Tycoon's ex-wife awarded £300k settlement 20 years after divorce

Kathleen Wyatt (left) and Dale Vince (right)
Image caption Kathleen Wyatt had been told the £1.9m payout she had hoped to secure from Dale Vince was "out of the question"

The ex-wife of a green energy tycoon has been awarded a "modest" lump sum payment of £300,000, nearly 20 years after the couple divorced.

Kathleen Wyatt, 55, first took legal action against Dale Vince, 53, founder of wind-power firm Ecotricity, in 2011 around 25 years after they separated.

She had demanded a £1.9m payout but has been awarded a "realistic" lump sum of £300,000 by a High Court family judge.

Neither Ms Wyatt nor Mr Vince were in court for the settlement announcement.

Approving the terms of the settlement, High Court family judge Mr Justice Cobb said he was "perfectly satisfied "that it was "reasonable", and Ms Wyatt was "entitled to receive a modest capital award" following the breakdown of the marriage.

"The lump sum payment agreed between the parties fairly represents, in my view, a realistic and balanced appraisal of the unusual circumstances of this case," he said.

'£1.9m claim unwise'

It is uncertain how much Ms Wyatt, who lives in Monmouth, will actually receive of her award due to outstanding legal bills.

The couple met as students in their early 20s, married in 1981 and lived a New Age traveller lifestyle.

They separated in the mid-1980s and divorced in 1992.

In the mid-1990s Mr Vince - who now lives in Stroud in Gloucestershire - set up his company Ecotricity which is now worth an estimated £107m.

In 2011, Ms Wyatt lodged a claim for "financial remedy".

It was given the green light by the Supreme Court in March 2015, but Justice Lord Wilson said she had been unwise to pitch her claim at £1.9m as an award approaching that size was "out of the question".

Mr Vince, who had appealed against it on the basis his ex-wife had lodged the claim too late, said at the time that it was "mad" in his opinion and "could signal open season for people who had brief relationships a quarter of a century ago".

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