Young v Young – A Bitter Divorce

The case of business and property tycoon Scott Young and his wife Michelle - hailed as the capital’s most bitter divorce battle - is making its way through the Courts yet again.

These long running legal proceedings now on-going for four years hi-light to those practising family law what happens when it all goes ‘wrong’.

The case first came to the attention of the tabloid press in January 2013 when Scott Young was imprisoned for 6 months for failing to comply with a Court Order that required him to produce documentation that illustrated his financial position. This may have seem heavy handed to some at the time but the Court’s patience with Mr Young had finally come to an end after a series of adjournments and breached Orders.

Scott Young, who in the main is not represented by any lawyer, had managed until then to manipulate the Court system. He had failed to attend Court hearings because he was suffering from stress or was otherwise ill, had instructed solicitors at the 11th hour claiming they had insufficient time to prepare for hearings and at best had provided a sketchy and vague outline of his financial position to perhaps give the impression he was trying to co-operate as best he could unrepresented yet was patently not.

His estranged wife alleges he has restructured his assets to defeat her financial claims and that he is worth £400 million. Mr Young claims he is insolvent owing creditors £28 million.  They are some distance apart. This is not a couple who could ever have reached any mediated agreement.  Despite being ordered by the Court to pay maintenance to his wife and children, Mr Young has not paid anything at all and owes more than £1 million in unpaid maintenance to his wife and children.

Mrs Young, who has hired private investigators and third parties to investigate Mr Young’s true wealth, is on any view likely to have a horrendous legal bill. As the trial opened, which is anticipated to last several weeks, the Judge indicated he was likely to say a few words about legal costs in this case.

Whilst the Court does have the power to make Costs Orders against Mr Young because of his conduct, one can’t help but think that Mrs Young’s time in Court is unlikely to end at final hearing and that she will be locked into litigation trying to recover monies from Mr Young for some time to come.

This case involves a family with children. One wonders if Mr and Mrs Young have lost sight of this in their extreme battle with one another.

Gabbie  Clasper

Written by

Gabbie Clasper

Head of Family Law

Gabbie has over 20 years’ experience in family law. She has expert knowledge in complex issues including financial aspects following divorce; pre and post-nuptial agreements; cases with an international element; and civil partnerships. Gabbie is regularly instructed by clients based across the country and abroad. She...

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