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Accessible legal tips, know-how and news for anyone with a complaint or legal issue from Stephen Gold, author of The Return of Breaking Law, the book

Monday 23 January 2017


If you take off your clothes on television and are involved in a contested property and maintenance dispute after divorce, the media will be interested in publishing as much detail of the case as they can. On the other hand, if you keep your clothes on except for bathing and going to bed, the likelihood is that the media will leave you alone.

Last week, a woman who was appealing a matrimonial order regarding  finances lost her plea to the Court of Appeal to ban all publicity about the case. Full reasons and no doubt guidance for future cases are to follow. But in the same week, a High Court judge granted an application in a matrimonial finances case banning any publicity apart from the names of the parties involved. We weren't concerned with clothes off in either set of proceedings.

One way to ensure total privacy in cases of this kind is to have your dispute decided out of court by an arbitrator. A financial arbitration scheme is run by the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators   which had a pool of around 220 lawyers on their books when I last counted who are prepared to act as an arbitrator. They even include a couple of High Court judges who are trying to supplement their pensions. Some charge an arm and a leg: others can be almost cheap. For more, see Breaking Law at chapter 49 which is my anti-stitch up guide to how to play things when a relationship breaks down.

Now, put your overcoat back on immediately.