Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Ecclestone Fight


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.

Here are some details from Robert Mendick, F1 boss hires Guy's lawyer in battle for off-shore millions, Evening Standard, Jan. 22, 2009:

Mr Ecclestone, who at 5ft 4in is 10 inches shorter than his wife, has been married to Slavica for 24 years. Theyvhave two grown-up daughters. She walked out of the marital home in Chelsea at the end of last year and then announced she was divorcing Mr Ecclestone, part owner of Queens Park Rangers football club.

She has hired Liz Vernon, a partner at Clintons law firm, who secured a ground-breaking payout for the wife of former Arsenal and England footballer Ray Parlour.

Mr Ecclestone initially turned to Mark Harper at Withers solicitors. Mr Harper is a world expert in international divorce cases involving off-shore trusts. But last week he ditched Withers - the split is understood to be amicable - and hired Lady Ward instead.

She is one of the most feared divorce lawyers in the country, having secured a record-breaking settlement for Beverly Charman of £48 million - the highest award ever made by a British court - in her divorce from insurance tycoon John Charman.

Lady Ward was also employed by Guy Ritchie in his divorce from Madonna, securing a huge payout for the British film director and the largest sum ever received by a man from his wife.

Slavica could walk away with up to £1 billion.

Special thanks to Joel Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.


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