Spencers opt for out-of-court settlement

Earl Spencer and his estranged wife are heading for an out-of-court settlement after attempts by lawyers representing both parties to ban reporters from the courtroom failed.

The case involving the brother of the late Princess of Wales was set to go ahead in the high court this week, with arguments to be heard about the division of the estranged couple's assets.

However, judge Mr Justice Munby said the bid to ban reporters from publicising such details would defy new laws reducing the amount of reporting restrictions in place for family cases, after which lawyers agreed to try to thrash out a deal in private.

He said: "You can't have one law for the celebrity and another for those who live their lives in tranquility and anonymity."

Those wishing to avoid court case publicity can use a DIY divorce kit to arrange a settlement, saving the cost of hiring lawyers along the way.

A recent high profile case that has had details made public was that of tycoon Scot Young, who claimed he is now penniless and cannot pay his ex-wife a settlement.

Rejecting this claim, the high court judge ordered him to disclose the location of his £400 million fortune under threat of jail.

Written by Rachel Crook

Published on: June 25, 2009

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