The world’s most expensive divorce financial settlements

8th March 2015 by


Most divorce financial settlements will be modest and will include details of division of assets, savings and rights to property. In many cases provisions for children will have to be agreed before any division of marital wealth can be negotiated or awarded and in disputed cases, it may be necessary for the court to become involved. In high-value divorce settlements it is almost always necessary to seek the advice of an experienced divorce solicitor who can ensure your best interests are sought in any ancillary relief agreement put to the court.

The highest high-value UK divorce financial settlements
In July 2011, a High Court hearing lasting just ten minutes put the divorce financial settlement of two Russian divorcees, Boris Berezovsky and Galina Besharova, down in UK family law history as the couple who agreed the largest ever ancillary relief package in an English court. Although the exact figure awarded to the wife was not released, it was said to be in excess of £100 million, possibly reaching up to £220 million.

Before this, the highest-value UK financial settlement on divorce had been the £48 million awarded to the former wife of London insurance broker John Charman. Originally he had offered her £6 million in cash, but she argued that this was not a fair settlement. The family law court agreed, and Beverly Charman eventually received £48 million of her ex-husband’s reputed £131 million fortune.

Largest divorce settlements worldwide
The most expensive divorce ever recorded was between media tycoon Rupert Murdoch and his ex-wife Anna. Their 1998 split, after 32 years of marriage, was reportedly amicable with the ex-Mrs Murdoch receiving a settlement worth $1.7 billion dollars (around £1 billion)

Second to the Murdochs for the highest divorce payout comes Saudi businessman Adnan Khasoggi who was an international businessman and arms dealer. Having married Soraya in 1961, when the couple divorced in 1982, she received a reported $874 million settlement (around £536 million).

In 1997 Wendy McCaw received $460 million (around £282 million) in a divorce settlement reached after the failure of her 21-year marriage to Craig McCaw. The couple had built up a successful telecommunications company and sold it to AT&T in 1994. At the time she was reported to have monthly outgoings of $200,000.

Divorce solicitors in Brighton and London for expert advice on financial settlements
A typical high-value divorce settlement will possibly involve a cash lump sum payment, a maintenance order, property transfers, careful division of assets such as artwork or jewellery and possible pension sharing provision.

Healys’ divorce solicitors in Brighton and London are highly experienced in the negotiating and drafting of separation agreements and in making and defending divorce and finance claims on behalf of both husbands and wives.

We always aim to find a fair and cost-effective solution and to keep the costs proportionate to the assets involved.

If you would like to speak to a divorce solicitor regarding your financial settlement please call our Brighton office where you can speak directly to Catherine Taylor on 01273 669 124 or e-mail on

Alternatively, contact our London Office on 020 7822 4000 or email