Widow is claiming £38million from insurers over fire that gutted the couple’s stately home

A financier’s widow is claiming £38million from insurers for the blaze that gutted the couple’s stately home – despite admitting her late husband confessed he started the fire.

Michael Treichl told his wife he took responsibility for the inferno 16 days after 500-year-old Parnham House in Dorset burnt down in 2017, legal documents reveal.

The banker drowned himself two months later.

His widow Emma Treichl, 58, is now locked in a High Court battle over the allegedly fraudulent claim.

The former Vogue model did not tell the insurers her late husband had admitted responsibility until nearly two years later, during which time she had ‘ratified’ the claim he had started on the property, it is alleged.

Michael Treichl told his wife he took responsibility for the inferno 16 days after 500-year-old Parnham House in Dorset burnt down in 2017, legal documents reveal. The banker drowned himself two months later

Michael Treichl told his wife he took responsibility for the inferno 16 days after 500-year-old Parnham House in Dorset burnt down in 2017, legal documents reveal. The banker drowned himself two months later

His widow Emma Treichl, 58, is now locked in a High Court battle over the allegedly fraudulent claim

His widow Emma Treichl, 58, is now locked in a High Court battle over the allegedly fraudulent claim

She had continued with the claim after Mr Treichl drowned himself in a lake in Geneva and is now suing the insurers – Chubb European Group SE – after they rejected it.

Mrs Treichl admitted delaying telling the firm about his admission, but said she did not need to as a clause in the policy gave her cover for ‘any loss and damage’ – even if it was ’caused intentionally’ by her husband.

She alleges she was covered separately and ‘so long as she was not responsible’ for the fire the insurer was required to pay for the damage.

In papers submitted to the High Court, she claims the company owes her £30,208,000 for rebuilding costs and up to £8,106,250 replacement costs for personal property and another £94,000 for specific jewellery and fine arts destroyed in the blaze.

The insurer has issued a counter-claim, saying it was not required to pay out because the fire was ‘deliberately set’ by Mr Treichl.

Mrs Treichl admitted that in May 2017 her husband confessed to her that he started the fire and said she knew he was ‘pursuing a fraudulent insurance claim’ for both of their benefit, the counter-claim alleges.

She met insurers three days after the blaze and ‘thereafter took a positive role and interest in Mr Treichl’s claim’.

The former Vogue model did not tell the insurers her late husband had admitted responsibility until nearly two years later, during which time she had 'ratified' the claim he had started on the property, it is alleged

The former Vogue model did not tell the insurers her late husband had admitted responsibility until nearly two years later, during which time she had ‘ratified’ the claim he had started on the property, it is alleged

But despite ‘repeated requests’ from the firm after his death on June 16, 2017, she did not tell them about his admission until March 2019. The insurer is claiming for legal fees and other costs worth almost £190,000 from Mrs Treichl, plus damages.

The legal battle surrounds the Grade I listed Parnham House, near the town of Beaminster.

The building was where US commanders planned the Allied invasion of mainland Europe during the Second World War.

The couple bought the property for £4million in 2001 and moved in with their two children and Mrs Treichl’s two step-children from a previous marriage.

They spent £5million renovating the house, including two pools, stables, gym and a cinema. But it was ravaged by the blaze four years ago, with 100 firemen unable to save anything except the exterior walls.

Soon after the fire Mr Treichl was arrested and questioned on suspicion of starting it.

The 69-year-old insisted he had been at Claridge’s in London when it happened and was released without any bail conditions pending further inquiries.

The hedge fund manager, from a family of distinguished Austrian bankers, was a leading light in Audley Capital Advisors LLP.

The estate was bought for £2.5million in March last year by James Perkins, a former 90s legal rave promoter who plans to turn it into a venue for ‘adventure’ stays and visits.

.




The article from the source

Tags

Related Articles

Back to top button
Close