High Court judge speaks of his “utmost despair” over bitter divorce case

Can you imagine running up a legal bill of £700,000 in divorce proceedings, before your case has even reached the Court? That’s exactly what has happened in the highly acrimonious divorce of a wealthy businessman from Leicester, 72, and his wife Susan, 69, leaving the judge involved in the case speaking of feeling “nothing but despair.”

Richard Shield acquired considerable wealth – over £50 million currently – via his engineering enterprise and through his investment in property over the years. Served with divorce proceedings by his wife of 43 years, the vast level of legal costs have, remarkably, been incurred at what is just an early stage in the divorce process as the family fight out a better dispute which hinges on whether or not Mr Shield put his wife – who had been a 5% shareholder in the business empire – and his daughters second to his son.

The financial cost of the legal Bill aside, the family fall out has also had a huge and saddening personal cost, with Mr Shield referred to during the case as having been “compulsorily detained” suffering from mental health problems as well as being “physically and mentally unwell.”

High Court Judge Mr Justice Holman commented that the family was literally “tearing itself apart” and said that the position was “extremely tragic”. He also spoke of his “utmost despair” that such costs could be run up at such an early stage in the process, and warned that the legal costs could increase yet further if the couple are unable to reach a resolution.

The alternative – a sensible approach to divorce

Our approach to divorce is simple – we see it as a problem to be solved rather than a battle to be fought. Whilst, if necessary, we will fight as hard on your behalf as we can, we always look to achieve a sensible outcome at an early stage. We are particularly big fans of both family mediation and collaborative law – which can both reduce animosity, speed things up and keep legal costs down – the exact opposite of the sad case involving Shield family.

Remember – if you are getting divorced and you or your spouse or civil partner are looking for a fight in court, legal costs can quickly mount – and any money paid to your respective solicitors by way of legal fees comes out of family assets that would otherwise be available to distribute between you both.

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