Who? Miles Geffin, legal director in the family department at Mishcon de Reya.
Why is he in the news? Acting for Kathleen Wyatt, who is seeking £1.9m from her ex-husband, Dale Vince, a one-time new age traveller who later founded and runs the green energy company Ecotricity. He is now reportedly worth £57m.
The marriage broke down more than 30 years ago, and they were divorced in 1992. Wyatt brought up their son and has few assets.
Five justices of the Supreme Court – the deputy president Lady Hale, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Hughes and Lord Hodge – reached a unanimous decision, deciding the family court could not strike out Wyatt’s claim without a full consideration of the issues.
Lord Wilson, giving judgment, said: ‘Even at this stage, one can say that, in the light of the negatives, an award approaching [the claimed £1.9m] is out of the question. It is a dangerous fallacy… that the current law always requires rich men to meet the reasonable needs of their ex-wives.’
In a statement, Vince said: ‘I’m disappointed that the Supreme Court has decided not to bring this case to an end now.’
Wyatt will now have to return to the High Court to pursue her claim.
Thoughts on the case: ‘It has been a long, tough road. I have believed in Kath’s claim since the beginning. Her contribution as the lone parent over many years was unmatched by her former husband. The Supreme Court’s decision vindicates Kath’s sacrifices and brings much-needed clarity to the role of strike-out in family proceedings.’
Dealing with the media: ‘The media response to the decision has been phenomenal. Unsurprisingly, opinion is divided but that’s not unusual in family cases – the legal regulation of families affects everyone.’
Why become a lawyer? ‘For me, as with many others of my generation, it started with a desire to do a vocational degree. Over the years, I came to realise how intellectually stimulating the law is, and at Mishcon de Reya I’ve found a home with like-minded people and interesting work.’
Career high: ‘It would be absurd not to say this case.’
Career low: ‘Probably the case that started with the defenestration of hamsters and ended with the unmasking and imprisonment of my client who, it transpired, was not a respectable academic but rather an accomplished forger of art.’