Lawyers get Beatle divorce mania

Former Beatle Paul McCartney’s and model Heather Mills’ lawyers have no doubt been eagerly awaiting the outcome of the largest-ever contested divorce.

Last Thursday (24 May) the ex-wife of John Charman, the head of Axa Insurance Group, was awarded £48m of her former husband’s £131m fortune.

The case made English legal history, although it is unlikely to hold this title for long. It is expected to be dwarfed by McCartney’s split with his second wife Mills – the musician’s wealth is reported to be around £800m.

Perhaps more relevant to Mills may be the case of Melissa Miller, who won a £5m settlement after a 33-month marriage.

In 2006 Miller received around 15 per cent of her ex-husband’s assets – which is 22 per cent less than in the Charman case.

The House of Lords’ reasoning was that she enjoyed a pampered lifestyle “that was not a standard of living the wife would be likely to achieve for herself”.

One judgment Mills’ lawyers should keep in mind?