High Court Judge Mr Justice Holman has welcomed a wealthy couple’s decision to settle their divorce.
He had urged property developer Mark Joel and his estranged wife Georgina Scobling-Joel to reach a settlement after they spent close to £400,000 on legal costs, a sum he described as “absolutely barmy” and “crazy”. The Judge declared:
“Between them they have incurred, inclusive of VAT, £387,500 in costs – that would pay for a very nice flat in Islington or Clapham.”
The couple, who lived in Walton-on-Thames in Surrey, have now reached a clean break agreement in which he will pay her a series of lump sum payments worth more than £1.6 million in total, Herald Scotland reports.
The Judge described this as “a fair and wise outcome” and declared himself “very, very, very pleased that good sense has broken out.”
He had warned the couple that their legal costs could double if they continued their courtroom confrontation. His Honour explained.
“There has been constructive dialogue and no doubt they have been extremely well advised on both sides, enabling them to move forward and put this behind them – and stop further haemorrhaging in legal costs.”
In a yet-to-be published judgement, Mr Justice Holman compared the case to Fields v Fields, which he also recently presided over. In the latter case, the Judge had also reprimanded the couple for running up huge legal bills as they argued over the terms of a financial settlement.
Mrs Scobling-Joel, meanwhile, was impressed by the Judge’s approach to her own case, describing him as “professional” and “first class”, the paper reports.