A groundbreaking ruling by the Supreme Court on Wednesday in favour of Mishcon de Reya client Kathleen Wyatt could raise serious questions about fairness in the family justice system.
The court unanimously ruled that Wyatt’s bid for financial support from her ex-husband – Ecotricity tycoon Dale Vince – does have merit, despite their divorce 22 years ago.
Wyatt will now take her bid for a £1.9m payout to the family division of the High Court, legal proceedings financed in part by Vince after Supreme Court justices restored a cost allowance order requiring him to pay the funds.
The unexpected ruling is a blow to Vince’s legal team, 1 Hare Court’s Martin Pointer QC, instructed by Schillings partner Davina Katz.
For now, victory resides with 29 Bedford Row’s Philip Cayford QC, instructed by Mishcon partner Miles Geffin, though whether Wyatt’s claim will be successful in the High Court is another story.
In the meantime, a source close to the family law market said: “No doubt there will be many people nervously checking back over old paperwork to make sure they will not also be revisited by the ghost of marriage past.”
Also on TheLawyer.com:
- Mr Justice Flaux has retired to examine the evidence in the falsified evidence case against Gibson Dunn & Crutcher partner Peter Gray. A decision is expected later this month
- Supreme Court justice Lord Sumption has criticised the Government’s 800th anniversary Magna Carta celebrations, calling them “high-minded tosh”
- Covington & Burling is opening a Los Angeles office next week with a 15-strong team, including senior hires from Pillsburg and O’Melveny & Myers
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