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Ex-wife of Laura Ashley boss wins £64m divorce battle

From the BBC:
The former wife of a Laura Ashley boss should receive a £64m divorce settlement, a judge has ruled.
Pauline Chai, 70, of Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, wanted half their assets, which she claimed were worth at least £205m.Her ex-husband Khoo Kay Peng argued she should receive about £9m, following the end of their 42-year marriage. Mr Justice Bodey said Ms Chai’s settlement should be made up of cash and property.
Dr Khoo, who is a non-executive chairman of Laura Ashley Holdings, had wanted their divorce to be settled in Malaysia, which he said was their marital home….Ms Chai successfully argued the pair had moved their home to Berkhamsted before separating, entitling her to have the case heard in England.
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Sally Robinson, head of the Family Law Team at Wilson Browne Solicitors comments:

The court must have regard to a range of factors when making final orders in financial proceedings on divorce, one of which is
The court must have regard to a range of factors when making final orders in financial proceedings on divorce, one of which is contribution.
When considering each party’s contribution to the marriage or civil partnership, there should be no discrimination between the breadwinner and the homemaker when making a final order and this case has reaffirmed that principle.  Fairness dictates this process and an equal division is often the starting point, but will usually end with an assessment of each party’s needs.  In very exceptional cases it is possible for a party to argue that their contribution to the marriage was “stellar”.  This is usually in cases of substantial assets, where a party argues that their contribution is so significant that the principle of non-discrimination should be departed from and the final award increased in their favour.
Stellar contribution is not restricted to financial contributions, but it is difficult to think of instances in which non-financial contributions would be exceptional enough.  It is assumed that Khoo Kay Peng, the Husband in this case, put forward this argument but the fact the parties were married for some 42 years with both parties contributing to the marriage in their own and very different way appears to have been the deciding factor for the Court.

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