Friday, January 30, 2009
Earlier on this blog, I discussed how billionaire Bernie Ecclestone (president and CEO of Formula One Management and Formula One Administration) is planning to sue his trophy wife, Slavica, for over $100 million in his attempt to recover property he placed in off-shore trusts in her name. I also mentioned that he hired Lady Helen Ward as his attorney.
Here is some additional about this powerful divorce lawyer from Robert Mendick, Madonna, Guy and the grande dame of divorce, Evening Standard, Jan. 30, 2009:
A workaholic, with a reputation for sending fierce legal letters at three in the morning, Lady Ward has carved out perhaps the most lucrative divorce practice in the world, with a celebrity client list coveted by her rivals. It is an impressive feat for a lawyer whose first words of advice to prospective clients are: "Why do you want to spend all this money getting divorced?"
Incidentally, her title comes through marriage to the Court of Appeal judge Lord Justice Ward, who divorced his first wife in 1982 before marrying Lady Ward a year later.
She is now poised to earn record fees. Her latest client is Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One grandee, who appointed her last week after dispensing with his previous lawyer. Her task will be to claw back as much as possible of £2 billion that Ecclestone put in an offshore trust in the name of his wife Slavica for tax reasons. The settlement, when it finally comes (sources suggest the case will drag on for at least a year) is expected to be the biggest in history, earning Lady Ward, who charges £500 an hour, huge fees. One rival lawyer suggested she could make as much as £2 million this year alone. * * *
Other clients include Lord Lloyd-Webber, Paloma Picasso, Ian McEwan, Countess Spencer and David Seaman, the former England and Arsenal goalkeeper.
Special thanks to Joel Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.