenberg’s argument that his aunt was thinking irrationally when she signed the new will because she had said it would be “kept under her cat’s bed”. The court heard evidence that, in mid-2016, his aunt said she was going to a lawyer to change her will and she did not want “Andrew in the will”.
Justice Henry pointed out that Condon told her neighbour that she wanted Battenberg out of her will because he was a “lazy good for nothing person that would not work” and he “thinks he is an illegitimate child of Prince Philip”.
In her summing up, the judge said: “Based on the evidence, it also seems to me that there was no reasonable cause for investigation or challenge by Mr Battenberg to the 2016 will.” The judge also ordered that Battenberg, 57, should pay the defendants’ costs of the proceedings, “in an amount to be agreed or assessed”.
Battenberg has now launched an appeal which will be heard next month.
In a previous unsuccessful legal move to challenge the executors of Condon’s will in 2017, Battenberg had produced paperwork dated September 2006, which he claimed was an “irrevocable” agreement made by his late aunt and his adoptive mother.
Attempts to contact Battenberg for comment via his lawyer in Sydney met with no response.
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