A headteacher who abandoned her career to be looked after by her millionaire husband may not claim compensation for lost earnings, a court has ruled.
Katriona MacFarlane had claimed Dr James MacFarlane, represented by John Hooper solicitors, should give her a settlement to make up for the loss of her career and pension benefits.
Her case, which has garnered national press coverage, was thrown out by the Court of Appeal who ruled that “no-one had twisted her arm” when she gave up full-time work.
On behalf of Dr MacFarlane his solicitor, John Hooper, said: “This is yet another example of the judiciary taking an increasingly pragmatic approach towards resolving these types of problems.”
The couple, from Derbyshire, shared a home in Darley Dale before their split. In November 2015 Mrs MacFarlane had been granted half the proceeds of the sale of their home, plus a £140,000 lump sum from her ex-husband.
Judge Rogers had decided that Dr MacFarlane had not benefited financially from the arrangement, or had any personal time freed up to conduct more work on his own.
But at the Court of Appeal, Mrs MacFarlane’s barrister had said it was wrong she was not being compensated for her time off the career ladder. Instead she fought for a settlement that would give her £700,000 to purchase a home with.
Rejecting her case, Mr Justice Moylan said Judge Rogers had been right to refuse Mrs MacFarlane in 2015.
Mr Justice Moylan said the decision for Mrs MacFarlane to leave her job as Headmistress of All Saints School in Matlock, Derbyshire, had been a joint one, and that the evidence of what she would be earning had she stayed was “unclear”.
Here at John Hooper & Co the verdict was greeted enthusiastically by the team, who have worked tirelessly on the case.
The story has received national interest, appearing in news publications such as the Sun, the Times and the Daily Mail.
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