Despite reports last month suggesting that Paul McCartney was reconsidering the possibility of an out-of-court divorce settlement, it seems that he and his estranged wife Heather Mills have been unable to come to an agreement. More recent reports indicate the pair are due to settle their dispute next week in a five-day High Court hearing, during which Heather will represent herself.

The anti-landmines campaigner, who parted company with her legal team last year, is apparently preparing to make her own defence speech and cross-examine Paul when he stands in the witness box. She is expected to ask for £50 million of his estimated £825 million fortune.

A report in the Daily Mail in January outlined the tack Heather's defence would apparently take. "She is going to say that before they met, people liked her and admired her, she was successful, she had her own career and her own income," a source told the British newspaper. "She is going to say that when they got together, he stopped her from having a career… now they have split, she is a hate figure and as such unemployable."

A High Court judge will decide how much the 40-year-old former model, whose four-year marriage ended in May 2006, is entitled to. Paul is thought to have offered £25 million, increasing the figure from an initial £3 million. Other issues that will be dealt with are said to include custody and financial arrangements for the couple's four-year-old daughter Beatrice.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
According to reports the anti-landmines campaigner, pictured leaving court last year after a hearing, will represent herself during a five-day hearing next weekPhoto: © Getty Images
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Having parted company with her legal team she will seemingly interview estranged husband Paul during proceedingsPhoto: © Getty Images