15th Jun 2015

Nicole Hackett comments on twist in Michelle Young divorce battle

New twist in Michelle Young divorce battle

Last week we heard that Michelle Young – well known in the Family Courts for having been involved in an protracted Court battle over her husband’s massive fortune – was herself being sued over the financing of that bitter legal battle. In order to assist her with the legal and accounting fees necessary to prove her case, Michelle Young had sought the help of investors who lent her substantial funds to pursue her case.

However in a new twist in the divorce battle, Michelle Young’s backers have now turned against her. The group is made up of over 100 investors and is thought to be one of the first in which the investors pay for divorce litigation in the hope of profiting from the resulting judgment.  They are not all big investors – some are small investors who genuinely wanted to help a woman going through a divorce from someone who was allegedly concealing his assets.

In November 2013, after a long legal battle, Mrs Young was awarded £20m – half of what Mr Justice Moor decided her husband was worth – plus £6m legal costs.  The Judge, however, commented “This is about as bad an example of how not to litigate as any I have ever encountered”. Mrs Young was furious describing the award as disgraceful and insisting there were secret assets to be found.

As a result of refusing to accept the award Mrs Young then found herself in breach of contract with her investors. According to the investors who had agreed to fund her litigation Mrs Young used the money they gave her not only to fight the case but also to fund her “champagne lifestyle”. Her husband Scot Young was declared bankrupt in 2010 and died suddenly in 2014.

This latest twist highlights not only the financial and emotional toll that protracted litigation can take on the parties but also the difficulties facing women such as Michelle Young who are convinced that their partners are hiding assets but don’t have the financial resources to mount a case to prove this.

For more information, please contact director Nicole Hackett of Family Law in Partnership:

E: nh@flip.co.uk

T: 020 7420 5000