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£282m divorce dispute concludes after landmark ruling

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A long-running financial dispute between a UK hedge fund manager and his ex-wife has concluded after a landmark ruling.

In what has been described as one of Britain’s most expensive divorce battles, financier and philanthropist Sir Christopher Hohn has been ordered to pay £282m into his ex-wife Jamie Cooper’s charitable foundation.

The payment was approved late last week by chancellor of the High Court, Sir Geoffrey Vos, who said that the grant would “bring a conclusion to an incredibly hostile dispute”.

According to reports, Sir Christopher Hohn and Ms Cooper, who have four children together, set up prominent charity the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) together in 2002 as joint trustees, before subsequently divorcing in 2013.

Ever since the split, the duo have been embroiled in a bitter legal battle over a proposed payment which Ms Cooper claimed should be paid into a new charity fund set up by herself many years after their divorce, known as Big Win Philanthropy.

The new charity has been described as having “increased assets” and growth potential today in comparison with CIFF.

In response, a spokesperson on behalf of Sir Christopher Hohn previously alleged that such a payment would “set a poor precedent, in that it would allow charitable funds to be used to resolve personal disputes between trustees”.

Despite these criticisms, however, the High Court has approved the payment.

In a Judgment delivered on Friday 9 June, Sir Geoffrey Vos ruled that the payment would allow Ms Cooper to “devote her considerable talents to a charity with increased assets.”

The comments came after Ms Cooper declared that she would donate £32m of her own money to Big Win Philanthropy should the payment be approved by the Court.

MFG Solicitors’ family team can advise on divorce and related financial disputes. For more information, please contact us.