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The UK’s Largest High Net Worth Divorce Settlement: Jamie Cooper-Hohn Awarded £337M

The UK’s Largest High Net Worth Divorce Settlement: Jamie Cooper-Hohn Awarded £337M

Following a trial this summer in the Family Division of the High Court in London, Jamie Cooper-Hohn has been awarded what legal experts think is the largest ever divorce settlement recorded in Britain. American-born Ms Cooper-Hohn was married to Sir Christopher Hohn – an English hedge-fund manager – for 17 years, after meeting as students at Harvard University. The couple, who have four children, set up the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and are described as the UK’s most generous philanthropists; it has been estimated that they have given away more than £1bn to charity.

Ms Cooper-Hohn commenced divorce proceedings in 2012 and has now been awarded £337m in a settlement. The case has been commended as a recognition of the role played by Ms Cooper-Hohn in the marriage. While Sir Christopher argued that he had bought more wealth into the union, describing himself as an “unbelievable money maker”, the court looked at the contribution made by his ex-wife to their charitable foundation and the influence she had in the marriage.

It remains unknown exactly how much the lengthy battle has cost the couple in legal fees. It has also been reported that Ms Cooper-Hohn’s lawyers enquired about the possibility of appeal, suggesting that she may be looking to recover more than the award.

Resolution: “Most people have little to divide up”

A report released by Resolution casts a darker shadow over the financial implications of divorce. In the study, published as part of Family Dispute Resolution Week, over 4,000 separated adults in Britain were interviewed about the effects that divorce had on their financial status. A total of 28% of all those surveyed reported falling into debt, having to rely on credit cards, overdrafts and personal loans to support themselves following a split. This result was worse where children were involved, with 36% of parents in the study relying on a loan to deal with the financial strain of separation. A quarter of the adults also said that they had either asked for, or been offered, financial support from a family member or friend.

The report stated that “the average household median income in Britain is just £32,600, meaning that most people who divorce have little to divide up”. Resolution chair Jo Edwards commented that “Separation often causes huge financial pressures: finding two new homes, furnishing those homes, perhaps wanting to buy a second car, all from a finite pot of capital, not to mention the legal costs associated with divorce; and in income terms, having the same amount of income available to the family whilst potentially doubling the bills because of living in separate homes”.

With the potential for wide-ranging financial impact, it is therefore important to consider how best to proceed when separating or divorcing, according to Resolution. The organisation believes that mediation can offer a speedier and more cost effective method of resolving disputes on separation than commencing adversarial court proceedings.

At IBB Solicitors, we understand that family break-ups are traumatic for adults, and children in particular. We’re here to help you resolve divorce and separation issues as swiftly and sensitively as possible with caring, compassionate advice and representation. We will always give you practical and honest advice and protect your interests robustly should there be court proceedings. We have experience in dealing with a variety of clients and situations including high net worth divorce cases, particularly where complex assets or overseas arrangements are involved.

We do everything in our power to make the separation and divorce process as painless as possible. Our divorce and family lawyers in the South Buckinghamshire area provide you with a full range of family law services in complete confidence.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of family law, are considering divorce proceedings, or a trial separation, or want to draw up a pre or post-nuptial agreement, call us in absolute confidence on 01494 790058 or 01494 790047. Alternatively, email us at familylaw@ibblaw.co.uk.