Divorce Case: Legal Costs of £1 Million over Total Assets of £2.9 Million

The High Court judge was left baffled when it was revealed that the couple spent nearly a third of everything they had built up over 18 years funding litigation and legal costs.

A businessman and his wife, whose identity are kept anonymous ran up legal bills of more than £900,000 while fighting over assets worth less than £2.9 million.

Forensic accountants were paid more than £150,000 to value and determine the man’s business interests.

The couple had married in the 1990s living together for almost 20 years and separated in 2011 with assets amounting to nearly £2.9 million.

The judge remarked that the dispute was easily settleable and termed the exaggerated amount of legal costs as “madness”.

He has also raised concerns about the “appalling state of affairs” in a written ruling on the case following a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in Manchester.

The judge added: “The result has been to make a case that was surely so easily settleable almost impossible to compromise.”

The seven day trial ended up in a settlement according to which the wife will receive £1,123,500 (38.9 per cent of the assets); the lawyers and experts will receive £920,000 (31.9 per cent); and the husband £841,500 (29.2 per cent).

The judge was lost for words and remarked that such madness should not be allowed to happen again.

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