North East’s leading female divorce specialist, Lucinda Connell of Major Family Law, divorce and family law lawyers, comments Michael Prest, the multi-millionaire oil tycoon involved in a well publicised and acrimonious divorce, is facing the prospect of jail after failing to pay his former wife more than £360,000 in unpaid maintenance.

Mr Prest, whose net assets had been assessed at £37.5m by the High Court, had been handed a suspended jail sentence by Mr Justice Moylan for wilfully refusing or neglecting to make a lump sum payment of £17.5m in addition to periodical payments to his ex-wife, Yasmin Prest, and their four children. Mrs Prest had asked the High Court to send her former husband to prison after he allegedly failed to pay her the £17.5m she was awarded in their divorce. At the time, Moylan J said he was satisfied Mr Prest had the means to pay and had refused or neglected to do so.

The businessman was due to be jailed for four weeks in October 2014 before he launched an appeal. The matter came before the Court of Appeal on 7th July when Lord Justice McFarlane said Prest had until September to pay £360,200 by 28 September 2015.

It is understood that Mr Prest is likely to appeal to the Supreme Court.