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Family law: Biggest-ever UK divorce payout could herald end of 50/50 settlements

A millionaire hedge-fund manager will soon have to pay the most expensive settlement in the history of UK divorces.

Pierre Lagrange, who runs GLG Partners, split from his wife last year after revealing that he is gay. He has since become involved with fashion designer Roubi L'Roubi.

Mr Lagrange's fortune is said to be worth around £300 million, since as well as being successful in hedge-fund managing, he also invested in high-grossing films such as Kick-Ass and Avatar. Pierre Lagrange has had to start selling off assets, such as his Kensington home, to pay the £150 million settlement.

His 15-bedroom house was located in Kensington Palace Gardens, also known as 'billionaire's row', where the richest man in Britain, Lakshmi Mittal, lives. It was recently sold to Chelsea FC's owner Roman Abramovich for £90 million.

Should Mr Lagrange have to find a further £60 million to give to his wife, his settlement would beat the current record highest amount of £100 million given to the wife of Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky.

Leading divorce lawyer Ayesha Vardag claims that the frequency of such high payouts are causing doubts about fairness of the current system which awards a 50/50 split of marital assets.

She said: "There is a general concern that awards are too high and that the principle that has been in place since 2000 - of generally sharing equally no matter who earned it - is being somewhat stretched in the light of the huge awards that are coming through.

"The courts have said that these awards are bigger than anyone expected they would be. It would invite a re-evaluation of the straightforward 50/50 approach to marital assets."

Related links:
Read more on the story (The Independent)
Read 'How to protect your assets during a divorce' (FindLaw)
Find local family solicitors throughout the UK (FindLaw)