A $59m divorce battle between a former Queenstown couple is continuing in to make its way through the courts.

Sophie Annabelle Biggs and Stephen Timothy Biggs are part of one of this country's most costly divorce disputes over a claimed $59 million worth of relationship property.

The couple lived together in a $8.6m home in Queenstown in 2010 and had a child before separating in 2016. They both now reside in Australia.

Among the disputed assets is the couple's Wakatipu lakeside home, chattels at another home in Queensland, a $30,000 Audi Quattro and a million-dollar superannuation fund.


Sophie Biggs is seeking half of the couple's relationship property and is also attempting to get a share of the wealth which she says her husband has available to him through trusts and companies that she claims he controls.

Stephen Biggs, however, argues that he was wealthy when the relationship began. And he says whatever interest he has in the companies and trusts, it is not relationship property.

As part of the fight, both sides squared off earlier this year in the High Court at Invercargill over a series of applications - including on whether their names should be suppressed.

In a judgment released today by the Court of Appeal, Sophie Biggs' request to have security reduced to $3300 was declined.

Sophie Biggs claimed to have no assets or income to meet an award if Stephen Biggs successfully resisted the appeal.

But Stephen Biggs opposed that saying she had already received distributions to the sum of $560,000 in addition to spousal maintenance payments of $12,000 to $14,000 a month.

Sophie Biggs is appealing against a High Court decision which had declined to make an order for further discovery against Stephen Biggs, and whether he should receive an interim distribution of $1.5 million on account of his relationship property entitlement from the proceeds of sale of a property in Queenstown. The High Court also had refused to order him to make an interim distribution to her of $400,000 or pay her legal fees, which she also appeals.

The parties were set to meet again on October 8.


A previous version of this article stated that Mrs Biggs had "lost appeals" as to certain interlocutory steps in this matter. For clarity, Mrs Biggs had previously sought in the High Court certain orders which were declined. She has appealed these to the Court of Appeal, and the New Zealand Herald notes that the substantive appeal as to these matter is yet to be heard. The Herald apologises for the error.