According to UK private client law firm Boodle Hatfield, the estranged wife of TV presenter Ant McPartlin may be using the threat of publicity as a negotiating tool in order to achieve a more generous financial settlement.

Recent media reports suggest that Lisa Armstrong, Mr McPartlin’s wife of 12 years has turned down an offer of 50 percent of the couple’s reputed net worth of £62 million.

It is not unusual in high profile divorces for the threat of adverse publicity to be used as a negotiating tool to obtain a more substantial financial award, Harriet Errington, a senior associate in the family team at Boodle Hatfield, said.

“While many may view Lisa Armstrong as a jilted wife who just wants her day in court, the reality is that the potential publicity of court proceedings can be a very powerful lever in negotiating a higher settlement, particularly when one party has a higher profile than the other,” Ms Errington explained.

With hearings in the Family Court often open to the press, Ms Errington added that for some celebrities it is worth “throwing money at the problem” to avoid their private lives being scrutinised in the media.

“Although both parties would incur more substantial legal costs in litigating as opposed to reaching a settlement out of court, it may be that Ms Armstrong is hoping that it will never get that far. She may be banking on Mr McPartlin choosing to offer to pay more to stop the matter entering the public domain.”

This article was first published in eprivateclient on 22 November 2019.