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Energy professionals cite policy continuity as biggest risk to sector

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A business tycoon who founded a hugely successful energy company 30 years after divorcing his ex-wife has been ordered to pay her a £300,000 chunk of his fortune.

Dale Vince, 53, has been ordered to make the “modest” payment despite the fact that the couple had long separated before he generated his wealth.

The news comes after a Supreme Court ruled that there was “no time limit” for financial provision claims for ex-spouses.

His ex-wife, Kathleen Wyatt, 55, first took her claim for “financial remedy” to the courts in 2011. The claim was initially blocked twice, but eventually received the green light from a Supreme Court in March 2015.

Initially, Ms Wyatt demanded a £1.9m pay-out, but a High Court Family Judge said that Ms Wyatt was “entitled to receive a modest capital award,” upon hearing her case.

“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,” said Mr Justice Cobb.

The couple met in their early 20s and married in 1981. They had very little money and lived a “New Age traveller lifestyle,” a Court heard.

The duo separated in the mid-1980s and divorced in 1992, yet Mr Vince went on to found wind-power firm Ecotricity in Stroud, Gloucestershire in 2011.

Mr Vince said that the decision was “mad” and voiced concerns that it would set a dangerous precedent for other couples in the near future.

“This could signal open season for people who had brief relationships a quarter of a century ago,” he said.

“I feel that we all have a right to move on and not be looking over our shoulders.”