Woman wins share of brothers’ £9m fortune after she’s ignored in ‘sexist’ will
A woman has won a share of a £9million fortune despite her dad originally writing her out of his will altogether.
Farmer's daughter Julie Mate, 62, faced her own brothers, Andrew and Robert Mate, in court after they were given the entirety of their parent's West Yorkshire dairy farm, which they then sold for a huge sum.
But now a court has ordered them to give her a £652,000 payout after the land that was left to them shot up in value from £300,000 to £9n.
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Julie had been left "devastated and dumbfounded" when her dad Donald Mate died in 1992 and left his share of the farm to his wife Shirley and sons only.
Shirley, now 89, also gave her share to the boys and none to Julie.
She believes she and her two sisters left with "nowt" purely due to sexism.
"You can call it the outcome of a male-dominated farming tradition, bloody mindedness, or simply male chauvinism – whatever it was, and with no disrespect to dad, it really doesn't wash nowadays," she said.
Donald and Shirley Mate had been partners in a milk bottling and retail business, run from Fold Farm in Netherton, near Huddersfield, a court heard.
Julie worked to get the land removed from the Green Belt so it could be built on which made it a much more attractive property for buyers, but Julie did not get a slice of the pie.
The judge concluded that the brothers had been "unjustly enriched" as a result with Julie alleging that the brothers made it clear to her that she should not return to the business after university.
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Robert, now 65, and Andrew, 60, did not enjoy a great relationship with their sister over the years, with the court hearing how a 17-year-old Andrew once drove a Land Rover at her in the farmyard.
The land Julie had worked to get valued was sold by her mum and brothers without Julie's knowledge to developers for £9m.
The judge said: "I accept Julie's evidence that at no time did she tell either of her brothers or Shirley that she would work on this project for nothing, without expectation of any reward."
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