James Pirrie quoted in the Financial Times (20th November 2015) “Divorce cases open up splits in the legal system”
“We have seen a shift…towards meaner maintenance for shorter periods” says James in an article examining whether the trend towards a natural end to divorce payments over life long maintenance payments will continue.
The article looks at several controversial cases involving joint lives maintenance including the 2006 case in which Mr McFarlane, a partner with professional services group Deloitte, lost his appeal against a £250,000-a-year lifetime maintenance award to his wife Julia. The sum vastly exceeded her financial needs but reflected the abandonment of her legal career. Mr McFarlane had argued that his ex-partner was able to return to work. James Pirrie acted for Julia McFarlane on this case.
James notes the divergence between London family courts which tend to grant joint lives awards, and the attitude of courts outside London which favour an end date for maintenance awards.