News

‘King Lear’ banker cut daughters from £7million will over ‘lack of gratitude’

A bank boss excluded his daughters from his £7million will because their “lack of respect and gratitude” made him feel like Shakespeare’s King Lear, a court has heard.

Ex-CEO Tony Shearer, 68 when a brain tumour killed him, branded one of them “ghastly” due to her demands for his money, said the girls’ stepmum Pamela.

Sisters Juliet Miles, 40, and Lauretta Shearer, 38, seek “maintenance” amounting to £1.26million from his estate to replace the “generous financial provision” while he lived.

Pamela, 68, told the High Court: “I’m going to quote King Lear here – ‘Sharper than a serpent’s tooth is an ungrateful child’.

“That is how my husband felt.”

The Shakespeare play tells of a king who goes mad after being betrayed by his daughters.

Mr Shearer, ex-head of merchant bank Singer & Friedlander and finance governor of Rugby School, left Pamela an estate worth £2,184,976 when he died in 2017.

His daughters, who inherited nothing, claim the real sum is £7million if non-estate property is included.

Pamela said Tony left her everything in his will amid despair at the pair’s “repeated requests for money” despite “enjoying a luxury lifestyle”.

Lauretta denied the claims, blaming Pamela for tensions between father and daughters.

She told of a long falling-out with him but added: “We resumed a proper relationship.

“I’m not sure Pam was aware he was seeing me.”

Judge Sir Julian Flaux will give a ruling at a later date.