Wives win landmark divorce rulings

Withers and family law boutique Family Law in Partnership (FLIP) have won a landmark House of Lords judgment this morning (24 May) on behalf of two women claiming money from their husbands after divorce.

The Lords ruled that Melissa Miller is entitled to £5m from her ex-husband, while Julia McFarlane will have an annual payment of £250,000 from her former partner for life.

The Lords dismissed an appeal from Miller’s husband Alan, finding that the £5m award was “appropriate”. They upheld Julia McFarlane’s case, deciding that after giving up her career as a solicitor to care for the couple’s children, McFarlane still contributed to the marriage and her husband’s earnings.

FLIP partner James Pirrie, acting for McFarlane, told The Lawyer: “What the Lords are saying here is that if you made this decision the change in dependency is going to be recognised. This is a truly startling judgment.”

Pirrie instructed One King’s Bench Walk’s Barry Singleton QC. Withers partner and firm chairman Diana Parker instructed 1 Hare Court’s Nicholas Mostyn QC for Melissa Miller.

West End boutique Sears Tooth represented Alan Miller, instructed One King’s Bench Walk’s James Turner QC. Private client firm Levison Meltzer Piggott instructed 1 Hare Court’s Jeremy Posnansky QC for Kenneth McFarlane.