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When lawyers divorce: Court of Appeal sides with Cambridge law lecturer over her City solicitor ex-husband

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She earns £53,000, so should he still have to pay maintenance?

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The Court of Appeal has decided a former City solicitor must continue to pay his Cambridge University law lecturer ex-wife maintenance, despite her hefty salary.

In a case heard by Lady Justice Gloster, Lady Justice Macur and Lady Justice King, 43-year-old Goran Mickovski was refused permission to appeal a court ruling ordering him to make monthly £723 payments to his ex.

Former Sidley Austin senior associate Mickovski (pictured below) argued through his barrister, 4 Paper Buildings’ Stephen Lyon, that ex-wife Kathleen Liddell is more financially comfortable than she needs to be.

Screenshot of Goran Mickovski's LinkedIn
Screenshot of Goran Mickovski’s LinkedIn

The court was told Oxford-educated Liddell (pictured below) is earning more now than she had been during her eleven-year marriage to Mickovski. This is because she had gone full-time since getting divorced, and is now earning £53,000 a year. Because of this, Lyon said there is “no continuing need” for his client to pay maintenance. Liddell was not represented at the hearing.

Dr Kathleen Liddell's profile on the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law website
Dr Kathleen Liddell’s profile on the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law website

At first instance, Judge Cudby decided that ex-Watson Farley Williams lawyer Mickovski still had to make the maintenance payments. According to reports, she praised the 40-year-old intellectual property lecturer for taking up the extra hours even though she had young children to care for. Branding Mickovski “belligerent, unhelpful and dictatorial” after hearing him give evidence, Cudby said:

[Liddell] is earning £53,000-a-year and I accept she is working as hard as she can and she can’t earn any more.

Agreeing with Cudby and dismissing the ex-husband’s application for permission to appeal, Macur told the court this week:

[Liddell] was struggling. Each month her outgoings exceeded her income. That is why she needs maintenance going forward and why [Judge Cudby] made the findings that she did.

For Mickovski — who is now the Minister for Foreign Investments in the Republic of Macedonia — this ruling has proved an expensive one.

The University of Melbourne law graduate must pay four years’ worth of maintenance to Liddell, £34,000, in a lump sum. He will also have cough up £3,543 in legal costs.

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