Divorcing couple run up £2m bill
A couple in their 70s who have four grown-up children ran up £2 million in lawyers' bills on a divorce money fight after their 43-year marriage broke down, a judge has said.
Judge Nicholas Francis said the difference between what the man eventually offered and what the woman wanted was "remarkably proximate" to £2 million - although he did not spell out the figure each had proposed.
The "bitter family litigation" saw a father and son "pitched" against mother and daughters.
Judge Francis said the couple "waged this war for so long" at such a "personal and financial cost".
The judge, who said the man had been a company boss, concluded that the woman should get a lump sum of £7.4 million.
Detail of the case has emerged in a written ruling by the judge following a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London.
He did not identify the family involved.
Judge Francis is the latest in a series of family court judges to highlight the amounts of money being spent on lawyers.
Earlier this month Mr Justice Holman said a family mediator and her millionaire ex-partner spent £60,000 arguing about a difference in offers and claims of around £100,000 after becoming involved in a dispute over money for their daughter.
He also said a rich businessman and his former partner ran up legal bills of £1.3 million in a dispute over £500,000.
Last month, Mr Justice Mostyn suggested the introduction of ''price fixing'' after analysing a case in which a businessman and his estranged wife ran up ''grotesque'' legal bills of more than £900,000 while fighting over assets worth less than £2.9 million.
And Mr Justice Peter Jackson called for rules governing the management of litigation in the Court of Protection - where issues involving sick and vulnerable people are analysed - to be tightened after revealing that two cases left the taxpayer with a bill of nearly £500,000.