Divorce with ‘stratospheric’ costs in £64m settlement

Posted on April 13, 2017

The non-executive chairman of Laura Ashley Holdings, Khoo Kay Peng, has been ordered to pay now ex-wife, Pauline Chai, former beauty queen, £64 million in one of the biggest divorce settlements in the UK courts.
The pair, both in their 70’s were married in 1970 and through the course of their 42 year marriage had 5 children.

Pauline Chai was asking the court to grant her around £100 million from her former husband claiming that she had been a “traditional” wife and mother and therefore deserved half of what she claimed was an asset pot of £205 million.

Khoo Kay Peng on the other hand claimed his overall net worth to be more in the region of £66 million and stated his ex-wife should receive no more than £9 million on the basis he had made a special contribution to generating their wealth.

The final settlement, which brought to an end a long legal battle, saw Mr Justice Bodey ordering the former husband to sign over £64 million worth of assets including cash and property.

Having spent a whopping £6 million between them in legal costs to reach the settlement it isn’t surprising the costs have been described as stratospheric.

Whilst this is a landmark case and helps reinforce the importance of the homemakers contribution, it is only 0.1% of the population who have that kind of money to play with.

In the majority of cases it is more about splitting one household to meet the cost of running two and that can be extremely difficult where assets are limited. Costs in financial proceedings can easily spiral out of control if not kept in check and couples can easily spend in excess of £30,000 in legal costs which is often a high proportion of the overall assets.

At Jefferies we offer no nonsense, straight forward advice to help our clients reach a settlement without spending all the matrimonial assets in the process. There are times when litigation is unavoidable however the majority of cases are capable of being settled outside of the Court arena and Jefferies are proud to offer a range of services to meet every budget whilst still offering a high quality, professional service to ensure our clients receive the best possible outcome with the least amount of stress.

If you are thinking of starting the divorce process and are looking for some advice then contact us today to book an initial £95 fixed fee appointment. This will cover the cost of up to an hour with a specialist matrimonial solicitor and a comprehensive follow up report. This is the best way to explore your options and get an idea of what to expect and your next steps.

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