Mills McCartney Award Announced – and Judgment published in full

Well, we all knew there would be some kind of appeal – and apparently it is by way of Heather Mills McCartney appealing the decision to make the full judgment public, due to be heard tomorrow. In the meantime here is a link to the summary of the judgment published today.

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In short, Heather Mills McCartney was awarded £24.3m inclusive – far far less than asked for and quite substantially less than some pundits had suggested. Paul apparently has an asset base of £400m. The award was based primarily upon need. This may have been a case involving extraordinary wealth, and for most of us £24m is in itself an extraordinary amount of money, but this was never going to be a case where anything like an equal sharing of assets was imposed, not least because the majority of the wealth in question was presumably treated as non-matrimonial.

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I know it doesn’t make for very good blog posting but I for one am relieved at the possibility that we may yet be spared the revolting prospect of picking through the entrails of the Mills-McCartney marriage, and of the media attacking Heather Mills-McCartney regardless of the merits of the case. In fact, even if the judgment is published in full, as Bennett J proposes (subject to what the Court of Appeal has to say about the matter) it is likely to be in neutral terms and confined only to what is strictly relevant to the s25 exercise. Given that we are told in the judgment summary that the Judge declined to hear evidence on issues of conduct one hopes there will not be too much for the press to get their teeth into, but no doubt they will suck the marrow from the very bones of the judgment in order to get one last story or insinuation out of it.
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What I’d like to know is who was responsible for the leak of the draft judgment last week that suggested in round terms that Heather was going to be awarded around £25m, bearing in mind that such judgments would usually only be circulated to the legal teams involved (or in Heather Mills McCartney’s case to herself as a Litigant in Person)? And more importantly, was anybody castigated by the Judge for such behaviour when judgment was handed down?
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UPDATE: lunchtime Tues. Heather Mills McCartney’s application for leave to appeal has been rejected by a 2 judge Court of Appeal. The judgment has been published in full – I have not had time to read it as I have to rush out and deal with more pressing matters (yes such things do exist), but you can find the pdf document here. All I can tell you (and make of this what you will) is that the word ‘unreasonable’ appears 16 times, ‘conduct’ a staggering 108, ‘contribution’ 19 times, ‘exaggerated’ 5 times, and ‘ridiculous’ once. ‘Husband’s case’ appears 8 times, whilst ‘wife’s case’ appears 20 – perhaps an indicator of a certain amount of judicial appeal-proofing going on? ‘evidence’ raises 76 hits, the one which caught my eye being at pa 16 where Heather’s evidence is described as inconsistent, inaccurate, less than candid and Heather as a less than impressive witness. Oops.
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I fancy I shall enjoy reading this later on, in spite of my noble protestations about the media frenzy above. Well, its been published now – it’d be rude NOT to read it, no?

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I shall enjoy reading this later on, in spite of my earnest protestations above.

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FURTHER UPDATE (Fri 28 Mar) Do you know what – in fact I STILL haven’t read the darn thing. Frankly, I can’t be bothered. I’ve heard it gutted on the radio ten million times and I’m utterly bored bored BORED with the whole caboodle.

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