It was one of the highest-profile cases of the year, and well and truly put Clintons partner Liz Vernon on the map. Not that she was anonymous beforehand – Vernon played a key role in the divorce of another reasonably famous couple: the Prince and Princess of Wales.
But it was the divorce of Arsenal and England footballer Ray Parlour, and specifically the maintenance order awarded to his wife Karen, that raised Vernon to the level of media celebrity.
The groundbreaking Court of Appeal judgment, which gave Karen Parlour a third of her husband’s future earnings for four years, was described in the press as being likely to undermine the institution of marriage.
Vernon, who acted for Karen Parlour, responded in The Lawyer (25 October) that this was all “largely nonsense”. The award, she said, simply allowed her client to save for the future with a view to making a “clean break” from her former husband after four years. Nevertheless, the case is rightly regarded as a landmark.