Heather Mills’ legal team “laughed off” Sir Paul McCartney’s original UKP3 million offer in their divorce settlement.

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The Beatles legend – who split from Heather in May 2006 following a four-year marriage – was advised to initially offer the tiny slice of his UKP825 million fortune, but Heather’s legal team “laughed off” the sum and demanded UKP25 million.

A source told the Daily Mirror: “Paul, on the advice of his lawyer Fiona Shackleton, originally offered Heather between UKP3 and UKP5 million. But there was no way Heather’s legal team were going to accept that.

“Heather’s lawyer Anthony Julius laughed off the sum and decided to play hard ball. He knows how Shackleton works. There has been serious wrangling going on behind the scenes for months. This is the closest they have been to settling.”

Heather is still said to be refusing to sign a confidentiality clause, preventing her from speaking about their marriage.

Her lawyers are now urging her to accept Paul’s generous UKP25 million offer in return for her silence.

The source added: “It’s unlikely a judge would award Heather any more money and her lawyers know that. It’s a very generous settlement. They were only married for four years and he built up the bulk of her fortune before they met.

“She can walk away now, knowing she can start getting on with her life.”

Heather is expected to accept the offer by the end of the week. Paul is anxious to hammer out the divorce deal in private and avoid an expensive and potentially embarrassing public court hearing.