A High Court judge has bemoaned the way a former beauty queen and her estranged millionaire husband ran up lawyers’ bills of more than £1 million fighting over money.
Mr Justice Holman raised concerns about the cash Russian-born Ekaterina Fields and American lawyer Richard Fields spent on legal fees after deciding who should get what share of assets totalling around £6 million.
The judge said that when all assets had been taken into account, Mrs Fields would be left with a share of about £3.3 million and Mr Fields – who earns more than £1 million a year – about £2.6 million.
He said Mrs Fields should get a £1.2 million lump sum and alimony payments of £320 000 a year.
But the judge, who made several unsuccessful attempts to persuade the pair to settle differences and avoid a public “boxing match”, said the money spent on lawyers could have been “better deployed”.
Mr Justice Holman heard evidence at a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London last month.
The judge was told that Mr Fields, who is based in the United States, is 59 and Mrs Fields,, who lives in London, is 42.
They were married for about a decade, had two children and lived in New York.
Mrs Fields was Mr Fields’s fifth wife, while she had been married once before. Both told the judge that they hoped to marry again.