Judge urges couple to seek out of court resolution after running up £1 million legal bill fighting over £2 million settlement.

We often quote the high costs of taking matters to court in order to resolve matters involving children, property or finances.  Such costs can be quite astronomical with legal fees spiralling out of control and of course the additional costs for the court’s time.  Without even considering the fact that mediation is far less stressful and is a process where the parties involved have a real say in what is agreed, one has to look at the cost of it, compared to formal court procedures.

An excellent example of this is a case going through courts at the moment (June 2019) where a divorced couple are attempting to resolve their finances.

Yorkshire man, Sir Andrew Cook and Baroness Angelika Hirsch-Stronstorff, who were married for three years have so far run up £1 million in court and legal fees while fighting over less than £2 million.

The Judge, Mr Justice Holman sitting in the Family Division of the High Court told the pair that they should seek a resolution out of court that was reasonably fair and put their fight over money ‘to bed’. 

He pointed out that they had each had run up lawyers’ bills of about £500,000.  ‘You have spent £1 million in costs arguing about £1 million or so,’ said Mr Justice Holman. ‘It seems utterly, utterly ridiculous.’

He said ‘very disproportionate’ amounts had been spent and added: ‘We are only arguing about somewhere between £1 million and £2 million between people who are worth somewhere between £25 million and £30 million. It is pretty depressing, frankly.’

If the couple engaged in mediation then their fees would be much, much less and the process far quicker than waiting for available slots in the Family Court.

You can see how much it would have cost the pair had they come to WYFMS here.

The full story in the press is available to be read here.